Beating the Qantas booking charge

You may have heard of Qantas’ plans to replace their credit card surcharges with a variable 1.3 per cent fee. Previously a fixed-price fee, this change means that travellers purchasing more expensive tickets, including premium economy and business class fares, will face a fee of up to $70 – more than double the current $30 charge.

The changes are set to start from September 1 but, thankfully, if you’re in the know there are ways around this money grab. Have your pens and paper at the ready – here are five ways to avoid paying the Qantas credit card surcharges:

1. Book with an online travel agent
Online travel agencies such as American Express Travel and Expedia Australia allow you to book Qantas flights minus the credit card surcharges. Although the fare is often the same price as booking direct, do be aware that any changes or cancellations may incur additional fees … So, if you’re plans aren’t concrete this probably isn’t the safest option.

2. Pay with BPAY
So long as your flight is more than seven days away from the date you book, Qantas will allow you to use BPAY to book online and it’s blissfully fee-free.

qantas plane in flight

3. Pay with POLi
You’d be forgiven for not knowing what POLi is. Often overlooked, it is an Australia/New Zealand payment system that makes a direct connection with your bank, immediately transferring funds. Like BPAY, it has no booking fee associated with it and, because the transfer is immediate, POLi can be used to buy a ticket right up until the same day you fly.

4. Use Qantas Cash
If you’ve got a Qantas cash card, now is the time to put it to good use. From 1 September you’ll pay a surcharge of only 0.6 per cent as opposed to the 1.3 per cent charged for credit cards. The same goes for all pre-paid and debit cards – while you are still paying a fee, it is below half of that of the charge associated with using a credit card. The same caps apply though – $11 for domestic and trans-Tasman fares and $70 on international tickets.

5. Buy Qantas gift vouchers
Ever the entrepreneur, Qantas sells gift vouchers ranging in value from $50 to $2000. These can be redeemed for travel on Qantas flights, and the best part is that if you use a credit card for part of the booking, if it’s in conjunction with a Qantas gift voucher, there’s no credit card fee.

How do you usually pay for your airfares or other travel bookings? Do you have any tips for avoiding fees and surcharges?

Read more detail at Australian Business Traveller.

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SJ is a regular travel contributor to YourLifeChoices. Her required holiday reading is Collective magazine, a great new fiction novel or a personal development book. Unlike photos, she feels you can never be over developed.

Written by SJ


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