Best frequent flyer and rewards credit cards December 2019

Posted: 9 December 2019 2:03 pm

Girl visiting golden gate bridge at San Francisco.

Start planning your 2020 adventures with up to 200,000 bonus points.

Whether you're looking for a last-minute credit card for Christmas or a card to kick off the new year, you can compare some of the most competitive rewards and frequent flyer offers available on Finder in this month's round-up.

To help narrow down your options, we've included credit cards that earn Qantas Points and Velocity Points, as well as other reward programs including St.George Amplify Rewards and Coles flybuys.

How did we pick this month's line-up?

We've hand-picked this month's line-up based on the cards available through Finder in December that offer the most competitive bonus points and annual fees.

To help you earn more points, we've filtered our top picks by cards that offer at least 50,000 bonus points in the first 12 months. When looking at the standard earn rates, we've only included cards that collect 0.5 points or more per $1 spent. To mix things up, we've also included a cashback offer for those of you who prefer to treat your bank balance over your frequent flyer account.

There's no one best rewards credit card for everyone, so you should compare your options before you commit to a new card.

Best credit card for Qantas Points

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Qantas Premier Platinum Mastercard

  • Bonus points: Up to 120,000 Qantas Points.
  • Earn rate: Up to 2 Qantas Points per $1 spent.
  • Annual fee: $199 first year ($299 p.a. after that).

With one of the biggest bonus points offers available, the Qantas Premier Platinum Mastercard tops this month's round-up of Qantas cards. When you apply and are approved by 26 February 2020, you'll earn 20,000 bonus Qantas Points every month that you spend $1,500 for the first 6 months.

To give you an idea of how much that's worth, you could use your combined 120,000 bonus Qantas Points to book a business class flight from Sydney to San Francisco (108,400 Qantas Points) or a return business class flight from Melbourne to Bali (57,000 Qantas Points each way).

You'll earn 2 Qantas Points per $1 spent on eligible Qantas purchases (including Qantas flights, Qantas Club memberships and purchases through the Qantas Store), 1.5 points per $1 spent in a foreign currency and 1 Qantas Point per $1 spent on eligible purchases in Australia up to $10,000 per month. The earn rate changes to 0.5 points per $1 spent after that.

As well as points, this frequent flyer card is packed with other perks to treat loyal Qantas travellers. You'll receive two single-entry Qantas lounge passes each year. When you book using your Qantas Premier Concierge service, you can save on flight costs with up to 20% off selected domestic companion flights once each year.

Plus, if you use your card to make a qualifying purchase with Qantas in the first 6 months of card approval, you'll save with 0% interest on the transaction for 6 months. If you don't pay it off in this time, the standard 19.99% p.a. interest rate will apply. You can also travel safely with complimentary travel insurance.

New cardholders will save $100 with the discounted annual fee of $199 in the first year (which reverts to $299 p.a. after that).

Honourable mention: NAB Qantas Rewards Signature card

The NAB Qantas Rewards Signature card also boasts up to 120,000 bonus Qantas Points for new cardholders. You'll receive 90,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $3,000 on eligible purchases within 60 days and an additional 30,000 bonus Qantas Points after your card's first anniversary.

You'll collect 1 Qantas Point per $1 spent up to $5,000 per statement period and 0.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent up to $20,000 in a statement period. This card doesn't include airport lounge passes, but you can take advantage of complimentary travel insurance and a concierge service.

Cut your first year's card costs by $100 with a reduced $295 annual fee in the first year, which increases to $395 p.a. after that.

Best credit card for Velocity Points

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Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer credit card – Bonus points offer

  • Bonus points: Up to 70,000 Velocity Points.
  • Earn rate: Up to 0.66 Velocity Points per $1 spent.
  • Annual fee. $64 first year ($129 p.a. thereafter).

When you apply for the Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer credit card by 24 February 2020, you can treat yourself to up to 70,000 bonus Velocity Points. It's not the largest bonus points offer in the Velocity category but it's especially competitive when you consider the low annual fee.

You'll collect 20,000 bonus Velocity Points each month that you spend $1,500 or more on eligible transactions for the first three months. You'll then receive 10,000 additional points after your first anniversary, bringing your total bonus points balance to 70,000.

With the regular points you'll earn, that's enough Velocity Points to book business class flights from Sydney to Queenstown or from Brisbane to Nadi, Fiji (both 71,000 Velocity Points). This card has an earn rate of 0.66 Velocity Points per $1 spent up to $1,500 per statement period. You'll earn 0.5 Velocity Points per $1 spent after that.

You can also save on travel costs every year with complimentary travel insurance and a $129 Virgin Australia gift voucher. This card charges a reduced annual fee of $64 in the first year, which reverts to $129 p.a. after that.

Honourable mention: Citi Rewards Platinum credit card

The Citi Rewards Platinum card doesn't earn Velocity Points directly, but you can exchange your Citi Reward Points for Velocity Points.

If you apply by 31 January 2020 and spend $3,000 or more on eligible transactions in the first 90 days, you will receive 80,000 bonus Citi Reward Points. On top of that, you'll receive another 40,000 bonus points when you pay the second year's annual fee.

With an exchange rate of 2.5 Citi Reward Points to 1 Velocity Point, you can redeem your bonus points for 48,000 frequent flyer points. You'll also collect 1 Citi Reward Point per $1 spent on domestic and international transactions (with a $10,000 cap per statement period on your spending in Australia).

When you apply by 31 January 2020, you'll also save $100 with a reduced annual fee of $49 ($149 p.a. after that).

Best credit card for other reward points

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St.George Amplify Signature credit card

  • Bonus points: Up to 200,000 bonus Amplify Points.
  • Earn rate: 1.5 points per $1 spent.
  • Annual fee: $139 first year ($279 p.a. thereafter).

The St.George Amplify Signature credit card has one of the biggest bonus points offers on the market. When you apply by 12 February 2020, you'll score 130,000 bonus Amplify Points in the first year and an additional 70,000 bonus points in the second year when you spend at least $12,000 each year.

That's more than enough to redeem Mastercard gift cards valuing $750 (166,500 Amplify Points). If you prefer travel rewards, you can also exchange your Amplify Points for frequent flyer points. For example, you can redeem your 200,000 Amplify Points for 100,000 Velocity Points, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Miles or Malaysia Airlines Enrich points.

You'll also earn 1.5 points per $1 spent on eligible transactions. Cardholders can avoid the chaotic airport rush and treat themselves to complimentary food, drinks and Wi-Fi before flying with two complimentary lounge visits to Priority Pass lounges each year. The St.George Amplify Signature card also offers complimentary travel insurance and a 24/7 concierge service. These perks come at the cost of a $139 first-year annual fee ($279 p.a. after that).

Honourable mention: Coles Rewards Mastercard

New cardholders who apply for the Coles Rewards Mastercard by 31 January 2020 and spend $3,000 in the first 90 days can earn 100,000 bonus flybuys points. You'll receive an additional 20,000 bonus points within three weeks of the card's first anniversary.

To give you an idea of your bonus points potential, you could redeem 120,000 flybuys points for $600 flybuys Dollars to save at the checkout or 52,200 Velocity Points. You'll also earn 2 flybuys points per $1 spent and can pick up one additional point per $1 when you scan your flybuys barcode at partnered retailers including Coles, Kmart and Target. You'll pay no foreign transaction fees on overseas purchases and a $99 annual fee.

Best card to earn points on business expenses: American Express Platinum Business card

Picture not describedIf you're looking for a card to reward your business expenses, our pick for the month is the American Express Platinum Business card. When you apply for the card through Finder by 15 January 2020 and spend $10,000 within the first 3 months, you'll receive 200,000 bonus Membership Rewards. This is the biggest bonus points offer in the business card category that is available through Finder right now.

You will earn 2.25 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent on most eligible purchases, including overseas transactions, utilities and insurance (except insurance issued by American Express). You'll also pick up 1 point per $1 spent on government transactions. You can easily manage employee spending and earn points as they spend with up to 99 additional cards at no extra cost.

Start your next business trip in style with unlimited access to over 1,200 lounges through the American Express Global Lounge Collection. Other travel perks include complimentary Accor Plus membership and hotel elite status with loyalty partners including the Radisson Hotel Group, Marriott Bonvoy and Shangri-La. You can fly in luxury for less when you save up to 20% on first and business class fares booked through the Platinum Travel Service thanks to the American Express International Airlines Program.

With no pre-set spending limit and up to 55 cash flow days, the perks of the American Express Business Platinum card come at the cost of a $1,750 annual fee.

Compare these credit cards side by side

Name Product Bonus points Rewards program Rewards points per $ spent Purchase rate Annual fee
Qantas Premier Platinum
Qantas Frequent Flyer
19.99% p.a.
$225 annual fee for the first year ($299 p.a. thereafter)
Enjoy 80,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend at least $4,000 within the first 3 months, 80 bonus Status Credits on eligible spend, plus a discounted $225 first-year annual fee.
St.George Amplify Signature
Amplify Rewards
19.74% p.a.
Up to 200,000 bonus points (100k first year & 100k second year) - worth $900 in gift cards - when you spend $12,000/yr for the first 2 years.
Coles Rewards Mastercard
19.99% p.a.
$0 annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
Get 20,000 bonus Flybuys points (worth $100 at Coles), a $0 first-year annual fee and an 18-month balance transfer offer. Ends 30 June 2021.

Compare up to 4 providers

This is just a small selection of some of the impressive bonus points offers available to points chasers this month. Lots of credit card issuers are rewarding new customers with competitive points deals in the lead up to Christmas, so make sure to compare more frequent flyer and rewards credit cards to find the right one for you.

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