The best ways to spend 250,000 Qantas frequent flyer points

The best ways to spend 250,000 Qantas frequent flyer points

Qantas frequent flyer points are incredibly easy to earn, whether from actually flying or from credit card spend, online shopping, buying groceries at Woolworths and more: but once you’ve built up a nice bounty of points, what are the best ways you can spend those points?

What’s more, if you’re in need of a few extra points to make that dream trip happen, you could collect a bonus 80,000 Qantas Points via a new AMEX Platinum Charge Card or 75,000 Qantas Points (and 75 bonus status credits) with a new ANZ Frequent Flyer Black Visa.

Wherever your points come from, here are five of the top ways to turn those points into something valuable and memorable, such as round-the-world trip, a business class ticket or even a first class sojourn.

1. Fly return business class to Europe, east coast USA

With a quarter of a million Qantas Points under your belt, you can almost fly to the other side of the world and back in business class, with 256,000 Qantas Points buying a return business class ticket from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane to London, broader Europe or the US east coast, including New York City.

You may wish to fly with Qantas the whole way (where possible) – such as Sydney-Dubai-London, Melbourne-Perth-London (from March 2018) and Brisbane-Los Angeles-New York – or you can instead mix in flights with Emirates and American Airlines without increasing the points needed.

For instance, you might fly Qantas to Los Angeles and then AA to Boston or Miami, or simply fly Emirates the whole way to Europe and back via Dubai: it’s totally your call!

2. Mix business class and first class on trips to Dubai, Los Angeles

Prefer a little more inflight luxury, even if you can’t travel as far? Take a return trip from Sydney or Melbourne to Los Angeles – or a round-trip from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane to Dubai – and you’d part with 240,000 Qantas Points to fly first class in one direction and business class in the other.

Passengers bound for LAX can aim for Qantas’ Airbus A380 flights or American Airlines’ Boeing 777 services, both of which provide a first class option, while on flights to Dubai, first class is found on Qantas’ A380s and Emirates’ A380s and Boeing 777.

3. Fly round-the-world in premium economy

For something a tad more creative, put 210,000 Qantas Points to good use and take a round-the-world trip in premium economy with Qantas and its Oneworld partners.

As a rule, you have to include at least two airlines other than Qantas in your journey – and of course, not every Oneworld airline offers premium economy: and of those that do, it’s not available on every flight – but if you plan carefully you can avoid flying down the back.

A sample journey could take you from Sydney to Hong Kong with Qantas or Cathay Pacific; from there to London with Cathay Pacific or British Airways; over to New York with BA; from New York to LA aboard Qantas’ Boeing 747 flight; and from LA back home to Sydney aboard the Qantas A380.

Again, just remember that ‘two airlines other than Qantas’ rule – so if you fly Qantas from Sydney to Hong Kong, you’d need to take Cathay Pacific rather than British Airways from there to London, as you’d be flying BA onwards to the USA. Better yet, accumulate 280,000 Qantas Points and you could take the whole trip in business class instead!

4. Take two return business class trips to Asia

Closer to home, you could jet to Asia and back in business class with a partner for 240,000 Qantas Points, or take two return trips yourself, flying with Qantas or Emirates.

That includes destinations like Singapore, Hong Kong and Bangkok, but if you’re finding it tough to find business class reward availability when you need to travel, booking flights with British Airways to Singapore, Cathay Pacific to Hong Kong or Malaysia Airlines to Kuala Lumpur is also possible for an extra 5,000 points per one-way flight.

For instance, you could take one return trip with Qantas/Emirates for 120,000 Qantas Points, and a second return trip with BA, Cathay Pacific or Malaysia Airlines for 130,000 Qantas Points, burning a perfect 250,000 Qantas Points.

Just note that reward flights on Malaysia Airlines can only be booked over the phone using Qantas Points, whereas reward flights on Qantas, Emirates, British Airways and Cathay Pacific can all be secured 24/7 via the Qantas website.

Read more: How to fly around the world using Qantas Points

5. Swap your business class suite for a first class suite

Already booked to fly in business class from Sydney or Melbourne to London with Qantas? Then 240,000 Qantas Points could net you four one-way upgrades from flexible business class to first class: that’s just 60,000 Qantas Points per journey between Australia and the UK!

From more affordable and less flexible business class tickets, the asking price is a higher 75,000 Qantas Points per one-way trip, with a precise 255,000 Qantas Points being enough for one upgrade from these fares and three further upgrades from those flexible tickets.

Honourable mention: Upgrade to business class on domestic flights

Not planning an overseas trip any time soon? Qantas Points can also be used to upgrade from economy to business class on domestic flights, with 250,000 Qantas Points enough for up to 50 one-way business class upgrades on short routes like Sydney-Melbourne when travelling on flexible fares.

Included as part of the package: up to 50 visits to Qantas’ domestic business class lounges, along with priority check-in, priority security screening and priority boarding, plus a boosted baggage allowance and priority baggage delivery at the other end.

Passengers who book more affordable tickets can instead upgrade from 10,000 Qantas Points per flight: still providing 25 one-way business class upgrades from your 250k bounty.

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin (ChrisCh)

[email protected] / @ChamberlinChris

Chris Chamberlin is a senior journalist with Australian Business Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!


  • Peter Giorgis

    Peter Giorgis

    17 May, 2017 04:25 pm

    Great article, just a shame that to get to London from Melbourne, you will have to fly through Perth. I wont be doing that, and rather fly with another airline eg through Asia to Europe.  Your loss Qantas, and I am guessing you will loose a lot of Melbourne customers to other airlines.  
    No member give thanks

  • Chris Chamberlin


    17 May, 2017 04:33 pm

    Peter: The same number of points can also get you a business class seat from Melbourne to London via Dubai with Emirates - so if you're really not keen on flying via Perth with Qantas, you don't have to. :) (Of course, that may not be ideal for you, but just highlighting the option in case you missed it in the article.)
    No member give thanks

  • Wingman


    17 May, 2017 04:44 pm

    It's all nice and good...but the problem is to find availability in those nice premium seats...even if you plan ahead
    No member give thanks

  • accountant


    26 Oct, 2017 05:16 pm

    Question I was wondering as this is new to me. Do you have to buy a full flexi fare before you can upgrade or can it be sale fare

    No member give thanks


24 Jun, 2018 05:30 pm

50,000 Membership Rewards Bonus Points
The American Express Explorer® Credit Card

Receive 50,000 bonus Membership Rewards points when you apply online, are approved and spend $3,000 on your new Card in the first 3 months from the Card approval date. 

Apply Now
  • Receive 50,000 Membership Rewards Bonus Points when you apply online, are approved and spend $3,000 on your new Card within the first 3 months. This offer is available to new Card Members, as well as Bank-issued American Express companion cardholders
  • Start exploring with a $400 Travel Credit every year
  • Enjoy two complimentary entries per year to the American Express Lounge, located at Sydney International Airport or Melbourne International Airport
  • 0% p.a. on balance transfers for the first 12 months — A one-off credit plan establishment fee of 1% applies
  • No cap on earn rate. You can earn up to 2 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent, no matter how much you spend each month
  • Transfer your points to a choice of 8 Airline Partner Programs including Virgin Australia and Singapore Airlines
  • Spend more and earn more points by getting up to 4 Supplementary Cards for family members at no additional fee
  • Travel with peace of mind knowing that you'll also enjoy extensive protection for you and your partner and dependent children when you pay for travel on your American Express Explorer® Credit Card

Forgot Password

If you’ve forgotten your password, simply enter your email address below, then click 'Submit'. We’ll send you an email to re-activate your account and enter a new password.