How to stop Qantas points expiry

Did you know that Qantas points expire with 18 months of inactivity?

While many Qantas Frequent Flyer members ensure that they ‘earn and burn' points regularly, a surprisingly large number of people aren't aware that Qantas points expire after 18 months of inactivity. And in what is arguably good luck for Qantas, many may have already surrendered points without realising.

Read on to discover everything you need to know about Qantas points expiry (and learn how you can avoid it ever happening to you).

How and when do Qantas Points expire?

Using or earning Qantas Frequent Flyer points is known as ‘Activity'. This is the action of earning or using points. In the case of flights, for example, that's the date the flight was taken. For other activity, this could be the day you ordered a case of Champagne via Qantas Wine, shopped at the Qantas Online Mall or purchased something with points at the Qantas Store.

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Qantas points expire after 18 months of inactivity. So long as you've registered some activity in the last 18 months, your Qantas points are protected from expiry. The clock starts ticking from the date of your last Activity until it is reset by a subsequent Activity.

If you're at risk of forfeiting Qantas points due to account activity, don't panic. There are many ways to earn or use Qantas Points directly or through program partners which we'll go into below.

How to check your Qantas account activity

To ensure your Qantas points don't expire, it's important that you check your Qantas account statement regularly. However, when you're looking for your latest Activity on your statement, be warned that you can only view the last 12 months. Chances are if you see nothing earned or credited in the last 12 months, you're most likely in the last 6 months until points expiry. In that case, you should either earn or use some points immediately or at very least ascertain when the last Activity occurred by contacting Qantas

Any account that is intermittently used is most at risk of losing its points balance, and it's not uncommon for friends or family members of savvy Qantas points collectors to be impacted. The irregular flyer, elderly, deceased estates or minors are the most obvious accounts at risk, so if possible, it pays to keep an eye on these accounts and/or to set calendar reminders to generate Qantas points earning or redemption activity.

What to do when Qantas points expiry is imminent

If you're less than a week or so from your 18 month activity anniversary, there are many ways that you can ‘earn or burn' points to ensure that your Qantas points are protected.

The quickest way you can ensure that your Qantas points don't expire is to redeem some of them. There are a variety of ways to do this, from booking a Classic Reward flight to shopping at the Qantas Store or even redeeming points for accommodation.

However, if you're not in a position to redeem points, you'll need to earn some.

We've listed out some of the main ways you can do this, below:

Fly! – The obvious option is to fly somewhere… anywhere! There doesn't even have to be a reason. Points should appear in your account within a day or two. Be careful to ensure that the flight you've booked earns Qantas points – some partner-operated flights may be exempt. Bear in mind that this could be an expensive option if you need to find last-minute return flights.

Qantas Wine – Purchases at Qantas wine can earn you points on each dollar spent. Plus, Qantas regularly offers bonus points on some products. Points usually credit within 2-5 days, however, you may need to wait longer.

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Go to the movies – Hoyts Rewards is a relatively quick program to join and use. The big benefit is that if it's a kids' Qantas account – you can join them up to earn the points quickly.

What is the cheapest way to prevent Qantas Points expiry?

Qantas Mall – hands-down is the cheapest and easiest way to avoid catastrophe. Simply log in to the Qantas Mall and shop online at a variety of leading retailers (including eBay, David Jones, Country Road and more). You'll earn at least one Qantas point per $1 spent, so even small purchases can register points earning ‘activity' on your Qantas Frequent Flyer account.

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Low-cost options to prevent Qantas points expiry with time to spare

Woolworths – if you don't already shop at Woolworths, it might be time for a visit. Simply acquire a free Woolworths Rewards Card and connect it to your Qantas Frequent Flyer number. The great benefit is that the simple act of buying groceries, household goods at BigW or petrol at Caltex Woolworths is enough to safeguard your points. Woolworths only transfer every quarter, so this is not a good strategy for the last minute.

Rental Cars – Hire a car from Avis or Budget when you're on holiday. You can even use your private QFF number when hiring a vehicle for work.

Hotel points – If you're a seasoned traveller, chances are that you might have some points from a hotel scheme that could be transferred across to Qantas points. These include Marriott Rewards (incl. SPG Starwood), Hilton HHonors, Intercontinental IHG, Hyatt Gold Passport and Choice Privileges.

Uber – Get taken for a ride with Uber to preserve your points.

Longer term strategies to avoid Qantas points expiry

Qantas Credit Cards – A Qantas Frequent Flyer credit card can help you to rack up points regularly. Head here to review our selection of Qantas Frequent Flyer credit cards that could deliver a generous sign-on bonus and help you avoid your points expiring.

Insurance – Qantas runs its own health insurance brand and it also provides travel insurance under its own banner, which can be bought online at the time of ticket purchases.

Parking – Qantas has partnered with Secure Parking where up to 20,000 points a month can be earned for parking.

Airbnb – With nearly 5 million homes worldwide, take a break and earn 1 Qantas point per $1 spent on the booking. There are also regular offers for first bookings made through the partnership.

Eat and drink your way to retaining your Qantas points

Retaining your points is a great excuse for a spot of dining out… or in.

Qantas Restaurants – Earn points at Qantas Restaurants by booking a table via Quandoo

Deliveroo – You can earn points when you download or open the Deliveroo app or visit the website, add your Frequent Flyer details, then place your first-ever order. Additionally, you can earn another 200 points if you order 4 times in a month.

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Tip: Don't try to earn points at the last minute

It's important to note that some activities and purchases take over three months to credit to your account, so it's best not to wait to the last moment for these to reset your activity. There may also be significant variation as to the regularity with which ongoing points from vendors reach your account.

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Are you missing Qantas points?

In this situation – points equal activity, so it pays to double-check that you've received the Qantas points you've rightly earned. Here's how to ensure you haven't been short-changed:

1. Do an audit – Go back through all your flights in the last 18 months and check that all the points have dropped. Don't forget to check your Jetstar flights.

2. Check – Chase your credit card provider for missing bonus points that were meant to accompany your new credit card.

A note about Qantas Family Transfers

Take note that Qantas family transfers are excluded from being counted as activity.

Even if your Qantas points have expired, all is not lost

There is nothing stopping you contacting Qantas and pleading your case. While recovery of your points can't be guaranteed, many readers have reported that Qantas may, at their discretion, issue a Points Earning Challenge. In this scenario, members are asked to earn a certain number of points in a predefined time period in order to have their points balance reinstated.

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2 thoughts on “How to stop Qantas points expiry”

  1. Jennifer Russell

    One member of my family transferred points to me in May, 2019. We tried to use them for an upgrade to Business Class in December, 2019 and January, 2020 but it seems these requests have failed. I am flying Qantas Sydney/Johannesburg tomorrow (06 January, 2020) – returning to my home base in Malawi, Africa. Please can you clarify when I need to book my next flight to Sydney in order to save the 151,250 points at present credited to my account.

    1. Hi Jennifer, upgrade requests can be very difficult to suceed with unfortunately. In order to ensure the points in your account don’t expire, you simply need to earn or redeem one Qantas point within an 18 month period. There is no requirement to fly, so this could be as simple as shopping via the Qantas portal. More ideas are in the post 🙂

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