Rex Flyer: How to get the most from Rex’s frequent flyer scheme
The long-promised Rex Flyer program is finally here. How many Rex Points can you earn and what's the best way to spend them?
How to join Rex Flyer
Happily, Rex Flyer is free to join. You can sign up on the Rex site. You'll be sent an activation email, and you'll need to click on the link in that email to confirm your registration.Rex is offering 5,000 bonus Rex Flyer Points if you join before 2 January 2024. It says these can take up to 1 month to be credited, though mine appeared immediately after I signed up.
Is it worth joining Rex Flyer?
Given there's no charge to join, it makes sense to sign up if you're ever going to fly with Rex. While Rex started as a regional service, it now offers competitive fares between many Australian capital cities, so it can be a useful alternative to Qantas and Virgin. In August 2023, 80% of its flights departed on time, which was higher than Qantas, Virgin or Jetstar, according to Australian government flight punctuality statistics.
How can I earn Rex Points?
Rex Points are earned when you book flights with Rex, book extra baggage or pay to select a seat. The number of points per dollar varies depending on the type of fare. More expensive and flexible fares, unsurprisingly, earn more.
|Class||Type||Rex Points/$ spent|
To promote its launch and attract members, Rex is doubling the number of Rex Points earned on flights taken between 2 October 2023 and 2 January 2024.
Here's an example of how much you'd earn on a typical one-way Sydney–Melbourne flight (specific fares will vary of course):
|Type||Fare||Rex Points earned|
Can I earn Rex Flyer points through a credit card?
Right now, Rex doesn't have any credit card partnerships to earn Rex Points. That seems unlikely to change in the near future, but we're keeping an eye on it and will update this guide if that happens.
Are there any flight extras I don't earn Rex Points for?
Rex's terms and conditions note that you won't earn any Rex Points for these flight extras:
- Rex Bid Up upgrade offers (and if you do get an upgrade, you'll earn Rex Points based on the class you originally booked)
- Casual lounge access
- Food and drink purchases on board
- In-flight Wi-Fi
When do my Rex Points expire?
According to Rex's own terms and conditions, points will expire "on a rolling 36-month basis from when they were earned if there is no ongoing activity".
Activity here means either taking a flight or redeeming a reward. So that means you need to fly with Rex at least once every 3 years to stop your points from disappearing.
That's not too onerous, though the fact you can't earn Rex Points in any other way does make the scheme more limited than its chief rivals, Qantas Frequent Flyer and Velocity.
How can I use Rex Points?
Annoyingly, Rex Points can't be used to book flights until November 2023. (When Rex said it would launch Rex Flyer in September 2023 it waited right until the end of the month, so patience seems called for.)
Once that happens, Rex is promising 3 ways to book reward flights. You'll also be able to use points for upgrades, but that's not happening until February 2024.
Ultimate Rewards: Limited availability but low points
Ultimate Rewards will use the fewest Rex Points, but only a handful are expected to be available on each flight. If you want to change these flights, you'll have to pay 3,500 Rex Points or $33, and you have to do so before midnight the day before the flight.
The cheapest Ultimate Reward on offer is 6,900 Rex Points for short-haul Economy flights from Sydney–Gold Coast or Melbourne–Hobart. Regional routes have higher points totals (and are also likely to have fewer seats given the use of smaller aircraft on these routes).
One promising feature: Rex says any unsold seats on its flights will be made available as Ultimate Reward seats ahead of flight departure. That could make it a solid option for booking last-minute flights, when fares across all airlines are often higher.
However, the details here are fiddly. 2 days prior to the flight, all but 5 Economy seats on a service will be available as Ultimate Rewards. 1 day prior, all but 2 Business Seats will be released. And then at 00:01am on the day of departure, any remaining unsold seats will be released as Ultimate Rewards.
Getaway Rewards: Better flexibility and higher points
Getaway Rewards promise a little more flexibility, but require more Rex Points. On capital city routes, they require an average of 1.3 times the number of Rex Points for Economy or Business compared to Ultimate Rewards.
Economy Getaway Rewards bookings can be changed or cancelled free of charge up to 14 days before flying and for Business you can do so up to 7 days before. After that, you'll have to pay $33 or use 3,500 Rex Points to cancel (the same conditions as Ultimate Rewards).
Anytime Rewards: Widely available but high points
Any available seat on a flight can be purchased as an Anytime Reward. For Economy, the number of Rex Points needed is an average of 3.7 times more than for Ultimate Rewards on capital city routes. For Business, it's a slightly less punishing 1.8 times higher.
A handful of "Queensland Regulated Routes" only offer Anytime Rewards, with no Ultimate or Getaway options.
Using Rex Points for flight upgrades
Upgrades will start being offered from February 2024. As Rex only operates Business on its capital city/major city routes, those are the only times where you can use your Rex Points for an upgrade from Economy to Business.
As you'd expect, you'll need to use more points if you've booked a cheaper Promo or Saver fare. Here's how many points you'll need for each route and fare type.
What's the best way to use my Rex Points?
We can't do a really full analysis until Rex actually launches its upgrade options and we see what availability looks like. However, as with other Australian airlines, you'll get the most value from your points by choosing the Ultimate Rewards option – the one with limited availability but which uses the fewest points.
Upgrades are also likely to be solid value, but the limited number of Business seats on Rex services will make these challenging to score. That also won't be an option for regional services.
The flexible Anytime Rewards are likely to give a very poor value for your points (the same is true of Qantas Points Plus Pay and Virgin Any Seat).
What traps should I watch out for when booking Rex Points rewards?
You can book and change reward flights for free on the Rex site. However, if you book or make changes by phone, you'll have to pay $33 or 2,500 Rex Points. That won't apply if you're a Diamond flyer, but that's not going to be most people. Those fees are in addition to any change or cancellation fees that apply to changing the actual flight.
If you apply for an upgrade and want to cancel it, you have to do it by phone, and you'll have to pay either $33 or 3,500 Rex Points to do so.
One other trap: if you die, your account is immediately cancelled and closed. That's not unusual for frequent flyer schemes, but it still seems a little inflexible.
Which membership tiers does Rex Flyer offer?
Rex says it will officially launch its membership tiers in February 2024. There are 4, in ascending order of benefits:
- Opal (the starter level where everyone begins)
You climb tiers and retain them by earning Status Points or taking Status Flights. Right now, you earn 1 Status Point per $1 spent on flights, regardless of class. A Status Flight is any non-reward flight on Rex.
Status Points expire 12 months after you earn them, which is similar to Qantas and Velocity Frequent Flyer. So you would need to earn the required Status Points in a year to reach or maintain a higher membership tier.
Here's a summary of the additional tiers, what you need to do to reach them and keep them and the main benefits they offer. Diamond fliers also get free Rex Lounge membership.
|To earn (spend)||1,500||3,000||6,000|
|To earn (flights)||12||24||48|
|To retain (spend)||1,100||2,200||4,400|
|To retain (flights)||11||22||44|
|Bonus points on flights||25%||50%||75%|
|Seat selection||Standard free||Front free||Extra leg room free|
Broadly speaking, if you're not flying Rex at least monthly, you won't be hitting any of these tiers.
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