What is the best use of 100,000 Qantas points when flying to Europe in 2023?

Hey everyone,

I’m very new to all this so apologies if the terminology isn’t correct.

I’m planning to go overseas with my partner for close to a year starting January next year and decided I should take advantage of some credit card offers and now have 100k Qantas points. Now given the state of the market at the moment I’m struggling to see how I can best use these points. I read that using the points + pay is a bad idea but realistically it’s the only way I will be able to get use of these points at around 55k points + $292 per person flying Sydney to London. If I were to pay with just points for this it would be 232k points each which we won’t have.

Given we are going to be buying a van there we don’t really have the option to use these points on accommodation or car rentals. So what I was wondering if anyone is able to provide me some more insight on how we can best use these points in a general sense, I’m definitely open to holding onto these points for the flights home and any air travel we do in Europe as I plan on churning through another card and will have 200k points by the end of the year (pending I don’t spend them). That said I can’t see us doing more than 1-2 flights when we are there as we will have the van.

I like the initial idea of doing points plus pay as we were going to buy the flights anyway but perhaps there is a better idea?

You are confusing ‘Points plus Pay’ with a reward ticket + taxes.
In general, there are 2 ways to use your points for a flight - booking a reward seat (55K points to London in economy) where you will also be charged taxes and carrier charges (the $292). This is the cheapest option but there are only a small number of reward seats released on each flight - generally once they’re gone, they’re gone. There is no way to avoid the taxes and charges, although they do vary with airline and class of travel. Reward seats are denoted by the little medal/ribbon logo.
The second way is to use your points to ‘purchase’ a seat when there are no reward seats available - the cash value of the fare is converted to points and you will pay a lot more points (this would be the 232K points option in your example). In this case I’m pretty sure you can pay the whole fare (including taxes) with points. For these you can also split the payment to be part points/part cash, but it will cost you much more in both cash and points, than the reward seat option (eg 100K points plus $600 cash - I’m just making up these numbers up but they would probably be close to the mark). This is called ‘Points Plus Pay’. Using points to purchase a seat (either outright, or with points plus pay) is the most expensive way to use your points and should be avoided. You really want to book a reward seat if you can, which should be much easier in economy than business.
I generally wouldn’t bother using points for flights in Europe as you can usually get relatively cheap flights anyway - a flight might cost $100 outright or 20,000 points plus $70 taxes so it’s cheapest just to buy the flight with cash…unless you want to go down the OneWorld Award option (aka Round the World) but this might be a bit too complex if you’re just starting out in the points game.
Good Luck.

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