Qantas announces changes to frequent flyer programme

A bit of excitement coming out of Australia this morning as Qantas has announced several changes to their frequent flyer programme. Most of the changes appear to be rather beneficial to customers, particularly at the high end, but there are a couple moves that quite likely will limit earning potential in the program as well.

Perhaps most significant is that a new elite tier is being added to the program. The "Platinum One" level will require 3,600 tier points to qualify (Platinum is only 1,200) so this level is not going to be something that many folks reach. It will require 20 paid one-way trips in business class between Sydney and San Francisco or 10 paid one-way trips in first class between Sydney and London in a year to reach this level, for example. The specific details of what benefits will be included are not yet published.

In addition to the new top tier level the earning rates for travel are changing, mostly for the better. Passengers who already have elite status will see their bonus miles earning rates grow and passengers flying in premium cabins will also see the bonuses they earn grow.

Status-based bonus
  Old bonus rate New bonus Rate
Silver 25% 50%
Gold 50% 75%
Platinum 100% 100%

Cabin-based bonus

  Old bonus rate New bonus Rate
Premium Economy 10% 25%
Business 25% 50%
First 50% 100%


All good news, right? Well, maybe not. There is one area where the earning is going to change a bit for the worse. As explained on the announcement page:

Currently members earn a Loyalty bonus of 5,000 points for every 450 Status credits earned. Loyalty bonuses will be calculated this way only until 30 November 2011.

From 1 December 2011, Members will earn a Loyalty bonus of 8,000 points for every 500 Status credits earned within a single membership year – up to a maximum of four Loyalty bonuses per membership year.

At 1 December 2011, Status credit balances relating to the calculation of the Loyalty bonus will be adjusted to recognise only those earned within the member’s current membership year. Status credits earned in previous membership years will not be recognised in the calculation of Loyalty bonus after 1 December 2011.

Not a huge devaluation there, though the 4x maximum annually seems a bit limiting. Those passengers aren’t even at the top tier level (only 2000 tier points, just over half way to Platinum One) and they no longer will be earning the Loyalty bonus points.

Overall it would appear that these enhancements are actually that, changes that make the program better. It certainly is nice to see that happening in an industry where program devaluation seems to be more the norm lately.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


    1. So SYD-LAX. Both are in the same distance range band in terms of tier point calculations. 🙂

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