In an Aussie telco first, Telstra has just announced Telstra Plus – a tier-based rewards program designed to give a little something back to loyal customers.
Telstra Plus will give customers the chance to earn points on their monthly bills to later spend on new products and technology. While rewards programs have existed across a range of products and services for years — most notably from airlines and supermarkets — this is a first for the telco sector, where competition to sign up new customers and retain existing ones is harder than ever.
“Australians have more choice than ever before when it comes to their telco provider and millions of our customers choose to join and stay with Telstra for their connectivity, technology and entertainment needs. In addition to the better value we provide our customers through our larger network coverage and data speeds, we’re upping the ante through rewarding our customers for their loyalty over time,” said Telstra CEO, Andy Penn.
“Every service, subscription or hardware repayment will see customers earn points towards new technology, and we think that’s a pretty powerful offer.”
While Optus offers it’s Optus Perks (which includes discounted movie tickets, pre-sale concert tickets and other perks), and Vodafone offers Qantas Frequent Flyer points on select plans, Telstra Plus is set to be the first rewards program of its kind on offer from a telco. The good news is that all Telstra customers will be able to access and benefit from this program.
What is Telstra Plus?
While the Telstra Thanks program has been giving Telstra customers the chance to access discounted movie and concert tickets since 2013, Telstra Plus is a new type of rewards program. Telstra Plus will combine the rewards currently on offer from Telstra Thanks, but there will be even more benefits available to customers once it launches.
Not only will Telstra Plus give customers access to discounted sports and movie tickets, pre-sale concert tickets and other complimentary and VIP services, but points will be usable in the Telstra Plus Rewards store. The Telstra Plus Rewards store will be where you can spend your rewards points on devices and tech accessories.
How do I earn Telstra Plus points?
Like with most rewards programs, any money you spend with Telstra, whether it’s paying your monthly bill or recharging a prepaid service, you will earn 10 points for every $1 you spend (some exclusions apply, such as late payment fees). If you sign up for Telstra Plus before 30 June, 2019, there are bonus points also on offer — 1,000 bonus points for customers with under 5 years continuous service, 10,000 bonus points for over 5 years continuous service. Telstra customers will start to earn points from 14 May, 2019.
The following table shows all published Telstra month-to-month plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.
What can I do with my Telstra Plus points?
Telstra Plus points will be redeemable in the Telstra Plus Rewards store, which will open later in the year. What you can purchase in the Telstra Plus Rewards store will be determined by how many points you have. For example, a household spending $80 a month would earn enough points after 18 months for a smart speaker.
You would also be able to receive some bonus points when adding additional services to your account, so as another example, a household spending $255 per month plus bonus points after adding a new service, would have enough points over two years to receive 25% off a Samsung Galaxy S10.
What are the Telstra Plus Member Tiers?
Once you’ve signed up for Telstra Plus, you’ll be allocated a membership tier, which is determined by how much you’ve spent over the past 12 months. The memberships come on three different tiers: Member, Silver and Gold. To earn Silver or Gold membership, you’ll most likely need to have more than one service on a single account, however at this point it’s unclear how much you’ll need to spend each month to qualify for the different membership tiers.
All three membership tiers will have access to discounted movie tickets, pre-sale concert tickets and front-of-line access to sporting and entertainment experiences. Silver and Gold members will also have access to one-off Telstra Platinum tech support online or over the phone and entertainment bonuses. Gold members will receive in addition, priority call handling with 24/7 tech support plus an entertainment bonus, which will be revealed soon.
Telstra’s plans for 2019
The announcement of Telstra Plus is one of several changes expected for the telco in 2019. Earlier this year, Telstra announced a partnership with Samsung to be the exclusive Australian carrier of the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G phone. There are also 5G phones from OPPO and LG devices, which are also be available through Telstra. This is great news if you’re eager to start using Telstra’s 5G network, which is being rolled out to more sites across Australia.
This is one of the many customer-first initiatives launched by Australia’s largest telco, including the removal of excess data charges on mobile plans and a new range of no lock-in plans launched in June, 2019.
With all these announcements and launches, not to mention the expansion of Australia’s first 5G network, 2019 is set to be a big year for Telstra with more value to offer existing customers and to entice over new ones.