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

Alex Kidman 2 April 2019 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.

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, especially in the pre-launch period. However, Telstra's release on the new scheme does give us a baseline idea of how much a point might be worth.

According to Telstra, "A household spending $160 per month would have earned enough points after 18 months to fully redeem a Telstra Smart Wi-Fi Booster."

The Telstra Smart Wi-Fi Booster has a standard price of $180, although Telstra is selling it currently at just $120. Presuming the higher value, over 18 months your household would need to spend $2,880, which should net you 28,880 Telstra Plus points.

Based on that $180 asking price, that means each point is worth just 0.62c each. If it's actually that lower price, then each point only nets you around 0.41c each.

What will I be able to spend my points on?

Telstra hasn't entirely 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.

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

Good question!

And, just like every other time somebody has ever said that to you, we're stalling for time, because we honestly don't know. While that kind of points+cash transaction is quite common in some loyalty schemes, Telstra hasn't actually opened up its Telstra Plus Rewards store yet, but we should get a clearer picture once it does.

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".

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. Silver members will get a "one-off Telstra Platinum tech support call online or over the phone per year", while Gold Tier members will get "priority call handling and 24x7 tech support online or over the phone through Telstra Platinum valued at $120 per year".

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 18 years old at least 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 bonus points, but it hasn't qualified what quantity of bonus points will be on offer.

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