Booking Hotels: A good use of Qantas points?

Booking hotel rooms is one of many uses of Qantas Frequent Flyer points. But is it good value?

Trying to find a way to utilise their stash of Qantas points, one of our members has dilemma. Should they use the points to book nights in hotels, or save their 279,000 points for something else?

I can’t make FFlyers work with my flights because I’m trying to coordinate with others. Now I”m wondering if it’s worth using points or points _+ pay for accommodation in New York…

Any recommendations or is it a waste of points?

On one hand, if the member is unable to use the points for flights, they might as well save money on hotels in the United States. However, most would agree that it isn’t the best value way to spend Qantas points.

Any hotel room available for booking through Qantas Hotels can be paid for using points. The points required is directly proportional to the cash price of the room as Qantas convert the cash amount to points at a pre-determined rate. Generally, the value of points used for hotel bookings is between 0.6 and 0.7 cents per point, or $6-7 per 1000 points.

In reality, using points for hotels is just substituting for cash, at around $6.40-$7 for every 1000 points, except perhaps when you spend the minimum pts (5000). This is very similar to using points to “buy” gift vouchers to Woolworths, Caltex, Myer, David Jones and others, that come in at around $6.70 for every 1000 points.

It represents the minimum value for your points, and if you don’t have any pressing desire to spend on flights then it may be worthwhile. However, if you have flights to take, or want to take, you should be able to get better value than that even on economy tickets, or certainly could treat yourself in business class as others have mentioned.

Hotels still offer better value than using points to purchase products on the Qantas online store (where points are generally worth just $5 per 1000). However, a much better way to use points is arguably on award flights, particularly in premium cabins, or on upgrades. Classic award flights in business class will often provide at least $40 per 1000 points of value, and upgrades to business or first class can give $50 or more of value per 1000 points.

In the case of our member, there are 279,000 points to spend. Some are quick to point out that a business class oneworld award, which can be used to fly around the world on oneworld airlines, costs just a thousand points more at 280,000 points!

You are 1k points away from a business class trip around the world (280K OneWorld award) – you must be mad wishing to spend the points on accommodation

With this in mind, it’s fair to say that booking hotels is not necessarily the best way to use points. However, if you cannot or do not want to use points in the air, paying for hotels is one of the better ways to use points on the ground and better than letting the points go to waste entirely.

Do you think hotels are a good use of points? You can join in the discussion HERE.

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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]