American Express beefs up Qantas AMEX Ultimate credit card perks

By Chris C., August 14 2017
American Express beefs up Qantas AMEX Ultimate credit card perks

Spenders with the Qantas American Express Ultimate credit card will soon receive new airport lounge perks, wine club membership and extra frequent flyer points on that wine spend, plus a $450 travel credit each year: all from October 31 2017.

Top of the roster: two complimentary Qantas lounge invitations per year, valid in domestic Qantas Clubs and international Qantas business class lounges (Los Angeles excluded) when travelling with Qantas or Jetstar, or when booked on a Qantas or Jetstar codeshare flight.

That’s in addition to the existing perk of two visits to the American Express Sydney Airport Lounge each year – with those Qantas lounge passes being activated after a cardholder’s first eligible spend with Qantas each year (on or after October 31), such as when booking a Qantas flight or paying for Qantas Club membership.

Also on offer is a free Qantas epiQure Premium membership valued at $99/year, providing free delivery on all epiQure wine orders, access to food and wine events and triple points on epiQure purchases (being points credited directly by Qantas) over and above those awarded to non-Premium members.

That epiQure Premium membership also increases the number of frequent flyer points earned on spends directly with epiQure – boosting the standard earning rate of one Qantas Point per dollar spent for non-Premium members to three Qantas Points per dollar spent on the same.

Combining those points with the Qantas AMEX Ultimate card's regular earning rate (being 1.5 Qantas Points per dollar spent) delivers a total of 4.5 Qantas Points per dollar spent on wine and food events, uncapped.

For Qantas Platinum One frequent flyers, that’s increased even further to 5.5 Qantas Points per dollar, uncapped, with four points per dollar provided directly by epiQure atop the standard 1.5 points per dollar by paying for their order using a Qantas Ultimate AMEX.

One travel benefit removed, another takes its place

The card’s existing benefit of a complimentary return domestic economy flight each year is also being replaced with a yearly $450 travel credit, which cardholders can apply towards the cost of flights with Qantas on a single reservation when booking through American Express.

Unlike the current ‘free flight’ deal, there’s no restriction on where you can fly within the Qantas network, and it can be used towards both domestic and international bookings and flights in all travel classes, whether that’s first class, business class, premium economy or economy.

Naturally, being a fixed-value credit, travellers – particularly those flying east-west between Perth and Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane – will extract the most value by booking flights early and during sale periods, rather than at short notice.

All of these benefits will be available to both new and existing cardholders from October 31 2017, and Australian Business Traveller has confirmed with American Express that this also includes new Ultimate cardholders who apply both before and after this date.

Savvy spenders who don’t already have a Qantas AMEX Ultimate Card and wish to take advantage of these new features could apply now in advance of their introduction: while also scooping up a generous 55,000 bonus Qantas Points when spending $1,500 on the card within the first three months.

These bonus points are available to new American Express Australia customers: so if you happen to have an AMEX from the Commonwealth Bank, NAB or Westpac but don’t already have an AMEX direct from American Express, you’re all clear for that bonus bounty!

Chris C.

Chris is a a former contributor to Executive Traveller.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jan 2014

Total posts 318

The $450 credit towards travel is a great initiative as opposed to the previous requirement of travelling between two capital cities, as someone not living in a capital city it was the primary reason I didn't op for this card.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

22 Apr 2013

Total posts 144

So, on the $450 travel credit: does this mean that if you book a flight using the $450 credit, for that flight you'll earn SC (unlike when you book the free flight under the current framework)?

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2511

As with the existing AMEX travel credits on other cards, you apply it towards the 'purchase' of a paid ticket, so if the fare you 'pay for' would normally earn points and status credits, then yes.

05 May 2016

Total posts 634

Fantastic. If there happened to be a QANTAS promotion for bonus points or status credits could you get those as well?

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2511

You'd need to check the applicable T&Cs for any such promotion to determine eligibility - we obviously can't suggest what the rules might be for a future promotion that hasn't yet been announced. ;)

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

22 Oct 2016

Total posts 11

Maybe I'm missing something, but if I happen to travel on Qantas business class all the time what value are the two complimentary Qantas lounge invitations per year to me?

(I ask the question because QF business class already allows you access to QF business lounge, obviously.)

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2511

You can gift them to friends and family who may be flying with Qantas or Jetstar, or you can use them to bring additional guests into the international business class lounges when the same is true.

(These are digital passes, but they can be transferred electronically and then 'attached' to a specific booking to unlock lounge access for that traveller.)

They won't prove as useful at airports which have domestic business class lounges in addition to Qantas Clubs (as you'll probably want to use the Business Lounge yourself unless you're happy to join a larger group in the Qantas Club), but outside of the 'big five' where all lounge-eligible flyers use the same lounge, can also be used to bring extra guests into the same lounge as you.

05 May 2016

Total posts 634

If you fly business class all the time you could give the vouchers to a family member or friend that flies economy instead of having to find a different gift for them.

If travelling with more guests than you are entitled to then the voucher could be needed to get a friend into the International Business lounge or Domestic QANTAS Club (of course you'd want to use the Domestic Business Lounge where available but you could leave the friend in the QANTAS Club).

Likewise if you have Gold or above status.

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2511

Ha, we literally posted and suggested the same thing. :)

05 May 2016

Total posts 634

But you explained it better.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Jul 2013

Total posts 36

Following up from the last cooment about NAB, Westpac etc - if we've just lost our ANZ Amex, would we be eligible for the Amex Ultimate (or are we considered existing customers?)

05 May 2016

Total posts 634

Only AMEX cards direct from AMEX count towards the exclusion period. Cards from banks such ANZ, NAB, Westpac etc. don't count.

05 Jan 2017

Total posts 5

Eligibility for the complimentary Qantas domestic return economy flight kicks in after your first card spend on selected Qantas products and services. Will this be the same for the travel voucher?

24 May 2017

Total posts 1

Point of clarification please? I'll put it simply you apply before Oct 2 you get 100K bonus points and $450 domestic travel allowance subject to a $1500 spend in 3 months. But on or after the 31st October you are eligible for the $450 travel credit on any Qantas flight and NO bonus points?

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2511

The current 100,000-point sign-up offer ends on October 2. Whether AMEX will offer bonus points for new sign-ups after that date is up to AMEX and would likely be revealed on October 3.

Hi Chris, do you know if you can use the $450 travel credit to pay off the tax for a Classic Rewards flight.

I'm looking at a EK first class reward ticket and the tax is around $800 and wondering if I can use the credit to lower this?


Hi Guest, join in the discussion on American Express beefs up Qantas AMEX Ultimate credit card perks