Spenders with the Qantas American Express Ultimate credit card will soon receive new airport lounge perks, wine club membership and extra frequent flyer points on that wine spend, plus a $450 travel credit each year: all from October 31 2017.
Top of the roster: two complimentary Qantas lounge invitations per year, valid in domestic Qantas Clubs and international Qantas business class lounges (Los Angeles excluded) when travelling with Qantas or Jetstar, or when booked on a Qantas or Jetstar codeshare flight.
That’s in addition to the existing perk of two visits to the American Express Sydney Airport Lounge each year – with those Qantas lounge passes being activated after a cardholder’s first eligible spend with Qantas each year (on or after October 31), such as when booking a Qantas flight or paying for Qantas Club membership.
Also on offer is a free Qantas epiQure Premium membership valued at $99/year, providing free delivery on all epiQure wine orders, access to food and wine events and triple points on epiQure purchases (being points credited directly by Qantas) over and above those awarded to non-Premium members.
That epiQure Premium membership also increases the number of frequent flyer points earned on spends directly with epiQure – boosting the standard earning rate of one Qantas Point per dollar spent for non-Premium members to three Qantas Points per dollar spent on the same.
Combining those points with the Qantas AMEX Ultimate card's regular earning rate (being 1.5 Qantas Points per dollar spent) delivers a total of 4.5 Qantas Points per dollar spent on wine and food events, uncapped.
For Qantas Platinum One frequent flyers, that’s increased even further to 5.5 Qantas Points per dollar, uncapped, with four points per dollar provided directly by epiQure atop the standard 1.5 points per dollar by paying for their order using a Qantas Ultimate AMEX.
One travel benefit removed, another takes its place
The card’s existing benefit of a complimentary return domestic economy flight each year is also being replaced with a yearly $450 travel credit, which cardholders can apply towards the cost of flights with Qantas on a single reservation when booking through American Express.
Unlike the current ‘free flight’ deal, there’s no restriction on where you can fly within the Qantas network, and it can be used towards both domestic and international bookings and flights in all travel classes, whether that’s first class, business class, premium economy or economy.
Naturally, being a fixed-value credit, travellers – particularly those flying east-west between Perth and Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane – will extract the most value by booking flights early and during sale periods, rather than at short notice.
All of these benefits will be available to both new and existing cardholders from October 31 2017, and Australian Business Traveller has confirmed with American Express that this also includes new Ultimate cardholders who apply both before and after this date.
Savvy spenders who don’t already have a Qantas AMEX Ultimate Card and wish to take advantage of these new features could apply now in advance of their introduction: while also scooping up a generous 55,000 bonus Qantas Points when spending $1,500 on the card within the first three months.
These bonus points are available to new American Express Australia customers: so if you happen to have an AMEX from the Commonwealth Bank, NAB or Westpac but don’t already have an AMEX direct from American Express, you’re all clear for that bonus bounty!