Best use of Qantas Points in a Downturn

Over time, many of us have flying patterns that change. One year it may be easy to rack up the points and retain/attain status, the next year it all changes. Sometimes the cause maybe the result of a new addition to the family. For others the lack of flying is often part of a career change. When the economy struggles, often it’s just a simple travel ban that sees flying activity drop to new lows. When such an event happens, and you’re sitting on a pool of hard earned points, what is the best way to get back some value?

My wife and I have accumulated over 500 000 and 200 000 QFF points respectively. I am currently platinum and she is gold. However due to financial downturns we will both be gold at the next renewal dates in late 2014 and probably drop to silver in the next year (we are both lifetime silver). Does anyone have any ideas on the best method to utilise these points

The right answer to that question will vary with circumstance. Perhaps the downturn is temporary, and there is light at the end of the frequent flyer tunnel leading to more travel in the future. If that’s the case then status retain could be important. The easiest way to do that is to use the points on an Any Seat Award that prices travel at the classic award level in terms of points. While it’s not the same as a classic award as the cash component is often higher, examples showing 140 Status Credits being earned for expenditure of 24000 points and $300 odd dollars indicate it can be value. These great awards are not bookable online, and take some work, but we have put together a CHEAT SHEET if this strategy makes sense for you.

If flying in the future will be reduced but still occurring then another couple of options are available. Points can be used for Qantas Club membership as our resident Qantas contact “Red Roo” points out. If private travel is planned, some of the best value can be had by the Oneworld Awards.

If it was me, I would look for 2 x 280k Business Class one world award tickets. I think it gives you 5 stops.

Clearly travel offers the best value, compared to the equivalent cost paying cash. But what if that cash has dried up? Points still have value, and using them for Gift Vouchers may be a good way of improving the cash flow. For instance, a $250 Woolworths Gift Voucher redemption is 34000 points, freeing up grocery and fuel money for more important use elsewhere.

Have you found a good way to use FF points, why not pass on your experience HERE.

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