How to spend 100,000 frequent flyer points

How to spend 100,000 frequent flyer points

Okay, travellers. You've just applied for your new points credit card, spent a few thousand dollars to unlock the signup bonus points. Now you've got around 100,000 points at the ready in your Amex, Qantas, Velocity or other airline programs. If you’re anything like me, you jump at any chance to hop on a plane and go travel. Now you can literally do it!

We thought we’d try to distill all of the possibilities down to 10 amazing destinations high up most people's wanderlust wishlists all achievable using 100,000 points with the Qantas and Velocity programs. So let's make some of those travel dreams a little closer to reality. We've gone for a spread of economy and business class seats.

P.S. Let’s assume you will pay $$$ for the taxes and airline charges—it’s better than using points for that part of the booking.

1. Bali from 44,600 points

Young couple in Bali
Young couple enjoying the scenery in Bali.
  • Sydney (SYD) — Bali (DPS)
  • 1 adult | economy | return
  • 44,600 Velocity Frequent Flyer Points or 45,000 Qantas Frequent Flyer Points
  • Approximately $100 airline charges and taxes
  • Virgin Australia, Qantas and their codeshare partners

Indonesia is made up of more than 17,000 different islands. However, Bali shines out as the tourist mecca for Aussie tourists. The island thrives on tourism, and welcomes tourists to explore it all year round. Walking along the beaches in Bali, you might stumble upon a group of musicians or dancers, or maybe, you'll pass the unique, and beautiful Ulan Danu Temple, where it is likely the locals will make you feel very welcome. 

Apart from the obvious draw of the tropical weather and great surfing, there are a plethora of cultural experiences that are accessible on the island. Bali is a place to party. Whether you want to go dancing on the beach, or grab a surfboard and take on the surf breaks the island is known for, Bali offers the goods. For many Aussies, Bali has almost become a right of passage and we still flock there in droves.

A basic economy return ticket regularly costs between $700 - $1,000 flying with Virgin Australia, Qantas or codeshare partner airlines, Singapore Airlines and Garuda Indonesia. So by cashing in 45,000 frequent flyer points, plus $90 in airline fees, why not get away?

According to most flight searches, points booking availability is okay-ish for economy seats to find on both Qantas and Virgin flights, especially during busy holiday times. Trying to secure a premium economy or business seat is much harder. Booking for more than one person, harder again! Blame supply and demand.

2. Los Angeles from 89,000 points

Los Angeles sunset
The sunsets in LA are amazing
  • Sydney (SYD) — Los Angeles (LAX)
  • 1 adult | economy | return
  • 89,000 Velocity Points or 90,000 Qantas Frequent Flyer points
  • Approx airline taxes, fees and carrier charges: $150 on Virgin / $350 on Qantas
  • Virgin Australia and Qantas plus their codeshare partners

If you’ve ever dreamed of meeting a movie star, or checking out Venice Beach, getting across the Pacific to the home of glitz, glamour and beauty is not out of reach for savvy credit card shoppers. Los Angeles is a great place to start your time in the USA, it's your gateway to the West Coast and you can start tours that go along the coast or go inland to Las Vegas. 

A basic return ticket in economy class on a direct flight with Virgin, Qantas or codeshare partners Delta and American Airlines will routinely set you back between $800 - $1,500. So by cashing in 89,000 Velocity Points or 90,000 Qantas Points for an economy return ticket you'll get there for only $150 in airline charges and taxes. Most flight searches for points bookings show reasonable availability on Qantas. It's more restrictive on Virgin. 

For those of you who might like to do things a lot more luxuriously, Virgin Australia offers 'The Business'. It's a high-value cabin reward for travellers who want to travel in style. If luxury is what you are after, you might find cashing in 95,500 Velocity Frequent Flyer Points for that one-way business class trip from Sydney to Los Angeles is the best value way to spend your points. Availability in business class is much harder to find. Qantas is typically better with more points seats allocated for the route. Business class on Qantas or their codeshare partner American Airlines will set you back 96,000 Qantas Points or 80,000 AAdvantage Miles if you can get your hands on those.

3. New Delhi from 100,000 points

New Delhi taxi
A rare moment of moving traffic in New Delhi.
  • Sydney (SYD) — New Delhi (DEL)
  • 1 adult | economy | return
  • 100,000 Qantas Frequent Flyer Points
  • Approximately $300 airline charges and taxes
  • Qantas, Virgin Australia, and their codeshare partners

With a growing population of Indian expats in Australia and direct flights from Sydney and Melbourne to New Delhi with carriers such as Air India, this will become a more travelled to destination. For the rest of us, prepare for a sensory overload as you make your way to New Delhi. A city known for its vibrant culture. With a culture steeped in chaos, and colour, New Delhi will change any travellers perspective. You will be captivated by the history as you make your way through the treasure troves of the Bazaars, bustling street life or stroll through the historic Red Fort museum. 

Flying from Sydney to New Delhi on Air India regularly costs between $900 - $2000. Booking on points is not quite so straightforward because there is no direct way to earn points into Air India. But, for the savvy credit card holder, who has amassed those 100,000 bonus points with Qantas, you can cash in your points and pay $300 in additional charges for a return economy ticket from Sydney to New Dehli via Hong Kong. That's one example of how to get there.

4. Perth from 35,600 points

Perth skyline
The beautiful Perth CBD skyline.
  • Sydney (SYD) — Perth (PER)
  • 1 adult | economy | return
  • 35,600 Velocity Frequent Flyer Points or 36,000 Qantas Frequent Flyer Points
  • Approximately $50 airline charges and taxes
  • Virgin Australia, Qantas and their codeshare partners

Whether you want to take a "selfie" with a quokka at Rottnest Island, or maybe you'd prefer to take a stroll through the largest inner city park in the Southern Hemisphere, Kings Park, or to jump in the car and wander through the vines of the Swan Valley, the West Australian capital, Perth has so much to offer. For the water babies among us, maybe spending a day at Cottesloe beach, which is less than 15 minutes from Perth's CBD, where you will find some of the best snorkelling and beach swimming opportunities Australia has to offer, and after a day soaking up the sun, why not kick back and watch the sun set over the Indian Ocean?

A return economy ticket to the West Coast, flying on Qantas or Virgin Australia regularly costs between $500 - $1,200. However, for the savvy credit card spender, less than 40,000 frequent flyer points and $50 will get you a return ticket from Sydney to Perth, and points tickets are readily available on both Qantas and Virgin flights.

However, if you've saved up those points in the hope of scoring yourself a bit of an upgrade, you can spend 72,000 Qantas points on a return business class ticket on the refurbished A330, which has been redesigned to focus on practicality, comfort, privacy and style. Points seats in business are always harder to get a hold of, and these are certainly no exception, but if you are able to get your hands on these hot tickets, Qantas describes its new A330 Business seats as seats that are set to redefine the in-flight experience for customers.

5. Auckland from 35,600 points

Auckland Harbour skyline.
Auckland Harbour skyline.
  • Melbourne (MEL) — Auckland (AKL)
  • 1 adult | economy | return
  • 35,600 Velocity Frequent Flyer Points or 36,000 Qantas Frequent Flyer Points
  • Approximately $150 airline charges and taxes
  • Virgin Australia, Qantas and their codeshare partners

The gateway to Middle Earth, New Zealand's largest city makes for the perfect start point for an adventure through lands made famous by The Lord of The Rings movies. However, before you rush off on a quest of your own, take a moment to consider that Auckland has many offerings that make it a very worthwhile visit on its own. The city is a hub for multiculturalism, and has a great dining and nightlife scene, so if you're looking to enjoy yourself, and enjoy some great quality food, Auckland is hard to beat. 

For less than 40,000 frequent flyer points plus $150 in airline charges, you'll save yourself on average, between $600 - $1,100, so do yourself a favour, and say "Kia ora" while you visit our Kiwi Neighbours. 

Points flights are readily available to New Zealand through Qantas, and its codeshare partners, including Emirates. Points flights with Virgin are available, but can be a little more restricted.

However, you may opt to book yourself a trip across the pond for around 30,000 Jetstar points, or 520 Air New Zealand Airpoints if you are so inclined. 

If you're after some great value with a bit more class, Qantas have a deal with Emirates, where you can fly first class return to Auckland from Melbourne or Brisbane for 90,000 Qantas points. Being a first class ticket, these seats can cost between $3,000 - $5,000 and are only available occasionally, so getting points-only tickets are not an easy feat. 

For the discerning points user, looking for a comfortable yet affordable flight, you can grab yourself a return business class seat from Sydney to Auckland flying Virgin for 71,000, or Qantas for 72,000 plus $150 in taxes. 

6. Queenstown from 35,600 points

Queenstown mountains
The stunning snow-capped Southern Alps of Queenstown.
  • Sydney (SYD) — Queenstown (ZQN)
  • 1 adult | economy | return
  • 35,600 Velocity Frequent Flyer Points or 36,000 Qantas Frequent Flyer Points
  • Approximately $125 airline charges and taxes
  • Virgin Australia, Qantas and their codeshare partners

Nestled deep in Hobbit land and the principal gateway to New Zealand's winter snow fields for skiing and snowboarding. Queenstown is a delightful destination, just a 3 hour flight over the ditch from Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. Queenstown is an amazing place to escape and adventure. For art lovers, adventurers, and the curious of spirit, Queenstown will not let you down. 

For the adventure seekers among us, for just 36,000 points and $125 in additional charges, a trip to Queenstown might help to quench the Wanderlust.

Without points, these seats usually go for between $800 - $1,300.

Points seats are readily available on Qantas, Virgin and codeshare partner flights.

7. Hong Kong from 55,600 points

Yum Chow
Did someone order Yum Chow?
  • Sydney (SYD) — Hong Kong (HKG)
  • 1 adult | economy | return
  • 55,600 Velocity Frequent Flyer Points or 56,000 Qantas Frequent Flyer Points
  • Approximately $85 airline charges and taxes
  • Virgin Australia, Qantas and their codeshare partners

The New York City of the East, Hong Kong is Asia's answer to the city that never sleeps. Hong Kong really does have it all, from a vibrant cultural life, to an entertainment scene that is tough to beat. For those of you looking for something unique, yet not so off the beaten path, Hong Kong is home to the world's highest bar, the Ritz Carlton's, Ozone Bar, which sits 484 metres above sea level, on the 118th floor of the hotel, and it offers quite the view. Further to this, Hong Kong has a vibrant and exciting food scene, and offers what could arguably be the best dim sum in the world, but more than anything else, Hong Kong is a place to shop. There are very few places in the world that offer the shopping experiences available in Hong Kong.

But, for those of you not so impressed by the hustle and bustle of the city, there are plenty of escapes on offer in Hong Kong. You might like to go for a cruise on a Junk boat, or head just out of the city on a spectacular hike. No matter what tourist personality type you are, Hong Kong is a global city that will definitely impress.

Paying for a return economy airfare to Hong Kong costs between $1,000 - $1,700, so for less than 60,000 points plus taxes, booking a points flight to Hong Kong is a good option. Points seats are regularly available on Qantas, Virgin and codeshare partner flights.

If you want to add just a little more quality to your Hong Kong visit, Qantas offers an upgraded return flight, with return seats from Sydney to Hong Kong in premium economy for 90,000 points return, and as these seats are usually cost between $1,800- $2,000, paying with points could be just the ticket.

8. Singapore from 55,600 points

Gardens by the Bay, Singapore
Singapore's amazing Gardens by the Bay with the Marina Bay Sands Hotel providing the backdrop.
  • Sydney (SYD) — Singapore (SIN)
  • 1 adult | economy | return
  • 55,600 Velocity Frequent Flyer Points or 56,000 Qantas Frequent Flyer Points
  • Approximately $85 airline charges and taxes
  • Virgin Australia, Qantas and their codeshare partners

One of Credit Card Compare's favourite cities to visit, Singapore is a city state that has it all. For the artists and the architects among us, Singapore's architecture is second to none. The Marina Bay Sands, which dominates Singapore's entire Bayfront area offers a glimpse into the future of architecture, and opens endless possibilities as to what buildings can look like. But, Singapore has so much more to offer than just buildings. It is a city filled with adventure, and there are so many family friendly activities, including Universal Studios Singapore, so the kids will love it too.

For less than 60,000 frequent flyer points plus approx $85 in additional charges, when booking through both Qantas and Velocity, we recommend you consider a visit to Singapore especially when the weather cools in the Australian winter. Qantas do have more points seats available on flights to Singapore.

However, a trip to Singapore offers the luxury flyer one of the best upgrade offers we've seen through our research. In a partnership between Velocity and Singapore airlines, for just 95,000 Velocity points, you can book a seat in a Singapore Airlines first class suite one way from Melbourne or Perth.

If you consider for a moment that, without points, a flight in a first class suite to Singapore from Melbourne would set you back between $6,000 - $8,000. The value in this offer is hard to beat.

The Singapore Airlines first class suite is among the most luxurious and spacious ways to travel in the world. The individual cabin features sliding doors, window blinds, a chaise suite, leather armchairs, a dining table, and a separate bed, among a host of other features. This is a very special flight option, and while it is very tough to book using only points, it can be done, and if you have the opportunity to book this flight, it is worth considering.

9. Phuket from 48,000 points

Phuket beach
Blissful Phuket turning it on.
  • Sydney (SYD) — Phuket (HKT)
  • 1 adult | economy | return
  • 55,600 Velocity Frequent Flyer Points or 48,000 Qantas Frequent Flyer Points
  • Approximately $100 airline charges and taxes
  • Virgin Australia, Qantas and their codeshare partners

Few things scream tropical paradise louder than the coconuts, white sandy beaches and island-life attitude of Phuket. Home to sprawling hills, azure-blue seas and national parks; the culturally rich Thai destination offers nothing but relaxation. Take an unforgettable day trip to Phang Nga Bay, indulge in one (or 10) Thai massages and finally, ask the all important question: to the pool, or the sea?

The best value offer to book a return flight using points from Sydney to Phuket, is through Qantas. For less than 50,000 points plus approx $100 in airline charges, Qantas makes a trip to the Thai paradise very worth your while. Flying regularly, with a number of flights departing Sydney daily, Qantas and its codeshare partners have plenty of points seats available for purchase on this route.

And for those looking at upgrading their seats on this trip to paradise, Qantas offers a return flight in business class for 96,000 points plus taxes, so for those of you seeking a truly comfortable trip that will help you leave your daily stresses behind, booking a business class return trip on Qantas could be a top value way to spend your points.

A return economy ticket to Phuket usually costs between $1,100 - $1,400, while a return business class ticket flying with Qantas costs, on average, around $3,500.

10. Fiji from 35,600 points

Fiji beach
Fiji, a beautiful destination for couples and families alike.

  • Sydney (SYD) — Fiji (NAN)
  • 1 adult | economy | return
  • 35,600 Velocity Frequent Flyer Points or 36,000 Qantas Frequent Flyer Points
  • Approximately $125 airline charges and taxes
  • Virgin Australia, Qantas and their codeshare partners

A couple can go to the palm-lined beaches of Fiji on points, and if you book far enough ahead or leave it really really last minute, you might be lucky enough to score the Economy Reward Seats. Unreservedly hospitable in every respect, Fiji is a true jewel of the South Pacific. Rugged coral reefs with crystal clear lagoons adorn over 300 of the islands that form this oasis often dubbed as paradise. Spoil yourself with a trip to Natadola beach (one of the world’s top 10 beaches), experience heavenly singing at a local Fijian church or indulge in native dishes such as tender pork wrapped in banana leaves cooked in an underground lovo oven.

Qantas and Virgin, plus Qantas codeshare partners - Fiji Airways offer some extra points seats to Fiji. Try to book ahead of time, and if possible try to book in the off season, to ensure you score yourself the best seats possible.

If you get this right, you could book yourself a return economy seat to the island paradise for 35,600 Virgin frequent flyer points, or 36,000 Qantas points plus taxes. If you're looking to upgrade on your way to paradise, you can book a return trip with Virgin Australia for 71,000 points, or fly Qantas for 72,000 plus taxes.

Normally economy seats cost between $600 - $1,100, while business class seats go for anywhere between $1,100 - $2,200, so why not try to start your holiday as soon as you get onto the plane.

You can create your own itinerary. Have a play on our Points Explorer Map tool.