You can now book Rex flights with points

Rex now lets frequent flyers use points to book a flight, with business class upgrades to follow...

By David Flynn, December 19 2023
You can now book Rex flights with points

Frequent flyers on Australian regional airline Rex can now use their points to snare an economy or business class seat through the challenger’s Rex Flyer rewards program, with points-based upgrades to business class on the way.

Rex Points can be redeemed through three Flight Reward options – Anytime, Getaway and Ultimate – while all unsold seats on every flight will progressively become available at the cheapest Ultimate reward redemption rate from 48 hours before departure.

We dive into deep detail further in this article, which serves as your complete guide to Rex Flyer, but here’s how Rex Flight Rewards work:

  • Anytime Rewards will sell for the highest rates, but guarantee a ‘last seat available’ booking and have the most flexibility to change or cancel your booking
  • Getaway Rewards require fewer points but carry a $33 fee to change or cancel your booking within 14 days of departure in economy, and seven days in business
  • Ultimate Rewards will go for the lowest number of Rex Points, but that $33 fee applies to changes and cancellations made any time after you book

As a quick example, take Rex’s Melbourne-Brisbane route:

  • an Anytime Reward in economy is set at 33,400 Rex Points, with a Getaway Reward at 11,600 Rex Points and an Ultimate Reward at 8,900 Rex Points
  • in business class an Anytime Reward costs 34,900 Rex Points, a Getaway Reward is 25,900 Rex Points and an Ultimate Reward is 19,900 Rex Points

You can click here to see the full list of Rex Flyer Flight Rewards for intercity and regional routes. 

On top of these, Rex will offer what it calls Last Minute Flight Rewards.

Within two days of every intercity and regional Rex flight taking off, empty seats will be made available at that rock-bottom Ultimate Rewards rate.

  • 48 hours before the flight departs, all but five unsold economy seats will be put online as Ultimate Reward seats (those five seats are held back in case Rex really needs them)
  • 24 hours before the flight departs, all but two unsold business class seats will be converted into Ultimate Reward seats
  • at 12.01am on the day the flight departs, every seat that’s still not been sold – even the ones Rex held onto – will be up for grabs at that low Ultimate Reward rate.

For example, under the Last Minute Flight Rewards initiative, every empty economy class seat on a Sydney-Melbourne, Sydney-Brisbane or Melbourne-Adelaide is released at 7,400 Rex Points in the lead-up to those flights.

Rex says over 60,000 travellers have joined Rex Flyer since it launched in October, and they’ve steadily been piling up those Rex Points at a rate of up to seven points for every dollar spent on their ticket.

The next stage in the Rex Flyer rollout will come in February 2024, when Rex will unlock points-based business class upgrades as well as activating its three ‘elite tiers’ of Sapphire, Emerald and Diamond.

Read our original article below to get up to speed with Rex Flyer.


Two and a half years after Regional Express muscled into the intercity jet market dominated by Qantas and Virgin Australia, the challenger now wants to shake up the loyalty landscape with the launch of its new Rex Flyer program.

Due to go live today, Monday October 2 2023, the Rex frequent flyer scheme will let passengers on the carrier’s Rex’s intercity Boeing 737 jet network and backbone of regional routes flown by Saab turboprops earn ‘Rex Points’ which can be used to snare free flights and upgrades to business class.

A unique component of the Rex Flyer program will see all unsold seats on every flight made available at the lowest points rate from 48 hours before departure.

Rex has adopted a ‘revenue-based’ earning model where travellers earn between three and seven Rex Points for every dollar spent on their airfare or extra such as seat selection.

They’ll also earn Status Points at the rate of one Status Point per dollar to ascend through four membership tiers – christened Opal, Sapphire, Emerald and Diamond – each with its own set of benefits.

Rex Flyer will help the airline level up against Qantas and Virgin Australia.
Rex Flyer will help the airline level up against Qantas and Virgin Australia.

Standout perks of status include free business class upgrades and extra legroom economy seating, plus moving to an earlier flight without a fee, along with the usual benefits such as lounge access, priority check-in and boarding, and boosted baggage allowances.

Rex will also allow ‘family pooling’ of points into a single flyer’s account, and permit the points of a deceased family member to be transferred to their next of kin.

“The program with its superior benefits means we can at last reward our passengers for the loyalty they have shown us over many years,” says Rex Deputy Chairman John Sharp.

Rex is also planning “new airport lounges planned for Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, with construction commencing imminently,” while a Rex app for Apple and Android phones is warming up on the runway.

Introducing Rex Flyer 

The Rex Flyer program has two ‘currencies’, if you will: Rex Points and Status Points.

Rex Points can be used for rewards such as free reward flights and business class upgrades, while Status Points drive your Rex Flyer status tier.

Both are determined by the cost of your airfare – what the boffins call a ‘revenue-based’ model, which is becoming increasingly popular with airlines compared to issuing points against a baseline of how many miles you’ve flown.

The upside of this points-per-dollar model is not only that it’s incredibly easy to understand and calculate your points, but that it rewards your spending – the more you pay, the more you earn.

Passengers on Rex regional and intercity services can all earn Rex Points.
Passengers on Rex regional and intercity services can all earn Rex Points.

And as all frequent flyer programs should be these days, Rex Flyer is ‘family friendly’.

Family Pooling lets you combine all the Rex Points and Status Points earned by up to six family members living at the same address into the Rex Flyer account of a single ‘family lead’ – a great way to pile up the points and fast-track your way to status.

Rex Flyer Sapphire, Emerald and Diamond members can also put their membership on ‘parental leave pause’ to save their status until they’re back in the air.

Finally, in the event of the death of a family member, their Rex Points and Status Points will be transferrable to another family member.

The Rex Flyer roadmap

The Rex Flyer program is being rolled out in three stages.

  • from today, Monday October 2, travellers can sign up to Rex Flyer and begin earning points (both Rex Points and Status Points) from their next Rex flight 
  • from mid-November you’ll be able to use those Rex Points to book flights
  • in February 2024 Rex will unlock points-based business class upgrades, as well as activating its three ‘elite tiers’ of Sapphire, Emerald and Diamond

And there’s more to come.

There's more on the runway for Rex and Rex Flyer.
There's more on the runway for Rex and Rex Flyer.

The airline intends to revamp its paused Rex Business Flyer to more closely align with Rex Flyer and compete against Qantas Business Rewards and Virgin Australia Business Flyer.

Also on the to-do list for 2024 is a linkup to the SkyMiles platform of US partner Delta Air Lines.

Rex and Delta already share connecting flights, ticketing and baggage services on each other’s network, but Rex Flyer plans to extend this with reciprocal ‘earn and burn’ plus status perks between Rex Flyer and Delta SkyMiles Medallion tiers.

How to join Rex Flyer

The Rex Flyer program is free to join – just click through to the Rex Flyer website and sign up.

To get you started, all Rex Flyer members who join before January 3 2024 will receive 5,000 Rex Points.

Get off to a flying start with a bonus 5,000 Rex Points when you join the program.
Get off to a flying start with a bonus 5,000 Rex Points when you join the program.

And as a special launch promotion, newly-minted Rex Flyer members will also earn double Rex Points on all bookings made before January 3 2024, without any restriction on the actual travel date (so if you want to book a flight in August 2024, go for it).

Note that Rex won’t be issuing physical membership cards: instead, your status will be displayed on a digital card in the coming-soon Rex smartphone app, due to hit the Apple and Android app stores in early 2024.

Earning Rex Points and Status Points

At the moment, the only way to earn Rex Points and Status Points is by flying with Rex.

Executive Traveller can confirm Rex is looking at retail partners for ‘on the ground’ earning – starting with petrol and groceries – to join Rex Flyer in early 2024, although there are no banks or credit cards in play given the membership base is starting from near-zero.

As mentioned earlier, as Rex Flyer is a spend-based program the cost of your airfare and selected extras is what drives your points haul.

So how many Rex Points will you earn in the air?

  • economy Resident and Community fares and most economy Promo fares earn three Rex Points per dollar
  • economy Saver and business Saver fares plus the highest-grade economy Promo fare earn five Rex Points per dollar
  • economy Flex, business class Biz and Biz Plus fares earn seven Rex Points per dollar
  • fees for seat selection and additional baggage also earn five Rex Points per dollar

That points-per-dollar spend covers the total fare including airport taxes, other charges and GST, but not any payment method surcharge or booking/handling fee.

Meanwhile, Status Points are earned at a flat rate of one Status Point per dollar spent on your Rex airfare.

And that’s as complicated as it gets: on a $179 economy Saver fare between Sydney and Melbourne you’ll earn 895 Rex Points and 179 Status points.

Rex Flyer has learned a lot from rival frequent flyer programs.
Rex Flyer has learned a lot from rival frequent flyer programs.

Make the same trip on a $349 business Saver fare and your haul is 1,745 Rex Points and 349 Status Points.

However, one benefit of Rex Flyer status is a points bonus of between 25% and 75% on economy Saver, economy Flex and all business class fares.

So a Rex Flyer Sapphire member doing that Sydney-Melbourne trip in economy would end up with 1,118 Rex Points, while a Diamond member in the next row would step off the plane with 1,566 Rex Points (their Status Points tallies would remain the same, however).

The same earn rates apply to Rex’s backbone of regional flights, except off course that the Saabs don’t have a business class cabin.

Rex Points have a generous three-year expiry period, compared to the 18 months of Qantas and Virgin Australia, and of course any activity will reset the clock and keep your all points alive on a rolling basis for the next 36 months. 

Rex Flyer Flight Rewards

It’s one thing to build up a mountain of points, but using them to snare a free flight is something else – indeed, it’s triggered plenty of frustration among frequent flyers.

Here’s how Rex intends to handle that, and it has an interesting approach to filling seats that remain unsold.

To set the scene: once Rex unleashes its Flight Rewards package in mid-November, watch for three types of rewards available to book with Rex Points in both economy and business class:

  • Anytime Rewards will sell for the highest rates, but guarantee a ‘last seat available’ booking and have the most flexibility to change or cancel your booking
  • Getaway Rewards require fewer points but carry a $33 fee to change or cancel your booking within 14 days of departure in economy, and seven days in business
  • Ultimate Rewards will go for the lowest number of Rex Points, but that $33 fee applies to changes and cancellations made any time after you book

As a quick example, take Rex’s Melbourne-Brisbane route:

  • an Anytime Reward in economy is set at 33,400 Rex Points, with a Getaway Reward at 11,600 Rex Points and an Ultimate Reward at 8,900 Rex Points
  • in business class an Anytime Reward costs 34,900 Rex Points, a Getaway Reward is 25,900 Rex Points and an Ultimate Reward is 19,900 Rex Points

You can click here to see the full list of Rex Flyer Flight Rewards for intercity and regional routes.

(And if you’re thinking the naming is a bit confusing – that Ultimate sounds like the most flexible fare while Getaway has more of a last-minute vibe – well, yes, we’d agree with you.)

As an aside, these Flight Rewards are calculated as discounts against published fares in each booking class and then converted into points.

Anytime Rewards are equivalent to 50% off the top-priced Flex fare, with Getaway Rewards at 35% of the cheapest Saver fare and Ultimate Rewards at 50% of a Saver fare. This means Flight Reward point amounts can change as published fares change.

Rex wants to make every empty seat available at low 'classic award' rates before each flight takes off.
Rex wants to make every empty seat available at low 'classic award' rates before each flight takes off.

Now here’s the twist: it’s what Rex calls Last Minute Flight Rewards.

Within two days of every intercity and regional Rex flight taking off, empty seats will be made available at that rock-bottom Ultimate Rewards rate.

  • 48 hours before the flight departs, all but five unsold economy seats will be put online as Ultimate Reward seats (those five seats are held back in case Rex really needs them)
  • 24 hours before the flight departs, all but two unsold business class seats will be converted into Ultimate Reward seats
  • at 12.01am on the day the flight departs, every seat that’s still not been sold – even the ones Rex held onto – will be up for grabs at that low Ultimate Reward rate.

Under the Last Minute Flight Rewards initiative, every empty economy class seat on a Sydney-Melbourne, Sydney-Brisbane or Melbourne-Adelaide is released at 7,400 Rex Points in the lead-up to those flights.

It’s not something you want to plan your business trip or family holiday around, but if you can travel on short notice or sheer spontaneity is your thing, Last Minute Flight Rewards are (quite literally) just the ticket.

Rex Flyer business class upgrades

Fancy moving up to business class? How many Rex Points you’ll pay will depend on the type of economy fare you purchased.

Upgrading from the cheapest economy Promo fares will demand more Rex Points than from a mid-priced economy Saver fare, with the least number of Rex Points needed against the most expensive Economy Flex fare.

Business class upgrades are also part of the Rex Flyer proposition.
Business class upgrades are also part of the Rex Flyer proposition.

A full Point Upgrade Reward table is published on the Rex Flyer website, but as a starter:

  • a business class upgrade from an economy Promo fare on most 737 routes such as Sydney-Melbourne, Sydney-Brisbane and Melbourne-Adelaide will cost 13,000 Rex Points
  • a business class upgrade from an economy Saver fare on the same 737 routes requires 8,700 Rex Points
  • a business class upgrade from an economy Flex fare on those 737 routes requires 4,300 Rex Points

For the likes of Sydney-Adelaide and Melbourne-Brisbane, business class upgrades range from 14,900 Rex Points down to 4,900 Rex Points. 

However, as Rex calculates its upgrade rates as a percentage of the Business Ultimate Reward rates – which in turn are set at 50% of the published business Saver fare – these flight reward amounts can change from time to time, in line with published fare changes.

And as detailed below, Rex Flyer Emeralds can claim two complimentary business class upgrades each membership year while Diamonds get three free bumps into business.

Rex Flyer status tiers

Moving up the Rex Flyer status ladder comes as you earn Status Points on Rex flights: these are fixed at a rate of one Status Point per dollar spent on Rex airfares.

Fly from Sydney to Melbourne or Brisbane to Roma on a $250 ticket and you’ll earn 250 Status Points. It doesn’t get more straightforward than that.

However, Rex also allows its status tiers to be earned by taking a set number of flights, which favours shorter regional hops and travellers on the lowest airfares.

(These are officially called ‘status flights’ and almost all Rex flights are eligible, with obvious exceptions such as points-based reward bookings).

Regardless of how you qualify for a tier, you’ll hold that status and enjoy its benefits for a full 12 months from the day you were upgraded to that tier. 

The four gemstone-themed status tiers of Rex Flyer.
The four gemstone-themed status tiers of Rex Flyer.

Rex Flyer Opal is the first rung on the status ladder, where all new members begin. As with Qantas Bronze and Velocity Red, there are no real benefits – Opal is just a stepping stone to higher tiers.

Rex Flyer Sapphire is the first ‘elite’ tier with benefits, and is yours when you earn 1,500 Status Points or take 12 Rex flights (retaining Sapphire status in subsequent years calls for 1,100 Status Points or 10 flights).

The key benefits of Rex Flyer Sapphire are

  • 25% bonus Rex Points on economy Saver, economy Flex and all business class fares
  • complimentary standard seating (usually $6 extra)
  • access to priority seating zones

Rex says Sapphire is designed to slide in below Qantas Silver and Velocity Silver as an easily-attainable tier with a handful of perks as people begin flying with Rex (or at least in the early stages of their Rex Flyer membership).

Rex Flyer Emerald and Diamond is where the perks start to appear.
Rex Flyer Emerald and Diamond is where the perks start to appear.

Rex Flyer Emerald is where the real frequent flyer perks begin to pile up.

To reach Emerald status requires 3,000 Status Points or 24 flights; retaining Emerald takes 2,200 Status Points or 22 flights.

On top of what you already get as a Sapphire member, the key benefits of Rex Flyer Emerald are

  • two complimentary business class upgrades per year (from an economy Saver or Flex fare) 
  • complimentary ‘Get Me Home’ – moving to an earlier flight on the same day – on a economy Saver fare (usually a $33 charge)
  • complimentary ‘front’ seating (usually $10 extra)
  • complimentary Extra Legroom seating during online checkin (usually $15 extra)
  • 50% bonus Rex Points on economy Saver, economy Flex and all business class fares
  • higher checked baggage allowance on Boeing 737 services: 32kg in economy (usually 23kg) and 42kg in business (usually 32kg) with priority baggage handling
  • priority checkin and boarding

Rex considers the Emerald tier as its equivalent to Qantas Silver and Velocity Silver, although they’re not like-for-like.

For example, Rex Flyer Emerald doesn’t include the complimentary lounge passes of Qantas Silver – but then you don’t get free business class upgrades or fly-ahead with Qantas Silver or Velocity Silver.

Rex Flyer Diamond status includes access to Rex airport lounges.
Rex Flyer Diamond status includes access to Rex airport lounges.

Rex Flyer Diamond sits at the top of the Rex loyalty ladder, but is more of a matcher against Qantas and Velocity Gold rather than Platinum.

None the less, Rex is channeling Marilyn Monroe to proclaim that Diamond is a frequent flyer’s best friend.

6,000 Status Points or 48 Rex flights delivers Diamond status, and 4,400 Status Points or 44 flights locks it in for the following 12 months.

Rex Flyer Diamond adds extra shine to the perks of Emerald, including 

  • access to Rex lounges (currently at Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide, with Brisbane on the horizon)
  • (equivalent to the $329 annual lounge membership package)
  • three complimentary business class upgrades per year (from an economy Saver or Flex fare)
  • complimentary ‘Get Me Home’ on any economy fare
  • complimentary Extra Legroom seating
  • no service fees when using the Rex call centre to make or change a flight reward booking or request a points upgrade.
  • 75% bonus Rex Points on economy Saver, economy Flex and all business class fares
  • higher checked baggage allowance on Boeing 737 services: 42kg in economy (usually 23kg) and 64kg in business (usually 32kg) with priority baggage handling
  • 15kg of carry-on baggage in Boeing 737 economy or business class (usually 7kg in economy and 10-15kg in business, depending on the fare type)

It’s clear that Rex has put plenty of thought into shaping a frequent flyers program which is very much its own beast rather than aping its rivals.

For example, while frequent flyers will flock to Diamond status, casual flyers will still find the Emerald tier pleases with those business class upgrades and fly-ahead options.

That said, these are early days for Rex Flyer and there’s still plenty of time and scope for Rex to add more tier benefits down the track, such as lounge passes for Emeralds and free inflight WiFi for Diamonds.

And before you ask: yes, Rex is looking to launch a status match against Qantas and Virgin Australia sometime after the Rex Flyer status tiers go live in early 2024.

We’re expecting to see Qantas and Velocity Silvers matched to Rex Flyer Emerald, while Qantas and Velocity Golds and Platinums would qualify for Rex Flyer Diamond.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

12 Sep 2023

Total posts 2

I really hope Rex does well with this. I am torn between supporting Rex (and Bonza) or keeping my One World Emerald status by sticking with Qantas who are certainly not my favourite airline. Qantas focus is on Revenue Revenue Revenue and not customer satisfaction which has become most evident over recent weeks. Most of my One World status credits are earned with other One World carries to North America and Europe. I was a Virgin FF before that but their partnerships with other international airlines sucked and I often found myself at check-in counters of Velocity partners trying to explain what Velocity was and what I was entitled to. One World is just seamless and status is instantly recognised by all One World airlines. Given the loss of our only Star Alliance partner over 20 years ago we no longer have a domestic and international partnership flyer as good as One World. We just have to pay through the nose for QF flights and then still have to pay extra fees and charges for an earlier flight when we get to the airport early. Unless it suits Qantas to change of course and then they encourage it for more Revenue Revenue Revenue! Good luck Rex. 

25 May 2020

Total posts 3

I would love for Rex to join the Star Alliance. VA seem to be dragging their feet and are chasing their own partnerships, rather than properly aligning with them. The problem with VA, is that they're essentially a low-cost carrier, which doesn't fit the expected structure of the Star Alliance. They would need to upgrade their service standards if they ever hope to join. They would also need to change a lot their systems to align with the other Star Alliance carriers.

Rex should beat them to the punch, following in the footsteps of their predecessor, Ansett. If they can set up alliance partnerships with the likes of Air Canada, United, Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa, Thai, Turkish, EVA, ANA, South African and Thai Airways, they would be laughing. With their regional connections and cap city services, plus their full-service model, it seems like a no brainer to me.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Nov 2017

Total posts 324

Considering Rex has signed a interline partnership with DL with a MoU of upgrading that interline to a proper codeshare partnership when the FF program is set, chances of DL getting involved with *A is very minimal at best.   A better chance of ZL aligning towards SkyTeam at this time.

SQ, AC and UA are already tied to VA for codeshares, despite SQ's involvement in leasing a few (ex-SilkAir) 737s to REX.

As for VA, they were on record stating they were a 'value carrier' upon exit from administration, and with the running media speculation that QR may get involved financially by buying a part-stake off Bain, it's possibly likely VA will remain independent for the foreseeable future as a 'Value Carrier' with a domestic J recliner class and a FF program with domestic lounges.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1204

REX doesn't have a lot of cash and hates spending what they have.  I can't see them being too interested in coughing up annual alliance fees which are rumoured to be around $10M p.a.

29 Jan 2012

Total posts 163

Well done REX, I believe it is what both the airline and Australia needs, and with Delta in the background, this may finally put some product delivery pressure on the local competition. I wish them all the best.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Mar 2017

Total posts 20

First snag - I attemped to sign up for those flights that I have no choice but to fly Rex, and the website won't let you register if your surname has less than three characters. The call centre operator suggested I just "add an extra letter" (face palm!).

QF

11 Jul 2014

Total posts 950

What is customer loyalty worth these days? Not much….

In the next couple of years I can see myself flying REX, Bonza, VA and maybe Qantas as well. People flying REX tell me they have a great experience and once Bonza flys out of Sydney I think VA and Qantas will both get a drop in sales. 

Once you hit 800 status credits with VA you can’t get anymore status loyalty and Qantas is just so over priced for what you get these days it’s a sitting Kangaroo with a 303 pointed at it.

It will be interesting to see where this leads against Qantas and with Virgin not being innovative enough to secure Qantas Frequent Flyers. 

14 Oct 2016

Total posts 106

I'd imagine a big reason why they only added lounge access on their top tier was the current lounges they have are more or less built for the existing regional traffic they have and probably can't cope with the probable increase in 737s and the expanded passenger base it brings. 

Its at least good that they have announced a program of lounge expansion as I think this will be good for them, probably need to look at offering maybe a barista and possibly some hot food. I could also see continuing to offering priority pass entry as a good thing as it should at least bring in some extra revenue as the extra costs with the expansion will be a bit of a hit to the balance sheets, it also probably gives non flyers a bit more exposure to Rex, so could be seen as a promotional thing too. 


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