Qantas Frequent Flyer Points – Transfer and be damned?

Many of our members use the Qantas Frequent Flyer Family transfer facility to gift points to loved family members. Unlike many of the US airlines, there is no charge to do this. And with recent changes to the program, it can be very flexible with up to 4 transfers per account. But also be alert, there are traps for the unwary and you could see your points vanish!

One of our new members was keen to pass on their experience

My account was opened by my mother in 1998 and was used only once for that family trip to Bali. My account has been inactive since 1998 and has had no activity. 100,000 points were transferred from a family member roughly mid october 13, Dec 31st 13 all points expired??? ………11 weeks and all points gone? Really?

You can imagine the horror experienced by our member when the points were gone. After all, 100,000 points will certainly take you places, including Asia return in Premium Economy. Depending on how spent, such a haul could be valued at anything from $1,000 to $4,000! So what happened?

Qantas Loyalty state that points will expire after 18 months of account inactivity. Changes to the programs terms and conditions a few years back mean family transfers are not counted as activity. That does not mean points have a minimum 18 months life. Qantas also are required to give you 60 days notice of expiration. Transferring them to a family member who has not been active for 18 months starts the 60 day clock. You may have earned those points last week, but unless activity occurs on the account in that 60 day period, you risk losing them.

Good Frequent Flyer best practices include keeping an eye on your accounts. That’s getting harder and harder as more programs come into play. One handy tool is called Award Wallet. It will keep track of all your account changes including mileage levels and expiry.

Another Frequent Flyer best practice is to keep the accounts active. It’s not hard, and shopping is often the easy way by crediting points through Woolworths Everyday Rewards Program, a $31 shop every 17 months will do the trick. Shopping also works for many other overseas programs, with many having malls where purchases attract points.

Family transfers can be a quick path to dead points. Have you had points expire, what lessons did you learn? Do you have other tips for keeping tab on those accounts and keeping them active, why not share them HERE.

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