Qantas Classic Rewards vs Points Plus Pay

When redeeming your Qantas Frequent Flyer points for flights, there are two main options. The first is to book a “Classic Flight Reward”. This is generally regarded as the best value, although reward seat availability is limited. The second option is “Points Plus Pay”. This redemption simply takes any airfare, converting the cash price to points at a rate of around 0.8 cents per point. Points Plus Pay is generally considered poor value. But this is not always the case!

Brisbane – Bundaberg one way: Classic Award booking costs 8,000 QFF points + $52 in fees & taxes etc. And I don’t earn any QFF points or SC However if I book a Red E-deal the cost is $85. Which I can convert to Points + Pay, and use 8,003 QFF points and $26.45 in fees & taxes etc. And I earn 800 QFF points and 10 SC for the booking. Really? Truly? Am I missing something here?

In this example, the flight in question was on sale for $85. The relatively low airfare and relatively high taxes on the classic reward flight have actually combined to make the Points Plus Pay option better value.

Classic reward flights are usually better value, especially for flights in premium cabins, as the number of points is fixed. But the additional taxes and carrier charges payable can add a significant amount of money. If the regular airfare is low enough, then it is possible for the Points Plus Pay option to offer superior value once this is taken into account.

When using your points to book a flight, our members recommend checking both options.

I think the negativity towards points + pay comes from some people confusing it with the kind of prices (in points) that usually come up if you click on ‘view in points’ when making a booking. Points + pay has its uses, and the OP seems to have found one that suits. I’ve also made use of points + pay in the past. It’s a question of checking out all the available options for what you want to achieve.

There are other subtle differences between the two redemption options. Classic reward flights do not earn points or status credits, while Points Plus Pay bookings do. Some members prefer to use Points Plus Pay for this reason.

But where flexibility is important, classic flight rewards have an edge. The cancellation fees on classic reward bookings are lower.

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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]