Can I earn frequent flyer points when I pay bills with a credit card?
Reward your spending and compare the credit cards that consider bills an eligible purchase to earn points.
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You can use a frequent flyer credit card to earn points per $1 you spend on eligible purchases. But does this include bills and utilities? While some credit cards don't consider these transactions as an eligible purchase to earn points, some do. You can use this guide to compare credit cards that reward points for bill payments as well as other factors and restrictions to consider.
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Which credit card providers let you earn reward or frequent flyer points for paying bills?
Most reward and frequent flyer credit cards offer you points per $1 spent on everyday transactions. However, what is considered an "eligible transaction" to earn points will vary between providers. For example, some rewards programs exclude utility payments and government charges from earning points or offer a reduced rate of points for these types of payments.
The table below includes the different providers with reward programs that let you earn reward points for most everyday purchases as well as the types of transactions that are not eligible for earning points and whether or not BPAY payments are excluded.
|Providers that earn points on credit card transactions||Exclusions for earning points|
Excludes any charges prior to your enrolment date in the program, cash advances, travellers cheques, charges for dishonoured payments, interest charges, fees and charges associated with your American Express credit card, late payment charges, "pay plus points" transactions, promotional offers and balance transfers.
Excludes cash advance and gambling transactions, interest charges, credit card and other banking fees and charges, fraudulent transactions, foreign exchange purchases and government charges.
Ineligible transactions for earning points includes balance transfers, cash advances, interest free transactions and HSBC's special promotions, business expenses, fees or charges (including government), any value charged to your card in association with a "points-plus-pay" redemption, a transaction which HSBC decides is fraudulent or involves the abuse of a card, a disputed debit transaction and BPAY transactions.
You won't earn points for GST and government charges (including ATO payments), BPAY payments, interest and other bank fees and charges, cash advance transactions, special promotions such as balance transfers, transactions made in operating a business or in connection with business expenditure, refunded transactions and payments for credit card protection insurance.
You cannot earn points on GST and government charges. Other exclusions are interest and other bank fees, cash advances, special promotions, business transactions, refunded transactions, gambling transactions and payments for credit card protection insurance.
Bill payments from your ANZ credit card can be processed as either a purchase or a cash advance, depending on how the biller is set up with the BPAY billing service. If the payment is treated as a cash advance, you will be charged a cash advance fee and won't earn points. Other reward exclusions are interest charges, government charges, bank fees, ATO payments and balance transfers.
Excludes cash advance transactions, government charges (other than GST payable in connection with the purchase of goods or services on which you earn points), interest and other bank fees and charges, cash advances, balance transfers and BPAY payments.
You will not be able to earn reward points if your bill issuer charges the payment as a cash advance and you don't use BPAY to pay the bill. Other exclusions are government charges (other than GST payable in connection with the purchase of goods or services on which you earn points), interest and other bank fees and charges and balance transfers.
You will not be able to earn points on bills if it is processed as a cash advance or if the payment is made via BPAY. Other exclusions are cash balance transfers, special promotions, bank fees, government charges, ATO payments, business transactions and insurance charges.
As long as the transaction isn't processed as a cash advance or via BPAY, you should earn points when using your CommBank card to pay bills. Other points exclusions are ATO payments (unless made using a Business Awards card), balance transfers, foreign exchange purchases, credit card insurance premiums, travellers cheques, interest charges, Qantas Frequent Flyer Direct fees, bank fees, card account payments and transactions deemed as business purposes (unless you're using a Business Awards or Business Platinum Awards card).
Transactions that are processed as cash advances or made through BPAY or over the counter at a bank are ineligible for earning points. Other exclusions are card fees and charges, gambling and gaming costs, government fees and charges, business expenses, ATO payments, fraudulent transactions, refunded transactions, balance transfers and travellers cheques.
This excludes annual, joining and other account fees, liquidated damages, late payment charges, Diners Club rewards membership fees, government charges and fees, taxes and any other amounts that Diners Clubs declares.
Excludes government charges (other than GST payable in connection with the purchase of goods or services on which you earn points), interest and other bank fees and charges, cash advances, balance transfers and BPAY payments.
Excludes cash advances or payments made via BPAY, balance transfers, special promotions, fees, purchases of foreign currency and travellers cheques, foreign exchange and atm/bank charges, interest charges, finance charges, government charges, insurance charges, payments to loan accounts (mortgage etc), purchases in excess of limits on the account, transactions made in operating a business and all other transactions if the account is more than $10,000 in credit on all other transactions.
Excludes cash advances or payments made via BPAY, balance transfers, special promotions, fees, BPAY payments, purchases of foreign currency and travellers cheques, foreign exchange and ATM/bank charges, interest charges, finance charges, government charges, payments to the Australian Taxation Office, insurance charges, payments to loan accounts (mortgage etc), purchases in excess of limits on the account and business transactions.
Can I earn points via BPAY?
As you can see in the table above, most banks don't allow you to earn reward points on bills or purchases made via BPAY. Check with your individual card product disclosure to confirm whether BPAY transactions are considered an ineligible transaction.
How else can I earn points for everyday expenses?
Apart from bills for services and subscriptions, if you're renting, then you may be able to earn even more frequent flyer points by paying with a credit card. Most real estate agents now provide this option and, depending on the payment system they use, it could be an easy way to earn more frequent flyer points for a major everyday expense.
For example, if your rent is $400 a week and you have a card that earns 1 Qantas Point per $1 spent, you would earn 1,600 points per month. Over a year, you'd rack up 19,200 Qantas Points just from paying your rent. That's enough for a return economy flight from Sydney to Melbourne (16,000 points), a one-way flight from Cairns to Bali (14,400 points), or a one-way flight from Melbourne to Auckland (18,000 points).
If making bill payments are considered an eligible transaction, using a credit card to cover your bills can be a rewarding way to earn points on an essential expense. As rewards and frequent flyer credit cards usually charge high interest rates, it's only worth it if you pay your balance in full each month and won't be charged any interest on these transactions. If you do rack up interest, the debt you'll collect will quickly outweigh any perks you get from earning points.
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