Qantas Considers Points Subscriptions

QantasLink Dash 8 Economy class
Qantas is weighing up the possibility of launching points subscription plans. Photo: Qantas.

Qantas’s loyalty business is now much more than just the Qantas Frequent Flyer program. There’s also Qantas Business Rewards, Qantas Club, Qantas Points Club, the Green Tier program, and alongside this, Qantas now sells everything from wine to insurance. There’s not much more that can be added, but that hasn’t stopped Qantas researching the possibility of adding a new points subscription service!

It seems there’s a subscription for everything these days – just ask Woolworths – and Qantas Frequent Flyer could soon get in on the action with a subscription model that allows members to boost their points for a fee.

In a survey sent to members last week, Qantas Frequent Flyer proposed a range of models for the subscription service that would allow members to opt-in to earning more points. Of the different models suggested, there are two basic ideas being floated.

One proposal would see members able to pay a monthly fee to earn 50% more Qantas points, up to an annual limit, either on flights or on all points earned through the Qantas Frequent Flyer program. There could also be additional benefits for subscribers.

The other proposal is that members would be able to boost the points they’ve earned during the past 12 months, either from flights or across other areas of the Qantas Frequent Flyer program, for a special price. Members would be able to earn up to three times the number of points they already earned on chosen transaction types, up to 150,000 Qantas points per year.

The cost of earning these additional points could be around $20 per 1,000 points, which works out to be a cost of 2 cents per Qantas point. That’s not amazing value, but is cheaper than buying top-up points from Qantas.

Members would also be able to earn points for their credit card spend when paying for a subscription or boosting their points.

It’s not clear whether the additional points earned through such a subscription would also count towards Points Club membership, but we’d expect they would.

Other airlines with subscription models

Qantas already offers Qantas Club membership. This comes with lounge access and various other benefits like an increased checked baggage allowance, priority check-in on international flights and, at least in theory, priority call centre service.

But the new service being proposed by Qantas has more of a focus on earning points. It’s somewhat similar to TAP Air Portugal’s “Club TAP Miles&Go” subscriptions. These come with benefits including monthly bonus miles, monthly status miles (equivalent to status credits), priority boarding and extra miles on TAP flights.

Club TAP Miles&Go subscription levels
Club TAP Miles&Go subscription levels.

Avianca’s LifeMiles program also offers its own Club LifeMiles monthly subscription plans that let you buy miles at a reduced rate, in monthly instalments. As it happens, these aren’t exceptional value because you can often buy miles more cheaply during one of the regular “bonus miles” promotions.

Club LifeMiles "Travel the World" subscription plans
Club LifeMiles “Travel the world” subscriptions.

Meanwhile, United MileagePlus offers Award Accelerator which lets members earn bonus miles on United flights for an additional fee.

At this stage, the Qantas proposal is just that. It’ll be interesting to see if this idea take off, and if so, what the terms are.


Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: QF Top Up Points / Points Subscription survey (New)


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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]

Community Comments

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I know this is only a proposal, but wow, there's a subscription model for everything these days...

Reply 3 Likes

I know this is only a proposal, but wow, there's a subscription model for everything these days...

Some places were doing subscription models before it was cool. I read an article the other day about BMW releasing cars with physical hardware that you could pay for later via subscription (heated steering wheels). Thought that was interesting.

On the qf example here; this is fascinating. If the price is right, this could work out very well for many of us...

Reply Like

UA have had a points booster program for years but I think it’s still just pay per trip.

Award Accelerator​

Not sure I knew they had a Premier (status) accelerator option.

Reply 1 Like

Well- this would be something I'd definitely be interested in but only if the points are actually useful and that's what I'm not seeing at the moment. Qantas might be talking about additional award seats and blurb but internationally that's pretty much only in Economy from what I can see. I get the feeling it got much harder to score J class seats, potentially because everyone has kept so many points on the side over the pandemic (at least I did!).

So the only really good use of points in my mind at the moment is either round the world awards (good luck if you work full time and have work-related restrictions) or the otherwise overpriced Domestic business class tickets where you actually find J availability quite easily. But hw many of those does one need? I bet everyone is different and I'm generally addicted to my Qantas points- but toaster ovens and a second Weber grill ain't cutting it.

Reply 3 Likes

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How about a subscription model which gets additional reward flight options opened up for you?

Do people really want more points when you it's extremely difficult to use them?

Reply 11 Likes

With the TAP model, the subscription fee also earns status credits. For those flyers struggling to retain WP for instance, $800 for 400SC is cheaper than doing a status run. What if the fee is $1,000 and 200SC are included? Food for thought.

Reply 4 Likes

It might be worth it if the subscription model gave you additional status credits or reduced the required amount of SC to reach a tier?

Reply 4 Likes

Not sure what the pricing actually means (maybe QF don't either) . If it's 2c per extra point then the first 2 options would be way over my buying range. If it's 2c per boosted point I.e 1c per extra point that's OK.
Presumably the pricing of the subscription service would be offered at better value but a cap prevents massive hauls

Reply 1 Like

How about a subscription model which gets additional reward flight options opened up for you?

How about a subscription model that gives you access to Hobart...

Reply 9 Likes