Best frequent flyer and rewards credit cards May 2020
Treat yourself with one of these credit cards offering up to 200,000 bonus points.
If you're on the hunt for a credit card that offers a sign-up bonus and rewards for your everyday spending, this month's round-up looks at some of the most valuable offers currently on the market. From Qantas Frequent Flyer options to Velocity alternatives and more flexible rewards programs, these cards offer something for almost everyone.
How did we pick this month's line-up?
We selected this month's line-up based on the biggest bonus points and valuable everyday reward features on credit cards offered through Finder in May 2020. We also considered and included cards with valuable bonus points offers currently on the market, but not offered through Finder.
We've narrowed down our top picks by cards that offer at least 50,000 bonus points in the first 12 months, or a combination of a high earn rate and competitive annual fee. The round-up only includes cards that collect 0.5 points or more per $1 spent.
There's no one best credit card for every type of points chaser, so you should compare your options before you commit to a new card.
Best credit cards for Qantas Points
Qantas Premier Platinum
- Bonus points. Up to 100,000 Qantas Points
- Earn rate. Up to 2 Qantas Points per $1 spent
- Annual fee. $299
- Purchase rate. 19.99% p.a.
The Qantas Premier Platinum offers 80,000 bonus Qantas Points when you apply by 30 June 2020 and spend $5,000 in the first 90 days from account approval and another 20,000 bonus points when you pay the second-year annual fee. So if you want to get the full 100,000 bonus points on offer, you need to keep the account open and in good standing for at least 12 months.
When you meet these requirements, you would have enough Qantas Points for one return business class flight from Sydney to Auckland (83,000 points plus fees and taxes) or, closer to home, 3 return economy flights between Sydney and Melbourne (96,000 points plus fees and taxes). If you want to enjoy some rewards straight away, you could also get $500 worth of Woolworths digital gift cards (95,000 points for two $250 cards) or other retail items from the Qantas Store. Just remember to look at the dollar value of each reward so you can get the most out of these points.
The Qantas Premier Platinum also currently offers 75 bonus Status Credits when you make your first eligible purchase by 30 August 2020. It earns 1 point per $1 spent on eligible purchases in Australia, up to $10,000 per statement period, then 0.5 points per $1 after that. You collect a higher rate of 1.5 points per $1 for spending in a foreign currency (including online), and 2 Qantas Points per $1 spent on Qantas flights, Qantas Club membership and purchases through the Qantas Store.
Other perks include complimentary travel insurance, lounge invitations and discounted companion flights. It also charges a 19.99% p.a. interest rate for purchases and a $299 annual fee. As you would have to pay this fee twice to collect all the bonus points, remember to weigh this cost against the value of points and other perks.
Runner up: Qantas American Express Ultimate
The Qantas American Express Ultimate offers 55,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $3,000 on eligible purchases in the first 3 months of card membership. You can apply for this offer if you meet the eligibility criteria and have not had an American Express card in the past 18 months. This bonus points offer gives you enough for a return business class flight between Sydney and Melbourne (36,800 points plus fees and taxes), a one-way business class flight from Sydney to Auckland (41,500 points plus fees and taxes) or a $250 Netflix digital gift card (44,200 points) from the Qantas Store.
With this Amex card, you'll also earn 1.25 Qantas Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases and 0.5 points per $1 on government spending – which could be handy with tax time coming up. You also earn 1 additional point for select spending with Qantas, giving you a maximum earn rate of 2.25 points per $1.
As well as points, this card offers complimentary airport lounge passes, Qantas Wine Premium membership and a $450 Qantas travel credit that can be used to completely offset the $450 annual fee.
Best credit card for Velocity Points
Information about Velocity Frequent Flyer credit cardsNormally, we would include a rundown of credit cards that earn Velocity Points. But due to Virgin Australia going into voluntary administration, many of these cards are not taking new applications at this time. There is also a freeze on Velocity reward redemptions for an initial period of four weeks, effective from 21 April 2020. So as an alternative, we have included cards that earn flexible reward points you could transfer to Velocity Frequent Flyer in the future – or redeem for other rewards.
Westpac Altitude Platinum
- Bonus points. 80,000 Altitude Points
- Earn rate. Up to 3 Altitude Points per $1 spent
- Annual fee. $150
- Purchase rate. 20.49% p.a.
This platinum rewards card from Westpac offers 80,000 bonus Altitude Points when you apply by 5 August 2020 and spend $3,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days from card approval. While Altitude Rewards currently has a freeze on point transfers to Velocity Frequent Flyer, if and when this freeze is lifted, you could transfer your points and get 1 Velocity Point for every 3 Altitude Points.
You could also transfer your points to Air New Zealand Airpoints, Asia Miles, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer or Malaysia Airlines Enrich. Or, if you want more immediate rewards, you could redeem $300 worth of Woolworths digital gift cards for 70,500 Altitude Points via the Altitude Rewards website.
The Westpac Altitude Platinum also offers three different earn rates based on your spending. You collect 1 point per $1 spent on most of your everyday eligible spending in Australia (uncapped), 2 points per $1 for spending with Spotify Premium, Uber, UberEats, Airbnb and on overseas purchases, and 3 points per $1 spent on flights purchased in Australia directly with Qantas, Jetstar or Virgin Australia (up to $10,000 per calendar month, then 1 point per $1).
As well as earning points, this card offers complimentary purchase security insurance, extended warranty cover and overseas travel insurance, plus mobile payments through Apple Pay, Samsung Pay or Google Pay. It also has a $150 annual fee and 20.49% p.a. interest rate for purchases.
Runner up: American Express Explorer
This American Express credit card gives you a bonus 50,000 Membership Rewards points when you apply online and spend $3,000 on eligible purchases in the first 3 months. You could use 50,000 Membership Rewards points to get more frequent flyer rewards with one of 8 active partners – including Asia Miles, Emirates Skywards and Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer – or save them to see if a transfer to Velocity Frequent Flyer becomes available in the future. You could also redeem them for a $250 account credit or a $250 WISH gift card from Woolworths Group (both 50,000 points).
The Amex Explorer also offers a $400 Travel Credit for American Express Travel, airport lounge passes, complimentary domestic and international travel insurance and smartphone screen insurance. It has a $395 annual fee that you could offset by making use of the $400 Travel Credit.
Best credit cards for other rewards
St.George Amplify Signature
- Bonus points. 200,000 Amplify Points
- Earn rate. 1.5 Amplify Points per $1 spent
- Annual fee. $139 first year ($279 thereafter)
- Purchase rate. 19.74% p.a.
The St.George Amplify Signature offers an impressive 130,000 bonus Amplify Points in the first year and 70,000 in the second year when you apply by 2 June 2020 and spend at least $12,000 on eligible purchases each year. These points could get you $900 worth of digital gift cards (from 199,800 points), be transferred to a frequent flyer partner or redeemed for retail items and other goodies via the Amplify Rewards website.
With this premium rewards card, you also earn 1.5 Amplify Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases in Australia and overseas – plus a 10% Birthday Bonus that gives you an additional 10% of the points you earned through purchases in the 12 months to your birthday each year.
The St.George Amplify Signature also offers a complimentary Priority Pass membership with two lounge invitations per year, complimentary travel insurance and purchase insurance covers, a concierge service and can be used for mobile payments with Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay, Fitbit Pay and Garmin Pay. While the $139 first year annual fee is very competitive, make sure you factor in the $279 ongoing annual fee when thinking about the value you will get from the bonus points and other features of this card.
Runner up: Coles Rewards Mastercard
While there are no introductory bonus points offered on the Coles Rewards Mastercard, it does offer competitive everyday benefits and rewards that could be appealing during the current economic downturn. With this card, you earn 2 flybuys points per $1 spent on your everyday purchases, plus 1 additional point when you scan your flybuys barcode at eligible retailers including Coles, Kmart, Target and Liquorland. You can redeem 2,000 flybuys points for $10 off your shop at Coles, Kmart, Target, Liquorland and other partner stores that accept flybuys Dollars. You can also redeem points for merchandise and gift cards from the flybuys store, or for travel bookings made through flybuys travel.
As well as rewards, the Coles Rewards Mastercard offers a 0% p.a. interest rate on balance transfers for the first 18 months with a 1.5% balance transfer fee when you apply by 31 August 2020. Any balance transfer debt remaining at the end of the introductory period will attract the card's cash advance rate, currently 19.99% p.a. Note that you won't be eligible for any interest-free days on purchases when you have a balance transfer, so it is ideal to prioritise debt repayments over any reward-earning goals.
The Coles Rewards Mastercard charges an annual fee of $99.
Compare these credit cards side by side
This is a selection of credit cards with competitive bonus points offers and earn rates available on the market right now. As there's no one best card for everyone, take some time to compare more frequent flyer and rewards credit cards to find the right one for you.