Qantas is gearing up for the launch of its new Qantas Cash travel money card, with the first batch of the pre-paid cards due to reach frequent flyers in September.
The Qantas Cash travel money card doubles as a standard Qantas Frequent Flyer card, which in turn includes access to the airline's Smarter Faster Checkin system through which travellers can check in for domestic and selected international flights with a tap of the smartchipped card.
"We have over 9 million members in Qantas Frequent Flyer and our research says that over over 70% of members carry their Qantas card wherever they go" says Lesley Grant, CEO of Qantas Loyalty.
Qantas says that all frequent flyers will eventually receive the new cards, although you'll need to opt in to activate the card's cash functionality.
Nine 'virtual wallets'
Each card will contain 'virtual wallets' for up to eight foreign currencies in addition to the Aussie dollar. Qantas has yet to detail which overseas currencies will be on the roster but it's a safe bet to expect US dollars, UK pounds, Euros plus New Zealand, Singapore and Hong Kong dollars.
A new Qantas Cash website and smartphone app will make it easy to load currencies before and indeed during your travels, including moving currencies between virtual wallets – if for example you've got £1,000 sitting on the card but find yourself on a quick trip to Germany and short of Euros.
The Qantas Cash card will also permit cash withdrawals from ATMs internationally and within Australia, and support tap-and-go PayPass technology.
But how many points will you earn?
Travellers will earn Qantas Frequent Flyer points on domestic and international transactions, although Qantas has yet to reveal how many points that will be, along with other costs such as ATM fees.
By way of comparison, the competing Virgin Australia Global Wallet travel money card will earn 1 Velocity Frequent Flyer point for every $2 spent in Australia and 1 point per A$1 spent overseas, while ATM withdrawals range from A$2.50 to A$3.30 depending on the country you're in.
Qantas has partnered with MasterCard for Qantas Cash, while Virgin Australia's Global Wallet is allied to Visa.
Australian Business Traveller will bring you a detailed comparison of the Qantas and Virgin Australia travel money cards, along with their competitors, once full details on both cards are known.
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