Points, miles, and snide remarks.


AA Flyers: Can You Still Renew That Qantas Club Membership You Bought Last Year?

Last year, the eagle-eyed American Airlines aficionados among us pounced on an incredible opportunity offered by Qantas, a prominent member of the Oneworld alliance and a strategic partner of AA. For a mere $203, they locked in Qantas Club memberships, effectively doubling as pseudo-Admirals Club memberships, thanks to this alliance partnership. It was a deal that savvy travelers couldn’t pass up.

Just last month, I shared some renewal offers that were going out for a similarly low $260 price tag. I initially believed this was a special promotion, but it seems it’s the standard renewal price for flyers based outside Oceania. I don’t recall the price ever being differentiated like that, but I won’t complain—it’s great news for those of us in the United States.

With many of our memberships having expired in October, you might be wondering if you can still renew at that fantastic price and dodge the AUD $99 initiation fee, which currently translates to around USD $63. Well, I’m happy to confirm that you absolutely can!

There’s a 90-day grace period after your membership expires, allowing you to renew without incurring the initiation fee or the higher cost of a first-year membership (AUD$450 vs AUD$410, at time of writing about a USD$25 difference). According to the fine print on the Qantas website:

Qantas Club membership and access is subject to the Terms and Conditions of the Qantas Club.  If you renew your membership within 90-days of expiry, your membership will be valid for 12 months, 2 or 4 years (depending on the term of your membership) from your original expiry date, and not from the date of renewal. Any attempt to join after the 90-days will incur a $99 join fee in addition to the new member Individual, Partner or Corporate membership fee.

Excerpt, Qantas Club fine print

One key point to remember is that renewing during the grace period with the initiation fee waived will result in your new membership expiration date being based on the original expiry date, not the date you renewed. So, while the grace period is a generous benefit, there’s really no reason to delay your renewal.

What’s more, the cost of a Qantas Club membership is substantially lower than an Admirals Club membership purchased from American Airlines. This year, Admirals Club membership prices shot up to a whopping $850. Even the Citi/AAdvantage Executive World Elite card, which includes Admirals Club membership, saw its fee rise from $450 to $595. That makes the Qantas Club membership renewal price even more appealing.

It’s important to note that the Qantas Club membership does come with a guest allowance restriction, allowing only one guest traveling on the same PNR. In contrast, direct Admirals Club memberships permit up to two guests, and they can be anyone you choose so long as they are able to get airside. If this is important to you, you may want to pass on this offer.

Remember that lounge access policies may vary between Oneworld airlines, so it’s always a good idea to check the specific terms and conditions for the carrier you plan to fly. Most airlines outside the US don’t offer paid lounge memberships, and therefore don’t have to honor paid memberships from alliance partners. For example, British Airways doesn’t honor paid memberships from other Oneworld carriers, as they don’t sell lounge memberships to their own members; you’d need to be flying Business or First class, or hold Oneworld Sapphire or Emerald status to gain access to most BA lounges.

If you already have a Qantas Club membership, I strongly recommend renewing at this unbeatable price, especially in light of the ever-increasing costs of Admirals Club memberships through American Airlines. Don’t miss out on this deal while it’s still available!