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Best frequent flyer and rewards credit cards Feb 2018

Sally McMullen 9 February 2018 NEWS

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Book your next business class flight for free with up to 100,000 bonus points.

Give your points balance a boost this month with a card that boasts up to 100,000 bonus points. That’s enough to travel in style in business class or book a return international flight for free!

As there is no one best credit card for every points collector, you need to compare your options to find the right one for you. To make it easier, we’ve based our top picks for February on the cards with the biggest bonus points offers, competitive earn rates and the most valuable extra features that are available through finder. To narrow down your options to your preferred program, we’ve also categorised our fave frequent flyer and rewards cards of the month by the cards that earn Qantas Points, Velocity Points and credit card rewards.

The points offers, rates and fees mentioned here are correct at the time of publication.

Best credit cards for Qantas Points

  • Qantas American Express Ultimate cardQantas-Amex-Ultimate250x160

  • Bonus points. 100,000 bonus Qantas Points.
  • Earn rate. Up to 2.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent.
  • Annual fee. $450 p.a.
  • Offer end date. 9 April 2018.

The Qantas American Express Ultimate card and its 100,000 bonus points offer is our top pick for the Qantas Frequent Flyer category this month. You need to apply by 9 April 2018 and spend $3,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months to nab the points. This offer is also only available to new Amex customers.

With 100,000 Qantas Points, you could fly from Sydney to Dubai or San Francisco in business class (both 96,000 points) or from Sydney to Singapore in first class (90,000) or a return flight from Sydney to Vancouver in economy (45,000 points each way). These are only some of your options, but you can visit the Qantas website to explore more of your points potential.

You’ll also continue to earn 1.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases, which is one of the highest standard earn rates among Qantas Frequent Flyer credit cards. You can also earn 0.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent with government bodies, which could come in handy if you plan to pay your tax bill with your credit card. Rewarding loyal Qantas customers, you’ll also earn 1 additional Qantas Point per $1 spent when you use your card to pay for select Qantas purchases.

As a frequent flyer credit card, this card is packed with travel perks. You’ll receive a $450 Qantas travel credit each year, which you can use for eligible international or domestic flights. You can also relax before your next flight in style thanks to two entries to the American Express Lounge at Sydney International Airport each year. You’ll also receive two complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations after your first card spend on select Qantas products each anniversary year.

These perks come for the price tag of a $450 annual fee and a purchase rate of 20.74% p.a. So, although you could offset the annual fee with the travel voucher and bonus points offer, this card isn’t suited to cardholders who plan to carry a balance from month to month.

  • Honourable mention: NAB Qantas Rewards Signature card

The NAB Qantas Rewards Signature card offers 100,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 in the first 60 days. Although the card comes at a lower annual fee of $359 p.a., it has a lower earn rate than the Qantas Amex Ultimate card. You can earn 1 Qantas Point per $1 spent up to $5,000 per statement period and then 0.5 Qantas Points between $5,001 and $20,000 per statement period. The presence of the points cap means you can only earn up to 12,500 points per statement period. This card comes with complimentary insurance and a 24/7 Visa Worldwide concierge service, but doesn’t offer lounge passes or a travel credit.

Best credit cards for Velocity Points

  • Virgin Australia Velocity High Flyer cardvirgin-high-flyer250x158

  • Bonus points. 80,000 Velocity Points.
  • Earn rate. Up to 1 Velocity Point per $1 spent.
  • Annual fee. $289 p.a.
  • Offer end date. 28 February 2018.

The Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer card with its 80,000 bonus points has reclaimed its position in the Velocity ranks this month. However, securing the bonus points is a little trickier than the spend requirements on most frequent flyer cards.

Once you’ve activated the card, you can earn 16,000 bonus points every month you spend at least $3,000 on eligible purchases for the first five months. So, this means you could earn up to 80,000 bonus Velocity Points in the first five months. You’d need to spend at least $15,000 all up to get the maximum bonus and you should factor that in before you’re persuaded by the promise of points.

You’ll earn 1 Velocity Point per $1 spent on eligible transactions up to $8,000 per month and then 0.5 Velocity Points per $1 spent thereafter (uncapped). You can also save on travel costs with a complimentary $129 Virgin Australia gift voucher each year. You just have to make an eligible purchase with your card within two months of requesting your voucher. You’ll also receive two passes to Virgin Australia lounges annually.

This card has a relatively high annual fee of $289 p.a. and a purchase interest rate of 20.74% p.a. So, this card is best suited to cardholders who can earn enough rewards to justify the annual fee and also pay their balance in full each month to avoid interest.

  • Honourable mention: American Express Velocity Platinum card

The American Express Velocity Platinum card has a lower bonus points offer of 50,000 Velocity Points, but it also has a much lower spend requirement of $1,500 in the first three months to get them.

It also has a higher earn rate of 1.5 Velocity Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases and an additional Velocity Point per $1 spent on selected Virgin Australia purchases. The card also offers a complimentary domestic return flight each year, two single-entry passes to domestic Virgin Australia lounges annually and complimentary travel insurance.

Although it has great perks, this card has a much higher annual fee of $375 and also has a purchase rate of 20.74% p.a.

Best cards for credit card rewards

  • American Express Explorer credit cardamex-explorer250x158

  • Bonus points. 100,000 Membership Rewards.
  • Earn rate. Up to 2 points per $1 spent.
  • Annual fee. $395 p.a.
  • Offer end date. 9 April 2018.

The American Express Explorer credit card also offers 100,000 bonus Membership Rewards for new cardholders. As long as you’re a new Amex customer, apply by 9 April 2018 and spend $3,000 in the first three months, you’ll get the bonus points.

You’ll continue to earn 2 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent on eligible purchases and 0.5 points per $1 spent on government bodies in Australia (such as on your ATO bill).

You can redeem your Membership Rewards for a number of rewards including credit to your account, gift cards and travel perks. You can also exchange your Membership Rewards for frequent flyer points with partnered programs including Velocity Frequent Flyer, Emirates Skywards, Etihad Guest and Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer.

If you exchanged your 100,000 Membership Rewards to your Velocity account, you’d get 75,000 Velocity Points. That’s enough for a business class flight from Melbourne to Hong Kong (59,500 points) or a premium economy flight from Sydney to Los Angeles.

Each year, you’ll also receive a $400 travel credit to use at American Express Travel, two entries to the American Express Lounge at Sydney International Airport and complimentary travel insurance.

You can outweigh the Amex Explorer’s $395 p.a. annual fee with the travel credit, but this card isn’t suited to people who want to carry a balance. This is because the purchase interest rate of 20.74% p.a. could easily offset the perks.

  • Honourable mention: Citi Platinum credit card

Until 30 June 2018, the Citi Platinum credit card also rewards new cardholders with 100,000 bonus reward points when they meet the spend requirement of $3,000 in the first 90 days of card approval.

You can also redeem your points for products and gift cards with the Citi Rewards Store, redeem them for a statement credit or exchange them for frequent flyer points with Velocity, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer and Emirates Skywards.

This card comes with complimentary travel insurance and access to the Citi Dining Program, meaning you could score a free bottle of wine when you dine at participating restaurants. This card doesn’t come with airport lounge passes or a travel credit. However, it does come with a lower annual fee of $49 p.a. for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter).

Compare these rewards credit cards side by side

Rates last updated June 22nd, 2018
Name Product Bonus Points Rewards Program Rewards Points per $ spent Purchase rate (p.a.) Annual fee Product Description
Qantas American Express Ultimate Card
55,000 bonus points
Qantas Frequent Flyer


1.5
20.74% p.a.
$450 p.a.
Receive 55,000 bonus Qantas Points, a $450 Qantas Travel Credit each year and 2 yearly complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations.
NAB Qantas Rewards Signature Card
90,000 bonus points
Qantas Frequent Flyer


1
19.99% p.a.
$295 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($395 p.a. thereafter)
Collect 90,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $4,000 within 60 days of account opening. Plus, a $295 annual fee in the first year.
Virgin Australia Velocity High Flyer Card - 80k Bonus Points offer
80,000 bonus points
Velocity Frequent Flyer


1
20.74% p.a.
$289 p.a.
Take off sooner with up to 80,000 bonus Velocity Points and earn up to 1 Velocity Point per $1 spent. Plus, a 15 month balance transfer offer.
American Express Velocity Platinum Card
50,000 bonus points
Velocity Frequent Flyer


1.5
20.74% p.a.
$375 p.a.
Receive 50,000 bonus Velocity Points, a complimentary Virgin Australia return Economy domestic flight each anniversary year, plus, 2 lounge passes.
American Express Explorer Credit Card
50,000 bonus points
Membership Rewards Gateway


2
20.74% p.a.
$395 p.a.
Receive 50,000 bonus Membership Rewards points, a yearly $400 Travel Credit and 2 entries per year to the American Express Lounge.
Citi Platinum Credit Card - 100k Bonus Points
100,000 bonus points
Citi Rewards Program


1
20.99% p.a.
$49 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter)
Earn 100,000 reward Points, enjoy a long-term balance transfer offer, a discounted first year annual fee and complimentary travel insurance.

Compare up to 4 providers


These are just some of the competitive bonus points offers on the credit card market. To compare more credit cards that'll reward your spending, check out our rewards credit cards and frequent flyer credit cards comparison tables to weigh up your options.

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