You rarely see 'bonus frequent flyer points' and 'no annual fee' in the same sentence, but here are some of the credit cards that offer both.
Frequently flyer credit cards can be an easy way to pick up some extra value from paying on plastic, but they usually come at the cost of a high annual fee. This usually means that you'll need to spend enough money each year to earn the amount of points required to exceed the cost of the annual fee. However, there are some credit cards on the market that offer both no annual fees and the opportunity to earn frequent flyer reward points. Use this guide to compare your options and find a no annual fee frequent flyer credit card with bonus points that will help you both collect points and save.
What is a bonus frequent flyer with no annual fee card?
Frequent flyer points often offer bonus points as an incentive for new applicants. Unfortunately, these cards usually come with an annual fee that can sometimes counteract the value of these rewards. However, as the name suggests, a bonus frequent flyer with no annual fee card offers both the chance to pick up extra points and avoid paying an annual fee. Depending on the offers on the market, you can either get a card with no annual fee for a promotional period (such as the first year) or for the life of the card.
The number of bonus points up for grabs will vary from card to card but you'll usually need to make a purchase within a set period to earn the points.
How to compare frequent flyer credit cards with no annual fee and bonus points
There are only a few credit cards that offer both bonus frequent flyer points and no annual fee, but there are some factors that you should consider to help narrow down your comparison.
- Annual fee. Make sure you know whether the no annual fee offer is in place for the life of the card or for a promotional period. If it's a promotional offer, check what the standard annual fee is and when it will apply to avoid any surprise fees.
- Number of bonus points. Currently, the two no annual fee frequent flyer credit cards with bonus points offer 7,500 bonus points. It's important to know how many bonus points you can receive and whether the value of these (and any other reward points you'll earn) will outweigh any costs that come with the card.
- Bonus points conditions. Depending on the promotion, you may be asked to spend a required amount within a set time period to activate the points. For example, you might be asked to spend $1,500 in the first 3 months of owning the card to receive the points. These spending requirements should comply with your financial needs, otherwise the reward points may not be worth it.
- Reward earn rate. Following the bonus points offer, how many reward points can you earn per dollar spent on eligible purchases? You might also be able to earn bonus points on certain purchases, such as overseas transactions or purchases with a specific partnered retailer. Knowing the different earn rates and when they apply can help you maximise the rewards value of your credit card.
- Purchase interest rate. While the reward points will give your card extra value and the no annual fee can cut your card costs, check what interest rate applies to your purchases. There will be no point earning and redeeming rewards if you collect interest on those purchases.
- Foreign currency conversion fee. If you're using your frequent flyer credit card to rack up points around the world, you should know what currency conversion fee applies to overseas transactions. As these fees are usually around 3% of your total transaction, you might want to consider a card that charges no foreign transaction fee.
The benefits and limitations of credit cards with bonus points and no annual fee
Every credit card mixes benefits to suit a particular type of cardholder. Customers should always weigh the pros and cons of the cards to finalise a particular credit card.
- No annual fee. Most frequent flyer credit cards come with an annual fee, so these cards can be a good opportunity to earn reward points while also saving on regular credit card costs.
- Bonus points and rewards. As long as you meet the terms and conditions, earning bonus points when you sign up could be a good way to boost your balance. Plus, you'll continue to earn reward points for every dollar spent on eligible purchases.
- Extra features. As frequent flyer cards, these cards usually offer other exclusive features such as complimentary insurance cover, additional cardholders and online fraud protection guarantees.
- Lower benefits. A frequent flyer card with an annual fee is likely to offer more perks than one with a $0 annual fee.
- High interest rates. These cards usually offset the lack of an annual fee with a higher interest rate on purchases, balance transfers and cash advances. Make sure the interest you collect doesn't outweigh the savings you're getting from the $0 annual fee, otherwise you might want to consider a card with an annual fee that has a lower interest rate.
- Temptation to spend. As you usually need to meet a spend requirement to claim the bonus points, you could be encouraged to make purchases you wouldn't normally to qualify for the points. Unless these expenses comply with your usual spending habits, you shouldn't let the promise of bonus points tempt you to overspend. Remember that you'll have to repay everything you owe plus interest.
A frequent flyer credit card with bonus points and no annual fee could be of benefit to regular spenders who want a little extra from their rewards card. Although these cards can be used to minimise maintenance costs while gathering points, it is important to compare your options and ensure that any other fees that are associated with the card will be outweighed by the benefits.Back to top
Frequently Asked Questions
Images: ShutterstockBack to top