Best ways to use your Qantas frequent flyer points

By Chris C., January 26 2016
Best ways to use your Qantas frequent flyer points

This article is part of our ongoing Business Travel 101 series for newcomers to the world of business travel.

Looking for the best ways to use your Qantas frequent flyer points? Here are five top strategies to make the most of your Qanats points.

It's easy to build up a stack of Qantas frequent flyer points, especially when you use the right credit cards.

But what are the best ways to spend those points? Here are five great ways to use Qantas points, to suit all balances and budgets.

Upgrade to first class on flights to London

No doubt the best way for high-flying business travellers to use their points is to upgrade from business class to first class on Qantas’ flagship Airbus A380 flights from Sydney or Melbourne to London via Singapore.

Just 60,000 Qantas Points is all it takes to turn your flexible business class ticket into a full-blown suite for the 24-hour journey, complete with all the usual trimmings of a first class ticket.

Among them: a larger bed with a duvet, pyjamas and slippers; an even better inflight dining experience with a Rockpool-inspired tasting menu, vintage Champagne and access to the Qantas First Lounge in Australia and soon in 2019, the Singapore First Lounge.

Grab a Qantas Business Suite on east-west flights

Not everybody can afford to buy a full-fare business class ticket, but those flying economy aren't forgotten when jetting east to west where just 25,000 Qantas Points gets you bumped up to business from the cheapest economy seat.

Better yet, if you're travelling on a flexible economy fare, that's slashed more than half to just 10,000 Qantas Points for the same business class upgrade: a particularly great use of your points on flights fitted with Qantas' latest Business Suites.

You'll find the suites on every Airbus A330 service running between Perth and Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Also read: Qantas vs Virgin Australia A330 domestic business class

Understandably, these upgrades are in high demand – so get your request in early, either online or at the Qantas Club or Business Lounge as soon as you arrive for travellers with lounge access.

Fly in first class for just 54,000 points

For that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to fly first class but without parting with a five-figure sum, look to Emirates' Airbus A380 flights from Sydney to Christchurch: available for just 54,000 Qantas Points in first class.

Your journey begins with a pre-flight visit to the Qantas First Lounge in Sydney – followed by Dom Pérignon Champagne served straight to your seat and even an inflight shower if it takes your fancy.

Then, sit back and enjoy while breakfast is served, wander down to the inflight bar and lounge for a cocktail or ensconce yourself in the suite by closing the doors and leaving all your cares behind.

After experiencing first class, we're sure you'll be more motivated than ever to maximise your points, and perhaps never have to fly economy ever again.

Fly around the world in business class

Much as points can be used for upgrades and to book regular flights on their lonesome, they can also be used for a whirlwind trip around the globe with Qantas and its Oneworld airline partners.

To fly business class the whole way, you're looking at 280,000 Qantas Points – that's only 24,000 more points than a simple return trip from Sydney to London!

'Oneworld awards', as they're known, allow you spend time in up to five cities and can span up to 35,000 miles on a single trip, provided you fly with at least two Oneworld airlines other than Qantas.

For example, your 280,000 points could land you an itinerary like this in business class:

  • Sydney-Hong Kong with Qantas or Cathay Pacific
  • Hong Kong-London with British Airways or Cathay Pacific
  • London-New York with American Airlines or British Airways
  • New York-Miami with American Airlines
  • Miami-Santiago with American Airlines or LATAM
  • Santiago-Sydney with Qantas or LATAM (via Auckland)

The only catch? Finding a web of flights with frequent flyer reward seats available can be tricky, so for complex itineraries it's best to plan well in advance.

Upgrade short flights from just 5,000 points

Having a much smaller pool of frequent flyer points doesn't mean you can't too fly business class – short Australian domestic flights such as Sydney-Melbourne and Brisbane-Sydney are another great and easy way to put your points to work.

From a flexible economy ticket you'll need only 5,000 Qantas Points to perch yourself in business class, and heck, 10,000 Qantas Points from any other economy ticket – even the cheapies grabbed on sale – gets the same result.

It's an even better deal on a handful of short flights served by Qantas' newer A330s with Business Suites up front, but as these vary from day to day, just keep your eyes peeled for the odd A330 and pounce on it when given the chance.

These days, when credit cards come with generous sign-up bonuses of tens of thousands of points in their own right, it really is true that anyone can fly in business class if they put their mind to it.

Also read: The worst possible ways to use your Qantas Points

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT

Chris C.

Chris is a a former contributor to Executive Traveller.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Jan 2013

Total posts 240

Nice article. I've often considered the 54,000 points for a first class return trip. Although it is only four hours. I think the round the world business class flights have more value to 'em as it's more flight for your points. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Nov 2011

Total posts 361

That would be 54,000 points one way, not return to NZ.


12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1519

And how many stops and what duration one can do in around the globe trip? If you can stay for few days in each place than it is for sure the best way of burning points.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jul 2011

Total posts 1378

For the Qantas oneworld award its a max of five stopovers. No limits on duration, apart from award availability which can be difficult to find.

QF Platinum

24 Jan 2013

Total posts 138

Ohhhh... So not a Marc Newson kettle then! :p


Emirates Airlines - Skywards

30 Nov 2015

Total posts 730

I'm sick and tired of Airlines telling us about their designer interiors and gourmet food when the result is bad design and stingey awful food. Who are they trying to kid.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 May 2012

Total posts 134

Hi Chris, where would a person look start to organize around the World "One World" ticket using Qantas FF points? Is this somewhere on the Qantas website?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 May 2014

Total posts 464

I recently talked to the QFF service centre about this.  They advised to book the first sector online.  When additional sectors become available they can convert the ticket and add them.  There is a small points fee for changes to J awards.  This was in the case of booking a year in advance.  Difficult to get J otherwise, unless P1

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1251

This is exactly how I booked mine

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Dec 2011

Total posts 95

Daughter a Doctor and Gold FF. Has flown y+ last few times, and tried to get upgarde to business no luck. Is it her or the system mmmmmmmmmmmmm I wonder?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 Nov 2013

Total posts 473


It will depend on the flight she was taking and (a) the load of passengers already in biz, and (b) how many higher status flyers were on board and also looking for an upgrade...

As an example, I'm QFF Platinum and flew back from the US recently on a flight I knew would be overflowing - no upgrade for me even though it was requested 4m ago! 

It happens...



PS. I did have the cabin crew bringing me J drinks, amentity kit, and J breakfast the next morning though! 

14 Jan 2016

Total posts 6

Very helpful.

04 Nov 2012

Total posts 213

Never ever used points for domestic in OZ, only for long haul but those awful charges by Qantas stop me from using them when booking J seats unlike most airlines, amazing how they get away with it.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Feb 2013

Total posts 5

Strongly agree that is why i love qantas...and so on...I travel many times on 1st class on QF and BA...You really need to know what you doing when booking and maximise your research...Example straight cattle class fare....Melbourne to singapore...40 000 points required upgrade....Dubai- london 26 000points (business) for an extra hour flight costing another 14 000 points...

Bristish Airways gives extreme value on your points example (one world) singapore to lisbon (via london) only 104 000 points and very low airport taxes under 400 singapore dollars. BA product on 1st class and Business to is very good this flight from singapore is on a 380 BA then my connection is several hours to on arrival i can op to use the arrival lounge at heathrow...After 14 hours inflight cant think anything better.

Everything is based on experience and not finding out the full advantage of actually the status you hold and using the points to maximise your flight reward and benefits it offer... 

This website is excellent provides great feedback and I Love it

Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Best ways to use your Qantas frequent flyer points