The smartest ways to spend 50,000 Qantas frequent flyer points

By Chris C., January 16 2017
The smartest ways to spend 50,000 Qantas frequent flyer points

Qantas Frequent Flyer points are incredibly easy to earn both in the air and on the ground, but how could you best-spend 50,000 Qantas Points, such as you’d pick-up via one of these great credit card sign-up deals?

Sure, you could blow them all on a toaster or other gadgets and merchandise from the Qantas Store, but there are far better ways you can burn through them.

For instance, use your points for an upgrade and you could swap your economy class ticket for a seat in premium economy or business class, or your business class fare for a luxurious first class suite.

Australian Business Traveller highlights the best options available to travellers with just 50,000 points to spend.

Also read: Earn over 100,000 Qantas Points by applying for a new credit card

1. Upgrade to first class on flights to Los Angeles, Dallas, Dubai

If you’re already flying in Qantas business class to Los Angeles or Dubai, or aboard one of the world’s longest flights between Sydney and Dallas/Fort Worth which can stretch for 17+ hours, upgrading to first class is a terrific way to spend your points.

For upgrades approved by February 19 2017, you’d need 45,000 Qantas Points from any paid business class fare to LA and Dubai – leaving 5,000 points leftover for your next trip – or the full 50,000 Qantas Points for a first class upgrade on flights to and from Dallas.

For upgrades confirmed on and after February 20, those rates remain for passengers booked on flexible business class fares, but increase to 56,500 points for travellers on less-expensive Business Saver and Business Sale tickets on LA and Dubai flights, and 62,500 points to/from Dallas.

2. Upgrade from economy to business class on flights to Asia

Upgrade an Economy Saver ticket to business class on Qantas flights from Sydney to Jakarta and Bali and you’d part with 24,000 Qantas Points each way – that’s only 48,000 Qantas Points to upgrade a return trip until February 19!

Or, you could upgrade to business class from Economy Saver fares on flights to Singapore and Hong Kong from Australia’s east coast for 40,000 Qantas Points, one-way: leaving 10,000 points to spend on a future flight when upgrading by February 19.

Upgrades processed from February 20 will instead set you back 50,000 Qantas Points each way to the major business hubs of Singapore and Hong Kong, still reasonable value on overnight flights where sleep is the priority, or 30,000 Qantas Points each way to Indonesia.

3. Upgrade from economy to premium economy on London flights

If you're stuck in Qantas economy between Sydney or Melbourne and London, upgrading to premium economy for just 24,000 Qantas each way from an Economy Flex fare is another good option.

That’s because you’re paying only 1,000 points per hour on the 24-hour trek for a better seat and inflight experience, or 48,000 Qantas Points on a full return trip.

Better yet, this particular upgrade rate isn’t changing in February: remaining the same while many others are increased.

4. Upgrade to business class on Australian east-west flights

When travelling in flexible economy, 50,000 Qantas Points could land you five one-way business class upgrades between Perth and either Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane – even more enjoyable if snagged on Airbus A330 flights with the international-grade Business Suites.

Or, secure one return upgrade between the same cities when booked on all other economy fares, being 20,000 Qantas Points each way until February 19, or a higher 25,000 Qantas Points in each direction for upgrades processed from February 20.

As Qantas domestic upgrades can be confirmed from the moment you book if an upgrade is indeed available on your flight, savvy travellers would take the opportunity to request upgrades now for flights beyond February 20 to lock-in the lower rate.

5. Land up to 10 upgrades on short Australian domestic flights

Taking a short domestic flight on a flexible economy ticket such as Sydney-Melbourne, Melbourne-Adelaide or Brisbane-Sydney? You could find yourself upgraded to business class for only 5,000 Qantas Points per flight.

With 50,000 Qantas Points to spend, that’s enough for ten business class upgrades on these routes from flexible fares, or a still-reasonable five business class upgrades when booked on all other ticket types.

While these flights may be short in length, a business class ticket also provides access to Qantas’ domestic business class lounges and Qantas Clubs before the flight, allowing you to maximise the experience.

Chris C.

A former contributor to Executive Traveller, Chris 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.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Jul 2016

Total posts 109

Wow, thanks! Good job Chris!


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 Sep 2016

Total posts 7

Heading from SYD-PER in Aug this year - good idea on booking the business upgrade prior to the changes in Feb!


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 Jul 2014

Total posts 101

With the   likelihood of Credit card sign on Bonuses heading in the downward direction and  QF increasing the points requirement it just makes it a bit harder for the self funded traveller  to get value for the earned $

Excellent deals there, Sydney to London upgrading from business to first for 60k points is my favourite way to use points. I travel this route three times a year and across the six flights there and back my success rate for upgrades is around 80%. Business class to Hong Kong at 40k points is also very worthwhile especially for the overnight flight back to Australia.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Feb 2016

Total posts 29

Heading to Perth soon.  Thanks for the tip on requesting the upgrade prior Feb 19. 


01 Feb 2013

Total posts 21

Unless you are a high tier QF flyer you are at the bottom of the list for upgrades regardless. A P1 or P FF will always get the upgrade before someone who simply got some points via a credit card.

Jetstar Airways - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 Jul 2015

Total posts 1

We have had quite a few trips but always on points.  How do you know how much the upgrades will cost in extra points? I gather we are most unlikely to be given them anyway if preference is given to fare payers and higher ranked frequent flyers?.  

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