Best Frequent Flyer and Rewards Credit Cards March 2017
Grab up to 80,000 bonus points and collect up to 3 points per $1 with the best Qantas, Velocity and Rewards credit cards this month.
Collect bonus points on sign up, maximise how many reward points you can earn per dollar and take advantage of other travel-centric rewards such as lounge passes and complimentary insurance with the best frequent flyer and rewards credit cards roundup this month. Whether you're a Qantas Frequent Flyer, Velocity lover or if you prefer the flexibility of credit card rewards, we've got you covered.
Similar to last month, our roundup of the top cards is based on the products with the most competitive bonus points offers. A few of the bonus points deals have changed since February, so this is a fresh batch of credit cards with cracker bonus points deals to help you reach your reward goals sooner.
Best Qantas Frequent Flyer Credit Cards
Winner: Qantas American Express Ultimate Card
The Qantas American Express Ultimate Card has come out on top of the ever-competitive Qantas Frequent Flyer credit card market this month. It boasts the highest bonus points offer, the opportunity to earn Status Credits and a range of other features designed to suit frequent flyers.
If you’re a new cardholder, you can collect 75,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend at least $1,500 on eligible purchases within the first three months of card approval. You’ll also continue to earn 1.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases, 1 Qantas Point for every $1 spent on Qantas products and services and 0.5 Qantas Points per dollar spent on government purchases. These points are uncapped and not restricted by an expiration period.
Plus, when you apply for the card by 1 May 2017, you’ll receive a bonus 75 Status Credits. You just need to use the card to book any return Qantas flight and complete your travel by 30 September 2017 to qualify for the credits. The Qantas American Express Ultimate is one of the only cards on the market (as well as the ANZ Frequent Flyer Black card) that offers the opportunity to earn Qantas Status Credits to move up the airline’s loyalty tiers.
Regular jetsetters can also make use of complimentary international travel insurance and one complimentary domestic return flight with Qantas every year. Plus, cardholders can relax before their flight with two entries to the American Express Lounge at Sydney International (Kingsford Smith) Airport each year. These features can help outweigh the high annual fee of $450 p.a. and the standard purchase rate of 20.74% p.a.
Honourable mention: ANZ Frequent Flyer Black
The ANZ Frequent Flyer Black credit card offers up to 75,000 bonus points when you spend $2,500 in the first three months, 75 Status Credits, up to 1 Qantas Point per $1 spent and an annual fee of $0 for the first year ($425 p.a. thereafter). Please note that points caps apply.
Best Velocity Frequent Flyer credit cards
Winner: American Express Velocity Platinum card
American Express also tops the Velocity category with the highest bonus points offer available with the American Express Velocity Platinum credit card. When you spend $1,500 within the first three months of approval, you’ll collect a bonus 50,000 Velocity Points. It also offers one of the highest earn rate structures for a Velocity frequent flyer credit card on the market. You can earn 3 points per $1 spent with Virgin Australia and partnered restaurants in Australia, and 2 points per $1 spent on airlines, accommodation, major cruise and tour operations and for spending in a foreign currency. You’ll also collect 0.5 points per $1 spent on utilities and government purchases plus 1 point per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases.
The rewards don’t end here either. The card offers a complimentary domestic return flight with Virgin Australia every year you hold the card. Plus, you can wait for your flight in style with two single entry passes to Virgin Australia lounges each year and discount business class companion fares. You can even cut back on necessary holiday costs with the complimentary international travel insurance.
The card doesn’t come without its costs, though. It has a high annual fee of $349 and a standard purchase interest rate of 20.74% p.a.
Honourable mention: Virgin Australia Velocity High Flyer Card
The Virgin Australia Velocity High Flyer card offers up 10,000 bonus Velocity Points when you spend at least $3,000 each month for the first three months. This means you could rack up a total of 30,000 Velocity Points if you meet the spend criteria each month. You’ll also earn up to 1 Velocity Points per $1 up to $10,000 per month and then 0.5 Points for every dollar thereafter. The card has a reduced annual fee of $144 for the first year and $289 thereafter.
Best rewards credit cards
Winner: NAB Rewards Platinum Card
The NAB Rewards Platinum Card is one of the newest rewards credit cards on the market, offering 80,000 NAB Rewards points when you spend $2,500 on eligible purchases within the first 90 days. While you’ll earn 1 point per $1 on eligible purchases, the points booster allows you to maximise your rewards on certain purchases. You’ll collect 3 points per $1 if you use your card to book with Webjet and when making foreign transactions overseas or online. Plus, you’ll earn 2 points per $1 on purchases made in major department and hardware stores such as David Jones and Bunnings.
You can then redeem your rewards for flights and travel through Webjet, gift cards, technology and gadgets, homewares and more via the NAB Rewards store. You can even trade your NAB Rewards points for Virgin Australia Velocity Points, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles and New Zealand Airpoints Dollars. Keep in mind that the following exchange rates apply:
|Frequent flyer program||Exchange rate|
|Virgin Australia Velocity||3 NAB Rewards points = 1.5 Velocity Point|
|Cathay Pacific Asia Miles||3 NAB Rewards points = 1.0 Asia Mile|
|New Zealand Airpoints Dollars||3 NAB Rewards points = $0.015 Air New Zealand Dollars|
You can transfer a minimum amount of 3,000 NAB Rewards points at a time.
Cardholders can also take advantage of complimentary travel insurance and purchase insurances. Plus, you can save with no annual fee for the first year. This will revert to $195 p.a. thereafter. As you’ll be using the card to make purchases to boost your points balance, keep in mind that a purchase rate of 19.99% p.a. applies.
Honourable mention: American Express Explorer Credit Card
The American Express Explorer Card offers 50,000 bonus points when you spend $1,500 in the first three months. It also offers 2 Membership Rewards per $1 on all eligible purchases as well as 0.5 points on government transactions. Cardholders can save with a $400 travel voucher, two complimentary airline lounge passes to the American Express Lounge at Sydney International (Kingsford Smith) Airport T1 each year and complimentary travel insurance.
While each of these cards is a competitive deal, you'll benefit from comparing all of your frequent flyer and rewards credit card alternatives to ensure you’re applying for the right one for you. Rewards cards are renowned for enticing new customers with attractive bonus points offers and extra features, so make sure to pay attention to annual fees, interest rates and any bonus points spending terms and conditions to ensure the costs don’t outweigh the benefits.