Best frequent flyer and rewards credit cards January 2018
Book your next international flight for free with up to 100,000 bonus points.
Kick start 2018 and redeem your next reward faster with a credit card that offers up to 100,000 bonus points! Whether you're a Qantas Frequent Flyer fan, a Velocity Points lover or prefer the flexibility of credit card rewards programs, there are plenty of cards boasting big bonus points offers this month.
As there's no one best frequent flyer or rewards credit card for every points chaser, we've based this month's round-up on the cards with the biggest bonus points offers available through finder. If you want to compare more options, you can also check out our guide to frequent flyer and rewards credit cards for even more deals.
The points offers, features, rates and fees mentioned here are correct at the time of publication.
Best card for Qantas Frequent Flyer Points
- Bonus points. 100,000 Qantas Points.
- Earn rate. Up to 1.25 Qantas Points per $1 spent.
- Annual fee. $250 p.a. in the first year ($395 p.a. thereafter)
- Offer end date. 31 January 2018.
The Westpac Altitude Black and its 100,000 bonus points offer tops the Qantas category this month. That’s enough to redeem a business class flight from Sydney to Las Vegas or a return flight in business class to Bali, just to give you an idea of your points potential. To get the bonus points, you have to spend $5,000 on eligible purchases within the first 90 days of card approval.
You’ll also continue to earn 1.25 Qantas Points per $1 spent on the American Express card and 0.625 Qantas Points per dollar spent with your Mastercard. It’s important to note that from 4 April 2018, the Amex card will close and the earn rate will change to 0.75 Qantas Points per $1 spent on Mastercard.
Since you’ll have enough points to take an international holiday, you can cut costs with complimentary international travel insurance. You can also travel in style with complimentary airport lounge passes. All Westpac Altitude Black card holders will receive two complimentary visits to the American Express Sydney International Lounge annually. Plus, Altitude Qantas members will get two complimentary invitations to Qantas Club Lounges each year. The card also comes with a 24/7 concierge, which you can use for anything from organising travel plans to booking restaurant reservations.
These perks don’t come cheap, though. The card has an annual fee of $250 p.a. in the first year, which reverts to $395 p.a. after that. The card also has a purchase rate of 20.24% p.a. and a cash advance rate of 20.74% p.a., so it’s best suited to cardholders who pay off their balance in full each statement period.
Honourable mention: NAB Qantas Rewards Signature card
The NAB Qantas Rewards Signature card is also a competitive offer for Qantas Frequent Flyers. It comes with 100,000 bonus points when you apply by 25 February 2018 and spend $3,000 in the first 60 days. You’ll also enjoy an earn rate of 1 Qantas Point per $1 spent on eligible purchases up to $5,000 and then 0.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent between $5,001 and $20,000 per statement period. This card has a standard annual fee of $395 p.a.
Best card for Velocity Frequent Flyer Points
- Bonus points. 100,000 Velocity Points.
- Earn rate. Up to 2.5 Velocity Points per $1 spent.
- Annual fee. $375 p.a.
The American Express Velocity Platinum card is our top pick for Velocity Frequent Flyers this month. When you apply online and spend $1,500 in the first three months of the card membership, you’ll score a bonus points bounty of 100,000 Velocity Points. That’s enough points to fly one way in business class from Sydney to Los Angeles! Regularly, you’d only earn 50,000 bonus Velocity Points for meeting the same spend requirement, so this online exclusive definitely offers better bang for your buck.
You’ll also earn 1.5 Velocity Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases plus an additional point when you spend with Virgin Australia. If you spend $50,000 on eligible purchases over the course of a membership year, you’ll also be rewarded with 100 Velocity Frequent Flyer Status Credits.
The travel perks don’t end here either. After your first spend each year, you’ll be rewarded with a complimentary domestic return flight between select cities within Australia. And you can avoid the stress of public waiting areas the next time you fly with a total of four complimentary airport lounge passes each year. You’ll receive two complimentary single entry passes at select Virgin Australia lounges and two complimentary entries per year to the American Express Lounge at Sydney International Airport. If you use your card to pay for eligible travel, you can also save with complimentary international travel insurance.
The benefits come at the cost of a $375 annual fee and a high purchase rate of 20.74% p.a. You should be able to offset the annual fee with the rewards you redeem with your bonus points, but this card is better value for cardholders who can pay their account in full each month.
Honourable mention: Virgin Australia Velocity High Flyer card
This Virgin Australia Velocity High Flyer card comes with 80,000 bonus points, but the spend requirements are a little tricky. If you apply by 31 January 2018, you can collect 16,000 bonus points every month you spend at least $3,000 on eligible purchases in the first five months. So, this means you could earn up to 80,000 bonus Velocity Points in the first five months.
You’ll also 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’ll also receive a $129 Virgin Australia gift voucher and two passes to Virgin Australia lounges each year. This card comes at the cost of a $289 p.a. annual fee and 20.74% p.a. purchase interest rate.
Best card for credit card reward points
- Bonus points. 100,000 Citi Rewards points.
- Earn rate. 1 Citi Rewards point per $1 spent.
- Annual fee. $49 in the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter).
- Offer end date. 31 January 2018.
For the third month in the row, the Citi Platinum credit card ranks number one in our credit card rewards category. This is because you can earn 100,000 bonus Citi Reward points when you apply by 31 January 2018 and spend $3,000 in the first 90 days.
So, what can you redeem with 100,000 Citi Reward points? If you book via Citi Rewards, you could redeem a one-way economy flight from Sydney to Hanoi. Or if you’re a Velocity Frequent Flyer, you could also exchange them for 40,000 Velocity Points. That’s almost enough points for a Premium Economy flight from Sydney to Hong Kong. You could also use the points to shop at Amazon and redeem gift cards via the Citi Rewards online shop. For example, 100,000 Citi Rewards is almost enough points to redeem a $500 David Jones gift card.
You’ll also earn 1 point per $1 spent on domestic purchases (up to $10,000 per statement period) and the same earn rate but uncapped on international purchases. You can also get extra value with complimentary travel insurance, a personal concierge service and access to the Citi Dining Program, which means you can get a free bottle of wine when you dine at partnered restaurants.
The card also has a competitive annual fee of $49 in the first year and $149 p.a. thereafter. However, it does have a high purchase rate of 20.99% p.a., so it’s not suited to cardholders who carry a balance from month to month.
Honourable mention: NAB Rewards Signature card
New NAB Rewards Signature cardholders can also earn 100,000 bonus NAB Rewards points when they apply by 25 February 2018 and spend $3,000 in the first 60 days. That’s enough points for a $500 Myer digital gift card or 50,000 Velocity Points if you'd prefer to exchange them for frequent flyer points.
The card also has an earn rate of 1.25 standard points per $1 spent on everyday eligible purchases, double points on purchases made with partner merchants and triple points on trips abroad booked through Webjet as well as on foreign transactions.
The NAB Signature Rewards card also comes with complimentary travel insurance and a concierge service, but has a higher annual fee of $295 p.a.
These are just some of the competitive bonus points offers on the credit card market. To compare more options, check out our rewards credit cards and frequent flyer credit cards comparison tables to weigh up your options.
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