Want to earn points for flights, accommodation and other rewards? Compare frequent flyer credit cards and get to your next destination faster.
Receive 100,000 Membership
Rewards Bonus Points
on eligible spend
Offer ends 2 October 2017
Eligibility criteria, terms and conditions, fees and charges apply
Frequent Flyer Credit Card Offer
The American Express Explorer® Credit Card offers bonus points, up to 2 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent, a $400 Travel Credit each year and Smartphone Screen Insurance of up to $500.
- Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards Bonus Points when you apply online, are approved and spend $1,500 within the first 3 months.
- Receive a $400 Travel Credit each year.
- Earn up to 2 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent on eligible purchases (uncapped).
- Transfer your points to 8 Airline Rewards Partner Programs including Emirates Skywards and Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer.
Compare Frequent Flyer Credit Cards
How does a frequent flyer credit card work?
Frequent flyer credit cards earn you points when you use them for eligible purchases. These cards earn a set number of points for every dollar spent (e.g. 1 point per $1), which is known as the earn rate. This means the more you pay with plastic, the more frequent flyer rewards you can get. Depending on the type of rewards credit card you use, there are different ways to earn and redeem frequent points. Some cards credit points directly to your frequent flyer account and others allow you to transfer points to a variety of eligible frequent flyer account.
Is a frequent flyer credit card right for me?
If you're interested in getting a frequent flyer credit card, weigh up these pros and cons. Please keep in mind that these factors may vary depending on the card.
Benefits of choosing a frequent flyer credit card
- Redeem flights and travel upgrades faster.
By earning points on your everyday spend you can reach your rewards goals in less time.
- Sign up bonus points.
Some credit cards offer introductory bonus points as an incentive for new customers. These offers boost your points balance so you can redeem rewards such as flights and holidays faster.
- Large range of rewards.
Use your points to redeem rewards including flights, hotels, online shopping and other lifestyle benefits.
- Travel perks.
Travel comfortably with flight vouchers, access to airline lounges and 24/7 concierge services.
- Complimentary insurance.
Save on stand-alone insurance costs and get peace of mind when travelling with complimentary insurance covers including travel insurance, interstate flight inconvenience insurance and purchase security insurance.
Risks when choosing a frequent flyer credit card
- High interest rates.
Frequent flyer credit cards often come with less competitive interest rates than other cards. As such, they are suited to cardholders who pay their balance off each month so that the accumulated interest doesn't outweigh the value of the rewards.
- Higher annual fees.
As well as high interest rates, these cards often come with higher annual fees than no frills options.
- Temptation to spend.
If you struggle to repay your credit card on time or need to consolidate a debt, a rewards card might tempt you to spend for the sake of points when you should be reigning in your purchases.
- Offer requirements.
Frequent flyer credit cards that come with introductory offers or complimentary insurance may have specific spending requirements you need to meet to enjoy these benefits. For example, you may need to spend $1,500 in the first 3 month you have a card to get bonus points, or pay for your travel with your credit card to get travel insurance.
Types of Frequent Flyer credit cards on the market
- I want a frequent flyer credit card with a low annual fee
- I want a frequent flyer card with a 0% purchase rate offer
- I want a frequent flyer credit card with a balance transfer offer
How can I compare and find the best* frequent flyer credit card for my needs?
The mix of frequent flyer credit cards on the market gives you a chance to compare options and find one that suits your individual goals and circumstances. Go through the checklist below to find out what factors you should consider when looking at credit cards that earn frequent flyer points.
- The frequent flyer program. Choosing a credit card that earns points for a frequent flyer program (or programs) you already use will help you maximise your rewards. If you don't belong to a program yet, think about which program you're more likely to travel with.
- Points earning rate. Check the standard rate of points you'll earn for each $1 spent on the card. Be aware that a different earn rate could apply for certain types of spending (i.e. overseas purchases), or if it is a dual credit card that comes with an Amex and either a Mastercard or a Visa. There are usually some transactions that won't earn points, such as cash advances, so make sure you check restrictions for the cards you're comparing.
- Reward values. Consider the types of rewards you want to claim, the amount of points you'll need and how much spending that requires. Check how these values measure up between programs so you can apply for the card that offers the greatest value based on your spending and reward goals.
- Annual fee. Ideally, the annual fee should cost less than the rewards and any complimentary extras on the card that you intend to use.
- Promotional rates and features. Frequent flyer credit cards sometimes have promotions for new customers, such as bonus points, 0% purchase rates, balance transfer offers or even no annual fee for the first year. These benefits can add value to the card that you choose, but make sure you read the terms and conditions for details of the requirements and honeymoon period so that they work for you (and not the other way around).
- Complimentary extras. Reward and frequent flyer credit cards often come with a selection of complimentary extras such as international travel insurance, extended warranties, concierge services and airline lounge access. The value of these perks can be used to offset the cost of the annual fee – as long as you know you will actually use them. They can also be handy to have available just in case you ever need them.
How to earn and redeem frequent flyer points with a credit card
Points are a key factor when choosing and using a frequent flyer credit card, and there are two main options to consider:
Using your points
Once you have earned enough points, you can redeem them for a variety of rewards. Here are some of the great redemptions you could make through your frequent flyer program.
Flight from Sydney to Melbourne: Qantas 16,000 points Velocity 15,600 points
|Flight from Sydney to Tokyo: Qantas 70,000 points Velocity 89,600 points|
|Flight from Sydney to London: Qantas 120,000 points Velocity 119,600 points|
|Flight from Sydney to New York: Qantas 120,000 points Velocity 119,600 points|
- Qantas $100 Gift Voucher (Myer, David Jones, JB Hi-Fi): 16,920 Qantas Points
- Velocity $100 Gift Voucher (Myer, David Jones, Target, Westfield): 18,000 Velocity Points
Qantas $250 credit (Sofitel, Ibis Hotel, Novotel, Pullman, Accor, Mercure): 41,000 Qantas Points
Velocity $250 credit (Crown Hotels, Hilton): 36,000-41,000 Velocity Points
- Airport/ flight benefits. Points can be used for reward flights, flight upgrades, lounge benefits and other frequent flyer membership benefits. Flight rewards with the frequent flyer program's associated airline usually provide a higher point value when compared to other rewards. For example, a one-way flight from Sydney to Melbourne with Qantas costs 8,000 Qantas Points, while a $50 Myer gift card costs 8,810 points.
- Retail/ lifestyle rewards. These rewards can benefit you at home or abroad. You can use points to book hotels, car rentals or other travel experiences, as well as more general retail and lifestyle benefits including gift cards, food and wine, jewellery and other merchandise.
How to choose a frequent flyer program
There are many frequent flyer programs based all around the world. But you have handful of these programs to choose from if you're interested in getting an Australian credit card that earns frequent flyer points, including Qantas Frequent Flyer and Velocity Frequent Flyer. Here, you can compare frequent flyer programs based on credit card points earnings to help you choose a program that will suit your needs.
- Qantas Frequent Flyer. Qantas Frequent Flyer credit cards can earn between 0.25 and 1.5 Qantas Frequent Flyer points per $1. These points can be redeemed for flights with over 400 program partners and products from the Qantas Store.
- Jetstar rewards. Jetstar is directly linked to Qantas, so you can redeem Qantas Frequent Flyer points for Jetstar flights. There are also two Jetstar credit cards that earn Jetstar Dollars you can use for flights with the airline. These cards also let you avoid the credit card booking fee when you use them to purchase Jetstar airfares.
- Velocity frequent flyer. Velocity frequent flyer credit cards typically earn between 0.5 and 1.5 points per $1 spent, with membership perks including express boarding, complimentary baggage, flight upgrades and lounge access. You can redeem rewards for flights with Virgin Australia and its partners, plus rewards from the Velocity store.
- Tigerair. As it’s partnered with Virgin Airways, you can use your Velocity Frequent Flyer credit card to earn points that can be redeemed for rewards with either Virgin or Tigerair. Just log in to your Velocity Frequent Flyer account, select the “Redeem” option and choose “Tigerair Australian Redemption” in the flights section.
- Emirates Skywards rewards. You can earn 1 mile per $1 up to 10,000 Skywards Miles with the Emirates Citi World Mastercard. Otherwise, you can earn Membership Rewards with an American Express credit card and redeem these for Emirates Skywards Miles, with 4 Membership Rewards = 3 Skywards Miles. You can redeem your miles for flight rewards and upgrades with Emirates and its partners.
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer program. There aren’t any KrisFlyer direct earn credit cards on the Australian market, but you can trade American Express Membership Rewards, Citi Rewards and Westpac Altitude Rewards for KrisFlyer miles. You can redeem these for flights with Singapore Airlines, SilkAir or any members of the Star Alliance airline network.
Qantas Frequent Flyer Credit Cards - How to choose the best credit card* for Qantas Frequent Flyer Points
Choosing a credit card maximise earning Qantas Frequent Flyer points will depend on your spending habits, your income and the credit card features you are looking for. Frequent flyer credit cards often include additional perks, with airport lounge passes, complimentary travel insurance and bonus points offers. As a result, these cards can come with a much higher annual fee compared to other types of credit cards, so it’s important to compare and read the terms and conditions – especially if there is a $0 annual fee offer included. Some of the benefits you can expect from a Qantas frequent flyer credit card include:
- Bonus points. Get a boost to your Qantas Points balance with a bonus points offer. Varying from 10,000 to 75,000 Qantas Points, these offers usually require you to spend a specific amount of money during the first few months you have the card in order to receive the points.
- Qantas Points per $1 spent. Use your card to earn more Qantas Points for your everyday purchases. You can earn 0.5, 0.75, 1, or 1.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent depending on which bank and credit card you apply for. Higher-tier cards including gold, platinum and black accounts offer more points per $1 spent.
- Additional perks. Qantas Frequent Flyer credit cards often provide additional benefits with airport lounge passes, complimentary travel insurance and 24/7 concierge services to make your travels easier.
- If you'd like to earn Qantas Points through credit card spending, compare Qantas Frequent Flyer credit cards here.
- If you'd like to find out more about the benefits of the Qantas program, refer to our ultimate guide to Qantas Frequent Flyer.
Velocity Frequent Flyer Credit Cards – How to choose the best credit card* for Velocity Frequent Flyer points
Choosing a credit card to earn Velocity Frequent Flyer points varies depending on factors including your spending habits, income and the other features you want on a credit card. It’s also important to consider the costs of the card, such as annual fees and interest rates, and any specific requirements associated with complimentary extras. Reading the credit card terms and conditions will help you understand the ongoing responsibilities and charges so that you can choose a card that is convenient and affordable for you. Some of the benefits you can get with a Velocity Frequent Flyer credit card include:
- Introductory bonus points. Some Velocity Frequent Flyer credit cards offer bonus points for new customers that can boost your account balance. Usually these promotions require you to spend a certain amount in the first few months you have the credit card. Providing you meet the conditions of the offer, you could get anywhere from 5,000 to 50,000 Velocity Frequent Flyer points in one go.
- Velocity points for everyday spending. A Velocity Frequent Flyer credit card will offer you a set number of points for every $1 spent on eligible purchases. You could get between 0.5 and 1.5 points per $1 depending on the card, with more premium cards offering greater earn rates.
- Complimentary extras. The perks you can get with a Velocity credit card include travel insurance, flight gift vouchers and airport lounge passes. These benefits can add value to the card, but only if you use them.
- If you would like to earn and redeem frequent flyer points with Velocity, compare Velocity Frequent Flyer credit cards here.
- If you'd like to learn more about the benefits of the Velocity Frequent Flyer program, refer to our comprehensive guide to the benefits of Velocity Frequent Flyer.
Jetstar – How to choose the best credit card* for Jetstar flights
As the low-cost carrier owned by Qantas Airways, Jetstar doesn’t really have its own frequent flyer program. But it does offer the following credit cards that earn Jetstar Dollars you can cash in for flights:
- The Jetstar Mastercard. This credit card earns 1 Jetstar Dollar per $100 spent and automatically rewards you with a $100 Jetstar Travel Voucher when you have earned 100 Jetstar Dollars. It has a standard variable purchase rate of 14.99% p.a. and a standard annual fee of $69, making it a low-cost frequent flyer credit card option. You can also choose to earn Qantas Points on this card, at a rate of 0.5 points per $1.
- The Jetstar Platinum Mastercard. This credit card earns 1 Jetstar Dollar for every $50 spent on eligible purchases, or 1 Qantas Point per $1 if you opt to earn rewards as part of the Qantas Frequent Flyer program. If you choose Jetstar Dollars, you will automatically get a $200 Jetstar Travel Voucher when you earn 200 Jetstar Dollars. The Jetstar Platinum Mastercard has a standard variable purchase rate of 19.99% p.a. p.a., an annual fee of $169 and complimentary extras including overseas travel insurance.
- If you want to earn and redeem points with Jetstar, compare Jetstar Frequent Flyer credit cards here.
- If you'd like to find out more about what Jetstar can offer you, read our guide on the benefits and features of the Jetstar Frequent Flyer Program.
Emirates Skywards – How to choose the best credit card* for Emirates Skywards Miles
If you want to find the best credit card* to earn Emirates Skywards Miles, you’ll need to consider your spending habits, income and the credit card features you’re interested in. It’s also important to consider the interest rates and annual fees of credit cards that offer Emirates Skywards Miles, so that you can make sure the benefits outweigh these charges. The Emirates Citi World Mastercard is the only credit card currently available that directly earns Skywards Miles per $1 spent. As well as this card, you can consider cards that allow you to transfer points to your Emirates Skywards account, such as those linked to the American Express Membership Rewards program. Some of the benefits you can get with an Emirates Skywards credit card include:
- Introductory offers. Rewards credit cards linked to the Emirates frequent flyer program may offer exclusive benefits to new customers, including thousands of bonus points or a discount on Emirates flights. To get these offers, you usually need to be a new customer and spend a certain amount of money on the card in the first few months you have it.
- Points per $1 spent. You can earn between 0.5 and 1.5 Skywards Miles per $1 spent on a credit card linked to the Emirates frequent flyer program. Some of these cards limit or cap the number of points you can earn, so make sure you check these details and factor that into your decision when choosing a card.
- Travel perks. The complimentary benefits you can get with an Emirates credit card include international travel insurance, hotel room upgrades, dining programs and 24/7 concierge services.
- To earn and redeem points with Emirates Australia, compare Emirates credit cards here.
- To find out more about the benefits of Emirates Australia, see our guide on the Emirates Skywards Frequent Flyer Program.
Frequent Flyer alliances
Frequent flyer programs have networks of partner and alliance airlines that let you earn and redeem points all around the world. We've included three of the most popular alliances below.
Virgin Australia airline network
Credit cards have become one of the most popular ways to earn frequent flyer points, with both direct and indirect methods for boosting your point balance. Now that you know more about how they work, the potential benefits and pitfalls and what you should consider when comparing frequent flyer credit cards, you can make a more informed decision about the next credit card you apply for so that it really works for you.
Frequent flyer credit card questions from our users
Since frequent flyer credit cards provide many benefits and features, choosing one can be a challenging task. Here, we answer the most popular questions from our users about frequent flyer credit cards and how to earn/ redeem points. If you still have a question, please use the "Ask a Question" box below and one of our friendly staff will respond to your query.
How could frequent flyer credit card benefit me and improve my lifestyle?
Frequent flyer credit cards can offer a range of benefits, including points for your everyday spending, complimentary insurance, flight vouchers and airport lounge access. When you're comparing frequent flyer credit cards, you can weigh the value of these benefits against the costs of the card – such as the annual fee and interest rates – to decide if it's worth it based on your lifestyle, budget and goals.
How do I get complimentary access to lounges?
How many points do I need to fly from A to B?
Can I transfer my points to another program?
What happens if my points expire?
How many frequent flyer points do I have?
Are frequent flyer credit cards worth it?
What traps come with a frequent flyer credit card?
- High interest rates. Frequent flyer credit cards usually have high interest rates to counteract the cost of offering a rewards program. So if you struggle to repay your balance each month, your purchases will attract higher interest charges and it’ll be easier to fall into debt. The additional interest costs and the negative impact that accumulating debt has on your credit file aren't worth it to earn points.
- High annual fees. As well as high interest rates, frequent flyer credit cards typically come with high annual fees. So to benefit from the card, you’ll need to spend enough points to redeem a reward that outweighs the cost of the annual fee. This can be an expensive task and the interest you could pick up from those purchases will also add to the overall costs of the card.
- Temptation to spend. If you struggle to keep your spending in control, it may be best not to use a frequent flyer credit card. They entice you to make purchases to earn points. Unless you’re repaying your balance in full each month, the value of the rewards rarely outweighs the interest charges that are applied to your balance.
- Bonus points terms and conditions. Bonus points can help boost your point balance, but they often come with spend requirements. For example, you might be required to spend $2,500 in the first 3 months of getting the card to be eligible for the extra points. It’s unlikely that the monetary value of the reward points will be worth more than this spend requirement. So, unless the necessary spend is in line with your budget and you repay it all without incurring interest, the inconvenience of spending to earn bonus points is probably not worth it.
- Poor exchange rates. If you have a credit card that allows you to transfer your reward points to several frequent flyer programs, check the transfer rate to see how much value you'll get. Usually, the exchange rate gives you less frequent flyer points in comparison to credit card reward points. For example, you might find that 1.5 or 2 credit card reward points equals 1 frequent flyer point. This means that you need to spend more to redeem the same amount of frequent flyer points you could earn on a flight or with a card that has a 1 for 1 exchange rate.
The most popular questions about earning frequent flyer points
How can I maximise my frequent flyer credit card points?
- Earning points on everyday purchases. This type of credit card lets you earn points on day-to-day purchases including groceries, fuelling the car and direct debit for some bills. The more you use your card for these purchases, the faster you'll get frequent flyer points.
- Bonus point offers. Many reward credit cards offer thousands of bonus points to new customers when they are approved for a card and spend a certain amount in the first few months. These additional points are often worth hundreds of dollars, and may even be enough to fly overseas.
- Spending with program partners. Some credit cards partner with airlines, retailers, fuel providers or supermarkets to offer additional points when you use your card with them. Check the credit card issuer’s website for details of participating partners, and try to shop with them more to boost your rewards.
- American Express dual credit cards. To maximise points potential, some credit card issuers offer reward cards with both an Amex and Mastercard or Visa. For example, the NAB Qantas Rewards Card, which earns 0.5 points per $1 on the Visa and 1 point per $1 on the Amex card.
- Supplementary credit cards. Requesting an additional credit card means you can share your account with a partner or family member, giving them a chance to use it for their spending and boost your points balance.
- Gold, platinum and black cards. Gold, platinum and black credit cards are more premium than standard options, and many offer more points per dollar and/or higher points caps as a result.
How do points caps work?
How do bonus points offers work?
- New customers. Most bonus point offers apply to people who don't have existing credit cards with the provider. Some providers also specify that you must not have had an active account with them in the past 12 months to be classified as a "new customer" that's eligible for bonus point offers.
- Promotional period. You usually have to apply for the card within a set timeframe in order to be eligible for bonus points.
- Spending requirement. If you're approved for a card with a bonus point offer, you may be required to spend a certain amount on the card within a given period of time. For example, $2,500 of purchases within 3 months of card approval.
If you meet these conditions, you're usually able to take advantage of a point bonus and boost your frequent flyer balance.
Can I cancel my credit card after receiving a bonus points offer?
Can I earn points for balance transfers and cash advances?
What other credit card transactions don't earn points?
- Cash advance transactions
- Balance transfers
- BPAY payments
- Gambling charges
- Purchasing foreign currency
- Account fees
- Reversed transactions
- Government payments
- Payments to the ATO
- Utility payments
Keep in mind that not all cards have the same exclusions, so it's important to check the terms and conditions or product disclosure statement for full details of what individual frequent flyer credit cards do and don't count as an "eligible transaction".
Can I earn points for payments to the ATO?
Can I earn points across different frequent flyer programs?
How can I claim missing points?
The most popular questions about redeeming frequent flyer points
How do I redeem points?
- Log in to your reward account
- Check your point balance to see how many points you have to use
- Select the “Redeem” option
- Choose the type of redemption you want to make (e.g. “flights”)
- Select the specific option you want (e.g. single flight from Sydney to Melbourne)
- Follow the prompts to book or secure the reward
- Confirm the redemption
Some frequent flyer credit cards also give you a “points plus pay” option, which means you can use a combination of points and cash to redeem your reward.
How much are my points worth?
What rewards can I redeem?
- Flight upgrades
- Travel packages
- Gift cards
The amount of points required varies between redemptions, and not all of them are equal. For example, you need 11,100 points (or 7,800 plus $21.11 in taxes and fees) to redeem a one-way flight from Sydney to Melbourne via Virgin Australia’s Velocity Rewards, and 18,000 points to get a $100 gift card for Westfield. The different amounts of points required for each redemption has a direct impact on the value of your rewards, so comparing these costs before you use points will help you get more out of them in the long run.