Increased Value On Jetstar Flights From Qantas Frequent Flyer Program

In an era when everyone is talking about declining value of frequent flyer programs, good news stories for reward hunters stand out. Qantas has today announced some changes to their frequent flyer program which mean better value for customers if they choose to fly with Jetstar.

When it comes to redeeming Qantas frequent flyer points, there is a schedule with 10 zones from which it is determined how many points you'll need. The Zones are based on the distance flown to destination for example Zone 1 is 0-600 miles, Zone 2 is 601-1200 miles all the way up to Zone 10 which is 9,601-15,000 miles.

Previously you have needed the same amount of points to redeem a flight in the same zone regardless of whether you're flying Qantas or Jetstar. So a Zone 8 flight (7001-8400 miles) was 48,000 QFF points with both Qantas and Jetstar.

From today the QFF points requirement for Jetstar bookings will be reduced by 20%. For example a Zone 8 flight will remain 48,000 points with Qantas, but will now be only 38,400 points on Jetstar. All zones have been reduced by 20% when booking redemption with Jetstar.

This is great news for travellers looking to maximise their points value and surely is more reflective of the quality of flying experience. Jetstar delivers a more budget and no frills service and customers who use reward points to book with lesser service and inclusions will save points. When it comes to paying with money we look for the best deal and best value for money. Too often when it comes to using reward points we don't consider points as "real money" and we don't seek out the best available value.

One lesser known fact is that every Jetstar Classic Award booking includes a bagge allowance! If you want food, drinks and entertainment included on your flight you need to book Jetstar Classic Award in Business class.

The other major change to the program is the inclusion of the Jetstar Japan (that is flights with a 3K, VF or GK flight number) and Jetstar Asia networks in frequent flyer redemption. This adds over 20 destinations to the routes that can be selected. For example in Japan you can redeem points with Jetstar and fly to Osaka, Fukuoaka, Okinawa, Sapporo and Tokyo. In China you can redeem points to fly to Beijing, Guangzhou, Haikou, Hangzhou, Nanning and Shantou.

Other countries that are part of the Jetstar network are Cambodia, Fiji, Hong Kong Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, USA (Honolulu, Hawaii) and Vietnam.

If you currently hold a Qantas Frequent Flyer credit card and are actively earning points by spending on your card, then these changes will give you more choice and more value. Jetstar has some great holiday destinations in Asia and the Pacific that you may not previously have considered. Here are some examples of the QFF points required and the fees and taxes that are payable:

  • Melbourne to Hobart - 6,400 points (was 8,000) + $22 taxes, fees and charges
  • Sydney to Hamilton Island - 9,600 points (was 12,000) + $51 taxes, fees and charges
  • Adelaide to Perth - 14,400 points (was 18,000) + $40 taxes, fees and charges
  • Perth to Singapore - 20,000 points (was 25,000) + $126 taxes, fees and charges
  • Melbourne to Singapore - 24,000 points (was 30,000) + $195 taxes, fees and charges
  • Melbourne to Honolulu - 28,800 points (was 36,000) + $213 taxes, fees and charges
(The above are all based on a one way, econony fare including checked baggae allowance)

If you're looking at getting a new credit card with a rewards program, consider whether travel is your main incentive for earning points. Several studies have shown over the years that flights in rewards programs are often the best value method of redemption (of course check your particular program to ensure this works for you). If travel is what you're looking for when spending on your credit card, then it's worth looking at the possible travel destinations you'd choose to go to. If Jetstar flies that route, then this update to the Qantas frequent flyer program is excellent news and will deliver you substantially more value.

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