Qantas has axed its Aquire loyalty program for small to medium businesses, in favour of the newly-launched “Qantas Business Rewards”. It’s not just a name change, with several significant changes being made to the program.
Qantas Business Rewards, like its predecessor, enables business owners to earn additional points on employees’ flights, as well as spending with program partners. These points can be converted to Qantas points and redeemed for free flights, upgrades, gift vouchers and other rewards.
While Aquire proved to be a useful stream of additional Qantas points for many, there were several restrictions that limited its usefulness. For example, points could not be redeemed under the old scheme unless two employees had taken a Qantas flight and at least 20,000 points were earned within a year. These restrictions no longer apply.
Qantas Business Rewards points can be transferred to any Qantas Frequent Flyer member’s account at a 1:1 rate. Now, you’ll just need to convert at least 3,000 points at a time.
I am glad the minimum points to transfer has gone. Well from 20,000 to 3,000 is effectively gone for me anyway.
A key difference under the new Qantas Business Rewards program is that there are three membership “tiers”. Businesses earning up to 20,000 points per year from flights will be considered Level 1, while Level 2 business need to earn between 20,000 and 99,999 points annually. Level 3 members must earn more than 100,000 points per year.
The number of Business Rewards points earned from each flight, as well as the rate at which flight discounts apply, will vary depending on the membership level.
Reactions to the new program have been mixed. Some small business owners and sole traders stand to benefit, but larger spenders may actually end up worse-off.
From what I can tell, anyone that wasn’t able to get to the minimum threshold before will now be able to earn something… but everyone else loses out that were already earning, depending on the fares they buy.
It looks like the usual Qantas “enhancement” to me. Level 1 only earns 20% Qantas points and Level 2 30%, compared to the 40% everyone gets now on a business class flight. To get to Level 3, you would need to earn 367,667 base Qantas points if I read it correctly (100,000 at 20% to gain Level 2, plus another 266,667 at 30% to gain Level 3). I only earned ~249,000 last year as a P1, and the rest of my company’s flights wouldn’t take me to the 367,667 mark! The fare discounts have also been cut. They used to be up to 10%.
Qantas Business Rewards members can now also receive a 10% discount on Qantas Club memberships, although it’s worth remembering that AFF Gold members can enjoy a considerably higher discount by joining through the AFF Corporate Scheme.
A joining fee of $89.50 will apply. But if you hold an ABN and are not already a Qantas Business Rewards member, you can sign up for free until the end of February.
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