You want Qantas points with that exercise app?

Nathan Freeman, Jake Carlisle and Jimmy Webster of the Saints during a St Kilda Saints AFL pre-season training session in Melbourne. Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Qantas wants a share of the Australian private health insurance market.

And it’s using its loyalty program to build the business. The airline has done a deal with health insurer nib to offer Qantas points with health insurance and extra points if you use an app to stick to an exercise program.

“Qantas Loyalty has shown it knows how to attract, reward and retain members for their choice of airline, credit card or retailer,” says Qantas CEO Alan Joyce.

“By partnering with nib, we believe there is a huge opportunity to do the same thing in the $19 billion private health insurance market and drive significant growth for the loyalty business.”

A Qantas Assure policyholder can download a wellness app which syncs with wearable technology. The app will log the number of steps taken in a day and then allocate Qantas Points.

Members will be able to choose a daily or weekly target depending on their lifestyle, with the number of points earned increasing with the size of the target.

About a quarter of Australians are estimated to have their own a fitness tracker. But only 43% get around to actually doing even moderate activity, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The design of the Qantas health insurance was shaped by interviews and surveys with thousands of Australians. About half said they would be more active if given rewards for exercise.

Qantas Assure is aiming for a 2% to 3% share of the Australian private health insurance market in its first five years.

“This is not about simply earning points when you pay a bill,” Joyce says. “It’s about offering members the opportunity to be rewarded for being more active, which is something that also has a direct impact on improving your wellness.”

Mark Fitzgibbon, nib’s managing director, says the company is a strong believer in encouraging customers to be fit and active.

“The relationship with Australia’s most recognised brand, allows us to tap into their avid Qantas Loyalty membership to further grow our business, but equally this partnership allows Qantas to leverage our claims management and extensive underwriting expertise,” says Fitzgibbon.

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