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.)
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.