this is more a question for Keith or his Point Hacks staff.
the Qantas Amex ultimate will remove the free flight and now have:
Note: On 31 October 2017, the complimentary domestic flight will be replaced with a $450 Travel Credit. The Travel Credit can be redeemed for any eligible Qantas flight booked and paid online through American Express Travel in a single booking. The Travel Credit will be available each year of Card Membership, as long as you have paid the annual fee and your account is current and in good standing.
I presume this no longer requires a first Qantas spend for the account year to activate this benefit?