Qantas slashes Qantas Club membership joining cost, lifts renewal fees

It's just become a lot cheaper to join the Qantas Club, but a bit more expensive to renew your membership year-on-year.

By David Flynn, May 7 2021
Qantas slashes Qantas Club membership joining cost, lifts renewal fees
Executive Traveller exclusive

Qantas is slashing the cost of joining its Qantas Club lounge program but will raise membership renewal fees in a dramatic rejig of the scheme.

The one-off fee to sign up to the Qantas Club program plummets from $399 to $99, removing one of the program's pain points as Qantas attempts to lure a greater number of infrequent flyers into its ranks.

Annual and multi-year renewals are increasing by 8-11% for new Qantas Club members, but will remain pegged at the previous rates for existing Qantas Club members.

The changes come into effect from today and apply to business/corporate packages as well as personal membership.

Here's how the new Qantas Club membership fees pan out:

  • Qantas Club joining fee: was $399, now $99 (75% drop)
  • One-year membership renewal fee: was $540, now $600 (11% increase)
  • Two-year membership renewal fee: was $980, now $1,100 (12% increase
  • Four-year membership renewal fee: was $1,850, now $2,000 (8% increase)

Qantas Chief Customer Officer Stephanie Tully says that new Qantas Club members will pay significantly less overall under the revised fee scale.

“Our customers told us the high joining fee was a big hurdle for many people to become members of the Qantas Club, so these changes will make it more affordable to experience Australia’s most comprehensive lounge network.”

Tully also notes “a big surge in Qantas Club members returning to our lounges in recent months as corporate and small business travel returns.”

Qantas Club members currently have access to some 24 domestic airport lounges, along with the Sydney and Melbourne international first class lounges under an interim arrangement, and Brisbane's international business class lounge.

Although lounge access is the foremost benefit of Qantas Club membership, the package also includes a higher checked baggage allowance and  points-based 'on departure' business class upgrade requests for domestic Qantas flights.

Members can also invite one guest to join them in the Qantas lounge.

More to follow...

David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Joe
Joe

03 May 2013

Total posts 594

Great the domestic and international lounges are going to be a real sanctuary now to wait for your flight in - all while packed to the rafters.

20 Oct 2015

Total posts 160

A good business move for Qantas, $400 has always been an insane amount to charge for Qantas Club while $100 is almost a no-brainer, but not great news for those of us who already find the Qantas Clubs pretty busy as it, especially during the morning and afternoon peak travel hours.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Feb 2015

Total posts 325

So glad all those years ago I acquired a lifetime membership before they removed this as an option. It always comes in handy on the occasional year when we don't retain gold.

QF

11 Jul 2014

Total posts 616

How much was life time access? Wasn’t it $2,000.00 about 30 years ago, I know one person who has life time qantas club entry and the staff on the front counter never believe them, they say “there no such thing as life time Qantas club”

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

12 Feb 2016

Total posts 3

I got a boss to pay for it around 2001 and left that company in 2002 and started my own business. It was $2000 from memory really good salary negotiation as I have used it many many times since. Several times people have said to me "I wish I had bought a lifetime membership when it was available" and I reply that I have one and I can tell they don't believe me until I show them. 

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Jan 2018

Total posts 455

They would be Qantas hosts either in their late 20s or mature-aged in their early 60s.  I remember it being an option in the early 1990s (1993?) that I could have funded FBT-free via salary sacrifice - no, wait, that's 30 years ago - now I suddenly feel olde.  A mate of mine (leading tax attorney) bought one.  Good thing it's complimentary when a Platinum member.  

But Joe's right, QFF can expect access restrictions to kick in more frequently now.  

QF

11 Jul 2014

Total posts 616

@Boeing-Tragic

Showing your age Boeing, they were better flying times.

It was around $300 or a bit over when the TAA Flight Deck club was new. Should have joined then! I joined when it was Australian Airlines Flight Deck and it cost around $1600, plus another 50% for partner life membership.

It was like and felt like a club then, with smaller, uncrowded facilities, a bar that would serve you small bottles of Australian sparkling if you chose and quality, delicatessen-standard nibbles.

QF

11 Jul 2014

Total posts 616

@Parishiltons

TAA had the best lounge, 5 star was those airline meals in the bar fridge. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Feb 2015

Total posts 325

It was either $3,600 or $3,800. As it was sometime ago (2006 or 2007), I do not recall exactly I'm sorry. I also think they waived the joining fee at the time.

07 Mar 2017

Total posts 50

Playing the long game. If you're a member more than 5 years, they're ahead.

And I doubt "new Qantas Club members will pay significantly less overall under the revised fee scale." is generally true, as I'd expect most are members for more than 5 years.

11 Apr 2018

Total posts 20

Difficult times of course still but recent experience with QC in Melbourne and Brisbane (domestic) was pretty ordinary. Crowded, very limited food . Wait and see what happens with international travel before deciding to renew 

24 Jun 2020

Total posts 12

Qantas Club has been a huge waste of money for years and I think this shows how desperate Qantas management have become. If they fixed the problems associated with it, new members would gladly pay the full joining fee.

Just a money grab for me to the uninitiated 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Mar 2013

Total posts 139

Is there any word on whether the rate for corporate memberships is going up too?

20 Oct 2015

Total posts 160

Fourth paragraph: "The changes come into effect from today and apply to business/corporate packages as well as personal membership."

29 Oct 2017

Total posts 4

My wife and i were members of the Qantas club for about 10 years.We joined about the same time i retired because we were going to do more travelling.And we both did but not once when flying Qantas did we ever feel "Special " as members of the Qantas club.When business class was half full the tap on the shoulder and As you are a Qantas club member we would like to upgrade you never came,When the last renewal came we did not renew.We now fly business overseas with other airlines 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Nov 2011

Total posts 359

Could have told you from the start,  nothing special about being Qantas Club. Platinum One maybe… but never Qantas Club. Expecting a free upgrade was just setting yourself up for disappointment.

American Airlines - AAdvantage

13 Jul 2015

Total posts 262

Is $99 a 1 year joining fee? 

20 Oct 2015

Total posts 160

$99 is the joining fee, it's like the fee for becoming a member of a gym to get your little keycard or whatever, on top of that you then pay for the 'time' of your membership. So if you join the Qantas Club for just one year up front the cost is $99 + $600, if you join for two years it's $99 + $1100, but either way when your membership period expires you pay to renew it for $600 for another year, $1100 for another two years etc.

25 Jun 2018

Total posts 5

My company bought 5 Life memberships of Qantas Club in the early 1970s for the executives, 2 of us still using them.   As UpUpAndAway says, very few of the front desk staff believe what they are seeing.  

XWu
XWu

09 May 2020

Total posts 392

Always amazed me the cost of joining fee (it’s not like the actual annual membership are cheap either) and having a club membership is an incentive for pax to choose QF despite the higher costs of QF fares even during the QF-AN duopoly and then QF-DJ (virgin blue) struggle until the price war of QF-VA in the late 2000s. 

I had the opportunity of getting a corporate discount and paid 30% less from memory but the annual membership fee really makes a disincentive to continue for anyone to fly QF domestically less than 10 times a year or 3-4 times international flights (considering the availability of pay per entry lounges in international hubs and credit card passes, not the same quality but you don’t get locked in to look for flights with one world partners or the Australian “tax” for having a QF flight number in order to use the partner lounge)

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Oct 2017

Total posts 2

Wonder if you can cancel your membership, then just re-join for $99?

24 Dec 2013

Total posts 94

Sure, if you want to waste money. The $99 will get you absolutely nothing. You still have to pay the $600 annual membership fee.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

12 Feb 2021

Total posts 7

In 1990I joined Ansett for life over QF (been a Flight Deck as well for 5 years) and the offer was  round 1500 AUD for life. This wa because I belive that Ansett was a good carrier and  was not to know like many of the  future banruptcy in  in 2001. There may have been a lower life deal then for QF transfer for AN members but unsure of the price but in hindsight would have been  a good deal and understand the "lifers" with QF are happy with their investment. Good on you. Remember that Star Alliance is also generous with Gold memberships for international travel  and many  ex HK colleagues  joined Aegean  and flew Thai and others for a low milege acculmulation for Gold but maintained their "free " club  entry  memberships on other Star Alliance carriers. 

Qantas

22 Oct 2012

Total posts 292

Joining fees for membership of any club or organisation should ever only be used as a disincentive to people joining for a year but not renewing for a couple of years.  A $400 Joining fee for the QC was always outrageous.

06 Jun 2017

Total posts 23

Been a QC member since 1994.

Went to renew for a lifetime senior membership only to find that Qantas had ceased the lifetime membership that month without notice.

Continued annual renewals until last year when I renewed under a deal until 2029, at which time I expect I’ll be done travelling. 😎

26 Mar 2020

Total posts 16

Let me get this straight they are "increasing" renewal fees ? - not decreasing okay in what world is this justifiable ?

Last time I checked 95% of the international lounge network is closed and there are still some domestic lounges closed.

On top of this there is capacity restrictions, border closures and huge amount of uncertainty in travel - and they expect us to pay more to renew compared to precovid times?????

17 Jun 2020

Total posts 235

The new pricing structure is more Covid Safe than the old one.

Also they need to repay the billions owed to the taxpayer of course. 

09 Oct 2017

Total posts 5

I'm sure I paid $2500 for lifetime membership, and it must have been in 2000, as the expiry date on my card is August 2100. At 47 years of age now, im not sure if I will get another 79 years out of it ?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

12 Feb 2021

Total posts 7

Mr Rabtab maybe correct there and assume it was QF life. I am more inclined to believe it was 2k aud for AN and I stand corrected. I  never paid joining fees for QF because accumullated quite quickly Gold/Platinum staus so no need as free club entries for many years and same with NH and Star Alliance. Many ex colleagues in HK  flew QF/CX as QF status emebrs and not Marco Polo as easier to get higher status that Diamond Marco Polo but in saying that , several people i know lost their Diamond staus on CX but is on their record and they are always surprised at their  positive ground experiences with CX. interesting points made by many experienced travellers .

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

07 Jul 2017

Total posts 2

My Qantas Club membership is currently paused while I'm at Gold status. If/when I drop back down to Silver and reactivate my Club membership, will the renewal be at the new prices, or as an existing member?

06 Jun 2017

Total posts 23

The Qantas Club for me has only served as a place with comfortable chairs, food and beverages and away from crowded gate areas.

That said, upgrades were never available, nor expected, even if using points. That part doesn’t work, and priority baggage tags and boarding  are things of the past. I just measure what I pay against what I get...

Starting to travel more so we’ll see.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Nov 2011

Total posts 359

Slightly OT, but does QC membership pause when you are a Points Plus member as it would when Gold?


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