Qantas has removed the annual fee charged to businesses for ongoing membership of Aquire, its loyalty program for small-to-medium businesses. The removal of the $179 yearly payment makes Aquire significantly more attractive to business owners.
The change was announced along with various other improvements to the program including the addition of three new partners and changes to the way points expire.
Previously, points did not expire as long as the annual fee was paid each year. Aquire points now expire if the account is inactive for 18 months. (This is the same for regular Qantas points.) Most view this as a positive change as there is no longer a direct ongoing cost involved with keeping Aquire points alive.
The annual fee acted as somewhat of a deterrent for businesses to renew their membership, but now that it has been axed, many of our members say they will continue participating in the program despite plans to cancel their membership.
No annual fee is a great development. Would likely not have renewed otherwise.
The joining fee of $89.50 will still apply, however Qantas has in the past offered discounts on this fee or bonus sign-up points from time to time.
While the changes make the program more attractive, there are still a few key catches involved with using the program. Firstly, a minimum of 3,000 points, earned using any method, must be transferred at once.
But the main catch is to do with the Aquire Airline Reward Scheme. Before Aquire points earned from flying can be converted to Qantas points, at least two employees need to fly and earn at least 20,000 points combined – each membership year. Points earned from flying are given a “pending” status until these two criteria are met, at which point they are classed as “redeemable”. Crucially, pending points will continue to expire at the end of each membership year if the criteria are not met and they do not become redeemable.
As for Pending points the T&Cs still state you need 20,000 points and 2 unique flyers each membership year, so it doesn’t look as the rules changed regarding them.
The Airline Reward Scheme requirements would be easily achievable by a medium-sized business with multiple employees flying regularly for business, but may well be out of reach for a sole trader with only one employee flying.
What do you think of the changes? Will the announcement affect the way you use Aquire? Join in the discussion HERE.