How to stop Qantas Points expiring if you don't live in Australia

Even if you can't fly Qantas, there are plenty of ways to keep your hard-earned Qantas Points from expiring...

By Chris Chamberlin, August 24 2020
How to stop Qantas Points expiring if you don't live in Australia

As many international borders remain closed and airlines around the world cut back flights, some Qantas Frequent Flyer members living overseas may find it harder than usual to keep their balance of Qantas Points alive.

Fortunately, almost any time a Qantas Point is earned or spent, the expiry date of that member’s points becomes 18 months in the future: so earning or spending even one Qantas Point every 18 months (or 17, to be safe) is enough to keep those points alive in perpetuity.

If you’re living outside Australia and are finding it hard to keep your points active in Qantas Frequent Flyer, here are five easy ways to hold onto your hard-earned points.

1. Fly with any of Qantas’ partner airlines

Just because you can’t fly with Qantas right now doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t travel with another airline – and if you choose to fly with one of Qantas’ many partners, you can pick up a serve of Qantas Points on eligible fares.

Regardless of how many points your flight may earn, as long as it earns something, that will extend the validity of your entire points stash by 18 months.

As a member of the Oneworld airline alliance, Qantas Frequent Flyer members can earn Qantas Points on American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Japan Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Qatar Airways and more, when travelling on eligible paid airfares.

(Note the word ‘eligible’: while many paid airfares allow you to earn points, Qantas Points may not be offered by some airlines when booked onto the lowest-cost airfares, particularly with carriers like Cathay Pacific, Malaysia Airlines and Qatar Airways – check the Qantas website for full details.)

Taking a short hop in British Airways' Club Europe? You can earn Qantas Points.
Taking a short hop in British Airways' Club Europe? You can earn Qantas Points.

Through Qantas’ other partnerships, you can also earn Qantas Points on eligible flights and fares with Air France, Air Vanuatu, Alaska Airlines, China Eastern, Isreal’s El Al, Emirates, Fiji Airways, KLM, LATAM and WestJet.

Qantas Points can also be earned on Qantas (QF) codeshare flights booked on airlines like Air New Zealand, Aircalin, Korea’s Asiana Airlines, Solomon Airlines, Taiwan’s China Airlines and more, where available.

Finally, eligible flights and tickets on Jetstar-brand airlines – including overseas offshoots like Jetstar in New Zealand and Jetstar Japan – can deliver Qantas Points

2. Book a hotel stay, or convert hotel points

Through the Qantas Hotels website, Qantas Frequent Flyer members can earn three Qantas Points per A$1 spent on hotels, both in Australia and around the world.

Although you’ll need to pay for your booking in Australian dollars, any eligible hotel (or even Airbnb) stay can earn you Qantas Points – even a ‘staycation’ in your own city.

Just be mindful that points earned on Qantas Hotels bookings are usually credited after the stay has been completed, so if your Qantas Points are soon to expire, you may wish to consider another path.

One such option is to convert any hotel loyalty points you might have into Qantas Points, to keep your Qantas Points balance alive.

This is possible from programs such as Accor Live Limitless (ALL), Hilton Honors, IHG Rewards Club, Marriott Bonvoy, Radisson Rewards, World of Hyatt and more. Each program will apply its own minimum transfer limits and ‘conversion rate’, but transferring even the minimum number of points gets the job done.

3. Convert credit card points into Qantas Points

If you’re living in New Zealand, the United Kingdom or the United States, you may be able to convert your existing credit card reward points into Qantas Points.

In New Zealand, this is possible from selected American Express Membership Rewards cards – ditto the UK, where UK Membership Rewards points can be converted into Qantas Points.

Over in the USA, AMEX Membership Rewards is an option too, as are points transfers from Capital One Rewards and Citi ThankYou Rewards to Qantas Frequent Flyer.

In Australia, of course, most Qantas-earning credit cards are either Qantas-branded products or require the customer to opt-in to receiving Qantas Points every month – whereas these international programs allow points to be manually transferred to Qantas long after those points were initially earned.

For Australian readers: Top Qantas Frequent Flyer credit card offers

4. Buy top-up Qantas Points

If you won’t be in a position to travel before your Qantas Points expire and you don’t have any eligible hotel or credit card points that can be converted into Qantas Points, you might instead consider buying Qantas Points.

Like most other ways of building your points balance, purchasing any amount of Qantas Points extends the validity of your entire balance by 18 months.

That’s true even if you buy the bare minimum of 1,000 Qantas Points. For this, the asking price is A$56, and while it’s not great value when buying points ‘just because’, it’s a small price to pay to keep a much larger balance of Qantas Points for expiring.

Qantas Points can be purchased via the Qantas website and paid for using any Visa, Mastercard or American Express credit card, including credit cards issued outside Australia.

Purchased points should appear in your account on the same day, adding a cool 18 months to the life of your entire balance.

5. You might be offered a one-month extension

If your Qantas Points are set to expire before the end of 2020 – meaning you haven’t earned or spent Qantas Points in 12 months or longer – keep an eye on your email inbox.

Members based overseas may receive an email offer to extend their points expiry by one month, simply by clicking on an activation link in that email.

For example, one Executive Traveller reader living in New Zealand whose points were due to expire at the end of November 2020 received an offer this week to bump that expiry date to December 31 2020.

The only catch? Unless the “activate your extension” button is clicked, the expiry date doesn’t change: so make a habit of checking your inbox for emails from Qantas Frequent Flyer.

Of course, any time you earn or spend even just one Qantas Point, the validity of your entire balance is extended by 18 months: so if you’re unable to earn any new points, you may even be able to donate a small number of Qantas Points to charity – it’s a win-win.

Also read: Qantas Frequent Flyer status proves hard to keep for overseas flyers

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller, and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins not just with a single step, but also a strong latte, a theatre ticket, and later in the day, a good gin and tonic.

17 Jun 2020

Total posts 155

Surprised you didn't mention the walking app. Can get points for free without any spend (even if it is only 1 point per week). Much cheaper option than anything listed here to keep points active. 

Hi KW72, there are hundreds of ways to extend the expiry of Qantas Points, such as by earning or spending them. In an article listing only five of those paths, we can't namecheck every one (and as earning points by walking has a hardware requirement, it won't be accessible to everyone, and so didn't make the cut).

Of course, we invite readers to share their own favourite ways of earning and spending points here in the comments section, to add to the list above.

15 Feb 2014

Total posts 6

Got excited about this walking app - until I tried to download it (while in the UK). It's 'not available in your country'.

11 Mar 2012

Total posts 299

VPN on your phone at all?

03 Jan 2012

Total posts 97

Chris, any ideas how to stop Air NZ airpoints expiring. I have $2,000 worth expiring in January 2021 and stuck in UK unable to use them (except to buy Koru membership; which again, seems like a waste since I cannot use any of the services).

P
P

17 Jan 2018

Total posts 86

Useful article but would Q (or any other airline) seriously penalise and cancel peoples hard earned points by taking advantage of the C19 situation. If they do they deserve to go under and should not be eligible for any govt support. 

Qantas

22 Oct 2012

Total posts 283

Buy a Gift Card from the Qantas Store for as little as 4,000 points every 18 months, or use the no fee Qantas Travel Money card to make the occasional very cheap purchase almost anywhere in the world.

29 Sep 2015

Total posts 3

QTM (or Qantas cash, or whatever it's called nowadays) is only for Australian residents: can't activate it if you live overseas. Found that out after moving to NZ!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

05 May 2016

Total posts 9

Just on point 3, you can include HK in the list too. HK Citibank Rewards points can convert to QFF points. 😀

Naz
Naz

12 Jul 2020

Total posts 1

Hi Chris,

Do you have a similar article for velocity points.

We recently cancelled our Velocity Visa as downsizing my credit card fee burden. Then realised the points although pooled into one family account can expire.

We used to get points at BP but thats Qantas now, so am not worried about Qantas points expiring.


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