The Qantas Points Club program, which the airline will officially launch today, is an offshoot of the Qantas Frequent Flyer scheme designed for people who earn most of their Qantas Points on the ground rather than in the air.
Shopping with a Qantas-partnered credit card, earning points through partners such as Woolworths, Red Energy and soon BP - it's how more than half of the 13 million Qantas Frequent Flyer members earn the bulk of their Qantas Points. Think of them as frequent buyers rather than frequent flyers.
Launching this week with two tiers – Points Club and Points Club Plus - the program will have especially strong appeal to business owners who generate a sizeable stash of points without setting foot on an airplane, through the strategic use of credit cards to pay the bulk of their bills.
Here's the Executive Traveller executive summary on the Qantas Points Club.
Qantas Points Club vs Qantas Points Club Plus
Earn 150,000 Qantas Points in your Qantas Frequent Flyer membership year and you'll automatically gain Qantas Points Club membership.
Earn 350,000 Qantas Points in your Qantas Frequent Flyer membership year and you'll join the ranks of the higher-level Qantas Points Club Plus tier.
All Qantas Frequent Flyers members – Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Platinum One – are automatically eligible for Points Club or Points Club Plus once they reach the necessary points threshold, and will be informed via email and through the Qantas app.
However, for the purposes of Qantas Points Club membership, most of your annual points will need to come from buying rather than flying.
Only 20,000 Qantas Points from flying in any QFF membership year will count towards your Points Club membership, with a maximum of 125,000 'qualifying' points per transaction (for example, if you lob 150,000 points from a Qantas-partnered credit card into your Qantas Frequent Flyer account in one go, only 125,000 of those points will count towards Points Club membership).
Qantas Points received through the Loyalty Bonus, the Platinum or Platinum One bonus reward, a family transfer or Qantas Business Rewards transfer will not count towards Points Club or Points Club Plus membership.
Purchasing top-up Qantas Points does count towards your Points Club or Points Club Plus membership, but with prices ranging from $56 for 1,000 Qantas Points to $3,999 for 150,000 Qantas Points, you're better of leaving this as a last resort.
Qantas Points Club benefit: lounge passes
Points Club members will receive two complimentary lounge passes each year.
These passes can be used at domestic Qantas Club lounges and Qantas International Business lounges (with the exception of the Los Angeles business lounge, which is shared between Qantas, British Airways and Cathay Pacific and operates more as a Oneworld multi-airline lounge).
Free Qantas Club membership
Points Club Plus members will receive complimentary Qantas Club membership (using a digital membership card on their smartphone app, instead of receiving a physical card through the mail).
This membership is not transferrable. Points Club and Points Club Plus members who have also attained Qantas Frequent Flyer Gold or higher status won't receive the free lounge passes or Qantas Club membership, as they already enjoy lounge access by virtue of their status.
Earn status credits on reward flights
One of the most interesting benefits of Qantas Points Club and Points Club Plus membership will be the ability to earn status credits on 'classic' reward bookings made with Qantas Points – an effective shortcut to help Points Club members climb the frequent flyer status ladder.
These will apply only to 'Qantas-marketed classic flight rewards' bookings, not points-based bookings made on partner airlines such as Oneworld members or Emirates; the number of status credits earned is shown in the table below (where X is economy, Z is premium economy, U is business class and P is first class).
In the case of a Sydney-London Classic Reward Flight in business class, a Points Club Plus member would pocket 252 status credits.
Another status-friendly benefit: Points Club Plus members will also be able to roll over 100 status credits each membership year to ensure they reach or retain their desired status of Silver, Gold or even Platinum, although the rollover won't apply to Platinum One.
Other Qantas Points Club benefits
Most of the other Points Club benefits are geared towards other ventures of the Qantas Loyalty division, such as:
- a 5% discount for Points Club members, and a 10% discount for Points Club Plus members, when spending their points at the Qantas rewards store
- Points Club members will earn 25% more points on hotel stays booked through Qantas Hotels (excluding packages and Airbnb bookings), with a 50% bonus for Points Club Plus members
- a double points bonus for Points Club members who purchase Qantas travel insurance, with a triple points bonus for Points Club Plus members
- triple points and free delivery for Qantas Wine orders for Points Club and Points Club Plus members, with a 10% discount on Qantas Wine purchases (excluding Penfolds) for Points Club Plus members
- a free one-level upgrade on Avis car rentals for Points Club and Points Club Plus members
Qantas is also promising "exclusive member-only offers" such as "regular flight promotions, redemption deals, discounts and bonus point offers."
Earning Qantas Points at BP service stations
Following this week's launch of the Qantas Points Club, Qantas will add another everyday points-earning avenue through its new partnership with BP, with motorists able to earn Qantas Points when buying petrol, drinks or snacks at one of 1,400 BP service stations around Australia.
“Drivers spend thousands of dollars on fuel each year, our partnership with BP is an easy way for frequent flyers to earn points and get closer to their dream trip,”says Qantas Loyalty CEO Olivia Wirth.