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REX: Launches loyalty scheme – REX Flyer

REX: Launches loyalty scheme – REX Flyer

Besides the fact that it’s not a great idea to launch a new frequent flyer scheme on a public holiday Monday on the same long weekend when multiple football and Rugby finals are held, this scheme looks interesting. I’ve just seen the release, so expect a further update once I have digested the details.

REX is rolling out the scheme gradually, with earning points starting now, but redemptions and other benefits are only available from mid-November, and some, not until 2024.

a seat in a plane
Rex Business Class seats [REX]

The Basics

Here are some basic tenets of the scheme. Oh yes, and you can join here.

Sign Up Bonus. When you sign up to Rex Flyer, you will be credited with a bonus 5,000 ‘Rex’ points. But you need to sign up before 2 January 2024. You will get double points for any bookings you make (whatever the travel dates) before that January date too.

Earning Rate. Points earning will range from 5 per dollar spent for add-ons like seat selection and extra baggage. Flights will earn 7 points per dollar spent.

Redemptions. You will need to wait 6 weeks, but from mid-November you can redeem flights using your points at three different levels. Points redemptions are tied to regular fare tables, so they may change over time as fares do. Below I have used, as an example, a Sydney to Adelaide fare an example using a :

  • Anytime – Business = 32,400; Economy – 29,900 (last seat available redemption)
  • Getaway – Business – 25,900; Economy – 11,600
  • Ultimate – Business – 19,900; Economy – 8,900

Tier Status. Rex Flyer will have four tiers: Opal is entry-level, and three elite tiers: Sapphire, Emerald and Diamond. The benefits of these tiers won’t be available until early 2024

a woman in a plane
REX 737-800 interior [REX]

Points purchase of unsold seats

One of the unique characteristics of this scheme is that all unsold seats will be made available for points redemption at the lowest ‘Anytime’ rate 48 hours before the flight. It feels a bit like the old ‘standby’ fares but with points, not dollars.

Status Points and Benefits

The Rex Flyer scheme is firmly revenue-based. Points and status earnings totally depend on how much you have spent, not how far you travel, or how many flights you take. Status Points – think Qantas status credits – will be earned at the rate of one per dollar spent.

Not all the details of what benefits each status will get have been released, but expect it to include free business class upgrades, extra legroom economy seating, and the feeless ability to move to an earlier flight. Standard benefits include additional baggage allowance, lounge access, and priority boarding and check-in.

New Lounges

REX is promising new lounges in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, with construction to commence ‘imminently’ – whatever that means.

REX 737 on the runway
REX 737-800 ‘Our heart is in the country‘ [REX]

2PAXfly Takeout

You’re not really even in the airline game these days without some kind of loyalty scheme. It’s an important revenue stream for Australian airlines. The Qantas scheme, for example, earns more profit than its international operations. REX had to do this to be taken seriously by both its shareholders and customers.

It’s exciting to see a scheme which is entirely open about how they calculate the points required for redemptions, and making all unsold fares available to redeem 48 hours before a flight, gives this scheme some unique characteristics.

Point hacks has an important observation about the scheme, which perhaps belies its livery tagliine: ‘Our heart is in the country‘:

The program is more useful for city dwellers than those in the country, though. With a traditional distance-based reward chart, like Qantas and Virgin Australia flights, shorter regional flights are often the cheapest rewards to get with points. With Rex Flyer, reward seat values are tied to published fares. This means the cheapest routes to book with points are all domestic trunk routes rather than the pricier regional routes.

Pointshacks website

I haven’t found anyone calculating a value for Rex Flyer points. Until that happens, it is difficult to evaluate it against other schemes like Virgin’s Velocity and Qantas Frequent Flyer.

It brings to the airline a reason to remain loyal. Next step – redemptions on international carriers. When that happens, we will know that REX is a serious contender in the Australian airline market.

The next step for me, besides experiencing REX as a passenger is compiling a complete guide to the scheme. Expect to see that in a few weeks.

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