Qantas to issue its own 'premium' Platinum credit card

Qantas to issue its own 'premium' Platinum credit card

Qantas has now launched its new Qantas Premium platinum Mastercard with a 60,000 Qantas Points sign-up bonus, an earn rate of up to 2 Qantas Points per dollar plus domestic and international Qantas lounge access – read our report for all the details.

PREVIOUS | Qantas will unleash its own premium credit card onto the Australian market next month, shaking up the current airline/bank partnership scene and likely catapulting the Red Roo's plastic to the top of the pile.

The Qantas-branded credit card will be aimed at premium travellers with the promise of a high earning rate for frequent flyer points, 'uncapped earning potential' and other 'exclusive travel benefits' such as special deals on Qantas airfares and lounge access.

The Platinum-grade Qantas MasterCard will be issued by Citi and launched by the end of June.

"Around 35 per cent of credit card spend in Australia earn Qantas Points, which shows strong interest in this type of reward but also plenty of room for growth," said Qantas Loyalty CEO Lesley Grant.

“This is a premium card aimed at people who love earning Qantas Points and who travel enough to want access to special deals on air fares and lounge access."

What to watch for

Qantas is keeping the key details of its credit card proposition under wraps until closer to the launch date, but here's what to look for once the Qantas credit card takes flight.

As a Platinum-grade card, expect an annual fee of $250 or even higher – although Qantas may well waive this fee for the first year as part of its launch promotion.

We'd look for Qantas to offer at least 1.5 Qantas Points per dollar on domestic spends, and higher on overseas spends (overseas transaction fees will also be one to watch).

However, the 'uncapped earning potential' could point to a tiered earning system where a high spend results in a drop in the points-per-dollar earning rate – so while your earning isn't capped, it's severely curtailed.

Expect to see a very compelling sign-up bonus – in excess of 100,000 Qantas Points isn't out of the question.

Other perks could include a limited number of digital lounge passes each year and/or a discount on Qantas Club membership, which the airline already offers through the ANZ Qantas Frequent Flyer Black card.

Crowded house (of cards)

Qantas currently lists over 50 partner credit cards offered through all major banks, along with retailers such as David Jones, tied into MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Diners Club.

The airline estimates that just over one-third of all credit card spending in Australia is on a co-branded Qantas credit card.

However, the new card will be issued only in Qantas' name – under a new brand which the airline has yet to reveal – and deliver more control as well as greater profit into the airline's hands.

Qantas will enjoy a direct pipeline to the 11.7 million members of its Qantas Frequent Flyer scheme in marketing the card.

Plastic fantastic

Qantas first edged its way into the own-branded card space in 2013 with the Qantas Cash debit card, which has its prepaid travel money feature baked into every Qantas Frequent Flyer card through a partnership with MasterCard and the Heritage Bank.

The Qantas Cash card now enjoys a 17% share of Australia's prepaid travel card market, with some 670,000 cards activated to date – representing less than 10% of the total number of cards issued to Qantas Frequent Flyer members.

These sideline plays will be an increasingly important driver of growth for Qantas Loyalty, which the airline expects to deliver as much as $600 million in pre-tax earnings by 2022, up from $346 million in the 2016 financial year.

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

  • henrus

    henrus

    1 Mar, 2017 12:43 pm

    We could possibly see something like US Airline cards which include lounge access. I could see an annual fee around $500-700 being fair but it would include a Qantas club membership (not just a couple of passes)
    Members who gave thanks

    Mal, David

  • downdata

    downdata

    1 Mar, 2017 12:52 pm

    Then its not good value for people that fly in J often..
    No member give thanks

  • devilish

    devilish

    1 Mar, 2017 04:40 pm

    Do you think people really fly J for the sole use of the lounge?

    Lounges are aimed at frequent flyers to enjoy a quick snack of often inedible food, a few beers and cheap $10-$15 bottles of wine.
    No member give thanks

  • Nick  Sydney 348

    Nick Sydney 2

    5 May, 2017 03:48 pm

    My usual stops at LAX and Dubai have pretty good F and B
    No member give thanks

  • traveller90

    traveller90

    6 May, 2017 07:47 pm

    I believe what we all want from the new QF CC will be different from what the majority of customers will in fact receive. QF is there to make money - not friends. Lounge entry - minimal access maybe, higher point earn - will need to be on the cards, perks for premium FF also will need to be there. It needs to protect its QC membership revenue so that will not be on the table. Other perks - time will tell. Platinum and J pax will be their target on loyalties - the rest will be just for the points and prestige of having the card. The annual fee will be the decider I feel for most prospective customers. Don't worry QF have done their homework well.
    No member give thanks

  • Mal

    Mal

    1 Mar, 2017 01:39 pm

    I reckon that's a good call Henrus, maybe the entry-level card will have lounge passes but the next one up will include Qantas Club membership.
    No member give thanks

  • markpk

    markpk

    1 Mar, 2017 12:54 pm

    Not sure of the value of including QC membership - I would have thought many of the target audience would already be at Gold or higher with QFF - negating the value. 

    The real value will be how they tie it into Qantas Business Rewards - maybe a Qantas CC could be the precursor to spin off loyalty into its own entity..?
    Member who gave thanks

    Jazzop

  • Mal

    Mal

    1 Mar, 2017 01:39 pm

    No reason Qantas can't also offer its own QBR business card as well as a personal card. Makes perfect sense.
    No member give thanks

  • 11sjw

    11sjw

    4 Mar, 2017 06:58 pm

    Having just slid down the FF totem pole from Platinum to Silver a card including QC membership would be most welcome!
    Member who gave thanks

    Dachie

  • Jazzop

    Jazzop

    5 May, 2017 03:46 pm

    I agree.  I'm not paying features in a card I already get.  Plus, if they do include some free passes then allow them to be transferrable.  Perhaps, Qantas will line this card up to the tiered status of it's FF program.  So silver pays x, Gold pays x - 10%, platinum x -15% and Platinum One x -20%.
    No member give thanks

  • Mal

    Mal

    1 Mar, 2017 01:37 pm

    As Citi runs Diners Club Australia and Diners is like Amex exempt from the new RBA rules and so can command a hefty premium I reckon we will see the "Qantas Diners Club" card.
    No member give thanks

  • John Phelan

    John Phelan

    1 Mar, 2017 01:40 pm

    The make-or-break issue will be the points earn per dollar, and whether it is capped. QF have a chance here to nab a large slice of the market.
    Member who gave thanks

    Kevin Cheung

  • Kevin Cheung

    Kevin Cheung

    1 Mar, 2017 02:51 pm

    Bring it on, Qantas is pushing more info these areas such as with its own-branded health insurance and also travel insurance rumoured to be on the way. Of course they are 'white-label' products but it's a smart move and if Qantas is smart they will really offer some great launch deals and point-per-dollar earning rates.
    No member give thanks

  • Dean

    deany83

    5 May, 2017 09:44 pm

    Travel has already been bought under the Qantas Assure banner white labeled from QBE
    No member give thanks

  • Richard Robertson

    iM

    1 Mar, 2017 02:54 pm

    I'd get it, having nailed my colours to the Roo and One World...
    No member give thanks

  • mviy

    mviy

    1 Mar, 2017 04:28 pm

    Perhaps QANTAS could offer a discounted annual fee for those who have high status e.g. Gold or above?

    If the card includes QANTAS Club access then perhaps they could reduce the annual fee by that amount for those members or even waive the annual fee.

    Or a few distinct credit card products one providing a discount for QANTAS Club membership and another not including QANTAS Club membership?

    If QANTAS does their own credit card and gets the sign up bonus right I'd seriously consider getting it.
    No member give thanks

  • superflyer

    superflyer

    1 Mar, 2017 05:23 pm

    "We are the world’s largest card issuer but it’s not just in terms of measuring market share, it’s also the value we bring to customers"  ... well in my personal experience no - charge $200+ annual fee on my Qantas-linked card and cut reward points earn to 0.5 per $1 is not value in my opinion.

    No member give thanks

  • lm1

    lm1

    1 Mar, 2017 11:26 pm

    Given the imminent departure of the bank issued Amex cards, this is a very interesting prospect.  Might just hold off on jumping to a QF-branded American Express as a replacement for the now useless ANZ QFF Black....
    No member give thanks

  • troels

    troels

    2 Mar, 2017 12:18 pm

    Very annoying - my partner and I both just got cards. I'm hoping this will be justification for the refund of the fees. I'm going to ditch ANZ too - will stick with my 28Degrees and Citibank cards for overseas purchases. I got rid of my bank accounts with ANZ last year, now its time for the credit cards too. And I say this as someone who currently works for ANZ.

    No member give thanks

  • AlexTravAddict

    AlexTravAddict

    2 Mar, 2017 12:36 pm

    Be careful if you pay using a Qantas voucher. Normally these type of offers use the date the voucher was purchased and not the date the flights were booked (many readers would have bought gift vouchers during the 5 points per dollar promotion around Christmas). If you use a voucher from earlier in the year or from 2016 the offer probably won't trigger. My experience is that Qantas will eventually manually credit the bonus status credits, but it involves quite a bit of follow up and haggling. Qantas will also make you wait 6 weeks before they will consider manually crediting the bonus status credits (as per there terms and conditions 'Bonus Status Credits may take up to 6 weeks after completion of your travel to be credited to your Qantas Frequent Flyer account').
    No member give thanks

  • Tom

    Batesy

    3 Mar, 2017 09:37 am

    Hmmm

     Big change in points earn

    Looks like my spend will now revert back to my Amex issued plat charge card. At least they have some spending points bonuses for travel and dining. Might look at a refinance of mortgage with ANZ as well......

    No member give thanks

  • worldwanderer

    worldwanderer

    5 Mar, 2017 12:36 pm

    Having paid several thousand dollars for my partner and I to become Lifetime Members of QC a few years back when they were available, I will be spewing copious x-rated words that cannot be entered to this website to all and sundry if Qantas start giving away free lounge access with a credit card.
    No member give thanks

  • worldwanderer

    worldwanderer

    5 Mar, 2017 12:44 pm

    On a separate note, I still have a Diners card (and an ANZ AMEX) but must always carry a Visa Card with me because of the very few places that will accept a Diners card outside of AU and US and the usual exorbitant fees levied on each transaction. 

    The main reason I still carry the Diners is the extensive network of lounge perks outside Australia when not travelling on a QF issued ticket.
    No member give thanks

  • Richard R

    rcnr25

    5 May, 2017 09:49 am

    The timing could suit me quite well. This will put some pressure on the big banks to limit how much they cut points earn.
    No member give thanks

  • NZ_Flyer

    NZ_Flyer

    5 May, 2017 10:15 am

    I hope they do something similar for New Zealand. We desperately need a better card than the Qantas ANZ Visa!
    No member give thanks

  • Chris McKellar

    krisdude

    5 May, 2017 11:13 am

    Qantas is only doing what Air NZ did 4 years ago, when Air NZ released its own range of branded Mastercard cards called 'Air New Zealand Airpoints' is association with Kiwibank. The range of cards are Air New Zealand Airpoints low fee Mastercard, Air New Zealand Airpoints Standard Mastercard and Air New Zealand Airpoints Platinum  Mastercard.

    The Air New Zealand Airpoints Platinum  Mastercard, offers cardholder's one Airpoints Dollar for every NZ$75.00 of eligible spend and one Status Point for every NZ$200.00 spent, complimentary overseas travel insurance, discounted Koru membership, non expiring Airpoints Dollars as long as you are cardholder and two complimentary single-entry Air New Zealand domestic and international Lounge passes for every NZ$20,000 spent on your card in each year. Annual rate for the card is NZ$150.00 per year.

    Also Air NZ signed a 10 year 'Airpoints' marketing agreement with Westpac New Zealand for a range of Westpac Airpoints brand credit cards being Westpac  Airpoints low fee Mastercard, Westpac Airpoints Standard Mastercard, Westpac Airpoints Platinum  Mastercard, Westpac Airpoints World  Mastercard and a Westpac Airpoints debit  Mastercard.

    Westpac Airpoints Platinum  Mastercard offers the cardholder one Airpoints Dollar for every NZ$75.00 spent on the card, one Airpoints Dollar for every NZ$70.00 equivalent spent on the card in all other currencies, one Status Point for every NZ$225.00 spent on the card,  join  Air New Zealand Koru Club waived joining fee will be waived, NZ$145 discount off a standard 12-month Individual Koru Membership rate, Airpoints Dollars will never expire as long as you’re a cardholder and up to 35 days of overseas travel insurance. Annual rate for the card is NZ$150.00 per year.

    Westpac Airpoints World  Mastercard offers the cardholder one Airpoints Dollar for every NZ$65.00 spent on the card, one Airpoints Dollar for every NZ$50.00 equivalent spent on the card in all other currencies, one Status Point for every NZ$225.00 spent on the card, join Air New Zealand Koru Club with joining fee will be waived, NZ$145.00 discount off a standard 12-month Individual Koru Membership rate, Airpoints Dollars will never expire as long as you’re a cardholder, up to 120 days of overseas travel insurance and free Priority Pass lounge access to over 900 airport lounges around the world. Annual rate for the card is NZ$390.00 per year.

    Also there a Westpac Airpoints Business Mastercard for the small to medium business owners offering the cardholder one Airpoints Dollar for every NZ$75.00 spent on the card, and one Status Point for every NZ$225.00 spent. Annual fee is free if the business owner has a Westpac Airpoints Platinum card.

    I suspect that the new Qantas card would built around either Air New Zealand Airpoints Platinum Mastercard or Westpac AirAirpoints World  Mastercard since Qantas Cashcard is a Mastercard product.
    No member give thanks

  • peteshep

    peteshep

    5 May, 2017 11:46 am

    This was all looking promising until I read that it's being issued by Citi. They'd have to be the single worst organisation I've ever dealt with. Especially when it comes to cancelling the card and you have to have the inevitable argument with the retention team. It would have to be a brilliant offer for me to even consider another card with them - absolute minimum 100k points and no annual fee for at least the first year.
    No member give thanks

  • Adam T

    AT

    5 May, 2017 06:20 pm

    Exactly!! I couldn't agree more. Citi is the worst of them all. I closed down my Citibank card and had a Virgin money card way back when and they made things so difficult from same aweful online website, terrible "just reading from the script" call Centre staff based somewhere whose mantra was just keep saying "anything more I can help you with sir" will remove any and all previous problems that never got addressed ... and on and on I could go. 
    I'm already smelling a rat with this card. 
    No member give thanks

  • Rhys Smith

    smithrhy

    5 May, 2017 07:04 pm

    I have to disagree with this.  Have been a Citibank customer for 8yrs+, having had Citi Emirates, Prestige, Signature and Simplicity cards and very high spend (100K+) for a couple of years.  Not regularly using their credit cards currently as I moved over to ANZ Black... but I think I will be coming back if Qantas nails their new credit card.
    No member give thanks

  • fresh  thoughts

    freshthoughts

    5 May, 2017 02:35 pm

    it really needs to have a compelling uncapped points earning ratio  to be attractive
    at least 1 point per dollar on everyday spend uncapped
    No member give thanks

  • Meridiengroup

    Meridiengroup

    5 May, 2017 02:54 pm

    Interesting to note that we read about it in media before receiving direct communication from QF. As platinum member I thought they would want to talk to highest value customers first? Coincides with banks all dropping earning rates earlier this week.
    Member who gave thanks

    big greg

  • turbojezz

    turbojezz

    5 May, 2017 03:03 pm

    i hope the card supports apple pay!
    No member give thanks

  • Rhys Smith

    smithrhy

    5 May, 2017 07:06 pm

    Seeing as Citibank doesn't offer Apple Pay on their own credit cards (in Australia) as yet - I don't like our chances!  Should be enabled for Samsung Pay, though.
    No member give thanks

  • Thomas Pinder

    Tomp

    5 May, 2017 03:08 pm

    Earning points and enticing entry offers are all well and good but it would be nice if it was possible to travel using points in the class you want and when you want
    No member give thanks

  • Adam T

    AT

    5 May, 2017 06:10 pm

    Couldn't agree more. I've just done a reward booking with SQ on Krisflyer in biz class from Oz through Asia and I was shocked by just how easy it was and got instant confirmation on a waitlist just by phoning them. 
    No member give thanks

  • DRW

    DRW

    5 May, 2017 03:14 pm

    If it can be used to pay the ATO, that would be a strategic advantage.
    No member give thanks

  • Nuttynorton

    Nuttynorton

    5 May, 2017 03:29 pm

    With all the major banks reining back their amex point earn i can see this card taking off. boom boom 
    No member give thanks

  • paulbnz

    paulbnz

    5 May, 2017 03:33 pm

    So what about New Zealand? We loose out on this opportunity to earn points, etc., like some many other opportunities! For example, we can earn points shoppoing at a supermarket ...
    No member give thanks

  • WeeWillyWonka

    WeeWillyWonka

    5 May, 2017 04:09 pm

    If this card turns out the same way as their Qantas Cash card product, then pass.
    Member who gave thanks

    secondislast

  • Shane Tomlinson

    shane.tomlinson

    6 May, 2017 07:48 am

    Been looking for a replacement for my Velocity branded Amex now that we fly QANTAS at work, and this might be it if they can get the opening offer and ongoings like spend levels and QANTAS CLub membership right.
    No member give thanks

  • alan burniston

    Notsinrub

    6 May, 2017 09:48 am

    As a lifetime QC member I would not be happy to see the QC membership further devalued but other than that seems like it could be worth a close look when all is revealed
    No member give thanks

  • V Champion

    Vulch

    7 May, 2017 11:58 am

    Suspect as with all new Qantas offerings, once we hear the details we will sadly disappointed and at best, 'meh'. 
    No member give thanks

  • Robert Greenburg

    Bob Greenberg

    9 May, 2017 07:26 am

    Good i will drop my Virgin card now and change because they has just announced a huge drop in reward point for VA flights. 
    No member give thanks

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22 Jul, 2019 08:18 pm

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