Using Alaska Airlines Miles For Cheaper Qantas Redemptions

by Zac George
a plane flying in the sky

For a long time now it’s been known that sadly Qantas does not have the most valuable frequent flyer program. This isn’t the best for frequent flyers but now a lot of airlines are following and going Revenue based. However there are ways to get cheaper Qantas redemptions.

First of all lets look at the 3 award charts for the Qantas program.

1st chart:

Screenshot 2016-07-15 13.12.51

This chart is for Qantas Classic Rewards (Worldwide). This is for Qantas, Airnorth, Fiji Airways, Air Vanuatu, American Airlines, Emirates, Jetstar and Qantaslink.

2nd Chart:

Screenshot 2016-07-15 13.13.41

The second chart is for Qantas partner rewards (Worldwide) This is for Airberlin, Aer Lingus, Air Niugini, Alaska Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, China Eastern, Dragonair, El Al, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, Jet Airways, Malaysia Airlines, Qatar Airways, Royal Jordanian, S7 Airlines, SriLankan Airlines and LATAM.

3rd chart:

Screenshot 2016-07-15 13.14.05

The third chart is for Oneworld awards (Roundtrip) This applies to all Oneworld airlines.

Screenshot 2016-07-15 13.36.16

As you can see from the charts shown, these awards require a large amounts of miles. Every frequent flyer program is valued differently so some will have a lot more value than others. However, there are some programs that aren’t in an alliance but hold significant value for their partners and one of them is Alaska miles.

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

First of all, lets look at their partner airlines,

a group of cards with images of buildings and boats

a group of cards with images



As you can see by the partner list 6 airlines are in Oneworld alliance, quite impressive for an airline that doesn’t belong to an alliance!

Apart from the range of partners there also some fantastic features in the Alaska program.

  • You can buy miles

This may not be a big thing for other countries, but for Australian’s this is a fantastic way to get miles quickly and easily. But that’s not all, there is no limit to the amount you can buy! Unlike AAdvantage which limits you to 150,000 per calendar year, there is no limit to how many Alaskan miles you can purchase. You buy miles in lots of 60,000 then if you choose to purchase as many lots as you want.

a screenshot of a website

  • You can have a free stopover

Yes, this is awesome, and this isn’t just for roundtrip tickets one-way awards also get a stopover.

Qantas Redemptions

Now let’s talk about how to use these miles for Qantas redemptions domestically and internationally.

The chart below is for redemptions within Australia. I love the routeing rules of the program because Sydney to Perth in business class is 20k miles, Brisbane to Sydney is also 20k miles in business. This is where the program is amazing. The same amount of miles for a longer flight.

Qantas Domestic Chart

Qantas Domestic Chart

Availability for all U.S and Canada flights in business and first is extremely limited so if you come across it take it immediately.

a screenshot of a computer

Qantas Hawaii Chart

a screenshot of a computer

Qantas USA Chart

Qantas availability is very unpredictable and can be very difficult to get for some routes. Short-haul domestic is very easy to pick up, medium haul like Perth is moderate but can be difficult at peak times, Hawaii is incredibly difficult and the U.S and Canada is also difficult in First and Business, however, premium economy is quite easy to pick up.

Another strange fact about Qantas is their Oneworld partners often release more Qantas availability then Qantas themselves.


If you’re wanting cheaper Qantas business redemptions Alaskan miles is a great alternative. Over the next few days, I will also cover other programs that can be used.







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Ben July 25, 2016 - 8:53 am

Hey Zac do you actually buy miles? How does a 16 year old blogger afford that?! Aren’t you still at school?

jclasstravel July 25, 2016 - 9:10 am

Ben – I do indeed buy miles. If I am planning a family trip my parents are happy to help pay. I work full time at my parents business and my booking service. For my solo travel I save as much as I can which is how I am able to afford it.

Tutorial – Use AAdvantage Miles For Qantas Redemptions | Points From The Pacific November 17, 2016 - 12:04 pm

[…] big difference between using Alaska miles and AAdvantage miles is that with AAdvantage you can redeem points for any Qantas flight, unlike […]

Tutorial – Use AAdvantage Miles For Cheaper Qantas Redemptions | Points From The Pacific November 17, 2016 - 12:08 pm

[…] big difference between using Alaska miles and AAdvantage miles is that with AAdvantage you can redeem points for any Qantas flight, unlike […]

Wizard April 17, 2017 - 4:36 pm

I have been buying AS (Alaskan Airlines) miles for about 5 years now to get from OZ to HKG and also onwards to Europe and USA in J, use BA and JL to find flights before calling. Using miles s usually about one third of retail J fares.

Gave up on QF they are just so stingy to US with so few J seats released, prefer to go long way around on CX and love HKG anyway and can miss that awful LAX and fly direct to many cities like BOS, SFO, YVR, JKF, ORD etc., not had a problem finding 2 x J so far. AS also offer a stopover too, so for us HKG is it. They also have JL now so that opens up a few doors (seats) too.

Be a good idea to publish price of AS points (inc 7% tax) and days approx. exchange rate USD/AUD for us Aussies when deals are on about 4 times a year, the recent offer ended 6th April was 40% extra gratis, need to be a member (free to join) for 21 days before buying from memory. If buying in 4 lots some get knocked back on last one, so use a different CC on last one to complete.

Like your new site, well done and keep up the good work to date.

Kevin December 21, 2017 - 12:42 am

Wizard, I’m completely new to using AS miles and when working on the AS website, I can find virtually no availability in trying to find award flights from Australia (Sydney) other than to the US – I’m particularly interested that you’ve been using these miles to get to Asia and then Europe, which is what I’m interesting in doing. There must be something I’m not understanding in trying to use AS miles to book this kind of trip??

Ann Davis May 27, 2017 - 4:51 pm

Hi Zac. My question relates to buying points on Alaskan airlines – can you buy points without having any other type of activity on that membership.

Ann May 27, 2017 - 5:10 pm

Hi Zac is it possible to buy points on Alaskan Airways if you have not had any other type of activity on that membership.


Zac George May 28, 2017 - 12:07 am

Hi Ann – sure can, your account first has to be 10 days old and after that, you can buy as many as you want. It’s worth noting that they will cap you at 4 transactions per card, so after 4 just switch cards and it will work as normal. Thanks for reading 🙂

Nick May 29, 2017 - 1:20 pm

Lots of the images on this page don’t show. Would be great if you could fix them, Zac.

Zac George May 29, 2017 - 2:08 pm

Thanks Nick, post has been updated with the new photos. Thank you for letting me know 🙂

Darren May 29, 2017 - 1:28 pm

Hi Zac,

Great work and love reading your articles! Can i buy buy points on Alaskan Airways and use those points to fly Emirates (Return) to Dublin? How many points would i need for a return flight on Emirates (Premium Economy – three of us flying, 2 x adults, 1 x child). Thanks for your help! Darren

Zac George May 29, 2017 - 1:37 pm

Hi Darren, thank you very much. You can only do to or from the United States with Alaska points for Emirates. So you could do Anywhere in the US to Dublin and back but no Australia. Emirates also don’t ‘yet’ have Premium Economy but that should change soon. Thank you for reading 🙂

Elise May 29, 2017 - 1:58 pm

Hi Zac, I’m completely new to ‘points’ and trying to get upgrades or flight using points but I would love to know more and get better at the whole process. I have already bought a couple of tickets for Melb-LA with Qantas later this year. Am I able to buy points with Alaskan Air and try to get an upgrade with Qantas? Also are there any good credit cards for earning points with Qantas to try to bulk up my points? Thanks, great information and blog!!

Zac George May 29, 2017 - 2:05 pm

Hi Elise, thank you for reading. Sadly for Qantas flight, the only points you can use to upgrade are Qantas points. As for credit cards, I can recommend the American Express Qantas Ultimate card. With the RBA cuts, Amex cards are the best in the market.

CarloG May 30, 2017 - 9:34 pm

Love this site…great learnings for me …. i am very interested that you don’t talk about status with airlines like getting platinum or Platinum One with Qantas … love to know your thoughts as flying with FF points gets you no status credits ….

Pauline May 31, 2017 - 1:23 pm

Hi Zac I think you are fantastic! As pensioners we can now afford to go Las Vegas in style! I have joined Alaska Airlines as well as being Qantas FF. So what is the step by step process from Sydney to Vegas Return trip and how do I get the redemptions? Keep up the amazing insight and info coming!

Peter June 1, 2017 - 11:02 am

Hi Zac, great article and sensational information. Can I ask if it is possible for me to buy Alaska airlines points and then use then for business class redemption between Melbourne and Hong Kong or Bangkok?

Alternatively am I better to use my membership with CX or TG with those points?

Appreciate your feedback, and keep up the good work.

Zac George June 1, 2017 - 11:05 am

Hi Peter – Thank you very much for your kind comments. you’re able to use Alaska points for Cathay flights between Australia and Hong Kong. For QF flights, you’re better off using CX points.

Peter June 1, 2017 - 11:03 am

Apologies, initial request was regarding QF business flights, or whether it’s better to use CX or TG.

Pauline June 6, 2017 - 7:25 pm

Hi Zac, if I have on my FF account the MilagePlan Number will i get both FF points as well as miles points for Alaskan Airlines if I purchase return trip Sydney to Las Vegas?

Zac George June 6, 2017 - 7:49 pm

Hi Pauline, if you’re using points you won’t get points for miles. If you spend on a Qantas or American flight and put your number on the booking, you’ll be able to earn points and miles.

Keith June 26, 2017 - 8:17 am

Keep in mind the fees from AS are virtually nothing compared to Qantas awards too.

Emma August 9, 2018 - 1:35 pm

Hi Zac, thanks so much for sharing your journey! I have a trip from Melbourne to London trip coming up and I want to go business class return on points. I have 135K QFF points. I need 280K QFF points for the return flight on Cathay (no Qantas flights avail). I can buy the additional 155K points for 3.5KAUD through Qantas. I’m wondering if there is a better/cheaper way to get the points. Also, if I end up paying cash for this trip on Cathay, would I be better off getting the QFF points or the Alaska points?

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