Earning points with the AMEX Qantas Business Rewards Card

By Chris Chamberlin, October 17 2017

Your business could be earning uncapped Qantas Points on its everyday spend with the new American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card: delivering up to two Qantas Points per dollar spent on purchases, triple Qantas Points on flights and 100,000 bonus Qantas Points for eligible new customers.

Credited monthly to the company’s Qantas Business Rewards account, business owners can transfer Qantas Points to any Qantas Frequent Flyer member: themselves included, of course; to employees for business flight bookings and upgrades, as a reward for valued clients, or to anybody at all.

Rounding out the benefits are two Qantas Club lounge passes for next time you fly Qantas.

Australian Business Traveller puts AMEX’s newest business card under the microscope to see how savvy business owners could maximise their yearly haul of Qantas Points.

American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card: the sign-up bonus

The journey starts with a hefty bonus of 100,000 Qantas Points for eligible new AMEX customers who apply by January 31 2018, pay an annual fee of $450 and spend at least $3,000 on the card in the first two months.

That’s enough points for a return Qantas business class upgrade between Australia’s east coast and Singapore or Hong Kong on mid-priced paid economy tickets, or for a return first class upgrade between Sydney and Dubai, Los Angeles or Dallas/Fort Worth (as available) when booked on paid flexible business class fares. 

Spent more frugally, those points could instead be used for six economy class return trips on short Qantas domestic routes such as Sydney-Melbourne, Sydney-Brisbane or Sydney-Canberra, or for four return economy class trips of slightly longer distance, like Melbourne-Brisbane.

Just note that primary Card Members (business owners) who have or have held any personal or business card issued directly by American Express Australia in the past 18 months aren’t eligible for this bonus offer, but can still apply for the card to scoop up Qantas Points on everyday purchases.

(Having or having held an American Express card issued by ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, NAB or Westpac in the same period doesn’t disqualify an applicant from the 100,000-point offer: only if the applicant’s AMEX card was issued directly by AMEX itself.)

American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card: earning Qantas Points by spending

Without any restrictive capping or tiering, businesses can earn 1.25 Qantas Points per dollar spent on the bulk of their transactions: whether that’s using the card to pay supplier invoices, settle hotel bills when travelling for business or to entertain clients at a business lunch.

Using the card to book Qantas flights in Australian dollars, book hotels through Qantas, or to purchase Qantas Club lounge membership attracts a higher 2 Qantas Points per dollar spent, while utility, insurance and government transactions (such as payments to the ATO) provide 0.5 Qantas Points per dollar spent. 

Businesses can also issue up to 99 supplementary cards on the one account at no extra cost – that’s up to 100 cards in total, including the primary card – to maximise the business’ points potential, with the points earned across all cards pooled to the company’s Qantas Business Rewards account. It’s up to you how those points are distributed and spent - whether redeemed for travel for yourself, staff, family, or friends.

That means a business spending $100,000 a year on plastic could earn 117,500 Qantas Points (plus any points earn from the triple points bonus outlined below), assuming 10% of that is government spend, 10% being insurance and utility charges, 10% on direct Qantas purchases (such as flights and Qantas Club membership) and the remaining 70% being everything else where points are earned at the general 1.25 Qantas Points per $1 rate.

For a larger business, spending $1,000,000 per year on the account would deliver a much more sizeable 1.175 million Qantas Points (plus any points earn from the triple points bonus outlined below), assuming the same split: more than enough for four business class round-the-world trips with Qantas and its Oneworld partner airlines.

That’s on top of the 100,000 bonus Qantas Points on offer to new AMEX customers – not bad for a $450/year card, which may also be tax deductible if used entirely for business purchases (speak with your accountant).

American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card: triple points on Qantas flights

Along with earning 2 Qantas Points per dollar spent on Qantas flight bookings when paying with the AMEX Qantas Business Rewards Card, businesses can also earn triple Qantas Points on flights when their Qantas Business Rewards membership ABN is included in the flight booking. This means you essentially ‘triple dip’ on flights – the business earns 2 Qantas Points per $1 spent plus triple Qantas Points, and the individual Qantas Frequent Flyer member travelling earns Qantas Points and Status Credits as they normally would.

For example, Level 1 Qantas Business Rewards members would normally earn 160 Qantas Points every time a traveller takes a short Qantas domestic flight on a Red eDeal economy fare, such as on routes like Sydney-Melbourne and Sydney-Brisbane.

With triple points, the business would instead earn 480 Qantas Points from that same journey – all while the business traveller continues to earn their own Qantas Points and Status Credits as usual (often 800 Qantas Points plus 10 Status Credits on those routes).

On a $200 fare, that provides a business with 400 Qantas Points direct from AMEX by paying for the flight using the AMEX Qantas Business Rewards Card, plus a further 480 Qantas Points after the traveller has taken the flight, for a grand total of 880 Qantas Points for the business.

Naturally, the number of points earned directly from AMEX increases proportionately with the price of the ticket (two Qantas Points per dollar spent), and the number of points awarded directly by Qantas also increases for more expensive fares, journeys of longer distances and for Level 2 and Level 3 Qantas Business Rewards members.

American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card: other card benefits

American Express cards are welcome in most of the places you’d expect them to be, but if you can’t get a supplier to accept your plastic, you can still earn points on those payments by using AMEX Access Line to settle your bill.

Through the service, you can pay invoices by EFT – even for suppliers that don’t accept AMEX or any credit card payments at all – but rather than the funds coming directly from your bank account, your AMEX card is billed for the amount plus a 2.4% processing fee, and you’ll earn points on the lot: just like any other AMEX transaction!

With no pre-set spending limit, your business is also free to spend – and earn points on – as much as it can afford to repay every month.

That doesn’t mean ‘unlimited spending’ (if you want to buy a plane using the card, you should probably talk to AMEX first…), but it does make things like hotel and car hire pre-authorisations less bothersome, as they won’t prevent you from making your regular payments as there’s no ‘credit limit’ to exceed.

Just one thing: remember that this is a ‘charge card’ rather than a ‘credit card’, there’s no option to carry a balance from month to month: when the statement arrives, the business needs to pay the full closing balance by the due date, not just a minimum payment as is possible with a credit card.