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.
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.