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Air Miles Credit Cards

Find out how an air miles credit card can help you get more frequent flyer points and perks – even when you’re not flying.

Name Bonus points Points per $ spent Purchase rate p.a. Annual fee
Qantas Premier Platinum
Qantas Frequent Flyer
Bonus points
80,000
Points per $ spent
1
Purchase rate p.a.
19.99%
Annual fee
$349 first year ($399 after)
Go to siteMore Info
Earn up to 80,000 bonus Qantas Points. Plus, save with a reduced first-year annual fee and 0% p.a. for 12 months on balance transfers. Ends on 01 May 2024.
American Express Velocity Platinum Card
Velocity Frequent Flyer
Bonus points
100,000
Points per $ spent
1.25
Purchase rate p.a.
23.99%
Annual fee
$375
Go to siteMore Info
Get 100,000 bonus Velocity Points when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months. Plus a return domestic flight each year.
Qantas American Express Ultimate Card
Qantas Frequent Flyer
Bonus points
60,000
Points per $ spent
1.25
Purchase rate p.a.
23.99%
Annual fee
$450
Go to siteMore Info
Get 60,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months. Plus, a yearly $450 Travel Credit.
American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card
Qantas Business Rewards
Bonus points
170,000
Points per $ spent
1.25
Purchase rate p.a.
0%
Annual fee
$450
Go to siteMore Info
(ABN holders w/ $75k revenue). Earn 170,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $6,000 in the first 3 months.
ANZ Qantas Business Rewards
Qantas Business Rewards
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.
American Express Velocity Business Card
Velocity Frequent Flyer
Bonus points
200,000
Points per $ spent
1
Purchase rate p.a.
0%
Annual fee
$249
Go to siteMore Info
ABN holders w/ $75,000 revenue. Get 200,000 bonus Velocity Points when you spend $5,000 in the first 2 months.
Qantas American Express Premium Card
Qantas Frequent Flyer
Bonus points
20,000
Points per $ spent
1
Purchase rate p.a.
23.99%
Annual fee
$249
Go to siteMore Info
Get 20,000 bonus Qantas Points and 2 complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations per year, plus complimentary travel insurance.
American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card
Membership Rewards
Bonus points
N/A
Points per $ spent
1
Purchase rate p.a.
23.99%
Annual fee
$0 first year ($195 after)
Go to siteMore Info
Save with a $0 annual fee in the first year. Plus, $200 Travel Credit every year.
American Express Velocity Escape Card
Velocity Frequent Flyer
Bonus points
N/A
Points per $ spent
0.75
Purchase rate p.a.
23.99%
Annual fee
$0
Go to siteMore Info
Save with a $0 annual fee and earn 0.75 Velocity Points per $1 on everyday purchases.
American Express Explorer Credit Card
Membership Rewards
Bonus points
50,000
Points per $ spent
2
Purchase rate p.a.
23.99%
Annual fee
$395
Go to siteMore Info
Get 50,000 bonus Membership Rewards Points when you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months.
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What is an air miles credit card?

Also known as a frequent flyer credit card, you can use an air miles credit card to earn points or miles per $1 on your everyday spending. You can redeem these points for flights, upgrades, accommodation and more.

Many air miles credit cards in Australia come with perks like airport lounge passes, complimentary insurance and even flight vouchers or travel credits. If you get a new card, you could also enjoy a big bonus points offer.

How do air miles credit cards work?

Air miles credit cards earn frequent flyer points or miles when you use them to make payments. You'll typically earn between 0.5 and 2 frequent flyer points for each $1 of eligible spending on an air miles credit card.

These points or miles are added to your airline loyalty account, either directly or through a points transfer between the credit card rewards program and your frequent flyer account. From there, you can redeem reward flights, upgrades, accommodation and other rewards.

What is an "eligible transaction"?

The eligible transactions that earn points or airline miles usually include most of your everyday spending on things like dining, retail and supermarket shopping, petrol and entertainment. But transactions that don't usually earn points include:

  • Cash advances
  • Balance transfers
  • BPAY payments
  • Card fees and charges
  • Refunded purchases

If you're not sure whether a transaction will earn points, you can also check the terms and conditions or ask the credit card company.

Earning points for more than one airline loyalty program with a credit card

Some rewards credit cards allow you to transfer your points to several partnered frequent flyer programs (sometimes known as indirect earn cards). This type of card gives you a greater choice of rewards if you're a member of a few frequent flyer programs.

It's also a way to earn more miles with airline loyalty schemes that don't offer co-branded credit cards in Australia, such as KrisFlyer Miles, Asia Miles or Skywards Miles.

How to compare air miles credit cards

  • Bonus points offers. These cards often have introductory offers that give you a way to earn thousands of bonus points. Usually, you'll need to meet a spend requirement to earn the points (such as spending $3,000 in the first 90 days). As long as this spend requirement lines up with your budget, a bonus points offer is an easy way to earn a lot of points quickly.
  • Earn rate. This term refers to the number of frequent flyer points or miles you earn per $1 spent. Credit cards with higher earn rates also usually come with higher annual fees and interest rates, so you should weigh these up when deciding.
  • Points cap. Some cards limit the number of points you can earn. For example, a card may have a points cap of 50,000 points in a year, meaning you can't earn more than that no matter how much you spend. Or, a card may offer 1 point per $1 spent up to $5,000 in a statement period, then 0.5 points per $1 for the rest of that statement period. If you think you'll spend less than a points cap, it probably won't affect you. But if you'll spend more, compare cards with higher point caps.
  • Annual fee. Credit cards with airline rewards and perks typically have higher annual fees than more basic cards. In fact, they can go up to $1,450 on cards for personal use (and higher for business cards). Ideally, you should get more value from the rewards and other benefits than what you pay for the card. So you may want to calculate the value of your points, as well as any other perks you'll use before you apply.
  • Interest rates. Air miles credit cards often charge higher purchase interest rates than other cards. These cards are best suited to people who can pay off their balance in full and avoid interest each month.
  • Card perks. These cards can come with complimentary benefits such as free travel insurance, airport lounge access and personal concierge services. If you use these benefits, they could help justify the card's costs. But if you don't use them, they won't add any value.

Can you earn air miles without a credit card?

Yes – if you're a member of an airline loyalty program, you'll earn miles or points when you fly with the airline and its partners. Some loyalty programs also offer other ways to earn points, such as with retail partners. Check the airline loyalty program website for details of how to earn miles, or learn more about frequent flyer programs with Finder's guides.

How to redeem air miles

You can redeem frequent flyer points or miles directly through your airline loyalty program, either online or over the phone. Each loyalty program has its own process, but here are the basic steps involved in redeeming air miles online.

  1. Go to the airline loyalty program's website and log in with your account details.
  2. Check how many points or miles you have earned so that you know what rewards you'll be able to redeem.
  3. Search for the reward that you want and follow the prompts to redeem it.

Keep in mind that a lot of frequent flyer programs give you the option of using a combination of points and cash to redeem rewards – including flights – if you don't have enough points for the reward that you want.

Types of air miles rewards

The rewards you can get with air miles or points will depend on the loyalty program. But usually it includes:

  • Flights. You can redeem your points for flights with the relevant airline and its partners. If you have a flight booking, you may be able to use your points to upgrade your flight to a higher flight class.
  • Hotels, car rental and travel packages. You can often use your points to pay for accommodation with partnered hotels, car rental and travel packages that include flights, hotels and activities.
  • Products from a rewards store. Use your points to shop at the online store, with rewards ranging from clothing, jewellery, homewares, electronics and toys.
  • Shopping and gift vouchers. Australian frequent flyer programs have lots of retail partners, so you can exchange your points for store vouchers either to be used online or at their bricks-and-mortar outlets. But you'll typically get more value from flight and travel rewards.

Are air miles credit cards worth it?

A credit card that earns air miles or frequent flyer points typically offers the most value to people who pay the total amount listed on their credit card statements by the due date. This allows you to make use of interest-free days for purchases, while also earning airline miles when you're not flying.

But air miles credit cards are not suited to everyone. People who typically take a few months to repay their credit card, or who don't want to pay an annual fee, may prefer to get value from cards that offer lower rates and fees.

So before you get an air miles credit card, consider your spending habits, lifestyle and rewards goals to help decide if it's right for you.

How to apply for an air miles credit card

Similar to other credit cards in Australia, you can apply for an air miles credit card online in around 10 to 20 minutes. You just need to check you meet the eligibility criteria, then to fill in a secure application form.

You'll also need to provide some personal and financial details, as well as supporting documents. Here are some key factors to keep in mind.

  • Income:
    Some air miles credit cards have a minimum income requirement, such as $50,000 per year. But even if there is no minimum income listed, you typically need to earn a regular income. You can provide recent payslips, Australian Taxation Office assessment notices or bank statements to help the lender verify these details (which they need to do as part of their responsible lending obligations).
  • Spending and savings:
    As well as income, you'll be asked about your savings, any other assets and existing loans or credit accounts. You also need to include an estimate of your regular expenses. This includes bills, groceries and other essentials, as well as entertainment, dining and other spending.
  • Frequent flyer details:
    If you're applying for a credit card linked to one airline loyalty program, or where you need to nominate your chosen program, you may be asked for your frequent flyer details during the application. But you can also add these details to your account after approval for any air miles credit cards. Or call the credit card brand for support.
  • Other eligibility requirements:
    As well as earning a regular income, you'll need to be at least 18 years of age. You also need to meet the Australian residency requirements and any other specific eligibility criteria that's listed for the card you choose.

After you submit your application, the credit card issuer will assess it and provide you with an outcome. If you're approved, you should get your card in 5-10 business days. And if you have any questions, just contact the issuer to discuss them.

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