11 Best Ways to Redeem Qantas Points for Max Value [2020]

Qantas Business Class

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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 its partners; all you need to do first is learn a little bit about the Qantas Frequent Flyer program and some of its best redemptions!

The Best Ways to Boost Your Qantas Points

Qantas Points can be transferred from Amex Membership Rewards and Citi ThankYou Points at a rate of 1:1 and from Capital One miles at a 2:1.5 rate. Points can be transferred from Marriott Bonvoy at a transfer rate of 3:1. Plus, for every 60,000 Marriott points that you transfer, you’ll receive an extra 5,000 Qantas Points bonus.

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List of Oneworld Alliance Qantas Airline Partners

Qantas Frequent Flyer points aren’t necessarily the easiest to earn, but it is possible to earn points by flying Qantas and its Oneworld partner airlines.

Awards are distance-based and have different award charts depending on the type of partner you are flying. Airline partners include:

Oneworld Partners
American Airlines
Qantas
British AirwaysQatar Airways
Cathay PacificRoyal Air Maroc
FinnairRoyal Jordanian
IberiaS7 Airlines
Japan AirlinesSriLankan Airlines
Malaysia Airlines
Oneworld Connect Partners
Fiji Airways
Future Partners
Alaska Airlines

Hot Tip: For more information about finding award space with these partners, check out our guide to searching Oneworld alliance partners for award availability.

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. Qantas First Class With the Best Award Availability (From 102,600 Points)

Qantas First Class
Qantas first class receives raving reviews across the board! Image Credit: Qantas

One huge advantage that using Qantas Points for Qantas flights is the head start to award availability. What does this mean?

Let’s first talk about Qantas’ award availability. Simply put, it’s nearly impossible to book with points and miles. There are only a few routes that offer first class, and all of these routes are aboard the A380.

Hot Tip: Find out more about Qantas’ U.S. route network in our definitive guide to Qantas U.S. routes!

To put this in perspective, if you look at the entire calendar of a U.S. route, you may only see 1 day available with a single first class award seat — 1 seat out of all flights for ~11 months doesn’t seem very probable.

Qantas releases first class award space available for Qantas members 353 days in advance, compared to American Airlines, which opens up 331 days in advance. This 22-day difference could mean the difference between getting a first class seat and not getting a seat. On top of this, you’ll often see Qantas first class award space limited to Qantas Frequent Flyer members only.

In fact, booking Qantas with AA miles is likely tremendously difficult because of this simple fact that Qantas members snag all of the limited first class award availability early in the calendar. Redeeming Alaska Airlines miles or American AAdvantage miles for Qantas first class is great in theory, but difficult in practice.

Hot Tip: If you are fine with not having the best award availability but want to use as few miles as possible, check out some of the other best ways to book Qantas’ amazing first class.

Here’s a chart that summarizes mileage costs for one-way first class routes to/from the U.S.:

Qantas Points Cost for Qantas First Class
Los Angeles (LAX) – Sydney (SYD)162,800
Los Angeles (LAX) – Melbourne (MEL)162,800
Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) – Sydney (SYD)189,800
Singapore (SIN) – Sydney (SYD)102,600
Singapore (SIN) – Melbourne (MEL)102,600
London-Heathrow (LHR) – Singapore (SIN)142,300
Hong Kong (HKG) – Sydney (SYD)102,600

Bottom Line: If you don’t mind paying a mileage/points premium in return for higher odds at Qantas first class, consider this option. The 22-day advantage that you have when booking directly with Qantas is significant, and it could go a long way in confirming a first class seat. 

2. Fly to/From Israel on EL AL in Business Class (From 90,000 Points)

El Al 787 Business Class
EL AL 787 business class. Image Credit: EL AL

One of Qantas’ unique airline partners is EL AL, the flag carrier of Israel. Considering EL AL doesn’t have many straightforward ways to redeem points and miles for business class travel, it should be at the top of this list for that reason.

Israel is one of the world’s top tourist destinations, with immense religious importance and a rich culture to boot. Furthermore, Qantas is, in almost all cases, the most cost-effective option to fly on EL AL in business class.

Furthermore, fuel surcharges are not passed on when booking with Qantas, which just increases the appeal of this scenario.

As we already mentioned, the distance-based award chart means that the mileage cost will vary depending on your route. Here’s a chart that lists the mileage costs between various U.S. cities to Tel Aviv (TLV):

EL AL RouteEconomy CostPremium Economy CostBusiness Cost
4,801 to 5,800 miles37,80070,80090,000
Boston (BOS) – Tel Aviv (TLV)37,80070,80090,000
New York City (JFK) – Tel Aviv (TLV)37,80070,80090,000
Newark (EWR) – Tel Aviv (TLV)37,80070,80090,000
5,801 to 7,000 miles45,00081,800104,500
Chicago (ORD) – Tel Aviv (TLV)45,00081,800104,500
Orlando (MCO) – Tel Aviv (TLV)45,00081,800104,500
Miami (MIA) – Tel Aviv (TLV)45,00081,800104,500
7,001 to 8,400 miles50,30093,500119,200
Las Vegas (LAS) – Tel Aviv (TLV)50,30093,500119,200
San Francisco (SFO) – Tel Aviv (TLV)50,30093,500119,200
Los Angeles (LAX) – Tel Aviv (TLV)50,30093,500119,200

Overall, the economy and premium economy redemptions don’t make much sense due to the high cost, but the business class price is somewhat reasonable, considering EL AL charges more than this.

The best way to search is with ExpertFlyer, a paid service. If you don’t feel like paying for ExpertFlyer, you can search on Qantas’ website. The challenge is that there’s no way to search for nonstop availability on Qantas, and it’ll display all connecting flights. As a result, there’s no way on Qantas to filter out partner airline availability.

3. East Coast to Dubai Round-Trip on Emirates (From 90,000 Points)

Emirates First Class Window Suite
Emirates first class. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

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

Additionally, you can redeem Qantas Points for Emirates flights according to the Partner Classic Flight Reward table. The Partner Classic Flight Reward table has round-trip flights in economy for 90,000 points, business for 209,000 points, and first for 299,600 points.

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.

Hot Tip: Need help booking? Read our guide on how to book Emirates business class using points.

4. Short Round-Trip Economy Hops on American Airlines (16,000 Points)

American Airlines Main Cabin
Book short-haul American Airlines flights using Qantas Points! Image Credit: 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 Qantas Points for a round-trip flight according to the first award chart.

This is especially good for flights from Miami because some Caribbean destinations 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.

For this reason, Qantas Points costs can become very competitive for short-haul flights.

5. East Coast to Western Europe Round-Trip on American Airlines (From 40,600 Points)

American Airlines business class 777-300ER
American Airlines still has multiple different business class products in service, and its B777 business class is one of the best to fly! Image Credit: American Airlines

To get this award redemption at this price, you must fly American Airlines, which allows you to use the first award chart. Flights between 2,401 and 3,600 flown miles will put you in Zone 4, meaning they only cost 40,600 points in economy or 114,000 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 layover, owning a card like The Platinum Card® from American Express can be useful for getting lounge access while you wait for your flight!

6. East Coast to Fiji Round-Trip on Fiji Airways (From 75,600 Points)

Fiji Airways Airbus A350 business class cabin from front
Fiji Airways Airbus A350 business class. Image Credit: Greg Stone

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 Los Angeles (LAX) to Nadi (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 between 4,8o1 to 5,800 flown miles, Zone 6 applies and the award will only cost you 75,600 points in economy or 180,000 points in business.

Hot Tip: Our review of Fiji Airways’ A350 in economy class and business class includes a full overview of the seats, meal, and service on your trip to and from paradise.

7. East Coast to Australia Round-Trip on Qantas (From 93,800 Points)

Qantas Boeing 747 Business Class Seat without Mattress Pad
Qantas Boeing 747 business class. Image Credit: Greg Stone

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), Los Angeles (LAX) to Sydney (SYD), Los Angeles (LAX) to Brisbane (BNE), San Francisco (SFO) to Sydney (SYD), and Vancouver (YVR) to (Sydney) SYD (seasonal flight).

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

Hot Tip: Check out our reviews of Qantas business class on the Boeing 747 and A330, as well as our guide to the best ways to book Qantas business class.

8. Australia to Hong Kong Round-Trip on Cathay Pacific (From 60,400 Points)

Cathay Pacific Airbus A350 Business Class Window Seat
Cathay Pacific Airbus A350 business class. Image Credit: Greg Stone

If you would like to fly anywhere on Cathay Pacific using Qantas Points, you need to use the third award chart. Several Australian cities have direct flights to Hong Kong (HKG), 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 60,400 points in economy and 150,000 in business.

9. Australia to Singapore Round-Trip on Emirates (From 60,400 Points)

Emirates A380 Forward Business Class Cabin
Emirates A380 business class. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

As stated before, the ability to redeem Qantas frequent flyer points on Emirates is a huge benefit to using its 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 Singapore (SIN).

This itinerary will cost 60,400 points in economy and 150,000 points in business.

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.

10. Middle East to South Africa Round-Trip on Qatar Airways (From 70,000 Points)

Qatar QSuites A350 1J, Alex Miller of Upgraded Points
Booking the coveted QSuites is possible with Qantas Points. Image Credit: Alex Miller

Qatar Airways is another airline with a great product (especially in business class), and its reviews highlight its 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 60,400 points for economy or 150,000 points for business class.

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 Amex Platinum.

11. Round the World Flight on Oneworld Alliance (From 132,400 Points)

Oneworld Round the World
Image Credit: Oneworld

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 Rewards redemption, you can use this award to see much of what the world has to offer!

Here’s another amazing example itinerary you can book provided you find award availability using the Oneworld Classic Flight Rewards:

  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Melbourne (MEL) on Qantas business class
  • Melbourne (MEL) – Tokyo-Narita (NRT) on Japan Airlines business class
  • Tokyo-Narita (NRT) – Doha (DOH) on Qatar Airways QSuites
  • Doha (DOH) – Johannesburg (JNB) on Qatar Airways business class
  • Johannesburg (JNB) – London-Heathrow (LHR) on British Airways business class
  • London-Heathrow (LHR) – Los Angeles (LAX) on American Airlines Flagship Business class

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. However, the restrictions are:

  1. Only 5 free stopovers are allowed
  2. Only 1 stopover is allowed in any one city in the itinerary
  3. Only 2 transfers (layovers) can be taken at any one city in the itinerary

You can be extremely creative when coming up with your itinerary given the generous routing rules and a full year to complete travel!

This entire flight is 33,086 miles in distance, which is just under the maximum limit of 35,000 flown miles. This itinerary would only cost 318,000 Qantas Points and would include ~70 hours in business class, 6 distinct business class products on 5 different airlines, and travel to 5 different countries.

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 Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card.

Using Your Qantas Frequent Flyer Points

Qantas is the Australia-based member of Oneworld alliance. It offers some great redemptions, but you’ll want to 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
Qantas Classic Flight Award chart for bookings made on Qantas, Airnorth, Fiji Airways, Air Vanuatu, American Airlines, Emirates, Jetstar, and QantasLink. Image Credit: Qantas
Qantas Jetstar Classic Flight Award Chart
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. Image Credit: Qantas
Qantas Partner Classic Flight Award Chart
Partner Classic Flight Award Chart for flights on Aer Lingus, Air Niugini, Alaska Airlines, Alitalia, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, China Eastern, EL AL, Emirates, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, Jet Airways, LAN, Malaysia Airlines, Qatar Airways, Royal Jordanian, S7 Airlines, SriLankan Airlines, and TAM. Image Credit: Qantas
Qantas Oneworld Classic Flight Awards
Oneworld Classic Flight Awards. To use this chart, travel must include at least 2 Oneworld alliance airlines other than Qantas or 3 or more Oneworld alliance airlines including Qantas. Image Credit: Qantas

Booking Awards With Qantas Points

Qantas’ website allows you to book with most of its 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 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

The following are additional terms and conditions for award redemptions per Qantas:

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 1 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:
    • The points level for the highest class of travel flown on that trip
    • 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 hours) are allowed
  • Only 1 stopover (stop more than 24 hours) is allowed in any single city on the itinerary
  • Only 2 transfers (connections less than 24 hours) 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

Fuel Surcharges and 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 surcharges 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.

Final Thoughts

Qantas’ frequent flyer program isn’t one of the simplest out there, especially considering that it has 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 American Express Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou Points, or Capital One miles 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!


Frequently asked questions

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 Airlines AAdvantage miles or the miles of any other partner. However, you can use your Qantas miles to book flights on American Airlines and other partners.

Caroline Lupini

About Caroline Lupini

Caroline Lupini always enjoyed traveling, but it became her goal to do as much as possible after a 3-week trip around Europe in 2011. In March 2014, Caroline left her job and embarked on nearly full-time travels.  As a frequent traveler, frequent flyer miles have played a large role in planning her trips. Caroline has enjoyed discovering the ins and outs of how to maximize different types of miles, hotel points, and transferable points currencies.

Disclaimer: Any comments listed below are not from the bank advertiser, nor have they been reviewed or approved by them. No responsibility will be taken by the bank advertiser for these comments.

7 comments

  1. Read your post. Do you know the difference between east and west coast?

    Reply

    • We do, Fathisd. Occasionally, however, there’s a minor typo and in this case East versus West in a title. You can be assured that the cities listed in the content are correct though. Thanks for pointing this out so we can correct it.

      Reply

  2. It would be helpful to see the taxes/surcharges for these redemptions. Like the first one US to Dubai round trip, what are the fees on that? I bet they are around $1000 USD.

    Reply

    • Hi Gene!

      Thanks for the recommendation! As you know, it is hard to assign an exact number to certain fuel surcharges because they can vary greatly. A great resource that will allow you to see the fuel surcharges for a particular flight is the Google ITA Matrix. Have you seen our guide on how to avoid airline fuel surcharges? I think you will find it interesting!
      https://upgradedpoints.com/airline-fuel-surcharges/

      Thanks for reading!

      Reply

  3. You should update the award charts and milage references since the devaluation.

    Reply

  4. Great write up! I have about 85,000 miles “trapped” in Qantas since my El Al flight was cancelled due to all of the COVID travel restrictions. This is giving me some good ideas on how to use them!

    Reply

Any thoughts or questions? Comment below!

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