Qantas Frequent Flyer really seem to be amping up their member acquisition efforts in the latter half of this year, what with this promotion and the similar, but more attainable, Aquire offer.
This promotion offers new Qantas Frequent Flyer members the opportunity to join for free (the fact it usually costs $89.50 is a ridiculous concept which should be binned, especially given their are always multiple ways to get around the fee), and more interestingly, 10,000 extra points for anyone who signs up and earns 10,000 points themselves in the first 3 months of membership.
10,000 points is enough for a one way flight between any of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane – or an upgrade from Economy on the same route, so it’s worth something – at least $100 in my world.
This promotion is about trying to push membership saturation of a program that already has nearly 50% of the Australian population on its books.
What’s the simplest way use this promotion and earn the 10,000 bonus points?
The only exclusion Qantas make in the promotion terms is that Family Transfers of points aren’t eligible and won’t trigger the bonus. Points earned otherwise, therefore, are fair game. Here are the most obvious ways you could pick up 10,000 points.
1. Through flying with Qantas or Partners
It could work for the newby international traveller – head off on the longest long-haul return trips in Economy and you’d net all, or most, of the points needed for a bonus. Both Sydney – New York in Discount Economy and Sydney – London earns 12,400 for a return trip. A return flight to Asia, for example Melbourne to Hong Kong, would earn 5,200 points – so not enough to trigger the bonus.
It would be worth also signing up at a strategic point in time – the offer is open to December 31, with a rolling 3 month window to fly enough for the bonus. If you think you’ll meet it with a trip in March, wait until nearer the end of the promotion window to sign up.
2. Through Credit Card or Banking signups
A Credit Card sign up will usually net you at least 10,000 points, and if you register and get a Qantas card within the timeframe of the bonus, you should also receive the points in time. The Bankwest Qantas Transaction account wouldn’t be suitable, as the bonus will hit your account too late.
3. Through Credit Card or Hotel program transfers
A few credit cards in the market here offer ad-hoc transfers over to Qantas Frequent Flyer – American Express Platinum Charge comes to mind. Starwood Preferred Guest, IHG Rewards and Hilton HHonors all allow transfers over to Qantas.
4. Through Credit Card spend
If you can change the Frequent Flyer number assigned to your card, and then spend at least enough to earn (and get the points into your account) the 10,000 points, that could work too.
How is this promotion useful for existing members?
Well, at first glance, it’s not really so useful.
For those of us already established in Qantas Frequent Flyer, there’s a couple of things to consider:
- Signing up family members and friends now in case of the 10,000 point bonus being met, then persuading them to hand them over to you using family transfers.
- More interestingly, skirting the terms of the program and using this as an opportunity to earn the bonus for yourself in a different account.
I’m not going to recommend or condone the second option, as in theory Qantas could probably cancel both accounts if they found out. But, for theory’s sake, this is how it could make sense.
In the case of travel, if you’re a Qantas regular or Silver member and your travel plans have you nowhere near levelling up towards the next status tier in your current membership year, and have international travel plans, you could theoretically sign up for a new membership. You could then credit the flights to your new account, achieve the bonus, and then family transfer them over to someone else at a suitable future point in time.
It would be less lucrative if you are Gold or Platinum already, given those tiers come with 75% and 100% bonuses on points earned – so there would be foregone points earned as a result of using a new membership. If you’re Gold or Platinum you probably also don’t want the lost status credits from this trip too.
In the case of other types of bonus – the transfer option from an existing credit card or hotel program is probably the easiest. The 10,000 points is borderline to make it worthwhile to use other methods just to get the bonus points.
This would all be against the terms of the program though, in terms of having two accounts for one person – so think it through if you’re considering it.
How could Qantas have run this promotion more effectively?
If Qantas wanted to incentivise flying, given new members who don’t fly internationally during the promotion period probably won’t earn any bonus, I think Qantas probably would have been wise to have a domestic and an international tier.
Say 5,000 bonus points for new members completing 4 domestic flights, and 7,500 for two Trans-Tasman, and 10,000 for one other international. At least this would incentivise all travel across the population base as a whole – the 10,000 points for a leisure flyer just isn’t that realistic.