It’s almost a dirty little secret that’s been let out of the bag, Telcos are willing to offer frequent flyer style points for loyalty – it’s just that until now it wasn’t for you and me – only for the big end of town.

Known as “Device Credits” in the corporate world, your company signs a healthy commitment to Telstra for one or two years, meaning they’ve got potentially hundreds of phone accounts locked in, and in return you get a certain number of device credits – essentially cash to spend on new phones and devices with Telstra.

Recognising the super competitive landscape that is the mobile phone world in Australia, Telstra have announced a loyalty plan for consumers called “Telstra Plus”.

Beginning in mid-May Telstra Plus members will accumulate points that they can then exchange for discounts on devices, or for movie tickets, pre-sale ticket access or other VIP offers.

It’s free to join, but your level of “bonus” depends on how much you spend.

If you spend up to $1,499 a year you’ll get the “Telstra Thanks” experience, with discounted tickets, and chances to win things.

Spend up to $2,999 and you get an “Entertainment Bonus” (details of that are yet to be announced), and one off access to Telstra’s “Platinum” 24/7 phone and online tech support

Spend more than $3,000 a year and you’re getting all year access to that Platinum support as well as priority call handling too.

This is all on top of the accumulation of “points” within the program.

While not explicitly mentioned in their announcement, it does seem this program entirely replaces the “Telstra Thanks” program – with Telstra saying that since 2013 customers accessed over 13 million discounted movie and two million discounted concert tickets. That program will likely be phased out of the coming months, with the only really big difference being you need to opt in to the Telstra Plus program.

Launching the new program at the Telstra Melbourne Discovery Store this morning, Telstra CEO Andy Penn said, “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. Every service, subscription or hardware repayment will see customers earn points towards new technology, and we think that’s a pretty powerful offer.”

In terms of what your points accumulation might get you – Telstra say a household spending $80 a month would earn enough points after 18 months to fully redeem a smart speaker while if you’re spending double that you might be able to redeem a Telstra Smart WiFi Booster after 18 months.

If you’re looking for free phones, well the discounts Telstra touts are for a household spending $255 a month, (and who earned bonus points for adding a new service in that time) would earn enough points in two years for 25% off a Samsung Galaxy S10, or 40% off a Samsung Galaxy S8.

I guess if you’re throwing that kind of money down, it’s nice to get something back. You might just be better off sorting out your telecommunications spending to get a whole round better deal though in the long run.