How does Telstra’s new Telstra Plus points scheme work?

Posted: 14 May 2019 9:00 am News

Telstra customers can score discounts and entertainment bonuses with Telstra's new Telstra Plus customer loyalty scheme.

Telstra's joining the growing crowd of companies offering its own "points" rewards scheme for loyal customers. From 14 May 2019, Telstra customers who sign up to the scheme will be able to earn points and gain loyalty bonuses depending on how much they're spending each month with the nation's biggest telco. Here's what you need to know about Telstra Plus:

How much do I have to spend?

Telstra says that for every $1 spent by a Telstra Plus customer, they'll earn 10 points, although what you'll get in return will vary depending on the tier that Telstra places you into.

So how much is a point actually worth?

Just like airline and supermarket loyalty schemes, the precise value of a point is a little tricky to pin down.

But Telstra's early points pricing on specific gadgets gives us an idea. The Google Home Mini will, according to Telstra, be worth 14,000 points. Being generous with pricing and listing it at $79 – it's not hard to get a Google Home Mini cheaper, mind you – means each Telstra point is worth around 0.56c each. To get that kind of value, of course, you'll have to spend $1,400 on Telstra services.

As with other points-based schemes, that's probably not a static value, so ensuring you make the most of your Telstra points will be vital.

What will I be able to spend my points on?

Telstra hasn't fully specified what you'll be able to buy or the points cost just yet, but it does state that you'll "be able to redeem your points towards must-have devices, accessories and more".

Examples it's stated include the Samsung Galaxy S10 and its own Smart Wi-Fi Booster, so it's reasonable to expect mobile and broadband devices and accessories will be the key items you'll be able to spend Telstra Plus points on.

At launch, the Telstra Plus store lists the Google Home Mini at 14,000 points, the Netgear Nighthawk M2 at 15,000 points plus $215 and the Telstra TV 3 at 40,000 points plus $115. However, the actual store for redemption won't launch until July 2019.

Will I be able to spend both points and cash on new gadgets?

As per the above examples, it appears that some deals through Telstra Rewards will only be available on a points plus cash basis.

As an example, Telstra will offer the Samsung Galaxy Buds for 44,000 points plus $72, or from 10,000 points plus $216. Or if you preferred the Samsung Galaxy Watch 42mm, you'd be able to score one for 60,000 points plus $240.

Will points expire?

Yes, they will. Telstra's points, once earned, will expire after three years.

Will there be other bonus offers?

Yes, but your access to them will depend on the tier that Telstra gives you.

What tiers are there?

Telstra Plus customers will either qualify as "Members", "Silver" or "Gold".

No, we've no idea why the entry level isn't bronze either.

Basic member tier customers will be able to score cheaper tickets to entertainment events, while Silver and Gold customers will also get an unspecified-for-now "entertainment bonus". Telstra lists the basic tier as being a spend between $0-$1,499 annually, or up to $125 per month on Telstra services.

Telstra notes that there are some exclusions to the tickets offer, stating that it "Excludes home games for Adelaide Crows, Fremantle Dockers, West Coast Eagles and NZ Warriors. Excludes ANZAC Day clash (AFL), State of Origin, Finals Series and Grand Final".

If you do quality for Silver or Gold – it's a matter of how much you've spent at Telstra in the prior 12 months – you'll also qualify for better customer service.

To qualify for Silver, you'll need to spend between $1,500-$3,000 annually on Telstra services, or between $125-$249 per month.

Silver members will get a "one-off Telstra Platinum tech support call online or over the phone per year". Silver members also score a $75 Telstra TV Box Office credit for movie rentals from 28 May 2019. You'll get that credit awarded annually as long as you stay on the Silver tier. Telstra will also offer Silver tier customers one month of free access to Kayo Sports.

If you're a high spender, dropping at least $3,000 annually into Telstra's coffers, you'll qualify for Gold tier Telstra Plus status.

This gets you "priority call handling and 24x7 tech support online or over the phone through Telstra Platinum valued at $120 per year", plus $110 in Telstra TV Box Office Credit annually and 3 months of free Kayo Sports.

Do I have to be a customer for 12 months to qualify for Silver or Gold?

No, you don't. Telstra will award you the tier relative to your monthly spend when you sign up, with an annual expiry after that.

Will I be automatically enrolled to Telstra Plus?

No, you won't. Telstra representatives told Finder that they won't automatically enrol customers to Telstra Plus without their consent, because they have to account for the points value of any points earned. If you want Telstra Plus points, you'll have to sign up.

What happens to Telstra Thanks?

The existing Telstra Thanks scheme is effectively being retired, but Telstra says that most customers eligible for Telstra Thanks should qualify for Telstra Plus.

Are there any other catches?

Not too many, at least at first. You've got to be at least 18 years old to sign up for Telstra Plus, and it's explicitly not available for Telstra Business customers.

Telstra says that customers who sign up before 30 June 2019 will receive at least 1,000 bonus points, possibly more depending on your long-term Telstra customer loyalty.

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