Widely regarded as one of Australia's strongest airline brands, Qantas has teamed up with Mastercard to create a 'new generation' Frequent Flyer card.
Qantas has announced that they would soon release a pre-paid Mastercard for customers who want to travel overseas and need access to different currencies.
'There are more than nine million Qantas Frequent Flyer members are we are investing in making their membership card even more valuable,' says Qantas Loyalty CEO Lesley Grant. 'Frequent Flyer is one of the core strengths of the Qantas Group portfolio, and it has succeeded because it's members are passionately involved in the program.'
Due to be released in the third-quarter of 2013, the new chip-enabled card will have a prepaid functionality called Qantas Cash, which will allow members to transfer funds onto the card and use it to purchase items online and at 35 millions locations where MasterCard is accepted. Members can also earn points on eligible transactions.
Consumers should note that this card only acts as a pre-paid card, not a credit or debit card. Users will only be able to use the funds that they have pre-loaded, but will be able to use the typical MasterCard functionalities such as PayPass and BPay.
It also doubles as a travel card, where members will be able to withdraw up to nine different foreign currencies from over 2.1 millions ATMs in Australia and other countries - in addition to its existing functions like faster check-in and acting as a boarding pass.
Several layers of security are included in the Qantas Frequent Flyer Mastercard, such as a chip, PIN and signature to authorise transactions, along with MasterCard's Zero Liability fraud protection program - incredibly useful if you're travel card is stolen on a holiday.
According to Ms. Grant, the multi-purpose quality of the Qantas Frequent Flyer Mastercard make it indispensable to Qantas members. "It's not just another card in your wallet – it is a passport to a family holiday, or an upgrade to Business Class or a new appliance.'
'By diversifying the uses of the card and creating a new way to earn Frequent Flyer points, we are increasing engagement levels of our members and the value of the program to our partners.'
Qantas insists that they will remain focused on running the airline and loyalty business while Mastercard will deliver the pre-paid services of the card and authorise the funds that members load onto their cards. Customers that already have a credit card linked to their Frequent Flyer membership will not be affected as they can continue using their card as normal.
MasterCard Australasia Division President, Eddie Grobler, said the diversity of the card will change the scene for many consumers.
"We're proud to partner with Qantas and bring our expertise in payment technology to drive
an Australian-first. The new card combines everyday spend and travel, which allows users to
speed through the airport check-in the same way they do when buying their groceries with
PayPass technology," said Mr Grobler. 'The new generation Frequent Flyer card featuring Qantas Cash directly appeals to those who prefer the convenience and security of a payment card over handling cash.'
But like with any travel card - consumers are reminded to be aware of the fees and international charges that are associated with them and always read the product disclosure statement.