How to use the American Express $450 Qantas Travel Credit

When it comes to ongoing perks, the Qantas American Express Ultimate Card delivers in spades. And the key benefit to know about is the $450 Qantas Travel Credit, available each and every year.

This benefit enables card members to redeem for Qantas flights purchased online at American Express Travel. It’s awarded yearly, including when you first receive your card.

The best bit? Simply by using this yearly benefit, you’ll get back full value from the $450 annual card fee.

american express qantas ultimate credit card

But what use is this perk if you don’t know how to redeem it? And how does pricing stack up compared with booking flights via Qantas direct? We’ve put together this post to explain everything you need to know about the $450 Qantas Travel Credit.

$450 Qantas Travel Credit: How it works

The Qantas Travel Credit is a highly flexible travel benefit.

Choose to redeem it for any eligible domestic or international flight on the Qantas network. That includes codeshare flights operated by Qantas partner airlines, provided the flight has a QF flight number (T&Cs apply). Flights must be purchased online at American Express Travel.

Note that you can’t use the Qantas Travel Credit to pay for fees/charges associated with a Classic Flight Reward (points redemption) booking.

Upcoming changes to the way the Qantas Travel Credit is delivered

American Express has advised of upcoming changes to the way the Qantas Travel Credit is delivered to Card Members.

Beginning 1 May 2023, Card Members will need to use the annual $450 Qantas Travel Credit on a single travel booking of $450 or more on their eligible Card, made through American Express Travel Online. The Qantas Travel Credit can be redeemed for any eligible Qantas flight booked (i.e. a QF flight number on your ticket).

The booking will be charged in full to the Qantas American Express Ultimate Card and American Express will then credit $450 to the Card Member’s account within 3 business days (but this may take up to 30 days). Card Members will still receive the $450 Qantas Travel Credit each year, and the Travel Credit anniversary will remain the same.

How to use the $450 Qantas Travel Credit: Step by step

The $450 Qantas Travel Credit is yours to use as soon as you’ve paid the annual fee and made a minimum payment on your first statement. Once eligible, the credit will automatically become available to use within your online American Express account.

It’s a simple process to redeem the Qantas Travel Credit. Until 1 May 2023, simply follow the steps below:

  1. Visit the American Express Travel website.
  2. Log in to your American Express account using your American Express user ID and password.
  3. Your $450 Qantas Travel Credit will display in the top right corner of the page.
  4. Search for flights. If available, eligible Qantas services will display in the results.
  5. Select your itinerary (making sure to select a service with a QF flight number) and continue to checkout.
  6. Redeem your Qantas Travel Credit against your booking by selecting the Qantas Travel Credit option at the checkout page.

It’s important to note that you can only use the Qantas Travel Credit in one single transaction and the remaining (unused) balance will be forfeited. To get around this, consider booking a higher cost flexible fare, or including a second passenger on your booking.

If you’re booking an eligible flight that costs in excess of $450, you can opt to pay using a combination of the Qantas Travel Credit and your American Express Card.

How does pricing stack up?

In my experience, the price of Qantas airfares booked via the American Express Travel website almost always mirrors the cost of booking direct. This includes ‘Red e-Deal’ sale fares, with this discount usually available, as I’ll showcase below.

Example: Sydney to Gold Coast economy class flight, 3rd November 2022

At the time of writing, Qantas is running a sale on fares between Sydney and Gold Coast, with ‘Red e-Deal’ sale fares in economy class available to book from $129.

As can be seen below, a $129 economy sale fare can be booked via the Qantas website for 3rd November 2022.

american express travel credit qantas

The very same sale fare is also available on the American Express Travel website, and it can be purchased at no additional cost:

american express travel credit qantas

Of course, eligible flight bookings you lock in with the Qantas Travel Credit earn points and status credits with Qantas Frequent Flyer, as you’d receive when booking elsewhere.

Use the Qantas Travel Credit for a person of your choosing

One of the things I like the most about the Qantas Travel Credit is that it isn’t tied to the primary card member.

Rather than using it for yourself, you can choose to book travel for a family member or friend, as I’ve done in the past. And, if you look to organise travel for someone else, you don’t need to be travelling with them.

And, while the Qantas Travel Credit is valid for 12 months, as we’ll explain below, there’s potential to extend its usage much further into the future, provided you can find an eligible future flight.

When does the Qantas Travel Credit expire?

The $450 Qantas Travel Credit is issued each anniversary year, from the first month your account is opened. The validity is for 12 months, and it must be redeemed within the same anniversary year.

Here’s my tip: It’s possible to book travel using your credit far into the future, provided an eligible flight is available to book via the American Express online travel portal.

Since Qantas and partner airline flights open up for booking up to 11 months out, a Qantas Travel Credit issued in January 2023 could be redeemed in December 2023, and, depending on flight availability, potentially for travel up to a further eleven months out ( travel up until October or November 2024).

Summing up

The Qantas American Express Travel credit is a valuable and flexible benefit that can help you to extract tremendous value from the Qantas American Express Ultimate Card each year. Simply by using the Travel Credit each year, it’s possible to extract enough value to fully offset the $450 annual fee.

Pricing examples we’ve highlighted in this article are current as of 26 April 2022 and may be subject to change. The American Express Qantas Travel Credit is subject to T&Cs and availability.

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