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Why British Airways flyers may find the Qantas / Amex Membership Rewards tie-up useful

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We ran two articles last week on Qantas Frequent Flyer joining UK American Express Membership Rewards as a transfer partner.

This article is an overview of Qantas Frequent Flyer and Membership Rewards, and this article looks at whether you should use Qantas Frequent Flyer points for EL AL or Emirates flights.

There are three other quirks of the Qantas Frequent Flyer programme which you might find interesting.  Even if you’d never considered opening an account with them before, here are three reasons to think about it:

Qantas A380

Qantas Frequent Flyer lets children join without restrictions

British Airways Executive Club does NOT allow children to join, with one exception – if they are part of a Household Account.

For the majority of people, this isn’t a problem and they are happy to set up a Household Account.  This HfP article explains how British Airways Household Accounts work.

If you don’t want to be in a BA household account for some reason, you could open a Qantas Frequent Flyer account for your children and credit their BA and oneworld flights to that.

Qantas Frequent Flyer lets you fly on Emirates, Air France, KLM and EL AL and redeem the miles you earn on British Airways

If you have very occasional flights on Emirates, Air France, KLM or EL AL, you might not want to waste the miles by crediting to their own frequent flyer schemes.

You can credit Emirates, Air France, KLM and EL AL flights to a Qantas Frequent Flyer account and use the miles to redeem for British Airways flights.

This was always an option, of course, but it is now a more realistic one because you can easily top up your Qantas Frequent Flyer account using Amex Membership Rewards points to get to the total you need to redeem.

Qantas Frequent Flyer lets you transfer miles between members for FREE

This could be very interesting, although there are some restrictions.

British Airways has very hefty charges for transferring miles between accounts.  You can get around this by forming a Household Account to pool your miles but this is not always suitable.

Qantas allows FREE transfers between you and the following people:

  • Husband / wife
  • Parent / step-parent
  • Domestic partner
  • Child, including foster and stepchild
  • Brother / sister
  • Half brother / sister
  • Grandparent
  • Grandchild
  • Son / daughter-in-law
  • Brother / sister-in-law
  • Father / mother-in-law
  • Uncle / aunt
  • Nephew / niece
  • First cousin

You are not asked to prove your relationship when you make the transfer, although it does reserve the right to check.

What are the limits on Qantas Frequent Flyer points transfers?

The minimum transfer is 5,000 points per transfer.

You can make as many transfers as you like from your account, up to 600,000 points per year.

If you have a family member who is flying on a oneworld airline – and is likely to earn at least 5,000 miles – who you didn’t want in your BA Household Account, you could set them up with a Qantas Frequent Flyer account.  You could then transfer the points into YOUR Qantas account, top them up with Amex Membership Rewards points, and redeem for yourself.

This is also an option if you have any friends or family flying Emirates, KLM, Air France or EL AL who aren’t bothered about earning miles for their own use.

This is also a way of combining Membership Rewards points

It is not possible to transfers American Express Membership Rewards points to another person.  However, Qantas Frequent Flyer offers you a way of combining Membership Rewards pots for flight redemptions.

This is also an option for combining Membership Rewards points.  You could get someone else to move their American Express points into a Qantas account in their name and then move them across to your Qantas account.  You can combine them with your own Qantas balance, or top it up using your own Amex points, and then do a flight redemption.

You can learn more about points transfers – and initiate one – on this page of the Qantas website.


None of the ideas on this page are game changers.  However, they do show that the introduction of Qantas Frequent Flyer to Membership Rewards may have more upside than you intially thought.

Want to earn more points from credit cards? – December 2023 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit card, here are our top recommendations based on the current sign-up bonuses.

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the best of the other deals currently available.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive 30,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 30,000 Avios) with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold. You receive 25,000 points if you spend £3,000 in three months and a further 5,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive a huge 100,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 100,000 Avios) with The Platinum Card. You receive 75,000 points if you spend £10,000 in six months and a further 25,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

Crazy 100,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY) and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 bonus points and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review

Earning miles and points from small business cards

If you are a sole trader or run a small company, you may also want to check out these offers:

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review

For a non-American Express option, we also recommend the Barclaycard Select Cashback card for sole traders and small businesses. It is FREE and you receive 1% cashback on your spending.

Barclaycard Select Cashback credit card

1% cashback and no annual fee Read our full review

Comments (11)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Andrew says:

    Qantas are saying they won’t return to international flying until mid-2021, so we can assume their lounge at LHR will remain shut.

    • Harry T says:

      Perhaps it will be open to other Oneworld frequent fliers and business class passengers? I assume BA/AA would pay for their pax to have access if they restart T3 flights.

      • Genghis says:

        BA/AA pay for their pax to have access anyway, don’t they?
        Doesn’t the operating carrier pay fees to the first lounge the pax enters?

        • Nick says:

          Operating carrier pays, but it’s per entry, not first entry! I love how this story surfaces every now and again… as if airlines with notoriously poor IT would ever be able to make that work… particularly when BA uses Amadeus and AA uses Sabre, which barely talk to each other at the best of times!

          I once paid BA £96 for a return to LUX (including tax) but they had to pay $220 for my T3 lounge entries that day. I LOLed at the time and even now when I think back.

          The other thing people don’t realise is that BA is a net winner at T3 – believe it or not, they make more money from other airlines paying them for access to the BA lounge than they have to pay for their customers to use other lounges. FT and HfP make up a very small proportion of their overall customer base.

          • flyforfun says:

            Just curious, how many lounges did you enter, how much was each one and how did you know the cost?

            I can’t understand lounge fees like No1, Premium Plaza etc charging circa £30 to £50 an entry when you could get it via a pass system for £15 to £20. Yes I appreciate it may have a joining fee or you need to buy a bundle of 10 say, but unless you only travel once or twice a year, these passes can save you a lot – if you don’t have lounge access as part of your ticket of course!

          • Andrew says:

            I paid even less, about £50 return, as I was in Euro Traveller but accessed the lounges with my Gold card – having a table service four course meal with LP champagne in the CX First lounge, stocking up on take away drinks and snacks for the flight from the AA First lounge, and about 6 flat white coffees from QF. Only thing BA First lounge is good for is magazines (and in fact all the other lounges hardly offer any at all). Ah those were the days – would have appreciated it even more if I had known it would be the last time for a few years.

      • ChrisC says:

        BA and AA won’t be back in T3 for a while anyway so their lounges will still be closed.

        • Andrew says:

          As will QF lounges if they aren’t flying to London on that basis. So it will just be CX lounges open – if and when the terminal opens.

      • marcw says:

        T3 is closed… and it doesn’t look like it will open in this year. T3 is a US focused terminal… so forget about it opening this year. Maybe December.

        • guesswho2000 says:

          US focused? Sure carriers fly to the US from T3, but I wouldn’t say it’s US focused, since EK, CX, AY, QF all fly solely to their own countries from there (and others I guess).

  • harry hv says:

    MR points to Qantas? You’d have to be getting double miles or something, Qantas’ gouging burn rates are about twice the number of miles as, say, AA for the exact same award.

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