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Can I earn frequent flyer points for paying bills with a credit card?

Information verified correct on December 5th, 2016

Discover how you can turn the burden paying your bills into a benefit by earning frequent flyer points on your credit card.

Whether they're due monthly, quarterly or yearly, bills are a major part of adult life and usually take up a substantial amount of your income. But the cost of bills can be used to your advantage if you pay them with a credit card that earns frequent flyer points.

This can be an easy way to boost your frequent flyer balance and redeem flights or other travel perks faster. Here, we compare the different ways you can earn points for paying bills on your card, as well as some of the limitations and restrictions that may apply.Learn and compare more frequent flyer credit cards

Which credit card providers let you earn reward or frequent flyer points for paying bills (excludes BPAY)?

Most reward and frequent flyer credit cards offer you points per $1 spent on everyday transactions. However, the range of "eligible transactions" that earn points can vary between providers. For example, many 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 details of the reward programs associated with different providers, the types of transactions that are not eligible for points and and whether or not BPAY payments are excluded.

Provider

Key details for earning points

Rewards Program

American Express

Most transactions are eligible to earn points at the specified rate for your card. Note that some cards have a reduced rate of 0.5 points per $1 for utility payments and government charges.

Exclusions include 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.

American Express Membership Rewards

Bankwest

You can earn reward points for most everyday purchases, including groceries, fuel and many bills. Exclusions include cash advance and gambling transactions, interest charges, credit card and other banking fees and charges, fraudulent transactions, foreign exchange purchases and government charges.

Bankwest More Rewards

HSBC

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.

HSBC Rewards/HSBC Rewards Plus

Macquarie Bank

You won't earn points for GST and government charges, 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.

Macquarie Bank Rewards

Woolworths

Points can be earned by paying utility bills, but you cannot earn points on GST and government charges. Other exclusions include interest and other bank fees, cash advances, special promotions, business transactions, refunded transactions, gambling transactions and payments for credit card protection insurance.

Woolworths Rewards

ANZ

You can earn reward points by paying bills with your ANZ credit card with billers that accept credit card payments via BPAY (subject to the terms and conditions of the individual cards).

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. Other reward exclusions include interest charges, government charges, bank fees, ATO payments, balance transfers and cash advances.

ANZ Rewards

Bank of Melbourne

While reward points are earned when you purchase goods and services, exclusions include 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.

Amplify Rewards

BankSA

While reward points are earned when you purchase goods and services, exclusions include 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.

Amplify Rewards

Citibank

Most retail purchases made using a Citibank rewards credit card are considered "eligible transactions". Exclusions include cash advances, balance transfers, BPAY payments, special promotions, fees, government charges, ATO payments, business transactions and insurance charges. Please refer to the Citibank Rewards terms and conditions for full details.

Citibank Rewards

CommBank

Points are earned on eligible transactions which includes most purchases of goods. The following transactions are excluded from earning points: BPAY transactions, payments to the Australian Taxation Office (effective 2/11/2015) unless made using a Business Awards card, balance transfers, cash advances (including a transaction treated by the Bank as a cash advance, for example, utility bills paid in person at a bank), purchases of foreign exchange, credit card insurance premiums, travellers cheques, interest charges, Qantas Frequent Flyer Direct fees, bank fees, card account payments, transactions deemed by the bank to be for business purposes (excluding transactions on Business Awards, Business Gold Awards and Business Platinum Awards cards) and any other transactions which may from time to time be excluded by the bank.

CommBank Awards

NAB

NAB's range of rewards and frequent flyer credit cards earn points on everyday purchases. Exclusions include card fees and charges, gambling and gaming costs, government fees and charges, business expenses, ATO payments, fraudulent transactions, refunded transactions and cash advances. Note that cash advances include bills paid over the counter at a bank, financial institution or post office, the purchase of travellers cheques, and balance transfer amounts you request transferred from non-NAB credit card or store accounts.

NAB Qantas/flybuys/Velocity Rewards

Diners Club

Cardholders can earn and redeem Diners Club Reward points for everyday purchases and eligible transactions. These exclude 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.

Diners Club Rewards

St.George

Reward points are earned when you purchase goods and services. Exclusions include 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.

Amplify Rewards

Suncorp

You can earn points on your Suncorp credit card on everyday purchases with any retailer. Eligible purchases exclude cash advances, 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.

Suncorp Rewards

Virgin Money

An eligible transaction is a retail purchase made by using your card. Exclusions include cash advances, 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, transactions made in operating a business and if the account is more than $10,000 in credit only, all other transactions.

Velocity Frequent Flyer

What else should I consider?

  • Automatic bill repayments

    Many companies allow you to set up automatic or direct debit payments for your account. This option allows you to easily pay for utilities, rent, insurance charges, subscriptions and other regular bills on an ongoing basis. However, if you use your credit card for automatic bill payments, make sure you regularly check your balance to reduce the risk of going over your limit or ending up with hefty interest charges.

  • Bill details

    You should keep a record of your bills and store copies of each charge in case you need them in the future. For example, if you believe you have been incorrectly charged for a bill, having a copy of the relevant statement could help resolve the issue.

  • BPAY payments

    As the table above shows, BPAY payments are often excluded from earning frequent flyer rewards or other credit card rewards. But you may still be able to earn points for paying a bill with your credit card through a direct transaction with them (rather than using BPAY). See what payment options are available to find out if this is possible.

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).

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What are the pros and cons of earning frequent flyer points on credit cards and bills?

Pros

  • Earn benefits as you spend. The most obvious perk is earning rewards for your essential and everyday payments. If you’re already paying your bills with your credit cards, you may as well get a return ticket to a tropical paradise in return, right?
  • Simplify the bill paying process. Using credit cards to pay the bills can make it easier to keep track of payments by separating them from your everyday bank account. You can save time dealing with bills by setting up automatic payments from your credit card, and then just make one repayment off the account when your statement due date comes around.
  • Improving your credit score. Paying your bills regularly and on time with a credit card can show lenders that you are responsible with your money and accounts. In turn, this can increase your credit score.

Cons

  • Temptation to spend. Some cardholders may be tempted to spend purely for the sake of earning points. However, if you’re unable to pay your balance in full each month, any discounts or rewards you make from your rewards will be offset by interest charges.
  • Spending on credit. Although spending with credit can be of benefit to some cardholders, you may find it more difficult to budget with a credit card than you would when using your own money from, say, a debit account.
  • Limitations. As mentioned, you can’t earn points on all bills. For example, if you find that you regularly use BPAY for your monthly bills, you may not earn points. Check the specific reward program terms and conditions for your card to find out what exclusions apply so that you can find a card that will earn points for your planned spending.

If you already use your credit card for everyday payments such as bills, a frequent flyer credit card could be a great way to receive extra perks as you spend. Just remember to keep the details of eligible transactions in mind and consider the features and costs of the card to ensure that any rewards you receive from the card will outweigh the associated costs.


Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

How can I tell if a frequent flyer credit card will earn points for bill payments?

The rules around credit card transactions that earn frequent flyer points vary from card to card. Consider how you currently make your bill payments and then check the terms and conditions for any specific credit card you have or want to apply for. This will help you determine if your bill payments are eligible for rewards. Alternatively, you may want to call the credit card provider directly and ask them about specific bills you want to pay with the card so that you can decide if this option will work for you.

Which is the best card for me?

The answer for this depends on individual spending habits and financial circumstance. Consider how much you spend and weigh up the potential points you'd earn compared to the card's annual fee. For example, if you spend a lot on you credit card, you may want to consider gold, platinum or black cards. These cards typically offer a higher rate of points per $1 as well as other exclusive benefits, but have annual fees ranging from $100 to $700 or more.

If the value of the rewards you earn won't offset the cost of the annual fee, then it may be better to consider another card that's more affordable, such as a standard rewards card or one that offers no annual fee for life.

How can I improve my frequent flyer points tally?

As well as using your credit card to pay for bills that are eligible to earn points, you could consider using it for major seasonal expenses, such as Christmas shopping or to pay for holidays. You may also want to look at spending with more companies that are partnered with your chosen frequent flyer program.

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Shirley Liu

Shirley is finder.com.au's publisher for banking and investments. She is currently studying a Masters in Commerce (Finance) and is the author of hundreds of articles. She is passionate about helping Aussies make an informed decision, save money and find the best deal for their needs.

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20 Responses to Can I earn frequent flyer points for paying bills with a credit card?

  1. Default Gravatar
    Sailesh | July 2, 2016

    Is there a credit or cash card that can earn reward points on mortgage payments?

    • Staff
      Anndy | July 7, 2016

      Hi Sailesh,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      Most credit cards that let you earn points on purchases will also let you earn points when paying rent or mortgage. However, it is best if you inquire from your mortgage company if credit card payment is accepted.

      Cheers,
      Anndy

  2. Default Gravatar
    Hamish | April 21, 2016

    With a credit card such as a Platinum attached to Qantas points, if we load the credit card with funds, then have a direct debit to pay down a home loan with another bank, will we get credited with the points on the transaction?

    • Staff
      May | April 21, 2016

      Hi Hamish,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      Using a Qantas frequent flyer credit card for your eligible purchases will let you earn Qantas points. As for the payment for a home loan, you can earn points if the company you’re having a loan with happens to be a partner of Qantas. Please check your email as I sent you the page where you can find information about earning points with Qantas.

      Cheers,
      May

  3. Default Gravatar
    laraine | April 6, 2016

    Hi I am looking for a card that I can use to pay everyday expenses, insurance, health insurance foxtell, utilities, etc at the moment I have a set amount that I pay automatically into an account weekly and then pay these bills as they come in Direct Debits etc. There is always a reasonable amount of money in this account. Using this same principle how can I maximise my velocity or Qantas points. Which credit card should I go for?

    • Staff
      Ally | April 6, 2016

      Hi Laraine,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      Kindly note that finder.com.au is an online comparison service and is not in a position to recommend specific products, credit card issuers, and services.

      However, you might want to check out the tips on our page called Tricks on how to earn frequent flyer points and also compare the different frequent flyer credit card options there until you find one that’s highly suitable to your needs.

      I hope this has helped.

      Cheers,
      Ally

  4. Default Gravatar
    Ryan | September 10, 2015

    Do you know if I use my Westpac Qantas Black card via BPay, am I able to earn QFF points?

    • Staff
      Jonathan | September 10, 2015

      Hi Ryan, thanks for your inquiry!

      Generally BPAY payments can qualify as eligible purchases. However this will depend on the type of transaction you are making (retail purchase, bill payment etc) and the merchants agreement with BPAY. To ensure QFF points earnings if the transaction is not a retail purchase it would be best to contact the respective merchant.

      Cheers,

      Jonathan

  5. Default Gravatar
    Thomas | August 12, 2015

    If I pay my bills using my NAB Qantas Platinum reward Visa credit card by BPAY, do I still earn Qantas Frequent Flyer points?

    • Staff
      Jonathan | August 13, 2015

      Hi Thomas,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      Billing transactions may attract points earnings however this depends on the specific biller’s agreement with the credit card merchant and if the transaction is treated as a cash advance or purchase. It is best to contact your biller before completing the transaction to ensure points earnings.

      I hope this helps.

      Cheers,

      Jonathan

    • Staff
      Jonathan | August 13, 2015

      Hi Thomas,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      Billing transactions may attract points earnings however this depends on the specific biller’s agreement with the credit card merchant and if the transaction is treated as a cash advance or purchase. It is best to contact your biller before completing the transaction to ensure points earnings.

      I hope this helps.

      Cheers,

      Jonathan

    • Staff
      Jonathan | August 13, 2015

      Hi Thomas,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      Billing transactions may attract points earnings however this depends on the specific biller’s agreement with the credit cad merchant and if the transaction is treated as a cash advance or purchase. It is best to contact your biller before completing the transaction.

      I hope this helps.

      Cheers,

      Jonathan

  6. Default Gravatar
    Janeen | May 14, 2015

    I’m looking for a credit card that will earn me Velocity Points for paying my rent. Do you know if this exists?

    • Staff
      Jonathan | May 14, 2015

      Hi Janeen, thanks for your inquiry!

      As per the terms and conditions for Velocity Rewards, eligible transactions mean “Retail Purchase which is made by the use of a Card or any other means permitted by us.” Unless the rental payments are accepted as retail purchases by the bank/merchant, unfortunately no Velocity points will be accumulated. You may like to refer to the following link for rewards credit cards and offers.

      Cheers,

      Jonathan

  7. Default Gravatar
    RICHARD | February 17, 2015

    Is there any credit card that will earn points for paying state land tax?

    • Staff
      Elizabeth | February 17, 2015

      Hi Richard,

      Thanks for your question.

      There are a few credit card issuers that let you earn reward points for paying tax. You might want to take a look at this page and this page to find out about credit cards that let you earn reward points for paying your tax.

      Hope this will help.

      Thanks,

      Elizabeth

  8. Default Gravatar
    Ak | February 15, 2015

    hi, does citibank credit card pay points for bpay payment?

    • Staff
      Jonathan | February 16, 2015

      Hi Ak, thanks for your inquiry!

      Citibank Rewards points can be gained through everyday purchases, direct debit and selected bonus partners. It depends on whether your transaction is supported by Bpay. If Bpay is accepted then it will attract rewards points.

      Cheers,

      Jonathan

  9. Default Gravatar
    gillian | July 23, 2014

    hi i am interested in getting a credit card for my husbands business and i would like to accrue skyreward points for flights with emirates. i also wish to know the cost per transaction and if he can use for paying suppliers. thanks

    • Staff
      Shirley | July 24, 2014

      Hi Gillian,

      Thanks for your question.

      Unfortunately at the moment we don’t compare business cards that let you directly earn Skyward miles. However, there are some business cards that allow you to earn reward point and then you can convert them into Skywards miles.

      You can compare business credit cards on this page. Generally you can use these cards for paying suppliers.

      Cheers,
      Shirley

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