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Frequent flyer credit cards – did somebody say upgrade?

Be the VIP you were born to be with Qantas Points, Velocity Points and other great perks.

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Name Finder Score Bonus points Points per $ spent Purchase rate p.a. Annual fee
Qantas Premier Platinum
Qantas Premier Platinum image
Qantas Frequent Flyer
Finder score
9.2
Bonus points
100,000
Points per $ spent
1
Purchase rate p.a.
19.99%
Annual fee
$349 first year ($399 after)
Go to siteMore Info
Earn up to 100,000 bonus Qantas Points. Plus, save with a reduced first-year annual fee and 0% p.a. for 12 months on balance transfers, with a 2% BT fee.
Qantas American Express Ultimate Card
Qantas American Express Ultimate Card image
Qantas Frequent Flyer
Finder score
10
Bonus points
90,000
Points per $ spent
1.25
Purchase rate p.a.
23.99%
Annual fee
$450
Go to siteMore Info
Get a yearly $450 Travel Credit and up to 90,000 bonus Qantas Points (70,000 when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months and 20,000 points in year 2).
Westpac Altitude Qantas Black
Westpac Altitude Qantas Black image
Qantas Frequent Flyer
Finder score
9.2
Bonus points
120,000
Points per $ spent
0.75
Purchase rate p.a.
20.99%
Annual fee
$370
Go to siteMore Info
Up to 120,000 bonus Qantas Points (90,000 points when you spend $6,000 in the first 120 days & 30,000 points after the first spend in year 2).
American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card
American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card image
Qantas Business Rewards
Finder score
10
Bonus points
150,000
Points per $ spent
1.25
Purchase rate p.a.
0%
Annual fee
$450
Go to siteMore Info
(ABN holders w/ $75k revenue). Earn 150,000 bonus Qantas Points and a $200 credit when you spend $6,000 in the first 3 months.
ANZ Rewards Platinum - Velocity Points
ANZ Rewards Platinum - Velocity Points image
Velocity Frequent Flyer
Finder score
7.8
Great
Bonus points
100,000
Points per $ spent
1.5
Purchase rate p.a.
20.99%
Annual fee
$149
Go to siteMore Info
Get up to 100,000 bonus Velocity Points: 70k points when you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months and 30k points after 15 months.
ANZ Qantas Business Rewards
ANZ Qantas Business Rewards image
Qantas Business Rewards
Finder score
5.7
Standard
Bonus points
130,000
Points per $ spent
0.75
Purchase rate p.a.
20.24%
Annual fee
$375
Go to siteMore Info
ABN holders w/ $75k revenue. Get 130,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases in the first 3 months. Plus, a fast-track to Qantas Business Rewards Level 2.
Westpac Altitude Platinum Card
Westpac Altitude Platinum Card image
Westpac Altitude Rewards
Finder score
7
Great
Bonus points
120,000
Points per $ spent
1
Purchase rate p.a.
20.99%
Annual fee
$49 first year ($175 after)
Go to siteMore Info
Up to 120,000 bonus Altitude Points (90,000 points when you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days & 30,000 points after the first spend in year 2).
Qantas Premier Everyday
Qantas Premier Everyday image
Qantas Frequent Flyer
Finder score
5.6
Standard
Bonus points
8,000
Points per $ spent
0.75
Purchase rate p.a.
19.99%
Annual fee
$99
Go to siteMore Info
Get 2 bonus Qantas Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases in the first 4 months (up to 8,000 points), plus complimentary insurance.
American Express Velocity Platinum Card
American Express Velocity Platinum Card image
Velocity Frequent Flyer
Finder score
9.3
Bonus points
60,000
Points per $ spent
1.25
Purchase rate p.a.
23.99%
Annual fee
$375
Go to siteMore Info
Get 60,000 bonus Velocity Points when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months. Plus a return domestic flight each year.
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Showing 9 of 16 results

The best frequent flyer credit cards for July

Updated July 2024 by money editor, Richard Whitten.

Finder Scores explained

  • 9+ Excellent - These cards are your ticket to sky-high points earning potential, hefty welcome bonuses, solid ongoing earn rates, and a premium selection of travel perks.
  • 7+ Great - These cards might have slightly less impressive points earning or sign-up bonuses than the best cards on the market.
  • 5+ Satisfactory - Reliable workhorses for frequent flyers who want decent points earning potential and some mix of perks and benefits.
  • Less than 5 – Basic - the entry point in the frequent flyer market. Their sign-up bonuses and ongoing earn rates are lower.

How does the Finder Frequent Flyer Score work?

The Finder Score is an easy way you can figure out which frequent flyer credit cards are worth the trip, and which ones aren't worth getting out of bed for.

Here's how the score works:

  • We analyse over 300 credit cards and assess 8 features, giving a score for each one.
  • Then we combine these scores using a weighted methodology (because some features are more important than others).
  • This gives us a final score out of 10: the Finder Score.

In the frequent flyer category we only consider credit cards that:

  • Link to the Qantas Frequent Flyer or Virgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyer program.
  • Let you earn points directly based on spending.
  • Are available to general consumers.

Scores are category-specific. So one credit card could receive a score of 9 in the balance transfer category but a score of 8 in the frequent flyer category.

The Finder Score methodology is designed by our insights and editorial team. Commercial partners carry no weight, and all products are reviewed objectively.

Keep in mind there is no best for everyone, and we encourage you to consider your own financial circumstances when making a financial decision.

Frequent flyer credit cards - score weightings

FeatureDefinitionAssessmentWeight
Earn RatePoints earned for every dollar spent on eligible purchasesPoints awarded per dollar (up to 1.5)28%
Sign-Up PointsBonus points earned for signing up and meeting spending requirementsTotal bonus points offered (up to 150,000)25%
Purchase RateInterest rate on new purchasesLower rates receive higher scores (up to 23.99% max)10%
Lounge PassAccess to airport loungesComplimentary annual passes receive full score10%
Foreign Exchange FeeFee on overseas transactionsLower fees receive higher scores (0% fee scores highest)5%
Earn Rate CapMaximum points earned in a billing cycle before a lower earn rate appliesHigher caps or no cap receive higher scores (up to 10,000 points max)5%
First-Year FeeFee charged for the first year of card ownershipLower fees receive higher scores ($0 fee scores highest)15%
Ongoing Annual FeeFee charged from the second year onwardsLower fees receive higher scores ($0 fee scores highest)10%

Best frequent flyer card for Qantas Points - Qantas American Express Ultimate

Qantas American Express Ultimate Card

  • Up to 90,000 bonus Qantas Points
  • $450 Annual fee
  • 23.99% Purchase rate
Ends on 03 September 2024

Pros & cons

  • Up to 90,000 bonus Qantas Points
  • Up to 2.25 Qantas Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases in Australia, uncapped
  • $450 Qantas Travel Credit each year
  • 2 complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations each year
  • Complimentary travel insurance
  • High $450 annual fee
  • High 23.99% p.a. interest rate for purchases
  • 3% foreign currency conversion fee
  • Only offers up to 44 days interest-free on purchases, compared to other cards that offer 55 days

Why we like it

The Qantas American Express Ultimate Card boasts a high bonus points offer and a very high earn rate. Used correctly, it's a points-earning machine. It has some great travel perks too. Just watch out for the higher than average annual fee and the 3% currency conversion fee if you're travelling overseas.
This card has a Finder Score of 10 in the frequent flyer category.

Best frequent flyer card for Velocity Points - American Express Velocity Platinum

American Express Velocity Platinum Card

  • 60,000 Bonus Velocity Points
  • $375 Annual fee
  • 23.99% Purchase rate

Pros & cons

  • 60,000 bonus Velocity Points offer
  • Up to 2.25 points per $1 spent, uncapped
  • 100 Velocity Status Credits when you spend at least $50,000 in your first year
  • Complimentary Virgin Australia return economy domestic flight per year
  • Relatively high $375 annual fee
  • 3% foreign transaction fee
  • The 23.99% p.a. interest rate for purchases is high among other credit cards in Australia

Why we like it

  • Offers 60,000 bonus Velocity Points. That's enough for a return premium economy class flight between Sydney and Perth.
  • 100 Velocity Frequent Flyer Status Credits when you spend $50,000 in your card membership year.
  • Complimentary Virgin Australia return economy domestic flight every year between selected cities.
  • Travel perks, including 4 lounge passes per year and travel insurance.

Best business frequent flyer credit card - American Express Qantas Business Rewards

American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card

  • 150,000 Bonus Qantas Points and $200 credit
  • $450 Annual fee
  • N/A Purchase rate
Ends on 01 October 2024

Pros & cons

  • 150,000 bonus Qantas Points
  • $200 credit
  • No pre-set spending limit and up to 51 days cash flow
  • Complimentary travel insurance
  • 2 complimentary domestic Qantas Club lounge passes per card membership year
  • $450 annual fee
  • 3% foreign currency conversion fee

Why we like it

The American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card is a frequent flyer-oriented business card. It offers a very good combination of bonus Qantas Points, complimentary travel insurance and a high earn rate. But the annual fee is on the steeper side at $450.

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2024 Finder Credit Card Awards for frequent flyers

Find out which credit cards have been recognised in this year's frequent flyer awards categories.

Every year the Finder Credit Card Awards recognise Australia's top credit cards, with expert analysis on rates, fees and offers based on 12 months' worth of data. The awards cover categories including balance transfers, travel and frequent flyer rewards – with separate categories for cards that earn Qantas Points and Velocity Points.

As offers change frequently, these cards might not currently have the most competitive deals but you can use them as a benchmark against current offers.

Fish hook
What's the catch?
Frequent flyer credit cards offer a lot of value in travel rewards and perks. But most of them have high annual fees and interest rates. If you usually carry a balance or don't spend much with a credit card, the points and perks probably won't outweigh the card costs.

How do frequent flyer credit cards work?

You can use a frequent flyer credit card just like any regular credit card, but it's linked to your frequent flyer account. So every time you make a purchase with the card, you earn points – usually between 0.5 and 1.25 per $1 spent.

Many cards also come with introductory bonus points, which can give you enough for a free flight. These offers are a popular way to get value from a frequent flyer card in a short amount of time. You can also get value each year with perks like lounge passes, complimentary insurance and travel credit.

Points give me access to money-can't-buy experiences

Sarah Megginson

Finder's head of editorial Sarah Megginson has used frequent flyer points to get flight upgrades and holidays for over 8 years – including a business class trip from Brisbane to LA for her family of 5.

She also uses points to upgrade and save on business class flights in Australia, with Finder analysis showing each 1 Qantas Point used on an upgrade is typically worth between 2 and 8 cents.

Megginson gets around 500,000 Qantas Points a year by collecting them in just about every way she can – including bonus point offers on frequent flyer credit cards.

Depending on the mix of credit cards, Megginson said she would spend around $300 to $800 per year on fees.

"I see the fees as an investment into this lifestyle I'd never have otherwise," she said.

Bottom line? Anyone can take advantage of frequent flyer points – and with the right credit card you can get rewarded for money you were going to spend anyway.

Types of frequent flyer credit cards

Tip: If you want KrisFlyer Miles, Emirates Skywards Miles or points through another frequent flyer program, check out rewards credit cards with points you can transfer.

Pros and cons of frequent flyer credit cards

Pros

  • Bonus points offers. You can typically get between 8,000 and 150,000 bonus points when you apply for a new frequent flyer credit card and meet the offer requirements. This can be enough for an overseas flight or great upgrades.
  • Points per $1 spent. Most frequent flyer credit cards earn between 0.5 and 1.25 points on everyday spending, and some offer more for spending with partnered airlines.
  • Travel perks. Many cards offer complimentary travel insurance, airport lounge access, flight or travel credit and even status credits to help you reach higher membership tiers.

Cons

  • Bonus point requirements. Some frequent flyer credit cards split the bonus points offer, so you need to meet a spend requirement in the first few months and keep the card for over a year to get them all.
  • High card costs. Frequent flyer credit cards typically have high interest rates around 19% to 22% for purchases. And annual fees are usually around $200-$450 or more for cards with good earn rates and perks.
  • Temptation to spend. If you struggle to stick to a budget and don't pay your balance in full each month, the promise of frequent flyer points could tempt you to overspend.
Gary Ross Hunter

Travelling is (increasingly) expensive but frequent flyer points can make it more affordable, if you're smart about it. I always take some time to research a card and calculate how many points I could get. Once I've got the card, I make sure I never pay any interest on it.
— Gary Ross Hunter, insurance expert and avid traveller

Are frequent flyer cards worth it?

Frequent flyer credit cards are worth it if you pay off your balance and get enough value for the annual fee you'll pay. You don't have to use every feature, just make sure you take advantage of the perks you value.

Some key points to keep in mind:

  • Most credit cards offer an interest-free period for purchases when you pay the full balance each month.
  • Introductory offers can include a reduced or $0 annual fee in the first year.
  • You can cancel a card at any time if you don't want it any more.
  • Qantas and Velocity offer other ways to earn points with partners – you could even choose to earn points through both programs.
💡 Travel tip: If you're planning to travel with a credit card, keep in mind that most frequent flyer cards charge a 2-3% international transaction fee for overseas spending. You can compare cards with no foreign transaction fees or take cash and debit cards to help save on costs.

How do I find the best frequent flyer credit card for me?

Rates and fees aside, here are the key questions you can ask to choose a frequent flyer credit card.

Gold medal
  • How many bonus points can I get?

Introductory bonus point offers can give you between 8,000 and 150,000 frequent flyer points on cards for personal spending (as opposed to business frequent flyer cards). You'll have to meet a spend requirement to get them, so make sure to check that before you apply.

For example, if an offer requires you to spend $4,000 in the first 60 days and you aren't sure you'll spend that much, it's worth looking at other offers. Or, planning how you'll meet the spend requirement and manage the repayments.

Gold medal
  • How many points can I earn for my spending?

Bonus points offer the biggest value on a frequent flyer credit card but the points you earn per $1 spent also add up over time. A card that earns 1 frequent flyer point per $1 (or more) is competitive, but check if there is a cap on how many points you can earn at that rate.

If you get a rewards credit card that offers point transfers, 1 reward point will usually give you between 0.25 and 0.5 frequent flyer points. So a card that offers at least 2 rewards points per $1 is competitive.

Gold medal
  • Are there extra features?

A lot of frequent flyer credit cards offer travel extras, including complimentary travel insurance, airport lounge passes, travel credit and concierge services.

To get value from them, you actually have to use them. If you won't, you might want to look at a frequent flyer credit card with a lower annual fee and fewer perks instead.

What are my frequent flyer points worth?

The dollar value of your frequent flyer points depends on what rewards you redeem.

In general, flight upgrades and flight rewards give you the best value and offer an average of around 2 cents for every 1 point redeemed. In comparison, gift card rewards typically offer 0.5 cents per point.

A Finder survey found 15 million Australians are missing out on value by redeeming reward points for cashback on shopping – but flight rewards usually give you more bang for your buck.

Example: Value per 1,000 Qantas/Velocity points

These examples give you an idea of the value of your points for a few domestic and international flights. Keep in mind that the total points needed and value can change based on factors including the fare class, flight sales and carrier charges (which are usually billed separately).

Flight
Cost
Qantas Pts
Velocity Pts
Value/1,000 Qantas Pts
Value/1,000 Velocity Pts
Sydney to Melbourne return (Economy)
$299
16,000
15,600
$18.69
$19.17
Sydney to Melbourne return (Business)
$1,117
36,800
31,000
$30.35
$36.02
Sydney to Los Angeles return (Economy)
$2,891
83,800
89,600
$34.49
$32.27
Sydney to Los Angeles return (Business)
$14,675
216,800
191,000
$67.69
$76.83

You can check out Finder's guide to how much 1 Qantas Point is worth for more examples. You can also use Finder's points calculator if you want to know how much your points (from all major Australian programs) are worth.

Point-hacking

There are dedicated point-chasers that will switch cards every year or two to make the most of bonus point promotions.

This strategy is sometimes known as credit card churning and can suit people who primarily use credit cards to earn points and pay it off as they go. Otherwise, the cost of annual fees, interest and potential credit score impact won't be worth it.

Point hacking and credit card eligibility

Credit card brands frown on churning, and many bonus point offers exclude people who have recently had a card with the same bank or brand. For example, if you had an American Express card, you'd usually need to wait 18 months after cancelling it before you would be eligible for a bonus points offer on another Amex card.

Here, we've outlined the amount of time you'll need to wait to be eligible for a bonus points offer with different providers.

Provider
Exclusion period (months)
American Express
18
ANZ
12
CommBank
12
NAB
18
Westpac
12
Qantas Money
12
Bankwest
24
HSBC
12
St.George
12
Bank of Melbourne
12
BankSA
12

Note: Citi and Virgin Money don't list a specific timeframe for previous or existing customers.

Some banks apply this exclusion period to each type of rewards card. For example, NAB applies an 18-month exclusion period to NAB Qantas Rewards cards, separate to NAB Rewards cards. And ANZ has a 12-month exclusion period for ANZ Frequent Flyer cards, separate to ANZ Rewards cards.

In these cases, you'd still be eligible for a frequent flyer credit card offer with NAB or ANZ, even if you had a NAB Rewards or ANZ Rewards card.

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Frequently asked questions

Sarah Megginson's headshot
To make sure you get accurate and helpful information, this guide has been edited by Sarah Megginson as part of our fact-checking process.
Richard Whitten's headshot
Editor

Richard Whitten is a money editor at Finder, and has been covering home loans, property and personal finance for 6+ years. He has written for Yahoo Finance, Money Magazine and Homely; and has appeared on various radio shows nationwide. He holds a Certificate IV in mortgage broking and finance (RG 206), a Tier 1 Generic Knowledge certification and a Tier 2 General Advice Deposit Products (RG 146) certification. See full bio

Richard's expertise
Richard has written 526 Finder guides across topics including:
  • Home loans
  • Property
  • Personal finance
  • Money-saving tips

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145 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    amyJanuary 29, 2024

    Hello There
    I have question about frequent flyer credits cards. I would like to find out how much I would per month and as I am beginner, which one would suit me the best? I am also plainning holiday for 3 people this year and I would like to use the card for travel

      AvatarFinder
      AmyJanuary 29, 2024Finder

      Hi Amy,
      Finder provides factual information and general advice, so it’s important you consider your own circumstances when comparing and choosing a credit card. In terms of earning points, you can get an estimate of the number of points you’ll earn each month by multiplying the card’s points per $1 spent rate by your average monthly credit card spending. For example, if a card earned 0.5 points per $1 and someone spent $1,000 on a credit card each month, that would equal 500 points per month (0.5*1000 = 500). When using a credit card for travel, keep in mind that most frequent flyer credit cards charge a foreign transaction fee, which typically adds 2-4% to each transaction you make overseas (or online with businesses based overseas). Make sure to also check the annual fee, interest rate details and other features that you’re interested in. You can use the comparison table, as well as individual card review pages to find out more about different options currently available. I hope this helps.

    Default Gravatar
    CooperAugust 7, 2023

    hi,
    I am looking at getting my card that allows me to earn qantas points, I would prefer to stay with a debit card, however i cannot earn points on my debit card. What would be the best card to start earning points.
    Thanks

    Default Gravatar
    IlanJune 28, 2023

    Thanks for your reply. What is your general advice/review on CBA ultimate awards?

      AvatarFinder
      ElizabethJuly 12, 2023Finder

      Hi Ilan,

      We’ve laid out all details on our review page which you might find helpful reading in regards to seeing if it will work for your own personal situation. On the page you can find a general “verdict” which lays out a balanced view of the card, some pros and cons, and of course the details in regards to costs and features.

      Hope this helps,

      Elizabeth

    Default Gravatar
    IlanJune 28, 2023

    Hello, my wife and I have the ANZ Qantas Black card. We got this card initially as part of their Breakfree package when we got our home loan. We make sure to use the card for most household expenses. We have since refinanced our mortgage to another bank and hence don’t get the card for free anymore. We are also looking at purchasing another property so want a card with a lower minimum credit limit. We do not need 15k. What card would you recommend for say a 10k limit with similar benefits (insurances, lounge access and not a crazy fee)? The CBA Ultimate Awards looks tempting. Thanks in advance!

      AvatarFinder
      AmyJune 28, 2023Finder

      Hi Ilan,
      Please be aware Finder can only give general information not personal advice. In regards to minimum credit limits, there are plenty of frequent flyer credit cards that offer minimum limits of $3,000 to $10,000, including the Qantas Premier Platinum and Qantas American Express Ultimate, which were highly commended in the Best Frequent Flyer Credit Card – Qantas category of the 2023 Finder Credit Card Awards. You can view details of the minimum limits and extras such as lounge access or insurance on Finder’s review pages or the bank websites. Finder’s mortgage calculator also factors in credit limits and may help when considering your options. I hope this helps.

    Default Gravatar
    SarjNovember 25, 2019

    Hi there! Are there any cards that do a pre-approval without impacting on your credit score? After submitting all financial details, relevant papers etc, it would be great to know if any of the firms offer a pre-approval without a hard lodgement on your credit file.
    Thanks

      Default Gravatar
      NikkiNovember 27, 2019

      Hi Sarj,

      Thanks for your comment and I hope you are well. As of this writing, we don’t have a page that offers a pre-approved credit card as well as one that will not impact your credit score.

      Hope this clarifies!

      Best,
      Nikki

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