Are Qantas Classic Plus Rewards Worth It?

Are Qantas Classic Plus Rewards worth it? Qantas promises more points seats on flights like on their new A220

Qantas recently announced the largest change to their frequent flyer program for a long time. The launch of Classic Plus Rewards promises greater availability of reward seats than traditional Classic Rewards, while providing more value than Any Seat Rewards. While the headlines sound great, is it all it’s cracked up to be? Let’s see what this new change is all about and if Qantas Classic Plus Rewards are worth it.

Table of Contents

How do you find Classic Plus Rewards?

The first thing to note is the new Classic Plus Rewards are starting from 1st July 2024. The search process works much the same as Classic Rewards. The new booking engine has been slightly modified to accommodate the change which has some drawbacks.

  1. Log-in to your Qantas Frequent Flyer Account
  2. Search your flight of choice but ensure the “Rewards” toggle is selected.
  3. Your search will now contain both Classic and Classic Plus Rewards which can be differentiated by red and blue ribbons respectively.

How are Classic Plus Rewards Priced?

Classic Plus Rewards are priced according to the fare at the time. An economy flight will cost just over 1c per point while redemptions in other classes (premium economy and above) will cost 1.5c per point. There are now some important considerations for points redemptions and how they are priced:

  • Flights will be priced based on demand. You will pay more points for flights in the high season. Conversely you could get flights cheaper than the classic rewards during a sale period. In practice, during a recent
  • Return flights will be cheaper to book than one-way. One of the biggest advantages of reward flights for me was the flexibility of booking one-way tickets with different airlines to make use of points in different airlines. With Classic Plus Rewards being based on the actual fare price, this benefit disappears.
  • The new scheme only applies to Qantas flights. Classic Rewards will continue as they are with partner redemptions as well as Jetstar flights. This also means, in the case of mixed itineraries, you can’t book with Classic Plus unless it’s in two separate bookings.

The advantages of Classic Plus Rewards

Qantas has promised increased reward seat availability with Classic Plus Rewards and at first glance, looking through the available seats this seems to be true. At the same time, Qantas has not reduced Classic Reward availability and so, theoretically there is no disadvantage here. It gives those who previously used Classic Rewards the same ability to use them and those who can rack up frequent flyer miles quickly, a way to use their points for the bookings they want.

As Classic Plus Rewards are priced based on the fare, they could be cheaper than Classic Rewards. During the recent sale on flights to Asia, I managed to find a Classic Plus seat that was 600 points cheaper than a Classic Reward. This is just one occasion, but depending on the sale there could be times when you get your money’s worth. I would say, at this point if it isn’t worth using the points somewhere else to gain a little bit more value from them.

The disadvantages of Classic Plus Rewards

The disadvantages are obvious to anyone who has had a look for reward seats with Qantas. In the majority of cases, they cost a lot more. This is especially true in Premium Economy and above. The value proposition is made worse once the cost goes up to 1.5c per point for these classes. Compared to Qantas’ own Classic Rewards and that of other frequent flyer programs, it simply isn’t worth it. Often you will find cases where economy seats will be more expensive than an available business class Classic Reward.

You also lose some of the flexibility of points. You lose the advantage of claiming cheap point seats during peak season if you book in advance. You also lose the flexibility of making one-way bookings at significantly lower costs than if you were to pay with cash. This effectively binds you to a single reward program for your points redemptions during that trip. It will no longer be cost effective to use Qantas points for one leg and Krisflyer for the return.

Lastly, the new Classic Plus Rewards make it harder to find Classic Rewards. The booking engine is crowded and there is no way to filter results to find only Classic Rewards. There is a colour differentiation between the two awards, but it makes the tedious task of finding the flight you’re looking for that much more difficult.  A tip which has worked for me is to use the “multi-city” tool, even for one-way and return flights as this doesn’t yet show Classic Plus Rewards.

Classic Plus Rewards vs Points Plus Pay

Previously Qantas has had other options to use your points when there weren’t Classic Rewards. These still exist in the form of Points Plus Pay where you can use a portion of your points to pay for any seat available on a Qantas flight. The value here is much less coming in at around 0.5c per point. I would go as far as to suggest you should avoid this route completely and save your points for another occasion where Classic Reward seats are available. For example, 25,000 points will knock off around $150 from the price of your ticket, leaving you to pay the difference. For the same number of points you can get a flight from Sydney to Singapore which would easily set you back $450 or more.

Should you use Classic Plus Rewards?

For those who have read my site before and are looking for the best value out of your points, the answer is no. The new points system is basically worse in every way to Classic Rewards. For the time being, Classic Rewards are still there and there are still sweet spots to redeem, but the new set up blurs the lines. It feels like a way to open the door to the demand-based rewards system of US and European airlines and presents worse value to loyal customers. I would not be surprised if Classic Rewards are slowly phased out and replaced with Classic Plus Rewards.

The one crowd of people who might benefit from Classic Plus Rewards are people who rack up points through frequent business travel and spending. For this crowd, points are gained so quickly, the cost is irrelevant. This gives those large points earners a way to use their points for more flights than before, which is a good thing. For the rest of us looking to get value, Classic Rewards still have their highlights, and the partner rewards are worth looking into. Let’s hope these benefits don’t whittle away too much over time.

You might also enjoy:

how much are Amex points worth? cards give you access to lounges like the centurion lounge pictured here

How Much Are Amex Points Worth In Australia

westpac altitude reward points. A girl holding a credit card in the air

Westpac Altitude Reward Points: How To Get The Most Value

Kimpton hotel, one of the hotels you could redeem for less if you use our guide on how to buy IHG points

How To Buy IHG Points To Save Money On Hotels

How To Book Turkish Airlines With Krisflyer Miles

Scroll to Top