What's the best way to use Qantas points for business class seats from Melbourne to Tokyo?

Plan: Two business class return tickets Melbourne to Tokyo with Qantas.

Best option:

  1. Buy two economy tickets for cash and upgrade using points?
  2. Buy more points and buy both on points?
  3. Use points for one and buy the other using cash?

In my personal opinion.

  1. Upgrades are great value but you are leaving it up to chances and you are competing with the hundreds/thousands of Plat/Gold status members. We “fondly” call it the upgrade lottery for lowly members. You also generally need to purchase a more expensive fare to be eligible for an upgrade. Coupled with the low chances, I would prefer not to go down this path.

  2. You would have to work out the costs of buying points versus paying for business class outright. There are often sales fare for business class that you can look out for. A few years ago when I just started point hacking, I purchased AA miles to fly Qantas business class. Worked out well for my purpose at that time. Would be much better if I had the points required but can’t really complain as it was a personal decision to fly business.

  3. This would certainly work well if you could find sale fares for the paying passenger. Finding one business class reward seat is often easier than 2 or more.

Ultimately, be flexible on the dates and cities you are flying out of when finding reward seats. Try combination of cities (e.g. MEL-TYO-SYD). Book early where possible 10-12 mths in advance.


As @w.hiew said, if you want guaranteed seats in Busienss Class, you should consider option 2 and 3 only. Depending on prices on one-way fares, you could try and buy the daytime flight to Tokyo in economy and then use your points back for business. This is of course assuming you won’t pay signficantly more to book it this way. I would almost never suggest you to buy points as Qantas charges an obscene amount for them. If you are just a few thousand points short, it may makes sense, but otherwise its better to just wait it out or find another way.