Qantas has released a new ultra-premium credit card that offers Qantas First Class Lounge access, Status Credits, flight discounts and enough Qantas Points for a business class flight to London upon sign up. But the “significant benefits” that the Australian carrier talk about comes with a “significant annual fee”.
The Qantas Premier Titanium Mastercard, which includes a card that is actually cut from metal, offers the highest Qantas Points earn rate and the highest number of sign-up bonus Qantas Points of any Mastercard or Visa credit card currently in market and is expected to appeal to Qantas’ growing group of high spending members, who maximise their points earn across the programme on everyday purchases.
Airline loyalty programmes were initially established to keep regular travellers onboard and able to benefit from frequent use of the carrier’s flights. However, over time they have become a multi-faceted platform to not just reward loyal customers but to build a wider brand presence.
“We started our loyalty program for frequent flyers, but as the number of partners has grown it’s actually frequent buyers who are now earning the most points,” explains Olivia Wirth, CEO, Qantas Loyalty, who highlights that the top 1,000 points balances within the programme are held by members who have maximised their points earn on everyday spend with partners or by using Qantas Points-earning credit cards.
“The expansion of the program means you can earn points buying wine or buying a car, so the potential for larger balances without flying is huge. In the past 12 months, one member earned more than 30 million Qantas Points on credit card spend. That’s equivalent of over 100 round the world trips in business class,” she adds.
The new Qantas Premier Titanium Mastercard offers a range of benefits including:
- Two Qantas First Lounge Invitations and two lounge Invitations for the Qantas Club Domestic and selected International Business Lounges;
- 20% bonus Status Credits on Qantas flights;
- 10% discount on Qantas operated flights for up to two bookings per year for two people on all fare classes (both international and domestic);
- 150,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend AUS5,000 within 90 days of card approval;
- Two Qantas Points per AUS1 spent overseas, up to 1.25 Qantas Points in Australia and extra points when spending with Qantas.
Credit card spend on a Qantas Points-earning card has been one of the most popular way for loyalty members to add to their points balances. An estimated 35% of all credit card spend in Australia is on a Qantas or Qantas Frequent Flyer co-branded credit card, according to the carrier.
The Qantas Premier Titanium card will complement the existing Qantas Money credit cards – Qantas Premier Platinum and Qantas Premier Everyday – which both launched in 2017. However, it comes at a price with an annual fee of AUS1,200 and minimum annual income requirement of AUS200,000, making it an exclusive card.
Ms Wirth says that this exclusivity would a pull for many of its premium customers and would have specific appeal to big spenders. “We’re seeing more and more of our members with points balances in the millions through strategic credit card use and leveraging programme partners. The Qantas Premier Titanium card will help boost their points potential and deliver a more rewarding Qantas experience. It comes with a significant annual fee, but has significant benefits,” she explains.
That cost could be quickly covered though. The 10% flight discounts would save cardholders thousands of dollars per year – an individual travelling business class with their partner to London and Hong Kong return could save around AUS2,500 per annum. Based on AUS10,000 domestic spend per month, the Titanium card has the potential to generate enough points in a year for a one-way upgrade from Economy to Business for two people to Honolulu or a return Classic Flight Reward in economy for two people to Singapore.