Air Miles Credit Cards

Find out how an air miles credit card can help you get more frequent flyer points and perks – even when you’re not flying.

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Name Product Bonus points Rewards program Rewards points per $ spent Purchase rate Annual fee
NAB Qantas Rewards Signature Card
Qantas Frequent Flyer
19.99% p.a.
$295 annual fee for the first year ($395 p.a. thereafter)
Earn up to 110,000 bonus Qantas Points (90,000 when you spend $3,000 in the first 60 days and 20k after 12 months).
Citi Premier Qantas Card
Qantas Frequent Flyer
21.49% p.a.
$175 annual fee for the first year ($350 p.a. thereafter)
Get 75,000 bonus Qantas Points when you meet the spend requirement, a first-year annual fee discount and complimentary travel perks.
Qantas Premier Platinum
Qantas Frequent Flyer
19.99% p.a.
$225 annual fee for the first year ($299 p.a. thereafter)
Earn 80,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months, 80 bonus Status Credits on eligible spend and a reduced first-year annual fee.
St.George Amplify Signature - Qantas
Qantas Frequent Flyer
19.74% p.a.
Get 90,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $6,000 using your new card within 90 days from approval and 2 Qantas Club lounge invitations per year.
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
Velocity Frequent Flyer
20.74% p.a.
$64 annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
Get 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 26 months, a reduced 1st year annual fee & $129 Virgin Australia Gift Voucher yearly.
ANZ Frequent Flyer Black
Qantas Frequent Flyer
20.24% p.a.
Collect 120,000 bonus Qantas Points and $200 back when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months. Plus, complimentary lounge passes.
Suncorp Clear Options Platinum Card - Exclusive Offer
Suncorp Bank Rewards Program
20.74% p.a.
$64 annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
Receive a 0% balance transfer rate for 24 months and a reduced first-year annual fee. Plus, 25,000 bonus Suncorp Credit Card Rewards Points.
St.George Amplify Platinum - Qantas
Qantas Frequent Flyer
19.74% p.a.
Earn 60,000 bonus Qantas Points, plus enjoy 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 15 months with a 1% BT fee.
Westpac Altitude Platinum Card
Westpac Altitude Rewards
20.49% p.a.
$49 annual fee for the first year ($150 p.a. thereafter)
Get 130,000 bonus Altitude Points (worth $450 cashback) when you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days, a 0% balance transfer offer and a $49 discounted annual fee.
American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card
Qantas Business Rewards
ABN holders w/ $75,000 revenue. Get 150,000 bonus Qantas Points, 2 yearly Qantas Club lounge passes and 3x points on eligible Qantas flights.
Westpac Altitude Platinum Qantas
Qantas Frequent Flyer
20.49% p.a.
$149 annual fee for the first year ($200 p.a. thereafter)
Get 60,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $3,000 within 90 days. Plus, a first-year annual fee discount and a 0% balance transfer offer.
NAB Rewards Business Signature Card
NAB Rewards
18.5% p.a.
Get 100,000 bonus NAB Rewards points when you spend $4,000 on everyday business purchases in the first 60 days. ABN required.
BOQ Specialist Signature Credit Card with Qantas Points
Qantas Frequent Flyer
20.5% p.a.
Earn up to 140,000 bonus Qantas Points (100,000 when you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months and 40,000 after 12 months).
American Express Velocity Platinum Card
Velocity Frequent Flyer
20.74% p.a.
Get 120,000 bonus Velocity Points and 120 Velocity Status Credits when you spend $4,500 in the first 3 months. Plus a complimentary domestic flight each year.
NAB Qantas Rewards Premium Card
Qantas Frequent Flyer
19.99% p.a.
Get 65,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $2,500 in the first 60 days and free Qantas Frequent Flyer membership.

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What is an air miles credit card?

Also known as a frequent flyer credit card, you can use an air miles credit card to earn points per $1 on your everyday spending. You can then redeem your points for flights, upgrades, accommodation and more.

Many air miles credit cards in Australia also come with perks like airport lounge passes, complimentary insurance and even flight vouchers or travel credits. And if you get a new card, you could also enjoy a big bonus points offer.

How do air miles credit cards work?

Air miles credit cards earn frequent flyer points as you charge purchases to your card. You can typically earn 0.5 to 2 frequent flyer points for each $1 spent on eligible purchases.

This usually includes most of your everyday spending on things like dining, fashion, supermarket shopping, petrol and entertainment. But transactions that don't usually earn points include:

  • Cash advances
  • Balance transfers
  • BPAY payments
  • Card fees and charges
  • Refunded purchases

If you're not sure whether a transaction will earn points, you can also check the terms and conditions or ask the credit card provider.

The points you do earn will be added to your frequent flyer account, and you can then use them to get reward flights, upgrades, accommodation and other rewards.

As well as direct frequent flyer credit cards that earn points with one program, some rewards credit cards also allow you to transfer your points to several partnered frequent flyer programs (otherwise known as indirect earn cards). This type of card could work for you if you belong to more than one frequent flyer program or if your preferred airline loyalty scheme isn't directly linked with a credit card in Australia.

How to compare air miles credit cards

If you're interested in getting one, consider these factors when shopping for your new air miles credit card:

  • Bonus points offers. These cards often reward new customers with thousands of bonus points when they sign up. You may need to meet a spend requirement (such as spending $3,000 in the first 90 days) to earn the bonus points. As long as it lines up with your budget, these bonus points offers are an easy way to earn a lot of points quickly.
  • Earn rate. The earn rate will determine how fast you can get your next reward. Note that credit cards with higher earn rates also usually come with higher annual fees and interest rates, so you should weigh these up when deciding.
  • Points cap. Some cards impose a cap on the points you can earn each month. For example, you may earn 1 point per $1 spent up to $5,000 per statement and 1 point per $2 spent subsequently. Consider how much you're likely to spend each month and whether the points cap will restrict how many points you could earn.
  • Annual fee. The rewards and perks usually come at the cost of a high annual fee. Make sure that the rewards you can redeem with your points and the value of the card's extra features offset this annual fee.
  • Interest rates. Air miles credit cards often charge higher purchase interest rates than other cards. These cards are best suited to people who can pay off their balance in full and avoid interest each month.
  • Card perks. Air miles credit cards can come with a variety of complimentary benefits such as free travel insurance, airport lounge access, airport limousine services and personal concierge services.

How to redeem your air miles

You can usually redeem your points online or over the phone for flights, travel packages, gift vouchers and more.

  • Flights. You can redeem your points for flights with the relevant airline and its partners. If you have a flight booking, you may be able to use your points to upgrade your flight to a higher flight class.
  • Hotels, car rental and travel packages. You can often use your points to pay for accommodation with partnered hotels, car rental and travel packages that include flights, hotels and activities.
  • Products from the rewards store. Use your points to shop at the online store, with rewards ranging from clothing, jewellery, homewares, electronics and toys.
  • Shopping and gift vouchers. Most frequent flyer programs have large retail partners, so you can exchange your points for store vouchers either to be used online or at their bricks-and-mortar outlets.

As a general rule, always make sure your air miles credit card gives you more value than it costs. A simple way to calculate this is by adding up the value of rewards you’d receive in a year and comparing that with the fees. While air miles credit cards may be rewarding for some people, they’re not for everyone. Consider your spending habits, lifestyle and rewards goals before deciding if an air miles credit card is right for you.

Images: Shutterstock

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