Up in the air about frequent flyer changes?

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From 1 April 2009, you won’t be able to transfer points from some credit card or charge card reward programs to the Qantas Frequent Flyer Program.

By Jackie Pearson
4 March 2009

You may have noticed the Airport billboards counting down the changes to the Qantas Frequent Flyer program but what do you need to do to find out how the changes will impact you?

Qantas flagged a major overhaul of its Frequent Flyer program last year and announced that the changes would come into effect from 1 April 2009.

The changes will mean you may no longer be able to transfer reward points earned on your credit card over to Qantas Frequent Flyer points.

Qantas is currently focussed on getting two key messages across to its Frequent Flyer members:

  • If you have accumulated points on a credit card that is not a “direct earn” option you have until 31 March 2009 to transfer those points or you‘ll lose the ability to use them in Qantas Frequent Flyer.
  • After 31 March 2009 you will need to have a “direct earn” credit card in order to keep generating Frequent Flyer points when using your card. This will automatically transfer your credit card points into your Frequent Flyer account.

Image by Skazama

Which cards will be ‘direct earn’?

All major credit card providers will continue to offer customers the ability to earn Qantas Frequent Flyer points on everyday spending. Issuers providing an ongoing Qantas option are ANZ, CBA, NAB, Westpac, American Express, Diners Club, Suncorp, Citibank, St George Bank and Card Services Australia.

Credit cards provided by the major issuers that will continue to offer the ability to earn Qantas Frequent Flyer points include: ANZ Frequent Flyer Visa (standard, Gold and Platinum); NAB Qantas credit card (Gold and Platinum), Westpac Earth (Standard, Gold and Platinum), Qantas American Express (standard, Premium and Ultimate); Qantas ANZ (NZ) Visa (Classic and Platinum); and standard, Gold and Platinum.

What if my card isn’t direct earn?

If you don’t currently have one of the direct earn cards listed above speak to your card provider about the options available to you.

All credit card providers who currently offer Qantas Frequent Flyer points as a rewards option also have a direct earn option available.

There are some cards in the market which these changes do not affect, meaning you’ll be able to transfer reward points to Qantas Frequent Flyer after 31 March. Specifically, some business cards are not affected by these changes, nor are the American Express Platinum Charge and Centurion products.

Talk to your provider

It is essential to talk to your credit card provider before the 31 March cut-off date to ensure you don’t lose the opportunity to transfer your existing points if that’s what you choose to do.

Customers with affected products who do not choose the Qantas option will continue to be able to use their points in their card program as they do today, however they will not be able to redeem those points after 31 March for Qantas Frequent Flyer points.

Double your points

If you do have a ‘direct earn’ card you have the opportunity to double your points by making a valid purchase from one of the 350 ‘Qantas partners’ in the program.

Qantas also added a range of general rewards to its program in mid-2008, including the ability to redeem points for all available seats on any Qantas or Jetstar flights.

As for whether or not Qantas will also increase the miles you will need to travel before qualifying for free flights, CEO of Qantas Frequent Flyer Simon Hickey says, “We have no plans to change the Classic point levels.”

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