Qantas reboots Aquire as Qantas Business Rewards

By Chris Chamberlin, February 1 2017
Qantas reboots Aquire as Qantas Business Rewards

  • Qantas Aquire rebranded as Qantas Business Rewards
  • ‘Pending points’ limit scrapped, all ‘pending points’ now become Qantas Points
  • Three membership tiers based on how many points you earn

Qantas has rebooted its Aquire program as the Qantas Business Rewards scheme in an effort to snare a larger part of Australia's small-to-medium enterprise market.

The airline has dropped the Aquire brand, introduced in March 2014 to allow any business with an ABN to earn frequent flyer points, and stripped away the original scheme's unwelcome complexities.

Aquire Points replaced by Qantas Points

This includes removing the confusing concept of ‘pending points’: businesses can now use every point they earn as soon as they earn it, rather than having to rack up 20,000 Aquire Points before they can be converted into Qantas Points.

Qantas Points have also replaced Aquire Points as the 'currency' of the relaunched program, although these will sit in your Qantas Business Rewards account rather than your Qantas Frequent Flyer account until you transfer them to the frequent flyer scheme (to spend on flights, upgrades or merchandise from the Qantas Store).

Aquire members will be automatically transitioned to the new scheme, with all points retained and any ‘pending points’ unlocked for the business to spend.

For instance, a business sitting on 5,000 usable Aquire Points and 7,500 pending Aquire Points would find 12,500 Qantas Points sitting in their Qantas Business Rewards account, ready to transfer to personal frequent flyer accounts as desired.

(Transfers remain at a 1:1 basis, much like family transfers made between individual Qantas Frequent Flyer members, with a minimum of 3,000 Qantas Points able to be transferred from Qantas Business Rewards in any one transaction.)

Flying solo

The requirement for each business to have at least two travellers has also been axed: a boon for sole traders such as consultants who don't have employees.

In addition, Qantas Business Rewards members receive 10% off their Qantas Club membership costs – including one-off joining fees and renewals by existing cardholders – and can save up to 8% on the cost of Qantas flights.

Earn points at the petrol pump

As before, businesses can also earn points on the ground from an array of Qantas Business Rewards partners.

A new member to the lineup is Caltex, with owners of a StarCard able to collect up to one Qantas Point per litre of fuel as well as for in-store shopping.

Qantas Business Rewards membership tiers

The new Qantas Business Rewards scheme has three membership levels based on how many points your business earns from flying during your 12-month membership year.

Those levels determine the rate at which points can be earned as well as the discount offered on Qantas flight bookings, and are based on how many Qantas Points the business has earned on flights via Qantas Business Rewards.

Level 1: businesses that accrue less than 20,000 Qantas Points in their Qantas Business Rewards account from flying in a membership year.

Those points will be earned at 20% of the Qantas Points that a Bronze-level Qantas Frequent Flyer member would collect on a flight.

For example, an employee flying from Sydney to Melbourne on a Qantas Red eDeal economy fare would earn 800 Qantas Points for themselves plus 160 Qantas Points for the company's Qantas Business Rewards account.

This is a drop from the minimum 30% earn under Aquire, which yielded around 240 points on that same trip – and given how many business travellers shuttle between Sydney and Melbourne on the cheapest Qantas economy fares, that shortfall will mount up.

The upside, however, is that points earned under Qantas Business Rewards are immediately available rather than being 'pending' until you reach the 20,000 Aquire Points threshold.

Level 1 members can also save 5% on a selection of domestic and international airfares when booking their travel at least seven days in advance.

Level 2: businesses earning at least 20,000 Qantas Points each year from flying progress to Level 2 in Qantas Business Rewards.

This sees their share of 'business points' increase to 30% of a traveller’s usual haul – so on the same Sydney-Melbourne hop as above, a Level 2 business would pick up 240 Qantas Points instead of 160 Qantas Points.

Fare discounts are boosted to 7% on the same fare types with the same seven-day advance booking requirement.

Level 3: hit 100,000 Qantas Points earned from flights in a single membership year and a business is bumped up to Level 3.

This is the top tier of Qantas Business Rewards, attracting a 40% serve of the Qantas Points earned by an individual when flying.

An 8% discount is available on most flights right up until the day of departure, with no advance booking requirements. There's also a 2% saving on on the least expensive Qantas fares (these are fare types which are not discounted at all for Level 1 and Level 2 companies).

Qantas Business Rewards fare discounts

Discounts aren’t available on every single fare (such as business class ‘I’ tickets) but apply to the following fares at the following rates:

Qantas lists some 126,000 Aquire memberships out of Australia's two million ABN-bearing businesses but is setting its sights much higher for the revamped Qantas Business Rewards scheme and has suspended the $89.50 joining fee throughout February to encourage new sign-ups.

For more on the new Qantas Business Rewards scheme, visit qantasbusinessrewards.com.

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller, and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins not just with a single step, but also a strong latte, a theatre ticket, and later in the day, a good gin and tonic.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 Nov 2013

Total posts 477

Wow - these are good changes for the SME market...Unlocking pending points is a really good move. 

QF

11 Jul 2014

Total posts 454

Interesting to now compare the Virgin and Qantas options

Air New Zealand - Airpoints

10 Aug 2015

Total posts 79

Are New Zealanders eligible for this as long as you have an ABN?

It's open to any Australian business with an ABN, because the business itself is the member (rather than any person in particular), so the nationality of the business owner doesn't matter.

Mal
Mal

14 Jun 2013

Total posts 360

Well I have to say, these are pretty much all good changes. The calculation of QBR points as a percentage of QFF points is a bit less generous that under Aquire but none of that pending points nonsense and good travel discounts especially at Level 3.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 Nov 2013

Total posts 477

I'll gladly trade the earn ratio to unlock pending points - as a solo consultant working around the region, it unlocks a lot of value for me...

08 Apr 2011

Total posts 25

A very good change and suddenly it is a useful scheme!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Nov 2012

Total posts 68

More of a no brainer to join and then earn, but ease of points redemptions will continue to be difficult.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 Nov 2013

Total posts 477

Have a read of the recent article here on AusBT re QFF redemption options - I've never really had an issue using them for upgrades from economy to business on medium to long haul flights. 

10 Aug 2015

Total posts 118

You need to be GST registered as well as have an ABN to be eligible.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 684

looking that is interesting as if what you are saying is correct then I who does not reach the threshold for GST is dropped from the program. We shall see and feel the uproar.

We've questioned this with Qantas as it wasn't flagged during our briefing yesterday.


Existing members will all remain in the program and can enjoy full benefits regardless of their GST status.

Businesses that apply for new membership but which aren't registered for GST will be able to phone the Qantas Business Rewards team to set up their account, after providing some additional information to verify that they're a legitimate business.

(As ABNs are very easy to create online, we're told this will help ensure that only genuine businesses can avail of the Qantas Business Rewards scheme - without excluding small businesses.)

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 Jul 2014

Total posts 100

Great news, I had given up on getting my 'pending points'' this year but at least I will get them
A simple scheme is a good scheme.

It's got to be better than the Acquire program. Even when putting in ABN on all bookings the business direct account captures only a part of the total spend and then the Acquire account is all wrong too. It became such an administrative nightmare that I gave up totally and so did my travel agent. Honestly, I don't think that it was that good a program with the 'pending points' system. Maybe many other elements of the program will be improved to make it valuable for SME customers.

21 Aug 2015

Total posts 90

Acquire was useless. I'm still not impressed with the QF approach to SME compared to the sweetheart deals given to big corporates and so called VIPs. Which are paid for by SMEs. 

QF is like most big businesses they haven't worked out that elitism is not the way to go. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 Nov 2013

Total posts 477

Aquire was flawed but Qantas has addressed some key issues.

What don't you like about how Qantas deals with corporate customers vs the SME mass? Why do you feel SME's pay for corporate benefits? 

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 684

The other point not well picked up is the value of the reward has dropped. Before it was 40% for 20k points now it is 30% and 40% for 100k points. Now if there is a lean year then something is earned admittedly. There is also the need to move points across, but I can see the logic as it holds the points with the business not the individual. 

20 Feb 2018

Total posts 3

Once again Qantas plays to the business/company gallery and ignores the personal business class traveller who actually pays out of their own pocket.


Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Qantas reboots Aquire as Qantas Business Rewards

Notice (8): Undefined variable: infiniteScroll [APP/views/news/view.ctp, line 216]
Notice (8): Undefined variable: infiniteScroll [APP/views/news/view.ctp, line 222]
Warning (2): Invalid argument supplied for foreach() [APP/views/news/view.ctp, line 222]