Best frequent flyer and rewards credit cards May 2018

Posted: 1 May 2018 10:00 am News

Score up to 120,000 bonus points with this month’s round-up of the most rewarding credit cards.

In this month’s round-up of frequent flyer and rewards credit cards, we’ve hand-picked some of the cards with the most valuable bonus points offers available through finder. As there is no one best card for earning points, the line-up includes both cards with big bonus points offers and promotions that present good value for your money. As well as the bonus points, we also compare the standard earn rates, extra features and the overall costs.

To help narrow down your options, you can compare cards that earn Qantas Points, Velocity Points or points with a credit card rewards program. Happy points hunting!

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

Qantas Frequent Flyer credit cards

  • American Express Westpac Altitude Black – Qantas Bundle

Mastercard issued by Westpac. American Express card issued and serviced by American Express.

  • Bonus points. Up to 120,000 Qantas Points.
  • Earn rate. Up to 2 Qantas Points per $1 spent.
  • Annual fee. $499 p.a.

This month, our pick for Qantas Frequent Flyers is the American Express Westpac Altitude Black – Qantas bundle. After much anticipation, this card was launched (along with the Amex Westpac Altitude Platinum bundle) in April.

Bonus points offer

If you apply by 11 June 2018, you can score up to 120,000 bonus Qantas Points with the Amex Westpac Altitude Black bundle! This is one of the biggest bonus points offers on the market and is more than enough points to fly in business class from Melbourne to Las Vegas (96,000 points) or almost enough to travel in business class from Sydney to Paris (128,000 points).

However, as this card comes with both an American Express and Mastercard, there are specific spend requirements for each card. You’ll earn a bonus 80,000 Qantas Points when you spend $5,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days on the Mastercard and another 40,000 bonus Qantas Points when you use the Amex card to make $3,000 in eligible purchases in the first 90 days.

This brings your total spend requirement to $8,000 to get the bonus points. In addition to the standard earn rate, this means that you roughly earn 15 Qantas Points per $1 spent with the bonus point offer.

Regular earn rate

Beyond the bonus points, you’ll earn 2 Qantas Points per $1 spent on foreign transactions, 1.25 Qantas Points per $1 on eligible spending in Australia and 0.5 points per $1 on eligible spending with government bodies in Australia. If you use the Mastercard, you’ll earn 0.75 Qantas Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases. Both cards have uncapped earn rates, which is an advantage above a bunch of other Qantas Frequent Flyer cards.

Extra features and travel perks

As a frequent flyer credit card, the Amex Westpac Altitude Black – Qantas card comes with a bunch of perks to suit travellers. You can travel with peace of mind and save with complimentary overseas travel insurance, extended warranty insurance and transit accident insurance.

You can also travel in style thanks to two complimentary entries to the American Express Lounge at Sydney or Melbourne international airport with your Amex. Meanwhile, you’ll get two complimentary Qantas Lounge invitations per year after your first Altitude Black card spend on eligible Qantas products and services.

Rates and fees

Although you apply for both cards through Westpac, the American Express card is issued and managed by Amex. The cards have a combined annual fee of $499 ($199 annual fee for the American Express, $250 annual fee for the Mastercard and a $50 annual fee for choosing Qantas Rewards). Designed to suit cardholders who can pay their balance in full each month, this card offers up to 45 interest-free days. If you can’t pay your balance in full, you’ll pay a 20.24% p.a. purchase interest rate. This interest rate could easily outweigh the value of the rewards, so keep that in mind when you’re comparing your options.

  • Honourable mention: St.George Amplify Signature – Qantas

The St.George Amplify Signature – Qantas card offers a competitive 90,000 bonus points when cardholders spend $4,000 in the first 90 days. That’s enough points to fly in first class to Hong Kong (90,000 points) or almost enough points to fly in business class from Sydney to Los Angeles (96,000 points).

You’ll also earn 0.75 Qantas Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases. This card also offers two complimentary Qantas Club Lounge invitations each year as well as complimentary travel insurance. It has a lower price tag of a $279 annual fee and a 19.49% p.a. purchase interest rate.

Want to compare more credit cards that earn Qantas Points? Check out our comparison of Qantas Frequent Flyer credit cards for more options.

Velocity Frequent Flyer credit cards

  • Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer card

  • Bonus points. 60,000 Velocity Points.
  • Earn rate. Up to 0.66 Velocity Points per $1.
  • Annual fee. $64 p.a. for the first year ($129 p.a. after that).

This month's Velocity pick is the Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer card, not because of the size of the promotional offer, but because of the value you'll get per $1 to get the bonus points.

Bonus points offer

If you apply for the Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer card by 30 June 2018, you could score up to 60,000 bonus Velocity Points. You’ll earn 20,000 Velocity Points each month you spend $1,500 on eligible transactions in the first three months. This brings your total bonus points offer to 60,000 Velocity Points and offers 13 Velocity Points per $1 spent to get the bonus. That’s enough to fly from Melbourne to Hong Kong in business class (59,500 Velocity Points).

Virgin Money also offers a Velocity High Flyer card with 80,000 bonus points, but the Velocity Flyer card actually offers better value for your money when you consider how many points you’ll get per $1 to earn the bonus points. This is because you have to spend $3,000 to earn 16,000 points each month for the first five months (in other words, a spend requirement of $15,000 for 80,000 points). This roughly boils down to just over 5 points per $1 spent.

Regular earn rate

You’ll collect 0.66 points per $1 spent until you reach $1,500 each statement period. You’ll earn 0.5 points per $1 after that. If you usually spend more than $1,500 each statement period, you should consider how many points you’ll lose once the reduced earn rate kicks in before you apply.

Extra perks

You can kickstart your travel early thanks to a $129 Virgin Australia gift voucher each year. That helps offset the annual fee, but just make sure you make a retail purchase with your card within two months of requesting the voucher to unlock the benefit. You can also save with complimentary travel insurance. Unlike some other Velocity cards (such as the Velocity High Flyer card), this card doesn’t come with complimentary lounge passes.

Rates and fees

This card has a reduced annual fee of $64 p.a. in the first year (and $129 p.a. after that), which is competitive for a frequent flyer card. The purchase rate is 20.74% p.a., but you can take advantage of up to 44 interest-free days on purchases if you pay your balance in full.

  • Honourable mention: American Express Velocity Platinum

The American Express Velocity Platinum card offers new cardholders 50,000 bonus Velocity Points when they spend $3,000 in the first three months.

You’ll also enjoy a more competitive earn rate of 1.5 Velocity Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases plus an additional Velocity Point per $1 spent on select Virgin Australia purchases. You can save on travel costs with a complimentary Virgin Australia domestic return flight each year, two single-entry passes to domestic Virgin Australia lounges annually and complimentary travel insurance.

Although it boasts tempting extras, this card has a much higher annual fee of $375 and has a purchase rate of 20.74% p.a.

You can compare more Velocity Frequent Flyer credit cards on finder.

Rewards credit cards

  • Citi Platinum credit card

  • Bonus points. 100,000 Citi Rewards points.
  • Earn rate. Up to 1 point per $1 spent.
  • Annual fee. $49 p.a. in the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter).

Once again, the Citi Platinum credit card and its 100,000 bonus points offer has topped the rewards credit card category for the month.

Bonus points offer

When you apply by 30 June 2018 and spend $3,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days with Citi Platinum credit card, you’ll get 100,000 bonus Citi Rewards points.

Earn rates

You’ll also earn 1 Citi Rewards Point per $1 spent in Australia (up to $10,000 per statement period) and overseas (uncapped). If you’re a frequent flyer, you can exchange your points to your accounts with Velocity, Emirates Skywards Miles and Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer. As an example, you’ll earn 1 Velocity Point per 2.5 Citi Rewards, so you’d get 40,000 Velocity Points with the bonus points bounty. You can also redeem your points to buy merchandise from the Citi Rewards store, to shop at Amazon.com or to get cashback on your credit card account. To give you an idea of the points potential, 100,000 points is more than enough to redeem $400 worth of David Jones gift cards ($200 David Jones card = 41,700 points).

Extra perks

You can save with complimentary travel insurance and access to the Citi Dining Program, so you can enjoy a free bottle of wine when you dine at participating restaurants.

Rates and fees

Unlike some rewards cards, this card also has platinum perks without the high costs. It has a reduced annual fee of $49 in the first year (which reverts to $149 p.a. after that). However, it does have a 20.99% p.a. purchase rate. If you can pay your balance in full, you can save on future purchases with up to 55 interest-free days.

  • Honourable mention: ANZ Rewards Black

The ANZ Rewards Black card rewards new cardholders with 75,000 bonus Reward Points when they spend $2,500 in the first 3 months of approval. You’ll also earn 2 points per $1 spent up to $5,000 per statement period and 1 point per $1 after that.

You can redeem your ANZ Rewards for everything from gift cards and electronics to fashion and beauty from the ANZ Rewards store. To give you an example, 75,000 ANZ Rewards is enough to redeem $300 worth of David Jones e-Gift Cards (66,675 points). If you prefer frequent flyer points, you can also exchange your ANZ Rewards for Velocity Points, Air New Zealand Airpoints Dollars, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Miles and Asia Miles.

It also offers $0 annual fee for the first year ($375 p.a. after that). The purchase interest rate is 18.79% p.a., but you can save with up to 55 interest-free days if you pay your balance in full.

Most banks offer their own rewards programs, so you can compare more rewards credit cards on finder.

Compare these points credit cards side by side

Rates last updated July 16th, 2019
Name Product Bonus Points Rewards Program Rewards Points per $ spent Purchase rate (p.a.) Annual fee Product Description
American Express Westpac Altitude Black Bundle - Qantas
120,000 bonus points
Qantas Frequent Flyer
1.25
0.75
20.24% p.a. (AMEX)

20.49% p.a. (Visa/MC)

$499 p.a.
Up to 120,000 bonus Qantas Points with Mastercard (issued by Westpac) & Amex (issued & serviced by Amex). T&Cs apply.
St.George Amplify Signature - Qantas
90,000 bonus points
Qantas Frequent Flyer
0.75
19.74% p.a.
$179 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($279 p.a. thereafter)
Get 90,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $4,000 in 90 days and 2 complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations per year.
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Bonus Points Offer
75,000 bonus points
Velocity Frequent Flyer
0.66
20.74% p.a.
$64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
Earn up to 75,000 bonus Velocity Points and save with a $64 first year annual fee. Plus, a long-term balance transfer offer.
American Express Velocity Platinum Card
50,000 bonus points
Velocity Frequent Flyer
1.25
20.74% p.a.
$375 p.a.
Get 50,000 bonus Velocity Points when you spend $3,000 for the first 3 months. Plus, 100 Status Credits and luxury travel perks.
Citi Rewards Platinum Credit Card
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)
Get 100,000 bonus reward Points when you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days. Plus, save with a $49 first year annual fee.
ANZ Rewards Black Credit Card
100,000 bonus points
ANZ Rewards Program
2
18.79% p.a.
$375 p.a.
Receive 100,000 bonus Reward Points and $100 back onto your card when you spend $4,000 within the first 3 months, plus, lounge passes.

Compare up to 4 providers

While all of these cards come with competitive bonus points deals, you should also choose the right card for you based on the earn rates, extra features as well as the rates and fees. If you want to compare even more options, you can check out our guide to frequent flyer credit cards and rewards credit cards.
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