Okay, How Do I Actually Make Qantas Points Work For Me?

Words by Chris Ashton

By Chris Ashton, 5/8/2019
Brought to you by Qantas

From essential experiences to can't-miss destinations, we've partnered with Qantas to bring you an incredible travel tale each month.

From gold stars in kindergarten to a couple of extra zeros in your pay packet, everyone loves a little reward and recognition now and then. Though we all go through dry spells at times, there is a way to be rewarded for your efforts a lot more regularly – loyalty programs.

With almost 13 million members, Qantas Frequent Flyer is one of the largest customer loyalty programs in Australia. And, after 32 years of riding the jet streams, it’s just announced the biggest overhaul to the program since it launched, making a tonne of improvements for its loyal customers.

But, before we get into the recent changes, what exactly is Qantas Frequent Flyer and how can you make it work for you? If you’re thinking of joining, here’s all you need to know.

What is Qantas Frequent Flyer?

In a nutshell, members of Qantas Frequent Flyer can earn points for their travel and daily spending habits, which can then be used on a huge number of rewards.+

If earning rewards just for doing what you do normally sounds like fun, you should join!

What’s the difference between Qantas Points and Status Credits?

Now you’ve decided to sign up, the first thing you need to understand is that there are two separate rewards systems: Qantas Points and Status Credits.

Qantas Points are what you earn every time you fly or shop with a relevant partner and can be used to redeem rewards such as flights and seat upgrades, gift vouchers, hotel stays, and car hire, plus more than 8000 products (and counting) at the Qantas Shopping Rewards Store.

Status Credits are essential if you want to progress up through the current Qantas Frequent Flyer membership tiers. The higher your tier, the more benefits you can potentially receive. Perks include bonus points, priority boarding, Qantas Lounge access, and extra baggage allowance.++

The membership cards for Qantas Frequent Flyer status tiers.

All members start out as a Bronze Frequent Flyer – your digital membership card can be found within the Qantas app. Then, with each Status Credit you earn, you get a step closer to moving up to Silver, Gold, Platinum and, finally, Platinum One.

How do I earn Qantas Points?

Qantas Frequent Flyer guide make your points work

There are a lot of ways to earn Qantas Points. There’s flying with Qantas, Jetstar, or one of their more than 50 partner airlines; shopping at stores such as Apple and THE ICONIC; through credit card bonus promotions; or activating your membership card as a Qantas Travel Money card when you travel, to name a few.

Status Credits, on the other hand, can only be earned through flying. There’s no way around this… but there are ways to work the system in your favour.

Generally, longer flights and more expensive seats will earn you more credits. However, if you choose to fly an indirect route with one or two stops along the way, instead of a more direct route, you can actually earn additional Status Credits for every flight you take.++

The Qantas Earning Points and Status Credits Calculator is the easiest way to determine how many Qantas points or Status Credits you can earn from a flight based on your membership tier.

There are also communities such as Facebook group Qantas Points Hacks which are devoted to helping you master the mystical arts of the frequent flyer program. If you’re looking to get serious about earning points, then do yourself a favour and learn from the masters.

Some of the simplest ways to earn Qantas Points are:

#1 Be a loyal frequent flyer

Frequent flyer programs are, as the name suggests, designed to increase customer loyalty. There’s no point joining one program and then flying an airline who belongs to a different one – all you’re doing is watering down your points-earning potential. The key is to always fly with Qantas, Jetstar, or one of their many oneworld and partner airlines.

#2 Rent, ride or book with a Qantas partner

Your earning potential continues in the arrivals hall. To help you get from A to B, you can earn Qantas Points when you book transport through the qantas.com website or the Qantas app. It could be a hire car from Avis or Budget, a transfer to or from the airport,^^^ or even an Uber ride to or from an eligible Australian airport.*** Rates vary depending on the partner, but every extra point you earn counts.

#3 Book a hotel or Airbnb

Even when your feet are firmly stuck on the ground, you can still earn points by booking accommodation through the Qantas Hotels website.< There are more than 200,000 hotels and resorts, as well as 4.5 million Airbnb properties to choose from, so there’s an above average chance you’ll find a property no matter where you’re going. Each stay will earn you some of those coveted points. All you need to do is book via the qantas.com website.

#4 Eat, drink and be merry

A moment on the lips, a lifetime of memories from the points you earned at Qantas Wine. With over 2,000 quality wines from top wine regions, gourmet food, beers, ciders and even spirits, there’s enough to send your taste buds into overdrive. You can also earn bonus points on selected cases, making your reward dreams come true a little quicker. If you’ve got some points burning a hole in your pocket, you can also use them in the store too.>

Qantas Frequent Flyer guide shop online Qantas Mall

Shop via Qantas Shopping for Qantas Points earning opportunities at over 250 stores.

#5 Shop your favourite brands in store and online

Want to earn points for shopping? All you need to do is visit Qantas Shopping or get the Points Prompter for your browser. You can earn up to 10 Qantas Points for every dollar you spend via Qantas Shopping Online Mall or earn points by paying with your linked Mastercard® via Card Offers.~ After that, it’s just a matter of waiting for the points to roll in!

How can I use my points?

So, you’ve got your Qantas Points, now what? The fun stuff, that’s what. There are literally thousands of awesome ways to use your well-earned Qantas Points on, from rewards flights to hotel bookings and even cases of food and wine delivered right to your door.

If you need a little help narrowing it down, here are some of the top ways to use points:

#1 Reward flights

Classic Flight Rewards* allow you to use your points for flights to over 1,200 destinations around the world, either for you or an eligible family member. Just log in to the qantas.com website with your frequent flyer number, search for the destination you want, and then select if you want to “Use points”. Choose a flight which displays the Classic Flight Reward symbol and then complete your booking as normal. Or, for another way to use points on flights, select “Use money, points or both” to search for a Points Plus Pay** flight.

#2 Seat upgrades

Classic Upgrade Rewards^ allow you to treat yourself to a little luxury, whether it’s going from Economy to Premium Economy or even up to the pointy end in Business class. After booking a flight, log in to qantas.com and visit “All Bookings”. From there, click on “Upgrade” next to your booking to register an upgrade. If it’s a domestic flight and there is availability, you’ll get the upgrade right then and there. If not, you’ll be added onto the waiting list.

#3 Rewards shopping

If you fancy a little retail therapy, you can use your points on thousands of products in the Qantas Shopping Rewards Store.# From Bose® headphones and Dyson vacuums to Samsonite luggage and even R.M.Williams handcrafted leather boots, there’s a good chance you’ll find something you want/need. And, if you’re just short on points, you can also choose to pay the difference with Points Plus Pay.

What are the recent changes?

Unless you’ve been travelling off-grid for a few weeks, you’ll be aware that Qantas is rolling out a huge number of changes to its frequent flyer program – the largest overhaul since its inception. It’s all about streamlining the system, making it easier to earn and use points.+

Some of the major changes rolling out over the next 12 months include an additional one million rewards seats annually, fewer points required for international Economy Rewards Seats, and reduced International carrier fees across all cabins^^ (the small costs associated with flights booked on points). In some cases, the fees are slashed up to 50 percent, meaning more money for poolside cocktails!

One of the other big Qantas Frequent Flyer announcements is the creation of the new Points Club, which is due to launch some time later this year. Essentially, it’s a new tiered program designed to reward people who are high points earners on the ground. For the first time, these high-earners will be able to unlock flight and travel benefits such as lounge access and bonus status credits.

Keen to find out more? Visit qantas.com for full details on how to join.

(Images: Qantas images supplied by Qantas; Paris and New York images from Shutterstock)

+You must be a Qantas Frequent Flyer to earn and use Qantas Points. A joining fee may apply. Membership and points are subject to the Qantas Frequent Flyer program Terms and Conditions.

++ Status Credits are earned on eligible Qantas, Jetstar, oneworld® member and oneworld connect airlines only – see the Airline Earning Tables and Qantas Frequent Flyer program Terms and Conditions for details. Status Credits may not be earned on some fare types and booking classes.

⧍ Qantas Points will be earned per AU$1 spent on time and kilometre charges within Australia, excluding GST, insurance, package tour, government, travel industry, some corporate rates and miscellaneous charges with Avis and Budget. 700 Qantas Points are earned per rental overseas. Members must provide their Qantas Frequent Flyer membership number to the chosen car partner. Vehicle hire is subject to availability and to the Avis Rental Agreement Terms and Conditions or Budget Rental Agreement Terms and Conditions (as applicable) at the time of rental. Avis or Budget age, credit and driver requirements apply. For further details, please visit the Qantas website or contact Avis or Budget.

^^^To earn Qantas Points, Qantas Frequent Flyers must quote their membership number when booking online. For transfers and activities booked in a currency other than Australian dollars or in locations where the local currency is not Australian dollars, the Australian dollar equivalent amount will be calculated using an exchange rate on the day the booking was made, as determined by Viator who administers bookings for transfers and activities on qantas.com.  

***In order to earn Qantas Points on Eligible Rides, members must have linked their Qantas Frequent Flyer and Uber accounts viaqantas.com/uber. Members who request and complete an Eligible Ride using the Uber app or Qantas app will earn the following Qantas Points per AU $ 1 spent on the final cost of the Eligible Ride. Bronze members: 1 Qantas Point; Silver members: 2 Qantas Points; Gold, Platinum and Platinum One members: 3 Qantas Points. An Eligible Ride is an Uber ride excluding UberTAXI and UberEATS requested using the Uber or Qantas app to or from any of the following Australian airports: Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Canberra, Gold Coast, Hobart, Maroochydore, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney, Townsville, Newcastle, Toowoomba, Avalon, Byron Bay. Qantas Points can not be earned on cancelled or no-show trip requests. Uber terms and conditions are available at uber.com/terms.

< Qantas Frequent Flyer members will earn 3 Qantas Points per A$1 value for all hotel stays, except Classic Hotel Rewards, booked at qantas.com. Qantas Points will not be earned on cancelled or refunded bookings. Qantas Points will be credited to your account at least 8 weeks after check-out. To earn Qantas Points, quote your Qantas Frequent Flyer membership number when booking. Qantas Points cannot be split between two or more members occupying the same room. Some accommodation providers may not allow you to combine this offer with any other offer. Qantas Points may be earned by the member in whose name the booking is made. Members will not be able to redeem points for, or earn points on additional charges paid to the accommodation provider for extras (including cots, breakfasts and other incidentals) on check-in or check-out (as applicable). 

୪Qantas Frequent Flyer members will earn 1 Qantas Point per A$1 value for Airbnb stays booked through qantas.com/airbnb. 500 bonus Qantas Points will be awarded to members who book their first stay with Airbnb via qantas.com/airbnb. Qantas Points will not be earned on cancelled or refunded bookings. Qantas Points will be credited to your account at least eight weeks after check-out. To earn Qantas Points, quote your Qantas Frequent Flyer membership number when booking. Qantas Points cannot be split between two or more members occupying the same room. Some accommodation providers may not allow you to combine this offer with any other offer. Qantas Points may be earned by the member in whose name the booking is made. Members will not be able to redeem points for, or earn points on additional charges paid to the accommodation provider for extras (including cots, breakfasts and other incidentals) on check-in or check-out (as applicable).

>To purchase from Qantas Wine, you must be a Qantas Frequent Flyer member, 18 years of age and over and have an Australian delivery address. Liquor Act 2007: It is an offence to sell or supply to or to obtain liquor on behalf of a person under the age of 18 years. Licence Number: LIQP770016736.

~Individual retailer terms and conditions apply – check the individual retailer’s pages for full terms and conditions. Mastercard® is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard® International Incorporated. For Qantas Shopping Online Mall and Card Offers refer to the Terms and Conditions.

*Classic Flight Rewards are available on Qantas, Jetstar and partner airlines. Seats are subject to capacity controls, availability is limited, and some flights may not have any Classic Flight Rewards available. Taxes, fees and carrier charges are payable to Qantas (excluding any amounts payable to third parties at the airport) in addition to the points required. For more information, visit Classic Flight Rewards.

**Points Plus Pay – Flights are available on any flight with a Qantas (QF) or Jetstar (JQ) flight number, or selected partner airlines when travelling on a Qantas fare and booking on qantas.com for yourself or any eligible family member. As long as there is a seat available for sale, you can book a Points Plus Pay – Flight. The points required for a Points Plus Pay – Flight includes taxes, fees and carrier charges (except any local airport fees or charges collected at the time of check-in) are subject to change and are quoted at the time of booking. Qantas Points and Status Credits may not be earned on some fare types or on oneworld® alliance or airline partner flights. See the Airline Earning Tables for eligible flights and earning classes. See more information and full terms and conditions.

^Classic Upgrade Rewards are available on Classic Flight Rewards in Economy and Premium Economy and eligible paid and confirmed Qantas domestic and international flights, with a Qantas (QF) flight number on your ticket and from time to time on codeshare flights operated by another carrier that have a QF flight number on your ticket. Classic Upgrade Rewards are subject to capacity controls and availability is limited (which is Limited). Classic Upgrade Rewards are not available from all fare types. See tables for details. Increase in the number of Qantas Points required for Classic Upgrade Rewards will apply to all upgrade registrations made on and after 18 September 2019.

#The redemption of points for Rewards is subject to the Qantas Frequent Flyer program Terms and Conditions, the Qantas Shopping Rewards Store Terms of Use, voucher Terms and Conditions (including expiry rules) if relevant and any other terms and conditions disclosed at the time of redemption (visit qantas.com/rewardsstore for details). The range of Rewards and Qantas Points required change from time to time and are available while stocks last. See our latest offers.

^^Reduction in Qantas Points and carrier charges for International Economy Classic Flight Rewards effective from 20 June 2019 (carrier charge reduction excluding direct flights to and from New Zealand and select flights to and from the South Pacific). Increase in the number of Qantas Points, and reduction in carrier charges, required for International premium cabin Classic Flight Rewards (excluding direct flights to and from New Zealand and select flights to and from the South Pacific) effective from 18 September 2019. Increase in the number of Qantas Points required for Domestic Business Classic Flight Rewards effective from 18 September 2019.