Best Ever AMEX Qantas Points Offer

The Qantas American Express Ultimate card is the best Qantas points earning credit card on the market, and right now is the best time to apply for one.

Qantas/AMEX is offering a massive 120,000 points and 120 Status Credits on new cards approved by June 15th 2021.

Even if you used those points for Woolworths vouchers at the worst conversion rate (about half a cent per point), you’d have $600 worth of groceries, more than offsetting the $450 annual card fee. And you’d still have $450 to splurge on Qantas flights.

Personally I look for redemptions worth at least 2 cents per point, which values this offer at $2400.

What I love about the QA Ultimate card is that it keeps working hard to reward your loyalty. Regular bonus points offers can you really boost your points balance, and cashback promotions help to further offset the annual fee. Contrast this to most bank Visa and Mastercard offerings where the bonuses run out after the initial sign on (and they wonder why we churn credit cards!).

And thanks to a new REFERRAL incentive from Qantas, a couple could theoretically turbo charge their QFF balance by 290,000 points.

This is much better than the AMEX referral incentive where the referrer gets a swag of points but the new card applicant (Referee) gets LESS points than if they had applied independently.

Here’s how it could work for you…

Spouse A applies successfully for a new Qantas Amex Ultimate card

Spouse A receives card and refers to Spouse B

Spouse B uses referral link to apply for a new Qantas Amex Ultimate Card

Points Earned:
Spouse A New Card: 120,000
Spouse A Referral: 50,000
Spouse B New Card: 120,000
Total points: 290,000

Even if Spouse A is an existing member they could refer to Spouse B and generate 170,000 points. They would then each have $450 annual card fee and $450 Qantas flights credit, OR if not wanting to hold two accounts, Spouse A could close their account and continue as an additional card holder (free) on Spouse B’s account.

To find your referral link, login to your Qantas Frequent Flyer account, go to My Account, and look through My Offers.

If you don’t already have the card, you can apply for one through this link: (full disclosure, this is my link and I’ll receive 50K points and you will benefit from the full current points offer if you apply by 15th June 2021)

My 2019 Frequent Flyer Report Card

I accumulated 752K QFF points last calendar year, and not many of them from flying. Here’s how I did it….

And what are the points worth? In the last year I made the following redemptions:

Qantas Business Class Upgrade Singapore to Melbourne

Qantas Business Class Upgrade Perth to Melbourne

Emirates First Class Award flight Singapore to Melbourne

Qantas First Class Upgrade Melbourne to Los Angeles

I redeemed 204,100 points. Based on fare price/fare differences the cash value of the redemptions is about $9795.

That’s a redemption rate of 4.8 cents per point ($9795 divided by 204,100)

And by that calculation, the 752K points I collected during just one year is worth about $36,000 in Qantas award flights and upgrades!

And every time I step onto a business or first class suite, I am reminded how much I love the Qantas Frequent Flyer program!

My First Time Flying First

An Emirates First Class Review

It may sound trite to say that the journey is just as important as the destination, but try flying first class with Emirates and you’ll have a new appreciation of Emerson’s oft-quoted platitude. 

Early in the year (whilst surfing Qantas’s booking engine – as I often do) I stumbled on a First Class Award flight, Melbourne to Singapore, on Emirates on a date that worked for me. I’d had no plans to visit Singapore, but the lure of my first ever first class flight was more than I could resist. It would prove to the best 90,000 points and $300 (taxes and carrier fees) I have ever spent in the air. 

Flight day and we’re at the airport early to make full use of our first class lounge privileges. In Melbourne, Emirates partners with Qantas to give first class passengers access to the Australian airline’s first class lounge – and I can tell you it is a massive step up from business class. 

The Qantas lounge is a sanctuary of style and serenity away from the crowds and queues of the International terminal and departure gates (dare I say, away from the common people?) – and its’ all  free with a first class ticket. 

We staked out a vantage point in the restaurant where we could watch the take offs and landings, sip some pre-flight cocktails, and peruse the Neil Perry menu.  The lounge offers genuine 5 star dining, the likes of which I never thought possible in an airport, and the wine list is pretty impressive too.  

Here’s a tip: put your name down as soon as you arrive for a massage or facial in the spa. That’s right… there’s a luxury spa in the lounge. I had the men’s detox facial and returned to the lounge feeling even more blissed. Seriously, I don’t know how anyone travels without a pre-flight spa treatment.  

Spa bookings are limited, but even if you miss out you could still freshen up with a shower before your flight. The bathroom facilities are replete with ASPAR toiletries.  

As tempting as it was to try all the cocktails in the bar and every dish on the menu, we knew that Emirates had plenty of culinary delights in store for us on the plane. And so it was time to head to the gate and make our way onto the Boeing 777-300ER.  

The welcome is gracious as we are introduced to our cabin crew and directed to our suites. There are 6 first class suites on this Emirates 777-300 and on this flight we are the only two passengers! The crew tell us we are welcome to use any suite we like, even to eat in one suite and sleep in another. 

The greatest luxury when flying is space, and the Emirates first class product gives you plenty of it. But they also deliver many more surprises to keep the wow factor going. My suite is furnished with a personal mini-bar and generous snacks, I have a wardrobe, a privacy screen for sleep time, and a huge entertainment screen and noise cancelling Bowers and Wilkins headphones. 

Complimentary amenities include Byredo facial products, a Bulgari pack of toiletries and perfume, a writing set, and a luxurious package of pyjamas and slippers.  

I’m still exploring the loot when the pre-take-off Moet is served and the crew explain some of the seat and suite functions. Once in the air and we have levelled off, the Dom Perignon is served. Don’t mind if I do! 

This really is next level luxury, and way beyond what you really need for an 8 hour flight to Singapore – but I can’t deny that I’m loving every minute of being treated like royalty. 

The food service commences with some tasty amuse bouche, followed by a mezza plate specially tailored to my vegetarian preferences. It includes two types of egg plant dip and a selection of warm breads that any fresh bakery would be proud of.  

I select a 98 French red wine, knowing nothing about French red wines but it sounds expensive so I go for it. After nodding my approval at the first sip, the host decants the rest of the bottle into a carafe and leaves it at my table! 

I’m encouraged to also have the caviar plate from the apetisers menu, and, paired with a Belvedere Vodka, it is absolutely divine.  

The food service is al a carte and on demand. I’m only half way through my French red when I order the pumpkin ravioli for mains – it’s delicious but more than I can finish.  

Sitting at adjacent suites we both watch the same movie together. Tea service is provided and we have a chocolate clairefontaine for dessert.  

Our host turns down the bed for a few hours of sleep before arrival into Singapore. Really nothing is too much for the crew, and they help to ensure that every aspect of our first class experience is an absolute delight. After we’ve safely landed, part of me doesn’t want to farewell the crew and leave this flying palace behind.  

Flying home in Economy is going to be tough! 

  • ** Brett and Stef flew MEL-SIN First Class on an Emirates 777-300 on an award flight using Qantas Frequent Flyer points. They flew home on a paid Qantas Economy flight.  

Points Magnet Part 7

Walk this Way

This is a no-brainer if you want free points to boost your Frequent Flyer balance. Download the Qantas Wellbeing from your app store or use this link: (full disclosure: we will both get 150 points if you use this link) 

This app rewards you for walking! Synch it to your phone’s health app or step counter, set your daily and weekly targets and start walking. You’ll get points each day and week that you meet your target. The more steps you do the more points you’ll get. 

You’ll get 150 points just for downloading and logging into the app. And then for a trial 28 day period you could earn 1500 points for being active. After the trial you’ll still earn points but at a greatly reduced rate.  

There are extra points for healthy sleeping habits too. 

And you can earn 150 points every time you successfully refer someone to the app – refer your partner and kids for instant points (points for you and points for them). Get onto to your extended family for more points.  

Look, this is not going to get you that first class award flight to London but… its FREE POINTS! Here’s an example of what you (and your family) could earn in a year: 

Wellbeing Points 
Download Bonus 150 
Trial 1500 
Sleep 90 
Points post trial 960 
3 Referrals 450 
3 Family Downloads 450 

If you have a Qantas Health Insurance product you will continue to earn points at the FULL rate after the trial period. (You should do you own research before taking out or switching to Qantas Health Insurance. It offers some very tempting bonus points, but unless it works out to the same price or cheaper, it may not be worth chasing this particular source of points.) 

An added benefit of the Wellbeing app is that it effectively protects your frequent Flyer account from ever being wiped out by points Expiry (see Points Magnet Part 6). Points are credited roughly every week, so you only have to hit your step target one day a week and your Frequent Flyer points balance is safe forever! 

Points Magnet Part 6

Protect Your Points

Consolidate Family Points:

Have you been on a family holiday? Do the kids have Frequent Flyer Points in their accounts, but otherwise don’t earn regular points?  

Beware Points expiry! 

Any Frequent Flyer account that doesn’t earn or spend points for 18 months will see all points in the account expire. No mercy, no leniency.  

One way around this is to transfer all those smaller balances (ie the kids) into one primary account (ie Mum or Dad). Consolidate into an account that is regularly earning points and you’ll never have to worry about losing them. 

Transfers require a minimum of 5000 points. If the kids’ balance is under 5000 points and expiry is imminent, consider transferring points from Dad’s account to the kids, and then transfer the kids points back to Mum. 

Another strategy would be to join the whole family up to the Qantas Wellbeing app (if the kids have mobile phones) and safeguard your balances with a weekly flow of new points. More on Wellbeing in the next Points Magnet! 

But most importantly, NEVER let points go to waste! 

Free Points Alert

Here’s a couple of free points offers… 

For Qantas American Express Ultimate cardholders you can earn 5000 points by adding a supplementary cardholder. Just login to your account and look for this popup: 

This has been running for a day or so. If it doesn’t appear when you next login, keep checking.  

For Qantas Wellbeing users, get 1000 points by requesting a health insurance quote (no obligation). 

Don’t have the app? Get it here by following my link:  

Points Magnet Part 3

Groceries My Way 

As a fan of the Qantas Frequent Flyer Program, it’s no surprise that I’m going to tell you to sign up (if you haven’t already) to Woolworths Rewards.

If you shop at Woolies and AREN’T signed up, then you’re crazy. Like it or not, those loyalty points are factored into the price of everything you buy – so you may as well collect the points! If you don’t, it’s like giving Woolworths a tip, or saying “keep the change” every time you shop. 

Great, you’ve got a Woolworths Rewards Card. Set it up to transfer points to your QFF account. Now… get another Woolworths Rewards Card. And keep a regular check on your email account.

Whilst WR is a loyalty rewards program, the irony is that Woolworths is more likely to reward disloyalty. Stop using Card A for a while and watch the special bonus offers start to appear in your inbox (they think you’ve gone to Coles). Activate them. Use them if they make sense to you (but don’t buy stuff you don’t need just to get the points). 

While you’re happily collecting bonus points on Card A, pretty soon you’ll be getting similar offers on Card B. 

If the bonus offers dry up, consider getting another card.

Make sure everyone in your family is shopping on one of your cards to maximise your points. You can also collect WR points at fuel and bottle shop outlets, and Big W. 

Notwithstanding those special offers, you’ll get 1 Woolworths Reward point for every $1 spent. Each WR point converts to 0.43 QFF points (2000 WR points converts to 870 QFF points, transferred to your Qantas account quarterly)

Let’s compare value: 

2000 Woolworths points buys a $10 voucher/discount when used at Woolworths. 1 point is worth half a cent! 

870 Qantas Frequent Flyer points is worth approximately $26 when used for points upgrades or awards flights at Qantas, based on my 3 cents per point valuation. 

The Woolworths award can be used on life’s essentials, and is easily cashed in. The Qantas award is a lifestyle choice and is a little bit more difficult to cash – but so much more fun than buying toilet paper. It’s up to you, be sensible or be self-indulgent, but don’t miss out on the points! 

Now, how many QFF points could you collect in a year from grocery shopping? Let’s say you spend $250 a week at Woolworths (not a stretch for family of four). And you activate and exploit all of those bonus offers. And you pay on a points earning credit card like the American Express Ultimate card that I have recommended previously. 

  • Table 1 – $250 Weekly Grocery Bill
    • WR points: 13,000 converts to 5590 QFF points 
    • Bonus Points: 40,000* converts to 17200 QFF points 
    • (*based on 4 x 10,000 bonus offer for 4-weekly shopping targets)
    • Amex 1.25 points for spend 16,250 QFF points

Congratulations, you’ve just banked 39,040 QFF points towards your next award. 

Get that AMEX card on this link:

Now let’s put the icing on that cake:

Shopping at Woolworths ONLINE via the Qantas Mall can increase your points yield even further, AND save you time in the supermarket.

It takes some planning and organisation, but I think it’s worth the effort. I use Woolworths online (via Qantas Mall) to buy the things I know I’m going to need for the coming week. It’s also a great way to browse the half-price specials and snap up those things you regularly use at a ‘bargain’ price. It won’t replace that dash to the shops for the bread and milk that you just ran out of, but if you can get into a routine you can easily get most of your groceries this way. 

They pick and pack the groceries for you, so you save time in store. I also find that I am less prone to impulse buys (usually chocolate), so it’s arguably good for wallet and waist as well! 

But back to the points… every time you shop at Woolworths online via the Qantas Mall, your spend is tracked by Qantas and they will reward you with 2 points (standard, sometimes up to 4 points) for every $1 spent. That’s 4 times the standard earn rate in store!

For example: 

  • Table 2 Points Yield on $200 Online Grocery Shop
    • 200 standard Woolworths rewards points (converts to 87 QFF points) 
    • 250 QFF points from your points earning credit card 
    • 400 QFF points from the Qantas Mall 

If you were able to do $200 of your weekly family-of-four grocery shop online instead of instore, you’ll collect at least a further 20,800 QFF in a year.  

Add that to the points from Table 1 and you are at around 60,000 QFF points – not for buying more stuff, just from buying the same stuff in a different way.

You could look at this as a $360 cash back on your groceries, or up to $1800 to spend at Qantas. (I’ll cover points valuations in more detail in another instalment)

Or you could let Woolworths and Qantas keep the points – it’s up to you! 

Key Point
Use different Woolworths Rewards cards to attract
more bonus offers

Key Point
Watch your emails and activate offers, track your shopping to reach your goals, but only buy stuff you need

Key Point
Plan your weekly shop and do it online through the Qantas Mall to turbo boost your points yield

Points Magnet Part 2

Get the right credit card

A premium credit card is the fastest way to build your points balance and get you closer to that first-class awards flight on QF1 to London! And you don’t have to be a CEO of a listed company to qualify. 

If you’re serious about collecting points, then you need to have an American Express card AND a Visa or Mastercard to maximize your points earning opportunities.  

The features of a great points earning card are:
Sign on Bonus Points
High earn rate per $ spent
Discounted or waived first annual fee
Travel Privileges

The interest rate doesn’t matter because you’re going to pay the amount due IN FULL, EVERY MONTH, by the DUE DATE. If you overlook this part, all of the benefits will be wiped by interest charges (which is what the card providers are counting on to help make their products profitable – just don’t do it!) 
So, here’s a working example of the two credit cards on the market right now that I would choose to turbo charge by points balance: 

Qantas American Express Ultimate Card 
Sign on Bonus 100,000 points 
Earn Rate 1.25 points per $ spent, UNCAPPED 
Annual Fee $450 
Annual Qantas Credit $450, Trav. Ins., Lounge access offers 

I have this card and I love it. Sure, it comes at a premium price of $450pa, but this is offset by the annual $450 travel credit (for Qantas flights booked through American Express Travel). It forces me to spend at least $450 a year on Qantas flights – what a chore right??? 

Here’s a referral link to the Qantas Amex Ultimate:

Now, because your AMEX card won’t be accepted at all merchants, or may incur a surcharge with some merchants (its not worth paying a 2% surcharge just to collect QFF points), I recommend having either a VISA or Mastercard in your arsenal.  

One of the best is ANZ’s Frequent Flyer Black VISA 

Sign on Bonus 100,000 points 
Earn Rate 1 point per $ spent to $7,500, then 0.5 points per $ 
Annual Fee $425 with $200 cash back in first year 
Travel Insurance, Lounge access offers 

It’s a reasonably expensive card, particularly after the first year. But as an ANZ mortgage customer, the annual fee is waived so I am more than happy to hang on to this card. If you don’t have an ANZ mortgage, there is nothing to stop you closing the account inside the first anniversary and applying for another bank’s points earning product.  

Credit card churn is a thing. The Banks hate it. But you can make it work for you.  

With these two cards in hand, spending $1500 per month per card, you will rack up over 240,000 Qantas points in the first year. That’s enough for return flights Melbourne to London! 

I value those points somewhere between $1440 and $7200 (more on the value of points in another instalment). Even if the annual fees seem expensive at first glance (total $675 in first year), you are getting a minimum $1440 pay back, so this actually make good financial sense.  Beware though, holding too many cards or having too much credit could be a barrier to you getting other forms of finance like a a home loan. Only ask for as much credit limit as you need, and be prepared to lower it or close a card if needed to meet lending requirements.

Key Point – take up an American Express AND a VISA or Mastercard with generous sign on points Bonus

Key Point – Use your AMEX as your preferred card, wherever it is accepted and does not incur a surcharge. Use your cards for all your purchases, big and small 

Key Point – be sure to meet the minimum spend in first 3 months on EACH  card to obtain the bonus points. 

Key Point – be disciplined and pay the full statement balance by the due date every month or you will incur interest payments that could undo the benefit of all those points you collected 

Key Point – Only buy the things you would normally buy. Don’t go on a spending spree just to chase points! 

Points Magnet Part 1

Lesson 1 – Getting Started

The first thing you’re going to need is a Qantas Frequent Flyer account. Don’t have one? (why the hell not??) 

Let’s get you signed up for free (don’t be the chump who pays $99 by signing up directly at 

Enter this search string into your browser (a new tab, don’t close this one!): “qantas frequent flyer membership free” 

There will be a heap of ways to sign up for free, with new ones popping up all the time. 

Some of the easiest sites to enroll from are Woolworths Rewards, Australia’s major banks, Luxury Escapes… it really doesn’t matter which one you use, but here’s a link that at the time of writing was active: 

Start building your profile, set up a pin, enter your email address…. look, you know how to fill in a form so you can take it from here.  

Congrats! Welcome to the Club!

Now, be sure to sign up your whole family to maximise your opportunites (points are transferrable – we’ll come to that another day)

Now that you’re a member, sign up for all the emails and updates. Qantas wants to get to know you, how you like to travel, where you want to go etc… 

And make sure you keep a regular check on your emails, because this is where you’ll be able to take advantage of points and bonus offers when they come along.  

For example, I got 1000 points just by clicking yes to getting a quote for solar panels. Two minutes of my time for 1000 points – yes please. (no, I didn’t go ahead and get solar panels but I’m thinking about it) 



Points Magnet Introduction

Want to know how I earned 400,000+ Qantas points last year and only flew Qantas on 2 domestic flights?

A lot of people probably think they’ll never have enough points to get a free flight, or that there are too many hidden catches, or that it is all just too difficult to worry about.  

That’s why the Qantas Frequent Flyer program is hands-down my favourite airline loyalty program – there are so many ways to earn points, just by doing the things you normally do, buy, or pay for. 

And if you live in Australia, Qantas and its partner airlines offer probably the most ways to use your points. 

In this series of tips and hacks I’m going to explain how I’ve collected more than a million Qantas points over the last 3 years and used them for a points upgrade to Business Class MEL-LAX, and a First Class Emirates Award flight from Melbourne to Singapore. Points matter!