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American Express added Qantas as the 19th airline transfer partner for its Membership Rewards program late last week and we already have our first conversion bonus on offer which is valid for transfers made through 30 June 2019.
20% Bonus On Amex Transfers To Qantas
This transfer bonus doesn’t appear to be targeted so everyone should be seeing this on offer in their Membership Rewards accounts.
If like Frequent Miler you’ve been lucky enough to be targeted for a transfer bonus by Qantas (the offer mentioned in this post is from Amex) there’s a good chance the two bonuses will stack.
It’s worth bearing in mind that Citi’s ThankYou program is also a Qantas transfer partner so that may be another potential source of points if you don’t have enough Amex Membership Rewards points for the award you’d like to book.
Are Qantas Points Useful?
Possibly…but it will really depend on what you’d like to use them for.
Qantas is a member of the oneworld alliance so its points can be used to book travel on any oneworld airline (American, Cathay Pacific, Malaysia Airlines, etc…) but you should always consider the surcharges adds to most awards booked with Qantas Frequent Flyer miles before deciding just how good or bad a deal is on offer.
Here’s the Qantas award chart for travel on Qantas, American Airlines, Emirates and Fiji Airways (amongst a few others)…
…and this should start to give you an idea of how expensive awards can be.
Los Angeles to Sydney is a little under 7,500 miles in distance so, per the award chart above, a one-way Business Class award would set you back 96,000 points…and that’s a lot considering what other airlines (like American) would charge for the exact same flights.
The award chart for all of Qantas’ other partners (including all the other oneworld airlines) isn’t much better…
…but there is a ray of light amongst this gloom. That ray of light is EL AL.
EL AL has been a Qantas partner for a little under 2 years and, because of the relatively few partnerships that EL AL actually has and because Qantas doesn’t add surcharges to awards on EL AL, Qantas Points can be a very good way of booking premium cabin awards to Tel Aviv.
EL AL offers flights from Tel Aviv to 7 airports in North America and here’s how many Qantas Points are needed to fly to/from each of those locations:
I’m not about to claim that there’s any exceptional value to be had here but, given the limited options out there, Qantas Points can be a good way to save money if you’re looking to fly to Tel Aviv in any kind of comfort.
With the current 20% Amex transfer bonus in place, a one-way Business Class fare between New York or Boston and Tel Aviv would cost 65,000 Membership Rewards points and that’s a very good deal for a flight of that length.
Qantas awards are generally pretty expensive (in my opinion) and the surcharges that most of the awards attract don’t make things any better….but the EL AL option is definitely a sweet spot worth investigating.
Premium cabin flights between the US and Israel are generally pretty expensive so Qantas Points can be put to very good use on EL AL’s routes to Tel Aviv. For all other award needs I would probably look elsewhere.