Is Qantas planning a Premier Black credit card?

Is Qantas planning a Premier Black credit card?

Qantas looks set to to release a black edition of its Premier credit card following up the successful 2017 launch of the Premier platinum card.

The airline has conducted a series of invitation-only workshops to sound out current Qantas Premier platinum cardholders on the appeal of a more exclusive Qantas Premier black card aimed at high-spending high flyers.

According to an Australian Business Traveller reader who attended one of the closed-door sessions, the focus group polled cardholders on everything from additional perks which a Qantas Premier black card should deliver through to its appearance and how the card itself could convey a 'luxury feel'.

Approached for comment by Australian Business Traveller, a spokesperson for Qantas said the airline was "always testing concepts and ideas with our customers" but had no further information to share "at this stage."

Qantas' entry into the direct credit card space opened up a rich seam in the financial services market, where the airline estimates that over one-third of all credit card spending in Australia – which totalled $303 billion in 2016 – is already done on a Qantas-branded credit card.

Trumping the Qantas Premier platinum card with a Qantas Premier black card would seek to deliver an ever greater share of those profits into the coffers of the Qantas Loyalty group, and cracking the 'black formula' will be central to Qantas' uber-platinum play.

Black cards – which are already issued by major banks and American Express – typically partner higher annual fees with a higher earn rate of frequent flyer points per dollar, more generous access to airport lounges, free hotel room upgrades and in some cases complimentary airport limousine transfers.

We've got no doubt that Australian Business Traveller readers would be in Qantas' crosshairs for its Premier black card – this is, after all, a premium audience of high-earning and high-spending high flyers..

So it begs the question: what would you want to see from a Qantas Premier black card, compared to the current Qantas Premier platinum card and other black cards on the market?

David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.
 

43 comments

  • mviy

    mviy

    25 Jun, 2018 08:29 am

    Here's my wishlist:

    A sign up bonus of over 100k points
    Regular points earn above 1 point per dollar uncapped
    No annual fee/heavily reduced annual fee for the first year
    No join fee for QANTAS Club
    4 QANTAS Club lounge invitations
    Members who gave thanks

    Helen Page, Eagles94

  • mviy

    mviy

    25 Jun, 2018 08:47 am

    I forgot the key thing I'd like which is bonus status credits perhaps similar to what was offered on the ANZ Black a while back where you'd get 75 status credits if you booked a return flight on QF using the card and flew it within set timeframes.
    No member give thanks

  • Flying High

    Flying High

    25 Jun, 2018 09:05 am

    Points schmoints...

    There are already a myriad ways to earn points. Which become meaningless if its difficult to spend them in anything other that economy.

    Status credits are where it's really at.
    Member who gave thanks

    Brython14

  • mviy

    mviy

    25 Jun, 2018 09:50 am

    I've had success spending points to get premium seats less than a weak out sometimes. Yes it may be more difficult than we'd like but it can be done.

    Status Credits are definitely valuable.

    With so many credit cards cutting rewards it would be good if a QF card tried to push things back the other way to increase rewards.
    No member give thanks

  • Mark

    Mightyreds

    25 Jun, 2018 10:59 am

    I tend to agree. Very few QF seats in business to be able to use your points on. I have always had more luck with Emirates, Cathay or BA using QF points.
    No member give thanks

  • Yvan J Drake

    MRYJDrake

    25 Jun, 2018 09:11 am

    Status points. 100%.

    My (NZ Issued) AIR NZ Card gives me status points, and that was the deciding factor when it came to me signing up for that particular one.
    Member who gave thanks

    Brython14

  • cgm

    cgm

    25 Jun, 2018 09:54 am

    They could also raise the $10K cap for full points to maybe $15K. Over a 12 month period, it would amount to something useful.
    No member give thanks

  • Glen

    gpr49697

    25 Jun, 2018 09:54 am

    status credits and upgrades based on spend using the card
    Member who gave thanks

    alan-aa1981

  • Brenton Thevarakam

    whoppersandwich

    25 Jun, 2018 09:59 am

    -100+ SCs after the relevant qualifying flight(s)

    -Choice between 4 x QC passes or 2 x F lounge invitations (to really differentiate themselves from the crowd)

    -QF Gold equivalent baggage allowance

    All things that will cost the airline virtually nothing while being able to charge a premium for the card!
    No member give thanks

  • GBRGB

    GBRGB

    25 Jun, 2018 11:01 am

    Annual status credits bonus rather than the sign up deals, this would also assist QF in stopping churn to other cards for sign up deals.
    No member give thanks

  • Pvcmenace

    Pvcmenace

    25 Jun, 2018 11:20 am

    1 Status credit per $1500.00!
    No member give thanks

  • Pvcmenace

    Pvcmenace

    25 Jun, 2018 11:22 am

    maybe more generous 1 SC per $1000.00 spent
    No member give thanks

  • daniesut

    daniesut

    25 Jun, 2018 11:25 am

    There are so many credit cards on the market earning points, SC's, lounge access, etc, etc

    If QF really want people to take up and they want to create a premier "black" card, they need to think outside the box - a few SC's or sign on points just aint going to cut it - you can get ~80-100K points on any higher end credit card these days, and if you ware really a frequent traveler, is 50 or 75 or 100 SC's really going to cut it, you most likely at Gold or Plat anyway just with your annual travel if a new high end card is appealing anyway?

    They need to offer what the Banks, Amex, etc are not offering - things that will lure travelers, perks that you wont get on other cards, or via Airline alliances.

    Put the new card holders in the upgrade hierarchy for seats above Gold, for example
    allow you to catch earlier or later flights on the day of travel, even if your seat code is different to what you have booked (sure with in the same class)
    If you book your flight on the new card, you don't incur change fee's, etc

    If QF have done workshops with actual travelers not just internal teams, etc as stated, these things would have come out from frequent travelers -

    What is QF going to come out with for us to ditch our Amex's, etc and go for a branded MC or Visa from Qantas?


    Member who gave thanks

    cderrick

  • traveller90

    traveller90

    26 Jun, 2018 01:59 pm

    Totally agree: perks unique to the QF brand and not the same old gimmicks offered by competitors. Make the card unique and charge accordingly - customers will pay extra for value added! We need to remember that most customers using this product will be either QF Gold or Platinum customers anyway.

    Lets look at:

    Last minute airport upgrades at reduced pricing on QF flights.

    Automatically increased baggage allowances when travelling on QF flights.

    Last minute flight changes with nil penalties for same day flights given availability.

    Reduced Qantas Club yearly fees for those who are not already eligible.

    No extra charge Premium seating in economy cabins.

    Just to name a few!

    No member give thanks

  • cderrick

    cderrick

    29 Jun, 2018 03:17 pm

    Your last statement summed it up... it needs to be enough of a lure to take me away from Amex etc...
    No member give thanks

  • mviy

    mviy

    25 Jun, 2018 11:28 am

    Also would be good if benefits reflected your status with QF. If you're already a SG then no joining fee for QANTAS Club wouldn't be of benefit, so having a different benefit instead for those members would be nice.
    No member give thanks

  • superflyer

    superflyer

    25 Jun, 2018 12:39 pm

    Noooooooooo to more stock-standard Qantas Lounge Passes. I completely understand the merit of having them attached to certain cards, but what is their benefit for Qantas Club/Gold or P/P1 members. UNLESS you give the cardmember options. A. Choose X. lounge passes per year or B. Choose X status credits or C. some other perk - how about Qantas First Lounge additional guest pass?
    No member give thanks

  • Mark Bringans

    Briggo

    25 Jun, 2018 07:09 pm

    yeah I like that. virtually all on here have lounge access anyway due to status, so say 2 x 1st lounge access per year & free express lane access out-bound (handy in Sydney, less so in Brizzy) when traveling below J.
    No member give thanks

  • Mark Bringans

    Briggo

    25 Jun, 2018 07:10 pm

    sorry meant 2 x 1st guess pass, not all year access, but that would be good
    No member give thanks

  • Matthew Liu

    gapmatt

    25 Jun, 2018 12:51 pm

    A metal card instead of plastic would be so boss!
    No member give thanks

  • -- --

    Bollen

    25 Jun, 2018 12:54 pm

    I think mviy hit the nail on the head! Linking benefits to status tier in a fluid way is something only Qantas could do. They could target each tier with meaningful perks. There is not many perks they can offer WP that we don’t already have but a big one would be the ability to earn 50% more SC’s on all QF coded flights paid for with the card. Overnight it would be the number one Black Card in the market with zero churning!
    No member give thanks

  • patrickk

    patrickk

    25 Jun, 2018 02:41 pm

    The issue is the fee. The $400 fee on the ANZ card compared unfavourably with the QF own card.
    No member give thanks

  • cgm

    cgm

    25 Jun, 2018 02:56 pm

    I don't follow why Qantas needs a new Black card if they already have over a third of the market. Are they trying for the other two thirds?
    No member give thanks

  • Flying High

    Flying High

    25 Jun, 2018 03:44 pm

    Yes, of course!
    No member give thanks

  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    25 Jun, 2018 04:10 pm

    That, and the 'one third' figure covers all Qantas-earning credit cards in Australia, not just those of Qantas Money. While chasing the other two thirds of the market, Qantas would also be chasing much of the existing Qantas-earning market too, given the data insights that spending on a Qantas Money card provides to Qantas Loyalty (same as spending on Qantas Cash).

    No member give thanks

  • Satoshi Takayama

    Michael Kao

    25 Jun, 2018 03:45 pm

    In terms of points awarded, I don't think it can get much higher as overall, this card is managed by Citi. So Citi has struck a deal with QF on this one that they probably pay less per point compare to other banks. But Citi will still be limited by the interchange fee cap of 0.8%, so I don't think we can go much more on this.

    However, it can certainly improve on the perks. (Just like Citiprestige card, despite point earn becomes one of the worst, it's the perks that justifies the annual fee.) So perhaps like the AAdvantage card they have in US, the QF black card should have unlimited QF lounge access (or complimentary QC membership) maybe 2x/yr upgrade certificate on domestic flights (whenever classic award is available), increased luggage allowance....etc. It might not appeal to current QF gold or platinum members, but there are many QF loyal customers that can never reach gold/platinum with their work situation (not everyone travel for work!) and a card that'll give them similar perk to gold member will appeal to them.
    Member who gave thanks

    OzDino

  • samueljones561

    samueljones561

    25 Jun, 2018 05:36 pm

    I think if they paired it with a high points earning Amex possibly even issued directly from Amex it would be great.

    I understand the thought a lot of people are having when they say free qantas club or equal gold perks however if they did that there would not longer be any need for all the current silver and gold members to stay loyal. Why spend 20K a year with an airline to reach status only to be outdone by a guy with a $400 a year credit card. On top of that the lounges would be flooded with people, they would not be the same.

    I think realistically if they could do:

    120,000 sign up bonus after 5K spend
    2.5 points per dollar on Amex
    1.5 points per dollar on MasterCard
    1 point per dollar on govt spend
    Yearly fees returned in form of a travel voucher
    4 lounge passes
    Proper travel and hire car insurance
    Your choice between 20,000 bonus points or 50 status credits per year

    That would be a realistic winning formula
    No member give thanks

  • Satoshi Takayama

    Michael Kao

    25 Jun, 2018 08:16 pm

    QC is already giving people unlimited lounge access plus increased baggage allowance for about $400/yr. But it's not quite QF gold which gives you access to all OW lounges when you fly any OW airlines. So for a QF black card they can offer some perk similar to QC but not quite QF gold. Of course that may affect the QC membership. But being a black card, there will certainly be increased income requirements so not everyone is eligible to this card while QC is available to anyone.

    To me personally I would rather see increased point earn rather than QC perks (as I'm an existing QC member) but realistically speaking, I can't see Citi offering that sort of point earn. Already with their $700 Citiprestige they can't even offer 1:1 on VA/QF points, I doubt it can do much better than 1:1 with a QF black card, and certainly not on government spent.

    What I don't understand though, is why does QF has to use Citibank to issue its credit card? Can't it simply pair with one of the Australian big 4? Like, CBA which has the worst credit card products on the market?
    No member give thanks

  • TheRiddler

    TheRiddler

    25 Jun, 2018 05:52 pm

    1:1 points earn on 'government payments' would be attractive to a certain element!
    No member give thanks

  • Bill NORTHBY

    Brython14

    25 Jun, 2018 06:29 pm

    QF also needs to make their card usable with Google Pay with NFC. I know it's an issue with the issuer (Citibank?) but this limitation is very frustrating.
    No member give thanks

  • CQ

    MEL Traveller

    25 Jun, 2018 08:59 pm

    It needs to have Apple Pay
    No member give thanks

  • Geoff Pell

    GSP

    25 Jun, 2018 09:53 pm

    Ability to earn SC/Points on Jetstar flights when booked using this card (and no booking fees) without paying for the bundle thingamebob.



    I jest of course (i.e a High end card giving perks for budget travel), but it would be nifty - at least on some card.
    No member give thanks

  • Spizz

    Spizz

    26 Jun, 2018 08:26 pm

    In addition to the above posts

    - No overseas transaction fee

    I like mentioned above the choice of either

    - 4 Qantas Lounge Passes or 2 First Class Lounge Passes
    No member give thanks

  • MrBRo

    MrBRo

    27 Jun, 2018 12:08 pm

    Full points earn on all government spend is what I would be keen too see
    No member give thanks

  • Joshua Withers

    joshuawithers

    29 Jun, 2018 03:24 pm

    Apple Pay/Google Pay
    No member give thanks

  • worldwanderer

    worldwanderer

    29 Jun, 2018 04:02 pm

    Seems a bit silly, self defeating and redundant to offer lounge passes. Very frequent flyers would already have status for lounges and for less frequent flyers Qantas would be shooting themselves in the foot sabotaging the QC revenue stream and existing members. The unwashed hordes and lounge capacity limitations (Aka SIN and BNE) are complained about bitterly every day on AusBT. Besides you can get these from a myriad of competing cards.

    They need to think out of the box and offer up what is hard to get elsewhere, valued by QF loyalists and effectively costs them nothing to give away.

    Perhaps
    - move up the respective wait list queue(s)
    - double point or status earning for actually flying where they get revenue stream (as opposed to supermarket shopping)
    - luggage allowance
    - perks when travelling with significant other
    - discounted points for reward flights

    Whatever they decide they need to have a compelling argument for loyalty and not to churn every 12 months (the latter is what sign up bonuses encourage).

    My benchmark is they have to be better than ANZ Black. Apple pay, high signup bonus. 1:1, reduced/no fee first 12 months, uncapped earning (although reduced after 7kpm)
    No member give thanks

  • icie_lynx

    icie_lynx

    29 Jun, 2018 04:08 pm

    No international fees like the CBA Amex. Also, they better offer the sign up deals to those who already have the platinum card.
    No member give thanks

  • worldwanderer

    worldwanderer

    29 Jun, 2018 04:08 pm

    Oh and I left proper full travel insurance like Diners and ANZ not the silly registration business with CBA.
    No member give thanks

  • AnneS

    AnneS

    29 Jun, 2018 05:02 pm

    I closed my Qantas platinum card because of bad experiences. My card was suspended whilst overseas, even though I had told them I was going. The sign up process was so involved (they couldn't understand an Australian tax free superannuation pension) in comparison with other cards. The website and app were clunky. Overseas call centre, very difficult to get service.... I could go on. by the way, I have never had one second's trouble with other credit cards and I so wanted this one to be right. No black for me!
    No member give thanks

  • Helen Page

    Helen Page

    29 Jun, 2018 05:30 pm

    In addition to mviy's wishlist, I would like a card with no foreign transaction fees. Only a few cards offer this feature which I find saves quite a bit of money.
    No member give thanks

  • OZjames70

    OZjames70

    29 Jun, 2018 06:14 pm

    It is fine to offer all sorts of perks, but unless the lounges, available seats, boarding channels etc change, you end up with people paying for first or business class, or having earned P/P1 having to queue with others who while travelling in other parts of the aircraft have access to the same facilities.

    The perks for being loyal soon get whittled down if all it takes is to spend money on your credit card and as an infrequent flyer to get the same recognition.

    No member give thanks

  • comeflywithme

    comeflywithme

    29 Jun, 2018 07:42 pm

    Min. Income of $100k for a start.
    1.x points earn on a M/C.
    Forget status credits - these should be earned by flying. If they offer it should be token amount so as not to devalue those that earn them (max 50).
    QF lounge access (unlimited). Not everyone at this income will be a high tier FF.
    Perhaps F lounge passes but unlikely.
    To be honest, a 1.25 or 1.5 point per dollar rate would be enough for me alone at around $400p.a.
    Partner premium reduced fares year round.
    Now that Citi has Apple Pay, no excuse for these cards not to have it.
    No member give thanks

  • Jedi

    Jedi

    30 Jun, 2018 09:41 am

    Wonder who is financing it. If its Citibank then for me forget it and I don,t care what they offer. I'm not supporting an American institution
    No member give thanks

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22 Jul, 2019 08:22 pm

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