What is the best way to fly business class from Sydney to China with points?

Hi all, first post :slight_smile:

I would like to book 2 Business one way tickets to China ~June. I have:

  • ~ 180k Qantas points
  • ~ 300k Amex points (transferrable to Qantas, Asia Miles, etc.)
  • a $450 Qantas flight credit from Amex
  • a $450 generic travel credit from Amex.

I’ve been trying to figure out what the best way to book this travel using as much of the things listed above as possible.

The desired flight is Cathay Pacific that goes Sydney → Hong Kong → China.

So far I have come up with a few options:

  1. Book with Amex on a Premium Economy with Cathay Pacific, transfer ~140k Asia Miles points and upgrade to Business (should be ~70k per seat from Premium Economy → Business). This will be ~$3.9k + 280k Amex points.
  2. Book with Qantas on “Economy Classic Reward” (which oddly is on Premium Economy on the leg from Sydney → Hong Kong) for ~146k QFF points + ~$550. Question: Would I then be able to go to Cathay Pacific and upgrade this flight using Asia Miles to Business or am I dreaming?

Obviously option 2 is much more desirable if I can actually upgrade to Business. The Qantas website doesn’t offer any Business reward redemptions.

Any thoughts and suggestions would be much appreciated.


Hi @schteeb

Thanks for posting!

First things first: make sure you’re on top of all the entry requirements. If you were flying to China today, you’d be required to go into a quarantine facility for 14 or 21 days at your own expense. Things might be different in June, of course, or not.

Qantas and AmEx points don’t expire, but your AmEx travel credits do expire. So I can see why you want to use your AmEx credits. However, there’s only one sure-fire way to ensure you travel in Business class, and that’s to book Business class in the first place, using either points or money. If you book a flight in Premium Economy, understand that you may well not be able to upgrade to Business – upgrades are most certainly not assured. Expect to fly in Premium Economy, and if you get upgraded, treat it as a pleasant surprise.

It will cost 65,000 Asia Miles, or 104,500 Qantas points, per person to book a one-way Business class flight (not an upgrade) from Sydney to Beijing.

You can’t “mix & match” reward bookings. So if you book a Classic Flight Reward with Qantas, you won’t be able to use Asia Miles to upgrade.

The simplest solution seems to me to transfer 260,000 AmEx points to Asia Miles, giving you 130,000 Asia Miles to book two Business Class reward seats @ 65,000 each. Then use your AmEx credits for something else and save your Qantas points for later.

I hope this helps!

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Hey mate thanks for replying.

It’s for my parents who don’t really need to rush to anything so 21 days quarantine isn’t a huge problem.

I agree the Asia Miles Business redemption would be the best, but unfortunately “Flight is fully booked” for every single date I have looked into (from ~Feb 2022 to ~Jan 2023).

Another problem I might come into is if I used Asia Miles for some stuff and the flight gets cancelled, I don’t really want any Asia Miles to sit on my account. From the conversation I had on the phone with Cathay Pacific, they said it’s highly possible that the flight I’m looking at will be cancelled :frowning:

I might use my Qantas points to redeem for a couple of seats on Premium Economy. Getting there is more important than getting there on fold-flat beds. This way if it gets cancelled I will get Qantas points refunded which I have much more use than Asia Miles.

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Try JAL or BA Website ….on both sites u can create a free ff account. Then look for award tickets. I found qantas sometimes reporting flights did not exist but JAL was accurate.
My trip in Dec …I booked Syd to Asia in Biz using QF points and the return leg in cathay miles as both were not reflecting flights correctly. I’m QF platinum but did not have to call QF. I have cathay miles expiring in Sep and the way they are being screwed by the CCP ….I don’t think they will last long ….or be another virgin Australia case. I still have 115k Asia miles to spend.