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Last week American Express added Qantas Frequent Flyer as a Membership Rewards transfer partner.
Normally points transfer 1:1 from American Express to Qantas in 500 point increments instead of the usual 1000. Qantas is also a transfer partner of Capital One and Citibank, so there are plenty of ways to get and pool points into Qantas Frequent Flyer for US customers.
However through June 30 they’re offering a 20% bonus on transfers from American Express to Qantas. You’ll have to log into your account to see this offer.
Qantas is useful for inexpensive short distance awards on oneworld airlines, and for redemptions on partners like El Al.
Where I’ve found the greatest use for Qantas points is redeeming for medium-distance travel on Emirates. Qantas and Emirates are partners. Qantas awards are distance based. You can fly Emirates from New York JFK to Milan for 60,000 Qantas miles (plus taxes and fees) each way in business class. In contrast if you were spending Alaska Airlines miles it’s 105,000 miles each way.
Emirates Business Class Bar
I put airfare spending on my Platinum Card, and restaurant and grocery spend on my American Express® Gold Card, and I can now transfer the points from those latter two cards to:
- Star Alliance: Aeroplan, ANA, Singapore, Avianca
- oneworld: AsiaMiles, British Airways, Iberia, Qantas
- SkyTeam: Aeromexico, Alitalia, Air France KLM, Delta
- Non-alliance: Etihad, Emirates, El Al, Hawaiian, JetBlue, Aer Lingus, Virgin Atlantic
- Hotels: Choice, Hilton, Marriott
With this transfer bonus and leveraging earn bonuses, $10,000 in airfare spend on a Platinum Card would yield 50,000 American Express points which would transfer to 60,000 Qantas points and be sufficient miles for a one-way business class flight between New York and Milan. Still I would not proactively transfer just to take advantage of this bonus, but only use it if I had specific near-term use for the points.