If you’re an Australian Business Traveller reader, you almost certainly don’t need any help keeping your balance of Qantas frequent flyer points alive – but think for a moment about your friends and family members who may travel far less frequently than you do, and may not be earning Qantas Points regularly.
It’s these people who probably come to you for advice on flights, points and all things travel: and it’s also these people who are most at risk of losing their hard-earned frequent flyer points. But to be clear...
Do Qantas points expire?
Yes. According to Qantas’ points expiry rules, if you don’t earn or spend points at least once every 18 months, all of your points will be lost.
5 ways to prevent Qantas Frequent Flyer points from expiring
Here are five easy ways to prevent Qantas Frequent Flyer points from expiring – so when your friends come knocking, this is all they need to do to keep their bounty of points alive.
1. Take a flight with Qantas, anywhere, on any fare
This might come as no surprise, but the quickest and easiest way to get some ‘activity’ in a Frequent Flyer account is to take a flight: and if that flight is booked with Qantas on a Qantas aircraft, it can be to any destination – domestic or international – on any paid fare type.
Provided the traveller’s Qantas Frequent Flyer number is attached to the booking, they’ll earn points even on the lowest-cost economy fares, which normally appear in the account within a few days: perfect if there’s not much time until expiry day.
Just keep in mind that Jetstar flights aren’t automatically eligible for Qantas Points, which are usually offered at an additional cost, so if you’re sharing these tips with a ‘points notice’, it’ll be easier to have them book a Qantas flight to make sure they don’t miss out.
2. Make a dining reservation via Qantas Restaurants
You don’t need to be a frequent flyer to earn ‘frequent flyer points’: something as simple as eating breakfast, lunch or dinner at selected cafes and restaurants can just as easily earn points, provided you book your table in advance via the Qantas Restaurants website.
There, you can book for a meal at over 4,000 venues, earning 100 Qantas Points per diner, which typically arrive in your frequent flyer account within 1-2 months of the meal.
Remember, to keep a balance of Qantas Points alive, a member only needs to earn or spend one point every 18 months, so even if it’s a quick lunch on your lonesome, that still qualifies.
3. Buy wine online via Qantas epiQure
Here’s a simple one: head to the Qantas epiQure website and buy any bottle (or case) of wine, and you’ll be rewarded with at least one Qantas Point per $1 spent on the purchase price.
Better yet, points from epiQure tend to post to Qantas Frequent Flyer by the next business day after the order has been placed, so you’ll probably get your points before your wine, which is perfect if there’s only a few days left until the end of the month in which those points will expire.
Qantas epiQure used to be operated as a private wine club for ‘epiQure Premium’ members, but these days anybody with a Qantas Frequent Flyer account can place an order and earn Qantas Points without needing a paid membership.
4. Buy one song from Apple iTunes via the Qantas Online Mall
Qantas’ partnership with Apple allows you to earn frequent flyer points on iTunes purchases when you click through the Qantas website before choosing and downloading your song… and yes, that includes buying just one track, even the cheapest singles which list at $1.19.
To do this, you’ll need to whip out your desktop computer or laptop – not your iPhone or iPad – but it’s as easy as clicking here to visit the Qantas website, logging into your Frequent Flyer account, clicking the “shop now” button, and purchasing something once iTunes opens on your computer.
Because these points can take 4-8 weeks to appear in your Frequent Flyer account, it’s not a good option if you’re very close to your expiry date, but if you have a few months to fix your points problem, it’s an easy and affordable way of doing so.
5. Transfer any hotel points across to Qantas
Somebody with enough frequent flyer points worth saving has most likely spent time staying in hotels, and may have racked up a small (or large) number hotel loyalty points, which could be converted into Qantas Frequent Flyer points to save the day.
Ask your friend if they have at least 2,000 points in Accor’s Le Club scheme, 5,000 points with World of Hyatt (formerly Hyatt Gold Passport), 6,000 points in the Choice Privileges program or 10,000 points with Hilton Honors, IHG Rewards Club or Marriott Rewards.
If so, they don’t need to convert their entire stash of hotel points across to Qantas Frequent Flyer – just the minimum amount possible to keep their Qantas account alive.
What about shopping at Woolworths?
You can of course earn Qantas points for shopping at Woolworths, but it's a little convoluted – you earn a nominal 1 Woolworths Rewards point for each dollar you spend at Woolworths and partners (such as BWS), and once you've racked up 2,000 Woolworths Rewards points these can be converted into 10 Woolworths Dollars, which in turn can be swapped for 870 Qantas points.
Earning those Qantas points isn't too hard, given the average grocery shop these days, but you also have to select the Qantas automatic points transfer option on the Woolworths Rewards website and wait for the end of every quarter, when at least 2,000 Woolworths Rewards points are needed to have the conversion to Qantas points take place.
This is where a lot of people fall down – they shop at Woolies and think this automatically earns them Qantas points. It doesn't, and unless the right option is selected on the Woolworths Rewards website, this leads the less points-savvy to a false sense of security.
There are plenty of other ways to earn Qantas points without flying and for doing everyday things, such as going to the movies at Hoyts and ordering home delivery via Deliveroo – but we rate the strategies detailed above as among the best, fastest and surest ways to keep that Qantas points balance alive.