Qantas to trial earning status credits on credit cards

Sally McMullen 1 December 2016 NEWS


Frequent flyers can climb the Qantas loyalty tiers from purchases made on plastic.

Qantas loyalty members can now earn status credits as well as points when paying on their frequent flyer credit cards. As reported by Australian Business Traveller, the airline has given its frequent flyers more ways to pick up rewards under a trial that will begin this week through to May 2018.

During this time, selected members of the Qantas Frequent Flyer program will earn one credit card status credit for every 400 Qantas Points earned with their Qantas Frequent Flyer credit card. Eligible credit cards include the Macquarie Black Card with Qantas Rewards or the Westpac Altitude Black Credit Card with Qantas Points. Right now, the scheme is invite-only; even if you have one of those cards, there's no guarantee you'll be picked.

The aim of the trial is to help frequent flyers climb the tiers from Silver to Gold or Gold to Platinum. As you need to earn a set number of points to reach and maintain your Qantas tier status, allowing cardholders to earn status credits when paying on plastic adds another way to do this in addition to flying with Qantas and its partners.

Credit card status credits won't work exactly the same way as regular status credits, though. For example, credit card status credits won't count towards reaching Platinum One status, Lifetime status or the standard bonus milestones that come with ascending the tiers.

There will also be caps on how many credit card status credits you can earn during the trial period. You'll also still need a mixture of credit card status credits and regular status credits from flying to retain a tier or move up to the next one; you won't be able to progress solely on status credits earned through your credit card, and the number of credits you can use will be capped. The table below shows the conditions being applied to each frequent flyer tier (CCSC stands for "credit card status credits" earned on your card, while FSC is "flying status credits" earned through flight activity) for customers to either jump to the next tier level or to retain their current status. In reality, you'll still need to earn most of your credits through flying.

Silver Gold Platinum
Max CCSC for tier jump 150 150 150
Min FSC for tier jump 150 550 1,250
Max CCSC for tier retain 150 150 150
Min FSC for tier retain 100 450 1,050

Unfortunately, as the invitation-only trial involves less than 0.1% of Qantas' 11.5 million frequent flyers according to ABT, most loyalty members will have to wait until the verdict of the trial to see whether they'll get the chance to pick up status credits on their credit card purchases.

The trial follows the launch of an alliance between Virgin Australia and Coles Flybuys, which allows shoppers to earn Velocity Status Credits as well as Velocity Points when swiping their flybuys card at Coles, Liquorland and First Choice Liquor outlets.

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