5th Aug 2016
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Beating the Qantas booking charge for credit cards
Author: SJ Fallick
Beating the Qantas booking charge for credit cards

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.





    COMMENTS

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    Busybees
    6th Aug 2016
    8:01am
    Unfortunately you have neglected to note that online travel agents also carry charges. Also not sure if you are aware that with the exception of flight centre, and hooroo ( the qantas ota) are the only 2 main Aussie companies. ALL the others agoda, bookingdotcom are owned by priceline.(amrican) wotif,lastminute,velocity,venere,trivago,hotelsdotcom are all owned by expedia all of which are also american. ALL the fees charged to you and all the commission they charge the third party (for example motels/carhire-anywhere between 12-20%) is ALL sent OFFshore WITHOUT being taxed. Last year $64BILLION went offshore witbout being taxed, yes $64BILLION. SO PLEASE DONT give these OTAs (online travel agents) free advertising. At least use our own!!
    heyyybob
    6th Aug 2016
    8:26am
    Now THAT is informative. Will check with next booking. Thanks :)
    MICK
    6th Aug 2016
    11:14am
    I avoid the big players like the plague. Not only are prices all but the same (because they are owned by the same parent company) but all the money goes to Americans whilst much smaller local companies bleed and economies suffer.
    My wife and I did a land tour and then a cruise in Greece last year. Sussed out a local company which did a wonderful job much better than its corporate rivals. Would always do it this way.
    AVOID the big boys unless there is a deal which cannot be let go. They come along maybe once or twice a year are snapped up fairly quickly.
    MICK
    6th Aug 2016
    10:42am
    A bit suss Sue and more like half truths than absolute ones. Also, using your Amex tied to a rewards program effectively gives you a 3% refund and an interest free period so why would you use any other method?
    Old Geezer
    6th Aug 2016
    9:19pm
    I have a Qantas credit card and Qantas does not currently charge me a credit card fee. I wonder if this will still be the case after September 1?
    Busybees
    7th Aug 2016
    11:14am
    As I mentioned, if you at least hooroo or flightcentre all the money stays ONshore and they are taxed.
    Also I'm not sure what you mean by half truths Mick. I work in the industry and I try to educate my clients against using those "big players" as much as possible. Most people are unaware that the commission they charge goes untaxed.

    Checking Inn | There's
    a youtube video done by the ABC's "The Checkout" is worth having a look at.
    The Checkout on "Checking Inn"
    Rosret
    7th Aug 2016
    2:03pm
    Thanks - just watched it. Very informative. 15% is a big cut.
    Rosret
    7th Aug 2016
    1:54pm
    So Qantas allows BPay and Jetstar doesn't? Interesting as they are the same company. Jetstar has a "sit next to your friend or family" charge too. Does Qantas forego that too?
    disillusioned
    8th Aug 2016
    5:58pm
    If I pay for trips and flights - tickets, accommodation, etc. - on my credit card I can claim "free" travel insurance through my bank. Sometimes, despite the credit card surcharges, it is more economical to pay this way than pay BPAY or bank transfer and pay separately for travel insurance. Just sayin. . . .
    Gumnut
    8th Sep 2016
    6:02pm
    I'm wth BOQ and I doubt they would pay my travel insurance.
    Gumnut
    8th Sep 2016
    6:02pm
    I'm wth BOQ and I doubt they would pay my travel insurance.
    Gumnut
    8th Sep 2016
    5:48pm
    Hello. Can someone please advise. MY husband read somewhere that if we go on a trip we have to tell the pensions office (Centerlnk). We are going on our first holiday in 4 years - for just 8 days, do we have to report like school kids to Centerlink - and WHY?
    Gumnut
    8th Sep 2016
    5:48pm
    Hello. Can someone please advise. MY husband read somewhere that if we go on a trip we have to tell the pensions office (Centerlnk). We are going on our first holiday in 4 years - for just 8 days, do we have to report like school kids to Centerlink - and WHY?
    4b2
    16th Mar 2019
    1:14pm
    I chose another air line. Qantas has become a high fee low service airline in my estimation and I avoid flying with them as much as I can, The last straw was a $30.00 charge to guarantee my wife and I sat together.
    .
    neil
    16th Mar 2019
    2:00pm
    Just don’t fly Qantas, lots other airlines out there


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