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How I used Qantas Points to see Antarctica (as nowhere else is open)

The Gerlache Strait separating the Palmer Archipelago from the Antarctic Peninsular off Anvers Island. The Antartic Peninsular is one of the fastest warming areas of the planet.

The opportunities to use Qantas Points on flights and travel have been few and far between recently. But I've discovered a way to use my points for an overseas holiday in a few months' time – travelling all the way to the Antarctic.

Okay, to be fair, there won't be any "arriving" at the destination. It's more of a "fly-by" situation.

And I won't be travelling at all – I've used my points to book a trip for my husband.

But here's the deal: I have racked up almost a million Qantas Points in the last couple of years. Which means I was able to jump on this opportunity to score a jaunt over Antarctica in January for an investment of 200,000 points.

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What does the Antarctica trip involve?

For this particular journey, there will be no landing or disembarking the plane. It's a single big round-trip which lasts around 15 hours, according to the trip organiser Chimu.

"Fly above the scenic shores of Antarctica where you will witness the absolute beauty of this enigmatic continent, witness massive glaciers, the formidable ice shelf, icebergs as large as apartment blocks and operating scientific research stations, all onboard a Qantas Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner," they promise.

"With 19 different possible routes, no 2 flights are the same, but with navigation flexibility, you are bound to be blessed with clear visibility to the absolute beauty below."

The trip starts at 140,000 points, but that includes a seat with a view over the wing. For an unobstructed view, which my husband David opted for, the trip costs 200,000 points.

For this investment, he also gets a couple of meals on board, drinks and a guaranteed window-seat view for half the trip. Mid-way through the flight, middle and window seats swap places so everyone gets a good view.

David is beyond thrilled to get the chance to board a plane very early one Sunday in January 2022 – even though he's not technically going anywhere!


How do I amass so many Qantas Points?

In a nutshell, I'm a Qantas Points hoarder. I love collecting points. I'm mad for it.

I'll search for credit cards that offer bonus points and change my account every 18 months (there's a doozie of an offer right now for an NAB Qantas credit card that gives a whopping 110,000 bonus points!).

I'll sign up for energy plans that offer Qantas Points on bills (provided the energy charges are on par with competitors, of course).

I even shop at Woolies so I can convert my Everyday Rewards points into Qantas bounty.

Where possible, I'll switch my husband over to credit cards that offer bonus points, too. I regularly transfer the points from his account to mine, so they're all in the same place.

It's really not as hard as you might think to collect a lot of points, and I don't spend too much extra money along the way. For instance, I might be willing to cop a $250 annual credit card fee if it means a big points haul. But I'll often try to get a good points card linked to my home loan, as the credit card fee is generally waived – learn how home loan packages with free credit cards work.

And that's how I ended up with 867,912 points in my account.

Well, now it's only 667,912. But I'll rebuild towards the magic million mark in no time – and by the time borders open to actual international travel, a big adventure hopefully beckons!

For more points inspo, see how I used my points-building habit a few years ago to score business class flights from Brisbane to LA.

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