If you’re stuck flying in economy with Qantas, you may be invited to bid for a business class upgrade under the airline's Bid Now Upgrades system using a combination of Qantas frequent flyer points and cash.
It’s a good option for travellers who don’t have many points to begin with and may fall short of a traditional points-based upgrade.
For example, here’s a sample Bid Now Upgrades screen for a transcontinental flight between Perth and Melbourne.
This bid has a floor of 4,000 Qantas Points, which can be combined with a cash component as high as $975 (the minimum and maximum dollar range is based on how many points you bid).
But how many points and how much cash should you offer to win on a Qantas Bid Now Upgrade auction without going overboard?
Ultimately, there’s no hard and fast rule: we’ve received many reports from travellers who slid through by bidding the minimum, while a number of flyers weren’t so lucky and had to increase their bids before getting a successful upgrade.
The minimum amount Qantas will allow you to bid – and the minimum Qantas will actually accept – also vary from flight to flight, but as a guide, here’s what you should budget for across a number of domestic and international routes.
Winning upgrade bids: shorter Qantas flights
As a guideline, upgrades on shorter flights can be generally be achieved with less points and less cash than on longer routes, but remember that bidding for business class is never a ‘sure thing’.
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To help you on your path to success, we’ve compiled the lowest bids that we’ve seen Qantas accept – so if you’re travelling on one of these routes, consider offering the same bid or higher to maximise your chances.
- Townsville-Brisbane: 3,000 points + $75
- Melbourne-Adelaide: 3,000 points + $80
- Adelaide-Melbourne: 3,000 points + $100
- Sydney-Melbourne: 3,000 points + $100
- Sydney-Brisbane: 3,000 points + $115
- Sydney-Adelaide: 3,000 points + $180
- Melbourne-Brisbane: 3,000 points + $180
- Sydney-Cairns: 6,000 points + $180
- Brisbane-Darwin: 12,000 points + $200
- Melbourne-Gold Coast: 3,000 points + $250
- Cairns-Brisbane: 3,000 points + $260
That’s not to say Qantas won’t accept your bid if it’s lower, but if securing an upgrade is important to you, do consider laying a little extra cash on the table.
Winning upgrade bids: longer Qantas flights
On trans-continental treks and when jetting abroad, the minimum number of points you can offer with your bid increases, usually to 4,000 points on east-west flights and always at least 5,000 points on international services.
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Wherever you're headed, these are the lowest bids we’ve known Qantas to accept on a selection of routes:
- Sydney-Perth: 4,000 points + $90 (but often $230+)
- Melbourne-Perth: 4,000 points + $120 (often $250+)
- Brisbane-Perth: 4,000 points + $105 (often $210+)
- Melbourne-Auckland: 5,000 points + $200
- Sydney-Hong Kong: 5,000 points + $505 (premium economy to business)
- Brisbane-Los Angeles: 5,000 points + $1,135 (economy to business)
Consider also that the minimum amount you can offer may sometimes be greater than what’s above, so use this as a guide and bid accordingly.
Have you successfully bid for a Qantas business class upgrade, and if so, how many points and how much money did you part with? Share your successes in the comment box below!
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