Qantas has come under fire over its inability to notify members that their points are about to expire. One member recently lost thousands of Qantas Frequent Flyer points, but says they were never warned by the airline.

Qantas claims that it notifies members by email around a month before their points are due to expire. But our member says they did not receive such an email.

I have just discovered that I lost many thousands of points that expired in September. This is an extract from the Qantas website: “If you have opted in to the Frequent Flyer eNewsletter, your eNewsletter will include a notice in the month that your points are due to expire and the month prior to your points expiry.” Unfortunately no email was received despite opting in for newsletters.

Even if our member had received an email, the notification is hidden towards the bottom of the monthly newsletter sent to Qantas Frequent Flyer members. There is also no indication that points are expiring in the subject of the email. As a result, most people do not notice the warning.

The expiry is buried away in that regular email. Qantas have chosen not to send out a separate email dedicated to points expiry – unlike some other airlines that will send you something in bold warning of upcoming expiry.

Qantas points expire after 18 months of account inactivity. This means that the points will not expire, provided at least one Qantas point is earned or redeemed every 18 months. However, it’s only possible to view account activity for the past 12 months on Qantas’ website. There is no indication on the Qantas website (or anywhere else) of the most recent activity date, nor when a member’s points are due to expire.

The other important fact is that even though you have an 18 month timeframe to keep you account active you cannot view 18 months online on the activity statement, so how are you supposed to monitor that?

Many members believe that these measures are deliberate, and are designed to maximise point “breakage”. Expired points are highly profitable for airlines.

Given that all these entities have my contact details and most spray me with attention-grabbing e-mails, with something attention-grabbing in the subject line, it isn’t unreasonable to expect that if something of value is about to disappear, they send me a clear advice to this effect – even 2 or 3 times. That is, unless they want my points to expire, to relieve them of some obligation to provide me with redemption value.

The way Qantas does it – hidden away in an e-mail you might otherwise pass over as not of interest – is simply disgraceful.

The easiest method of ensuring your points do not expire is to continually earn them. There are many ways to earn Qantas points, including shopping at Woolworths.

Opening a Qantas Points Saver account with Qudos Bank is another easy way to prevent the points from expiring. There are no account fees, and Qantas points are earned on the balance every month.

Numerous members recommended using Award Wallet to keep track of frequent flyer points. This service monitors your loyalty program accounts, warning you proactively when points are due to expire.

If your points do expire, there is one final option that may be available to you. Qantas may offer an expired points reinstatement challenge to members whose points have recently expired. This generally requires the member to earn a minimum number of points with two earning partners, in order to have the full points balance reinstated.

Join 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]