New Qantas Points Club tier could include first class lounge access

Qantas makes a timely pivot from frequent flyers to frequent shoppers.

By David Flynn, December 10 2020
New Qantas Points Club tier could include first class lounge access
Executive Traveller exclusive

Qantas is considering a new top-level tier for its Points Club program with added perks such as access to the airline's best airport lounges and the ability to roll over status credits from one year to the next.

But the criteria for entry could be as high as one million frequent flyer points, according to a survey sent to some of the airline's Points Club members and shared by one Executive Traveller reader.

Qantas Points Club is an offshoot of the Qantas Frequent Flyer scheme designed for people who earn most of their Qantas Points on the ground – through activities such as credit cards and shopping – rather than in the air.

The Qantas Points Club is more for frequent shoppers than frequent flyers.
The Qantas Points Club is more for frequent shoppers than frequent flyers.

The program was launched in December 2019 with two levels – Points Club and Points Club Plus – but the airline is now looking to add a third tier as increasing number of Australians earning and spending Qantas Points through non-flying activities.

"A next level of Points Club membership beyond Points Club Plus is currently under review," the survey notes, including options for "both the benefits as well qualification to this level of membership."

Perks beyond Plus

Recipients of the survey are asked to rate a series of proposed benefits of the unnamed third tier, which include:

  • complimentary Business Lounge membership, which would provide access to Qantas' domestic and international business class lounges
  • four invitations per year to Qantas First Class lounges (in Sydney, Melbourne, Singapore and Los Angeles)
  • roll over up to 200 status credits from one year to the next
  • $250 vouchers for Qantas Hotels and Qantas Wine
  • AVIS President's Club membership
  • free travel insurance
  • VIP dinner and Master of Wine 'tutorial'
  • triple points for 'healthy habits' such as walking and cycling with the Qantas Wellbeing app
  • monogrammed Qantas first class pyjamas
  • 'priceless experiences' such as a behind-the-scenes tour with Qantas' Chief Pilots
  • exclusive offers such as "early access to on-going offers, bonus points and discounts"

Not all of those benefits would be part of the new tier, but Qantas is seeking feedback on the perks with the greatest appeal.

A key benefit of the new Points Club tier could be access to Qantas business class lounges.
A key benefit of the new Points Club tier could be access to Qantas business class lounges.

A 'million points' milestone?

Reaching this new top rung on the Points Club ladder may be a stretch, although that's the whole idea: to reward the big spenders.

The threshold for Qantas Points Club membership currently stands at earning 150,000 Qantas Points per year, with Qantas Points Club Plus pegged at 350,000 Qantas Points.

However, the above-Plus tier could raise the bar to between 800,000 and 1,000,000 Qantas Points, based on the three options flagged in the survey.

  • Earn at least 800,000 Qantas Points in a 12-month period through seven earning channels: that list includes credit cards, spending with partners such as Woolworths, BP, Uber and Red Energy, as well as Qantas Wine, Qantas Hotels and Qantas Health Insurance.
  • Earn at least 900,000 Qantas Points any way you wish (rather than ticking off seven earning pathways) in a 12-month period
  • Reach 1,000,000 Qantas Points 'activity' – a combination of earning and burning – as long as you tick off at least four channels for earning points and three channels for spending points (the later includes Qantas flights, hotels, wine, insurance, car hire and the points-based Qantas Rewards Store)

Respondents were asked to indicate how likely they would be "to put effort into trying to achieve each of the qualifying criteria" based on the lure of those proposed benefits.

"Points Club has been an incredibly popular initiative amongst our frequent buyers," a Qantas spokesperson told Executive Traveller. "We’re always looking for new ways to recognise and reward our loyal members."

Qantas Frequent Flyer has over 13 million members on its books, and its Qantas Loyalty parent remains an revenue powerhouse for the airline at a time when  international flights have been grounded and its domestic network shredded by eight months of border closures.

Power up your Qantas Points balance with our roundup of Australia's best Qantas Frequent Flyer credit card sign-up offers, beginning at a hefty 150,000 points.

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.

American Airlines - AAdvantage

13 Jul 2015

Total posts 259

That just seems ridiculous. The people who would be able to spend that much would most likely already have Business Class and/or First Class Lounge Access. I just reached Points Club Plus with just a few days to go - I don't even see any real advantage to it in any case. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jan 2017

Total posts 55

I'd say it is a great idea. I have a ton of points sitting in my AMEX MR that could potentially go into QF, should the perk provided by QF out benefits of me directing them into SQ or CX. I do have OW Emearld however that is likely to lapse due to the lack of intl. travel in the foreseeable time. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jan 2014

Total posts 307

Don’t see the value in the whole concept really, seems like a lot of things from QF these days, spend a fortune and get a few shiny tokens of questionable value.

05 Mar 2015

Total posts 247

Surely Qantas is reaching the crossover point between Points Club and actual frequent flyer status here. I'm sure they have done their sums and found some market but I'd be really interested to see the sort of person who can churn a million points a year and see what their travel habits are.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 903

  • complimentary Business Lounge membership, which would provide access to Qantas' domestic and international business class lounges on par with Qantas Frequent Flyer Gold status
  • Just a minor point but Gold FF status doesn't give access to domestic Business Lounges; they get Qantas Club access.

C2K
C2K

British Airways - Executive Club

10 Dec 2020

Total posts 2

Not sure on QF earning rates as UK Based but this, sort of, seems to be akin to GfL /GGfL with BA ( 35K Lifetime Tier Points for Gold For Life). 

The things on offer sound nice but devil in the detail is the "not everything would be included, tell us what sounds most attractive to you" part of the questionnaire. In most cases, QF being far from the 1st to go through this process, responses are gauged for potential uptake if the scheme is even introduced then the accountants sit down with the ( Corporate) customer retentions team & thrash out the all important "minimum we can get away with" with the accountants being the senior party in the discussion. 

I appreciate that things are different in QF/ Australia but not even granting F lounge access seems a key indicator of their desire to give as little away as possible in any future scheme. Is the required threshold even contemplatable for anyone other than the Blue Chip Corp FF who bags a few International/ Cross Continent J/F flights per month on an annual basis?(( Gen' question, as I said i'm approaching this from a knowledge deficit on QR earnings rates))  I guess that is part of the compromise that you can earn the points required via non-flying channels whereas eg BAEC GfL is strictly TP based which can only ever be earnt by flying and are never given away for free no matter the circumstance ( save a few very rare occasions over the years and, as per the rumour mill, some small amounts being granted as 'start up points' to new signup major Blue Chip Corp' Travel multi year contracts - but even those are only a myth to all intents and purposes covered by NDA's)

Etihad - Etihad Guest

28 Feb 2019

Total posts 11

I suspect it will suit and target those that don’t travel often but want the perks but who also spend or could spend lots and make plenty for Qantas. 

Good idea. 

JBB
JBB

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

13 Jan 2017

Total posts 1

These schemes can’t even begin to look appealing, when Qantas will drag you through the mud every time you make a legitimate points or status credit claim, in fact they will actively discourage you with delays, miscommunication, and denials. The problem has become significantly worse in the last 5-6 months.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

13 Jan 2018

Total posts 35

I've been harping on about this since reaching PC+ much earlier this year. As a Qantas LTG member, the benefits of PC+ are almost worthless. Domestic Business lounges and some First lounge passes, travel insurance and a few of the other carrots, however are a different matter, but at 800k/900k earn levels perhaps out of reach. The 1 million points "activity" is worth consideration though, say 600k earn and 400k spend - now that's doable.

This is clearly aimed at SME's and business owners who can direct lots and lots of spend through AmEx, flicks a small handcuff back onto LTG's while earning Qantas good money for selling points to merchants and "encourages" spend. 

The devil, if it materialises will, however, be in the detail. A requirement to, say, "spend" a minimum of 100k points in the Rewards Store would kill it for me. 

cow
cow

25 Aug 2017

Total posts 12

As status credits get erased every 12 months, even in this non-flying year, it would seem impossible to achieve this goal.  

17 Jun 2020

Total posts 226

So how long until Qantas Frequent Flyer gets renamed to Qantas Points?


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