Banks ramp up credit card rewards in time for Christmas

Information verified correct on December 6th, 2016

Credit card providers prep for Christmas by enticing new customers with the promise of bonus rewards points. Discover how you can take advantage of $1,350 worth of travel rewards here!

Customers looking to snag a new credit card before Christmas can look forward to bonus rewards as providers bolster the perks to entice new cardholders. Read on to discover how you can make the most of your new credit card this silly season.

What can I be rewarded with?

Credit cards providers frequently resort to bonus points and rewards tactics to attract new customers. This strategy has proven particularly popular in the lead up to Christmas, with a number of providers ramping up their rewards offers for new cardholders. An analysis of the creditcardfinder.com.au database of almost 400 credit cards found that cardholders could rake in an estimated $1,350 worth of free flights (in other words, a return trip from Sydney to Los Angeles) when they spend $1,000 within the first three months.

Which card offers the *best value?  

The study compared the equivalent dollar value of credit cards with Qantas and Velocity bonus points to discover which offers the most competitive rewards based on the average cost of flights. On sign-up, 29 cards offered between 2,000 and 100,000 bonus frequent flyer points, with annual fees ranging from $0 to $749.

A points to dollar value ratio stand-out was the American Express Platinum Card, offering cardholders 100,000 bonus points estimated to be worth $1,700. However, cardholders must be prepared to spend $1,500 on the card within the first three months if they want to take advantage of the bonus points.

If you’re a Qantas Frequent Flyer, the ANZ Frequent Flyer Black card boasts high value in this category. This card offers 75,000 Qantas points, estimated to be worth $1,725, and with an annual fee of $425, it returns a potential profit of $1,300. However, customers are required to spend a whopping $7,500 on their card within the first three months to earn these bonus points.

Bankwest is the latest cab off the rank to launch a bonus points offer, with 50,000 points on sign up for its Qantas Platinum MasterCard for an annual fee of $160. This can earn cardholders a net profit of $990 in flights, but they have to spend $2,500 in the first three months to qualify for the points.

Compare credit cards with bonus points on sign-up

Rates last updated December 6th, 2016
Rewards Points per $ spent (AMEX) Rewards Points per $ spent (VISA/MC) Bonus Points Annual fee
HSBC Platinum Qantas Credit Card
Receive 60,000 bonus Qantas Points on eligible spend within 3 months. Enjoy access to premium benefits and complimentary insurance.
0 1 60,000 bonus points $199 p.a. Go to site More info
NAB Qantas Rewards Premium Card - Exclusive Offer
Get 75,000 bonus Qantas Points plus enjoy a low promotional offer of 4.99% p.a. for 6 months on balance transfers.
1.5 0.5 75,000 bonus points $250 p.a. Go to site More info
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
Enjoy a 0% p.a. balance transfer offer for 18 months and also earn 2 bonus Velocity Points in the first 3 months on everyday spend.
0 0.66 $64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
American Express Explorer Credit Card
Receive 100,000 Membership Rewards Bonus Points on eligible spend within the first 2 months of Card Membership. Also enjoy a $400 travel voucher and two complimentary airline passes per year.
2 100,000 bonus points $395 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card
Receive 10,000 Membership Rewards Bonus Points when you meet the minimum spend requirement. Enjoy a $200 travel credit every year and get 0% p.a. for 12 months on balance transfers.
1 0 10,000 bonus points $195 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Velocity Escape Card
Enjoy 7,500 bonus Velocity Points when you meet the minimum spend requirement and earn up to 2 points for every $1 you spend, together with a $0 annual fee.
1 0 7,500 bonus points $0 p.a. Go to site More info
ANZ Rewards Black Credit Card
Earn 75,000 Reward Points after your first eligible purchase within the first three months. Up to 3 reward points per dollar spent and unlimited access to airport lounges with complimentary travel insurance.
3 1.25 75,000 bonus points $375 p.a. Go to site More info
Virgin Australia Velocity High Flyer Card - 30k Bonus Points offer
Receive 30,000 bonus Velocity Points and earn 1 Velocity Points per $1 spent. Receive an exclusive $129 Virgin Australia Gift Voucher and two complimentary Single Entry Virgin Australia domestic Lounge passes each year.
0 1 30,000 bonus points $144 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($289 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
ANZ Frequent Flyer Platinum
Earn up to 1.5 Qantas Frequent Flyer points per $1 spent on purchases, receive 50,000 Qantas Points when you spend $2,500 on eligible purchases in the first three months. Plus, enjoy a waived annual fee for the first year.
1.5 0.5 50,000 bonus points $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($295 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
ANZ Frequent Flyer
Receive 25,000 bonus Qantas Points when you apply online, are approved and spend $2,500 on eligible purchases within the first 3 months. Plus enjoy a waived annual fee for the first year.
1 0.5 25,000 bonus points $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($95 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
American Express Qantas Discovery Card
Earn up to 7,500 bonus points on this no annual fee credit card.
1 0 7,500 bonus points $0 p.a. Go to site More info
ANZ Frequent Flyer Black
Earn 75,000 bonus Qantas Points after you spend $2,500 on eligible purchases within the first 3 months plus enjoy $0 annual fee for the first year. Plus, enjoy easy payments with Apple Pay.
1.5 0.75 75,000 bonus points $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($425 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
ANZ Rewards Platinum
Receive 50,000 bonus Reward Points after your first eligible purchase is made within 3 months of card approval and earn up 2 Reward Points for every dollar spent on purchases.
2 1 50,000 bonus points $95 p.a. Go to site More info
Citi Qantas Signature Credit Card
Earn up to 50,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $2,000 or more on eligible purchases in the first 90 days. Plus, enjoy introductory interest rates on balance transfers and purchases with a discounted annual fee of $199 in the first year.
0 1 50,000 bonus points $199 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($395 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
American Express Qantas Premium Card
Earn as much as 30,000 bonus Qantas Points when you meet the minimum spend requirement. Enjoy frequent flyer benefits including uncapped Qantas Points per $1 spent, complimentary travel insurance and Qantas Club lounge invitations.
1 0 30,000 bonus points $249 p.a. Go to site More info
Citi Rewards Credit Card - Platinum Card
Enjoy a reduced annual fee on the first year, 0% p.a. for 24 months balance transfer offer, Citi Reward Points on eligible spend, plus a complimentary travel insurance.
0 1.25 $199 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($249 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
Citi Rewards Credit Card - Signature
Receive 75,000 bonus Reward Points on eligible spend. A range of complimentary insurances.
0 1.5 75,000 bonus points $199 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($395 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
NAB Velocity Rewards Card
This card offers a 15,000 bonus Velocity Points plus a low interest rate of 0% p.a. on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months.
1 0.5 15,000 bonus points $95 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Velocity Platinum Card
Enjoy up to 50,000 bonus Velocity Points when you meet the minimum required spend and earn up to 3 rewards points per dollar spent. Also receive a complimentary return flight every year.
1 0 50,000 bonus points $349 p.a. Go to site More info
BankSA Amplify Signature
Receive 30,000 bonus points and enjoy a long term balance transfer offer of 0% p.a. for 18 months, plus a purchase offer of 1% p.a. for 12 months and $0 annual fee for the first year.
0 1.5 30,000 bonus points $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($279 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
American Express Qantas Ultimate Card
Enjoy up to 100,000 bonus Qantas Points on eligible spend, earn up to 3 Qantas Points for every $1 spent and get a free return flight every year.
1 0 100,000 bonus points $450 p.a. Go to site More info
Emirates Citi World MasterCard
Receive 40,000 bonus points and enjoy up to 10% off Emirates flights when you meet the spend requirement. Also pay a reduced annual fee for the first year.
0 1 40,000 bonus points $149 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($299 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
ANZ Rewards Credit Card
Get 25,000 bonus Reward Points after your first eligible purchase is made within 3 months of card approval and earn 1.5 points per dollar spent.
1.5 0.75 25,000 bonus points $80 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Platinum Card
Receive 100,000 Membership Rewards Bonus Points when you meet the minimum spend requirement and earn up to 3 points per dollar spent. Gain access to travel insurance, $300 Platinum Travel Credit every year and access to 900 VIP airport lounges.
1 0 100,000 bonus points $1,200 p.a. Go to site More info
David Jones American Express
Receive 30,000 Membership Rewards points and earn up to 3 Rewards points for every dollar spent on everyday item and access exclusive in-store benefits to David Jones cardholders.
1 30,000 bonus points $99 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Gold Business Card
Apply online to receive 10,000 Membership Rewards Bonus Points. Keep track of your business expenses with a dedicated business credit card.
1 0 10,000 bonus points $169 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Platinum Business Card
Provides easy tracking and management of business expenses. Also earn 100,000 bonus points when you meet the minimum spend requirement.
1 0 100,000 bonus points $1,500 p.a. Go to site More info
Citi Prestige Card
Receive 70,000 bonus points on your first spend and a low interest rate on balance transfers.
2 70,000 bonus points $700 p.a. Go to site More info
Bank of Melbourne Amplify Signature
Receive 30,000 bonus points when you meet the minimum spend. Also enjoy low introductory offers on purchases and balance transfers combined with no annual fee in the first year.
0 1.5 30,000 bonus points $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($279 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
Bank of Melbourne Amplify Platinum
A long term balance transfer offer of up to 18 months with a signup bonus points of 30,000 on eligible spend. Enjoy low interest rate on purchases combined with an annual fee waiver in the first year.
0 1 30,000 bonus points $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
St.George Amplify Signature
Receive 30,000 sign-up bonus points, low introductory interest rates on purchases and balance transfers plus no annual fee for the first year.
0 1.5 30,000 bonus points $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($279 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
St.George Amplify Platinum
This card features a 30,000 bonus points offer, introductory interest rates on balance transfers and purchases and an annual fee waiver for the first year.
0 1 30,000 bonus points $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
BankSA Amplify Platinum
Receive bonus points and enjoy introductory offers on purchases and balance transfer, a generous earn rate, plus the ability to tailor your rewards with your choice of rewards programs.
1 30,000 bonus points $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
Westpac Altitude Black - Exclusive Offer
Earn 100,000 bonus points when you spend $5,000 on eligible purchases, choose between two reward programs offering Altitude or Qantas Rewards and receive premium cardholder benefits.
3 1.25 100,000 bonus points $395 p.a. Go to site More info
NAB Qantas Rewards Premium Card
Get 25,000 bonus Qantas Points plus enjoy a low promotional offer of 0% p.a. for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers.
1.5 0.5 25,000 bonus points $250 p.a. Go to site More info

How can I compare rewards credit cards? 

While many of these cards offer beneficial rewards, not all of them will be best suited to you. Consider some of the following factors while comparing offers to find the best one for you.

  • Bonus points. Although all of the aforementioned credit cards offer bonus points, some promotions may compliment your spending habits better than others. Consider the earn rate and the eligible spend you'll be required to make before accessing the points to determine whether it's the right choice for you. If you have to spend more than usual to access the points, another offer may be of more value to you.
  • Rewards program. Make sure that the rewards program is one that you'll take full advantage of. If you regularly fly with Qantas, a card connected to the Qantas Frequent Flyer program might be of interest. On the other hand, if you're a loyal Virgin customer, consider a card that is partnered with the Velocity Frequent Flyer program.
  • Limitations. Rewards credit cards usually restrict how and where cardholders can earn and redeem their points. Make sure the terms and conditions associated with your card are compatible with your regular spending habits. Points caps and expiration can also limit how you use your points, so this is another factor you'll need to be mindful of.
  • Costs. Most rewards credit cards come at a cost. If the monetary value of your rewards doesn't outweigh the fees associated with the card then you might want to look at another offer.

What do I need to be wary of?

The holiday season often sees increased credit card activity, creditcardfinder.com.au saw a 25% increase in credit card spending in December last year compared to November, as cardholders made a record $217.3 billion worth of credit card transactions for the month ($43.7 billion more than November).

While these offers can be a great way to get more out of your credit card, be mindful of the annual fee and the eligible spend required to access the bonus points. Don’t let these conditions lure you into the trap of overspending, as you’ll have to repay every cent charged on the card (plus interest) in the long run.

creditcardfinder.com.au money expert Michelle Hutchinson recommends that to take advantage of these offers, you’ll need to spend responsibly and repay your balance in full each month. “A free holiday sounds amazing, but it won’t be if you’re paying for it in extra interest. Save that for your spending money on holiday, instead,” says Michelle.


So while the eligible purchases you’ll need to make to access your bonus rewards points could more than cover your Christmas gift list, remember that you’ll have to repay every purchase in full. If not, the interest you will incur could more than counteract the savings you’ll make on flights costs thanks to your rewards points.

Compare your options in conjunction with your financial situation and ability to repay to find the most suitable credit card for you this Christmas.

Compare rewards credit cards here

Sally McMullen

Sally McMullen is a journalist at finder.com.au who is a credit cards, frequent flyer and travel money expert by day and music maven by night.

Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

Related Posts

American Express Essential Credit Card
American Express Essential Credit Card

Interest rate

14.99

Annual fee

0
ME Bank frank Credit Card
ME Bank frank Credit Card

Interest rate

11.99

Annual fee

0
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
HSBC Platinum Credit Card

Interest rate

19.99

Annual fee

149

Ask a Question

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Disclaimer: At finder.com.au we provide factual information and general advice. Before you make any decision about a product read the Product Disclosure Statement and consider your own circumstances to decide whether it is appropriate for you.
Rates and fees mentioned in comments are correct at the time of publication.
By submitting this question you agree to the finder.com.au privacy policy, receive follow up emails related to finder.com.au and to create a user account where further replies to your questions will be sent.

Ask a question
feedback