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Rex launches loyalty program today to rival Qantas and Virgin

written by Adam Thorn | October 2, 2023

Victor Pody shot this Rex 737, VH-8KH, in Hobart.

Rex has formally launched its new frequent flyer program to rival Qantas and Virgin’s, with customers able to redeem points on services from mid-November.

The airline also said construction would begin “immediately” on new airport lounges in Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane.

Passengers can earn up to seven points for every dollar spent, with a last-minute “ultimate” flight from Melbourne to Sydney costing 7,400 points.

In the last few years, loyalty programs in Australia have become increasingly competitive, with numerous attempts by brands to make it easier for customers to switch. There was even a high-profile court battle over Virgin Velocity chief executive officer Nick Rohrlach after he sensationally “defected” from Qantas Frequent Flyer in 2021.

Rex previously had a smaller scheme for corporate travel. However, the new “Rex Flyer” offering is set to be far more comprehensive than rival services offered by Qantas and Virgin. It follows the smaller airline launching 737 services in March 2021.


Rex said in a statement that passengers can register for Rex Flyer now and immediately begin earning points and status points across both its domestic and regional networks.

“They will immediately receive 5,000 Rex points as a sign-on bonus if they sign up before 2 January 2024,” said Rex.

“All members will see their reward points doubled for bookings made by 02 January 2024, regardless of the date of travel.

“Rex passengers can earn up to seven points for every dollar spent every time they fly and up to five points for each dollar spent on selected Rex extras such as additional baggage and seat selection.

“From mid-November, Rex Flyer members will be able to use their points to redeem flights with three flight reward options – anytime, getaway, and ultimate.

“The anytime redemption option allows members to redeem at last-seat-available basis and provides the highest flexibility of all frequent flyer programs available in Australia.

“Three tier status levels – sapphire, emerald, and diamond – will be accorded to members who have accumulated the relevant number of status points, and qualifying members will be able to enjoy the tier status benefits from early 2024.

“A unique component of the Rex Flyer program will see all unsold seats available at the cheapest reward redemption rate (Ultimate) progressively from 48 hours before a scheduled departure.”

Rex Flyer is the third entrant into what is often a cutthroat frequent flyer market, with Velocity and Qantas Frequent Flyer frequently attempting to outdo each other and poach members.

Virgin Australia earlier this year attempted to entice Qantas Frequent Flyer members with a trial status-matching offer for those who have achieved gold status or above in “other Australian airline loyalty programs”.

Virgin and Qantas’ respective loyalty programs have been at war for years, with Virgin last year launching a similar “Switch-a-Roo” scheme to lure the Flying Kangaroo’s frequent flyer customers over to Velocity.

At the time, Velocity Frequent Flyer CEO Nick Rohrlach – who had sensationally “defected” from Qantas Frequent Flyer in 2021, provoking a protracted court battle – called the scheme another example of Virgin’s “playful” nature.

“On average, one person in every Australian household now has a Velocity Frequent Flyer membership, which shows the depth, breadth, and importance of the program to Australian consumers,” he said.

The battle for frequent flyers became particularly divisive after Virgin’s collapse into administration supposedly led to 25 corporate accounts switching to the Flying Kangaroo from Virgin.

Qantas took advantage by launching multiple switching programs targeting both Virgin and Air New Zealand customers in the aftermath.

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