It’s a busy start to 2016 for Qantas Frequent Flyer members with genuine ‘enhancements’ to the program such as earning more status credits when travelling with Qatar Airways and needing fewer Qantas Points and less cash to book some Qantas international flights.
The New Year is also shining up to be a great time to refresh your wallet with a more suitable credit card with a number of banks offering a hefty boost to your frequent flyer balance just by signing up and using their card for your everyday purchases.
At the top end of the spectrum you could earn as many as 100,000 Qantas frequent flyer points from a single card application – and we take things further this week by highlighting the worst ways you could use those points and highlight some of the best, such as free flights and upgrades.
Then, when you’re at the airport, you might even be able to access a domestic Qantas Club, Qantas Business Lounge or Virgin Australia lounge after your flight: we’ve dug up the access rules of both airlines to show when you can, and can’t, lounge about on landing.
Qantas boosts status credits on Qatar Airways flights
Qantas is boosting the number of status credits that its frequent flyers can earn when travelling with Oneworld partner Qatar Airways ahead of the Gulf airline’s launch of flights to both Sydney and Adelaide from its home hub in Doha.
While Qantas first reclassified Qatar business class flights as ‘flexible economy’ from December 1 2015 – cutting the already-lowered earning rate in half – further changes made this month see business class fares again treated as true ‘business class’.
Here’s what you could earn on your next flight to Doha and beyond.
Qantas reduces points, charges on int'l flights
Turning your Qantas frequent flyer points into a 'free' flight just became a better deal, with the Flying Kangaroo slashing both the number of points required and the amount of money associated with airline, airport and fuel charges.
The new system which took effect this week applies to all international economy flights, with an average drop of 10% in frequent flyer points and a solid 40% in the companion 'carrier charge, largely driven by consistently lower fuel prices.
Read more: Qantas lowers points on some reward flights
Visiting Qantas, Virgin lounges after your flight
Airport lounges aren't just for cooling your heels before your flight – they can also be a handy place to stop by at the end of your flight.
Popping into a domestic Qantas or Virgin Australia lounge post-flight is ideal for grabbing a decent cuppa, tackling some unexpected emails or just waiting out the peak hour traffic into the city while you have a bite to eat.
But only some Qantas and Virgin Australia passengers enjoy 'on arrival' access to each airline's domestic lounges. We’ve got the door list – why not take a peek?
The worst possible ways to use your Qantas Points
Having earned a stack of Qantas frequent flyer points from flying or using your credit card for your everyday purchases, you'll want to get the best value out of them.
But it might surprise you to learn that this 'points value' can range anywhere from barely half a cent through to a much more impressive six cents, depending on how and where you use those points.
So if you've got 10,000 Qantas Points on hand, they would be worth as little as $50 or as much as $600 – and naturally you'd be eager to avoid the 'chump change' end of the spectrum.
January’s top five Qantas credit card sign-up deals
It’s that time of year again where our New Year’s resolutions come to light and the challenge becomes acting on them sooner rather than later – and if your resolution was to earn more frequent flyer points than you did last year, you’re in for pole position start.
That’s because several credit card issuers are ringing in the New Year by promising piles of Qantas frequent flyer points to new customers, with as many as 100,000 points to be snapped up from a single application.
As it happens, the same cards with these great bonus deals also serve up some of Australia’s highest earning rates on your everyday transactions even after that initial balance boost has come and gone, so if one of these cards suits your particular needs, there’s no better time than January to apply.
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About Chris Chamberlin
Chris lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, an opera ticket and a glass of wine!