Qantas announces new credit card surcharges

Sally McMullen 8 July 2016


Following the RBA's high surcharge ban, Qantas has confirmed the new card payment fees that will apply as of 1 September.

In May, we reported that the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) had introduced a ban on fixed-dollar credit card surcharges to curb excess surcharge fees as of 1 September 2016. In response to the reform, today Qantas has released the new card payment fees that will roll out come this Spring.

For flight bookings made in Australia, the following card payment fees will apply after 1 September 2016:

Booking typeDebit/prepaid cardsCredit/charge cardsFee cap (per ticket per card in AUD)
Australian Domestic0.6%1.3%AUD$11.00
Australian Trans-Tasman0.6%1.3%AUD$11.00
Australian International0.6%1.3%AUD$70.00

For domestic flights, the new fees are much more affordable than the existing surcharge fees which currently sit at:

Booking typeDebit/prepaid cardsCredit/charge cards
Australian DomesticAUD$2.50AUD$7.00
Australian Trans-TasmanAUD$2.50AUD$7.00
Australian InternationalAUD$10.00AUD$30.00

At the moment, the surcharges charged by Qantas are 383% larger than the cost it takes to process a credit card payment. Once the new reforms fall into place, the surcharges cardholders will have to pay will more closely reflect how much it costs the airline to process the payment.

For example, if you're using a credit card to pay for an economy international flight from Sydney to Auckland (worth $270.00), the surcharge will be around AUD$3.50. This is obviously a significant saving in comparison to the AUD$30.00 Qantas customers are currently paying. The fee cap of $70.00 will come in handy for longer-distance flights, but is still higher than previous.

The RBA’s surcharge reform is a result of the Competition and Consumer Amendment (payment surcharges) Bill 2015 that was passed by the Senate in February this year, which gave the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) the authority to penalise institutions charging surplus surcharges for card payments. This decision was made following almost a decade of Senate inquiries and discussions, during which corporations such as Qantas and Virgin Australia were singled out for their excessive surcharges.

While the forthcoming surcharge reforms will impact larger corporations with revenue over $25 million or with 50 or more employees, small businesses will need to comply by the same rules as of 1 September 2017.

Airline credit card surcharges: what's changing

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