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Qantas frequent flyer points: Top hacks to maximise your balance

International is back on the agenda, and so are frequent flyer points.

Compilation image of Qantas planes and cash in a back pocket
A Qantas credit card will earn you 1.25 points per dollar, but there are other ways to easily earn points. (Source: Getty) (Samantha Menzies)

As international travel picks up following the setbacks of the COVID-19 pandemic, frequent flyer points are back in the spotlight.

While air travel remains the classic way to rack up these points, credit cards have become an increasingly popular and convenient alternative. Here’s a rundown of the quickest ways to accumulate Qantas frequent flyer points and how to get the most bang for your buck.

The resurgence of credit cards in Australia

Since April 2022, there has been a noticeable uptick in the Australian credit card market, with more than 285,000 new cards hitting the streets. Financial institutions are seizing this opportunity by offering highly competitive deals, making it an excellent time for Aussies to grab some attractive offers.


Also by Graham Cooke:

As Qantas dominates the frequent flyer landscape in Australia, we'll focus primarily on cards that are part of the Qantas rewards program. For a broader look at cards from various providers, you might want to check out Finder.

The key metrics: Earn rate and bonus points

When you're in the market for a new credit card, two key elements should guide your decision: the rate at which you earn points and the welcome bonus on offer.

Currently, the Qantas American Express Ultimate Card is leading the charge, boasting an earning rate of 1.25 points for every dollar you spend, along with a 75,000-point welcome bonus. In contrast, the ANZ Frequent Flyer Black card offers an impressive 110,000 initial points bonus but lags a bit with an earning rate of just 1 point per dollar.

Top picks for 2023: Qantas frequent flyer credit cards

1. Qantas American Express Ultimate card

Points per Dollar: 1.25

Bonus Points: 75,000

Annual Fee: $450

Interest rate: 23.99 per cent

Additional Perks: $450 Annual Travel Credit

Why It's a Winner: Best for frequent travellers due to its high earn rate and generous travel credit.

2. ANZ Frequent Flyer Black

Points per Dollar: 1

Bonus Points: 110,000

Annual Fee: $425

Interest rate: 20.49 per cent

Additional Perks: $100 Cashback on $5,000 Initial Spend

Why It's a Winner: Ideal for those looking for a quick points boost.

3. Qantas Premier Platinum

Points per Dollar: 1

Bonus Points: 80,000

Annual Fee: $349 (first year), $399 thereafter

Interest rate: 19.99 per cent

Additional Perks: 0 per cent Interest for 12 Months on Balance Transfers

Why It's a Winner: A balanced option for newcomers.

4. Qantas American Express Premium card

Points per Dollar: 1

Bonus Points: 30,000

Annual Fee: $249

Interest rate: 23.99 per cent

Additional Perks: Two Qantas Club Lounge Invitations, Travel Insurance

Why It's a Winner: A well-rounded card with travel perks.

5. ANZ Frequent Flyer Platinum

Points per Dollar: 0.75

Bonus Points: 75,000

Annual Fee: $295

Interest rate: 20.49 per cent

Additional Perks: $100 Cashback on $2,500 Initial Spend

Why It's a Winner: Budget-friendly with decent rewards.

6. Qantas American Express Discovery card

Points per Dollar: 0.75

Bonus Points: None

Annual Fee: $0

Interest rate: 0 per cent for 12 months, then 23.99 per cent

Additional Perks: None

Why It's a Winner: A no-fee, no-frills card for beginners.

Your credit card earn rate remains the most critical factor in the long run, followed by the sign-up bonuses. Given the high interest rates of these cards, it's imperative to be able to clear your balance each month to avoid a potential debt trap. If you can, however, there are bountiful points available which can return great value - if you spend them wisely.

Making the most of your points

Once you've chosen your card and started accumulating points, the next step is to maximise their value. However, the value of a Qantas Point can vary significantly depending on how they are used. Finder crunched the numbers, looking at various ways of spending your points:

Best ways to use your points

1. Flight upgrades: 2 to 8 cents per point

2. Business class flights: 3.5 to 6.5 cents per point

3. Premium flights: 3 to 4 cents per point

4. Economy flights: 1.3 to 2.5 cents per point

5. Hotels or car rentals: 0.65 to 0.85 cents per point

6. Gift cards or products: 0.3 to 0.6 cents per point

7. Charity donations: 0.7 to 0.8 cents per point

Rewards flights themselves are very difficult to come by because airline capacity is still lower than usual, so flight upgrades are currently the best way to maximise the points you earn.

If managed wisely, these cards can offer a lucrative way to enhance your everyday spending and travel experiences. So, as we navigate 2023, make your points work for you, not just in the air but on the ground as well.

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