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Well, this is intriguing. Last week, American Express added Qantas as a transfer partner and less than a week later, we have our first transfer bonus.
This transfer bonus does not appear to be targeted so everyone should be seeing this in their Membership Rewards account. As you can see, it’s a 20% transfer bonus that expires at the end of June (06/30/19)
DO YOU HAVE THE BONUS?
To see if you have an offer, follow these easy steps:
1. Log in to your account at AmericanExpress.com
2. Click on “Explore Rewards”
3. Find “Transfer Points” and click “View All” to see all transfer partners
4. Find Qantas and see what your offer is
Note: It should also be noted that Qantas is also a transfer partner of the Citi ThankYou program. If you find that you may not have enough Amex points to cover a redemption, you can Citi is another potential source.
SHOULD I TRANSFER MY POINTS TO QANTAS?
As always, it depends on your travel goals, however, if you’re not familiar with Qantas, let’s discuss a few points of consideration.
First, Qantas is a member of the oneworld alliance so their points can be used to fly on their partners (e.g. American, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Qatar, etc.) but you should also be aware of the surcharges that Qantas adds to most of their awards.
Let’s take a look at the Qantas award chart for travel on Qantas, Fiji, and American (in addition to a few others)…
…and for using Qantas Points to travel on partners (e.g. Alaska Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, El Al, Japan Airlines, Qatar Airways, etc.)…
Plain and simple, those are some expensive awards.
Let’s take a quick example…Qantas flies non-stop from Los Angeles to Sydney which is 7,488 miles.
Per the award chart (the initial chart above), a one-way Business class flight on Qantas would cost you 96,000 points. Yowzers!!
As a point of comparison, Alaska Airlines will charge you 70,000 miles to fly in Qantas’ First class.
Business for 96k or First for 70k? <– the more you know…
I admit, I haven’t given you much hope concerning this transfer but I want to highlight a few “sweetspots” if you will.
SWEET SPOT #1: EL AL
Long story short…Qantas doesn’t add surcharges to awards on EL AL so Qantas can be a good way of booking premuim cabin awards to Tel Aviv (where EL AL is based). El AL flies to 7 airports in the US but the cheapest airports are going to be Boston, New York (JFK), and Toronto. All of these locations, per the award chart (the 2nd one), costs 78k one-way in business. Once you factor in the 20% bonus, it would only costs 65,000. That’s really good for a flight that’s nearly 11 hours in length.
SWEET SPOT #2: Emirates
This redemption will take a bit of research on your part but there is some extreme value to be had. In certain circumstances, Qantas is the best program for First class redemptions on Emirates, particularly for shorter flights. Again, once you factor in the 20% bonus, it looks even better.
In my opinion, Qantas award redemptions are fairly expensive. Tack on the surcharges and I don’t find them very attractive at all. However, the two sweetspots” are worth considering if your travels may involve, either EL or Emirates.
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.
HT: Frequent Miler was targeted for a transfer bonus by Qantas through email and is reporting that it may be possible that, both, the email and the Amex transfer bonuses will stack.