- 60,000 Qantas Points sign-up bonus
- Up to 2 Qantas Points per dollar earning rate, uncapped earning
- Free Qantas airport lounge passes, travel insurance
Qantas is playing to its strengths of frequent flyer points and travel perks with airline’s new own-branded Qantas Premier Mastercard.
Issued under a 'white label' arrangement with US financial services giant Citi and launched today the new Qantas Money umbrella – which also incorporates the Qantas Cash prepaid card – the platinum-grade credit card kicks off with a sign-up bonus of 60,00 frequent flyer points, which will land in your account after spending $3,000 in the first 90 days.
Cardholders will earn between 0.5 and 2 Qantas Points per dollar based on how and where they use the card:
- 1 point per dollar on domestic spending up to and including $10,000 each statement period
- 0.5 points per dollar spent above $10,000 each statement period (30 days)
- 1.5 points per A$1 on international spending (international transaction fees will apply)
- 1 additional point per $1 spent with Qantas (however, credit card fees won’t be waived when using the card to book Qantas flights)
No points will be earned for payments to government agencies.
An ‘uncapped earning’ scenario kicks in for cardholders who spend more than $10,000 across each 30-day statement period, although the earning rate will drop to 0.5 points per dollar.
The Qantas Premier card will come with a $149 annual fee for the first year and $299 each subsequent year, with a fee of $50 per additional cardholder.
Each cardholder will receive two lounge passes per year to domestic Qantas Club lounges and international Qantas Business lounges (fyi: these are digital passes, which can't be flogged off on eBay or Gumtree).
A discount of up to 20% will apply on “selected companion domestic fares” once a year, with up to eight other passengers able to travel on the same cut-rate booking.
There will also be six months interest-free on the first eligible Qantas purchase such as a flight booking and 0% balance transfers for the first 15 months.
The Qantas Premier Card also offers travel insurance which is activated after using the card to pay more than $500 on any international flight or paying 100% of the fare on a domestic flight. Bookings made with Qantas Points automatically activate the travel insurance,.
Android Pay, Samsung Pay to come
Card issuer Citi tells Australian Business Traveller that support for the Android Pay and Samsung Pay mobile will be added during a future update to the program, although there are currently no plans to extend this to Apple Pay.
The Qantas Premier Card’s smartchip will contain each user’s frequent flyer number but the card won't be usable for tap-and-go checkin similar to the Qantas Cash card.
That said, Qantas Loyalty CEO Lesley Grant admitted to Australian Business Traveller that a single card for frequent flyer membership, prepaid travel money and credit could exist down the track.
Indeed, Qantas is keeping plenty of options open beyond today’s launch of the credit card, with promotional possibilities ranging from bonus point periods on purchasing Qantas services to a side serve of status credits when booking a Qantas ticket.
“I’m not ruling anything out,” a confident Grant told Australian Business Traveller.
Qantas will have visibility of all transactions made using the card, from your morning coffee to your per-basket spend at the supermarket – data which will no doubt be fed into the airline’s analysis engine and used to fine-tune offers and promotions down the track.
Qantas seeks a bigger slice of a growing pie
The Qantas Premier Card’s launch comes as the Reserve Bank caps 'interchange fees' from July, which is likely to see banks buying fewer frequent flyer points from the airlines to issue through their own credit cards.
It's estimated that some 35% of credit card spending in Australia is done through cards issued by Qantas partners such as banks, but issuing its own card will let Qantas tap into a much larger slice of the financial services market.
For further details on the Qantas Premier credit card, read our AusBT review.