10 Best Ways To Redeem Qantas Points for Max Value [2017]

Qantas Business Class

Based in Australia, Qantas is a member of Oneworld Alliance and has a large number of partner airlines that can be utilized for redemptions.

It’s easy to put together unforgettable trips with Qantas and their partners; all you need to do first is learn a little bit about the Qantas frequent flyer program and some of their best redemptions!

Using Qantas Points With Partner Airlines

Qantas Frequent Flyer points aren’t necessarily the easiest to earn, but it is possible to earn points by flying the airline and using a couple of different credit cards, namely those that earn Citi ThankYou Points.

Citi ThankYou Rewards Credit Cards

Citi ThankYou points transfer to Qantas at a 1:1 ratio. Transfers generally take 2 days. These cards don’t always come with a sign-up bonus, so you may want to wait to apply for the card until you see one!

CREDIT CARDCARD INFO
Citi Prestige® Card
  • $250 Air Travel Credit each year
  • Annual Fee: $450
  • Full Review
Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card
  • 2 ThankYou® Points per dollar spent on dining at restaurants and entertainment
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Full Review
Citi ThankYou® Premier Card
  • 3 ThankYou® Points per $1 spent on Travel, including Gas
  • Annual Fee: $95 (Fee waived for the first 12 months)
  • Full Review

List of Oneworld Alliance Qantas Airline Partners

Qantas Airlines is part of Oneworld Alliance. Awards are distance based and have different award charts depending on the type of partner you are flying. Airline partners include:

Oneworld Airline Partners
Malaysia AirlinesAir Berlin
SriLankan AirlinesQantas Airlines
Cathay PacificIberia
TAM AirlinesLAN Airlines
Qatar AirwaysS7 Airlines
Japan AirlinesBritish Airways
Royal Jordanian AirlinesFinnair
American Airlines

List of Non-Alliance Qantas Airline Partners

In addition to the Oneworld Alliance partners listed above, Qantas also has a handful of partners that are not part of Oneworld Alliance. Those partners include:

Non-Oneworld Alliance Partners
Aer LingusAir Niugini
Air VanuatuAirnorth
Alaska AirlinesChina Eastern
El AlEmirates
Fiji AirwaysJet Airways
JetstarWestJet 

The 10 Best Ways To Use Qantas Points

Redeeming Qantas Frequent Flyer points can be a little tricky! Here are some hotspots that we found to maximize your value.

The award redemptions below will reference award charts that are shown at the end of this article. Please reference those to fully understand the redemptions!

1. East Coast to Dubai Round-trip on Emirates: Economy for 80,000 Points or Business for 168,000 Points

Emirates business class
Try Emirates business class by using Qantas points. Image courtesy of emirates.com.

Emirates is known to have one of the best economy products and a fantastic business class. They are currently not in an alliance and only partner with a handful of airlines, which makes these award redemptions a little tougher to snag.

There are several east coast cities in this points range that fly direct to Dubai including Boston (BOS), New York (JFK), and Toronto (YYZ). For Emirates award flights, you should reference the first award chart; since the one-way distance is less than 7,000 flown miles, Zone 7 pricing applies.

Need Help Booking? Read our guide on how to book Emirates business class using points.

2. Short Hops in Economy for 16,000 Points Round-trip on American Airlines

If you are taking a short round-trip flight that is less than 600 miles flown one-way on American Airlines, you will only have to pay 16,000 points for a round-trip flight according to the first award chart.

This is especially good for flights from Miami because there are some Caribbean destinations that fall within this range. Many other airlines price Caribbean destinations in a different award zone category, which makes award redemptions much higher on these competitors!

3. East Coast to Western Europe Round-trip on American Airlines: 45,000 Points in Economy or 100,000 points in Business

American Airlines business class B777
American Airlines still has multiple different business class products in service, and their B777 business class is one of the best to fly! Image courtesy of aa.com.

To get this award redemption at this price, you must fly American Airlines, which allows you to use the first award chart. Flights less than 3,600 flown miles will put you in Zone 4, meaning they only cost 45,000 points in economy or 100,000 points in business.

A few city pairs that fall within Zone 4 range and have flights operated by American Airlines include New York (JFK) to London (LHR), JFK to Dublin (DUB), and Boston (BOS) to Paris (CDG).

Hot Tip: If you have a connection, owning a card like The Platinum Card® from American Express can be useful for getting lounge access while you wait!

4. East Coast to Fiji Round-trip on Fiji Airways: Economy for 70,000 Points or Business for 144,000 Points

Fiji Airways' business class
Fiji Airways’ business class is a stylish way to fly! Image courtesy of fijiairways.com.

If you are dreaming of a trip to the islands of Fiji, then you can use this award redemption to get there for a pretty reasonable price. Since Fiji Airways is a partner of Qantas and flies from LAX to NAN, you can be there in almost no time.

Fiji award flights require the use of the first award chart below. Since the one-way distance between these 2 city pairs is less than 5,800 flown miles, Zone 6 applies and the award will only cost you 70,000 points in economy or 144,000 points in business.

5. East Coast to Australia Round-trip on Qantas: Economy for 90,000 Points or Business for 192,000 Points

Qantas Business Class
Check out the highly sought after business class seat on Qantas. Image courtesy of qantas.com.

To book this redemption, you would need to find city pairs that fall into award Zone 8 on the first chart. Zone 8 includes any flights that are less than 8,400 flown miles one-way.

Some examples of flights that fall into this range include Los Angeles (LAX) to Melbourne (MEL), LAX to Sydney (SYD), LAX to Brisbane (BNE), San Francisco (SFO) to SYD, and Vancouver (YVR) to SYD (seasonal flight).

Qantas business class availability for these direct flights is notoriously difficult to find, but they can be obtained with constant checking!

6. Australia to Hong Kong Round-trip on Cathay Pacific: 70,000 Points in Economy or 130,000 Points in Business

cathay pacific business class
Cathay Pacific is consistently lauded for a great business class seat. Image courtesy of thedesignair.net.

If you would like to fly anywhere on Cathay Pacific using Qantas points, you need to use the third award chart. There are several Australian cities that have direct flights to Hong Kong including Sydney (SYD), Melbourne (MEL), and Brisbane (BNE).

These flights are less than 4,800 flown miles, so Zone 5 applies, meaning these awards cost 70,000 points in economy and 130,000 in business.

Hot Tip: Grab a Global Entry account before making your journey to enjoy quickly passing through customs when you come back to the U.S. You can get the $100 fee reimbursed with numerous cards, including The Platinum Card® from American Express.

7. Southern U.S. to Latin America Hopper With 5 Stops: 85,000 Points in Economy or 170,000 Points in Business

LATAM B787 business class
LATAM’s B787 Business class has a fresh new look, and you can use your Qantas points to fly it! Image courtesy of luxurytraveldiary.com.

Qantas redemptions allow you to make 5 stopovers when booking their Oneworld Classic Flight Awards. This is an amazing way to see many places on the same trip!

To book these redemptions, you must use the fourth award chart to determine pricing. You could book an itinerary that includes visits to Sao Paulo, Iguazu Falls, and Lima from Miami under Zone 5, which includes any route with round-trip mileage of less than 9,600 flown miles.

When booking Classic Flight Awards, you can use 2 or more Oneworld Alliance member airlines; in this example you could fly both American and LATAM.

8. Australia to Singapore Round-trip on Emirates: 56,000 Points in Economy or 120,000 Points in Business

As stated before, the ability to redeem Qantas frequent flyer points on Emirates is a huge benefit to using their miles! To redeem this award, use the first chart and find flights with one-way flight distances less than 4,800 miles (falling into Zone 5).

The city pairs that fall within this range on Emirates flights are Sydney (SYD) to Singapore (SIN), and Melbourne (MEL) to SIN.

Hot Tip: If you really want to fly Emirates but aren’t interested in flying between Australia and Singapore, read about some of the best ways you can use your Emirates points.

9. Middle East to South Africa Round-trip on Qatar Airways: 70,000 Points in Economy or 130,000 Points in Business

qatar business class
One of the world’s best business class products is on Qatar Airways; it’s my personal favorite so far! Image courtesy of dailymail.co.uk.

Qatar Airways is another airline with a great product (especially in business class), and reviews highlight their consistently awesome service.

To redeem this flight award, you must use the third award chart and calculate a one-way flight distance less than 4,800 miles to be within Zone 5. Doha (DOH) to Johannesburg (JNB) is a great flight option within this range, so you’ll be able to redeem 70,000 points for economy or 130,000 points for business class.

10. Round the World Flight on Oneworld Alliance: 140,000 Points in Economy or 280,000 Points in Business

Qantas is one of the few airlines left that still offer an around the world flight redemption option. Following the redemption rules and using the Oneworld Classic Flights Award redemption, you can use this award to see much of what the world has to offer!

One sample itinerary is New York to London (stopover), to Hong Kong (stopover), to Sydney (stopover), to Santiago (stopover), to Miami, and finally back to New York using a combination of American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Qantas, and LATAM.

This itinerary is well below the 35,000 flown miles limit, so it would be possible to add even more flight segments if you wanted. You can be extremely creative when coming up with your itinerary given the generous routing rules and a full year to complete travel!

Hot Tip: Don’t pay extra foreign transaction fees during your international trip. Take credit cards with no foreign transaction fees like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express.

Using Your Qantas Frequent Flyer Points

Qantas is the Australia-based member of Oneworld Alliance. They offer some great redemptions, be careful about which award chart you are using! When determining award prices, remember Qantas has different charts for different redemptions.

Qantas Frequent Flyer Award Chart

Below are the different charts for award redemptions with Qantas points.

Qantas Classic Flight Award chart for bookings made on Qantas, Airnorth, Fiji Airways, Air Vanuatu, American Airlines, Emirates, Jetstar, and QantasLink.
Qantas Classic Flight Award chart for bookings made on Qantas, Airnorth, Fiji Airways, Air Vanuatu, American Airlines, Emirates, Jetstar, and QantasLink.
Jetstar Classic Flight Award Chart for flights on Jetstar (JQ), Jetstar Asia (3K), Jetstar Japan (GK) and Jetstar Pacific (BL). This must be used for the same trip and cannot be used with any airlines from the classic flight award chart above.
Jetstar Classic Flight Award Chart for flights on Jetstar (JQ), Jetstar Asia (3K), Jetstar Japan (GK), and Jetstar Pacific (BL). This must be used for the same trip and cannot be mixed with any airlines from the classic flight award chart above.
Partner Classic Flight Award Chart for flights on Airberlin, Aer Lingus, Air Niugini, Alaska Airlines, Alitalia, British Airways, Cathay Pacific/Cathay Dragon, China Eastern, El Al, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, Jet Airways, LAN, Malaysia Airlines, Qatar Airways, Royal Jordanian, S7 Airlines, SriLankan Airlines and TAM.
Partner Classic Flight Award Chart for flights on Airberlin, Aer Lingus, Air Niugini, Alaska Airlines, Alitalia, British Airways, Cathay Pacific/Cathay Dragon, China Eastern, El Al, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, Jet Airways, LAN, Malaysia Airlines, Qatar Airways, Royal Jordanian, S7 Airlines, SriLankan Airlines, and TAM.
One World Classic Flight Awards. To use this chart, travel must include at least two One World Alliance Airlines other than Qantas or three or more One World Alliance Airlines including Qantas.
Oneworld Classic Flight Awards. To use this chart, travel must include at least 2 Oneworld Alliance airlines other than Qantas, or 3+ Oneworld Alliance airlines including Qantas.

Booking Awards With Qantas Points

Qantas’ website allows you to book with most of their partners online, and flights can be booked 353 days in advance. The British Airways website is also a great resource for searching out award availability on Oneworld airlines.

For complicated itineraries, it is best to call Qantas’ U.S. service center at 1-800-227-4500 and give the booking agent the flight information for your desired itinerary. An award booking fee applies when done by phone. 

Hot Tip: When determining the approximate distance between airports to check the price of your award, the Great Circle Mapper is a helpful tool.

Award Redemption Rules

Classic Flight Awards

  • Must contain no more than 1 departure from the city or country of first departure on that itinerary (meaning you can’t leave a city/country, travel somewhere else, come back to the same place, and leave from there again).
  • Total points required will be calculated by considering each segment as a one-way trip or series of one-way trips, and then taking the sum of the points required for each trip on that itinerary.
  • Any one trip cannot be more than 15,000 miles. Longer flights must be separated into different trips.
  • Where mixed class travel is booked on a trip, the points required for that trip will be calculated using the lowest quoted points level of either:
    • a) the points level for the highest class of travel flown on that trip; or
    • b) the sum of points, breaking the trip into multiple trips wherever the class of travel changes between sectors within a trip.

Oneworld Classic Flight Awards

  • Can only include Oneworld Alliance airlines and not partners
  • Must be booked with 2 or more Oneworld Alliance airlines other than Qantas
  • Maximum flight distance is 35,000 miles. Longer flights must be booked on a separate itinerary.
  • One-way flights are charged as a round-trip itinerary
  • 5 free stopovers (stops more than 24 hrs) are allowed
  • Only 1 stopover (stops more than 24 hrs) is allowed in any single city on the itinerary
  • Only 2 transfers (connections less than 24 hrs) are allowed in any single city on the itinerary
  • Open jaws are allowed, but the distance is still included in the reward point zone calculation for that itinerary
  • If mixed class travel is booked, the whole itinerary will be calculated using the highest class booked

Round the World Award Flight

  • Must follow the Oneworld Classic Flight Award rules
  • Must be completed within a 12 month period
  • Can have up to 16 segments and a minimum of 2 stopovers is required
  • Must travel in a continuous direction either east or west, but you can travel freely within a continental zone
  • Cannot cross the Atlantic or Pacific more than once (backtracking)

Fuel Surcharges & Taxes

Some partner airlines require fuel charges in addition to the Qantas award cost, and they can be quite significant. Partners that impose high fuel charges include British Airways and Iberia Airlines. Qantas imposes its own taxes and fees as well.

Hot Tip: Some airports in Europe also charge much higher taxes than others, especially if you are traveling in a premium cabin. If you want to lower the taxes on your ticket, try different airport and airline combinations.

Conclusion

Qantas’ frequent flyer program isn’t one of the simplest out there, especially considering that they have 4 separate award charts! Nevertheless, there is some great value to be had in making strategic redemptions with your Qantas points.

It’s easy to earn Qantas points via Citi ThankYou Points if you’re also a frequent flyer member. This program is worth paying attention to, especially if you want to fly great business class products like Qatar, Emirates, and Cathay Pacific!

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express

FAQ

What are Qantas points?
Qantas points are the points earned through Qantas’ frequent flyer program.

What are Qantas points worth?
You should be able to get around 1.4 cents per point in value for economy class redemptions with your Qantas points. Redeeming Qantas points for business class will increase the value of your miles dramatically, often offering more than 3 cents per point in value.

Are Qantas award tickets refundable?
Yes, but canceling a Qantas award ticket costs 6,000 Qantas points.

Can I change my Qantas award flight?
Yes. Changing your Qantas award flight requires availability on the flight you would like to change to and costs 5,000 Qantas points.

Do Qantas points expire?
Yes, Qantas points will expire if you do not have activity on your account in an 18 month period.

Activity that will renew the expiration date of your points includes earning miles through flying, redeeming miles, transferring miles into your account, or earning points with a Qantas partner.

Can I transfer my Qantas points to American Airlines miles?
No, you can’t transfer your Qantas points to American Airline miles or the miles of any other partner. However, you can use your Qantas miles to book flights on American Airlines and other partners.