Reward Program Points Currency Comparison

Want to know how much your credit card reward points are really worth? Find out more about different point values and compare reward programs here.rewards-credit-card-couple

Reward programs earn you points for every $1 that you spend on your credit card. These points can then be redeemed for a wide range of products and services including flights, gift cards, cash back and shopping. While these rewards are designed to add value to the credit card that you choose, costs such as interest rates and annual fees can outweigh the benefits they provide. This guide compares the value of different reward programs to help you choose a rewards credit card that offers you as much value as possible.

How much are my rewards points worth?

The following table compares rewards programs based on the amount of points required for a $100 gift card and a one-way economy flight from Sydney to Melbourne. These point values highlight the differences between each rewards program and give you a clear idea of how much you would have to spend on a credit card to benefit from the rewards.   In order to make our comparison consistent across each reward program, we have made some assumptions about the redemptions. The key details to keep in mind are listed below:

  • The $100 gift card. This value is primarily based on the cost of a generic $100 gift card, such as a Coles Myer Group or Woolworths WISH card. For reward programs that don’t include these options, we have used the next closest option, such as a David Jones or Westfield gift card.
  • The one-way flight from Sydney to Melbourne. The flight redemption is based on the most affordable airfare option from Qantas, Virgin Australia or Jetstar and excludes additional taxes and fees. The point value is based on direct redemptions. If no direct reward redemptions are available, the value is based on a point conversion from the rewards program to the Qantas and Virgin Australia Velocity frequent flyer programs.If both airline redemptions are available in a rewards program, they are listed, as are any exceptions if another airline redemption is possible. To determine the dollar value of this redemption, we have referred to the average economy airfare price as reported by the Department of Infrastructure and Regional development, which listed it as $120 in May 2016.

Rewards program

Points for $100 gift card

Points for a one-way Sydney to Melbourne flight

American Express Membership Rewards13,500
  • Qantas: 16,000 (points conversion)
  • Virgin Australia: 7,800 (points conversion)
ANZ Rewards Program22,225
  • $100 Travel voucher: 18,185
  • Qantas*: 8,000
  • Virgin Australia: 15,600 (points conversion)
Bankwest More Rewards Program28,000
  • Webjet booking: From 13,200
  • Qantas*: 8,000
Bendigo Bank Reward36,667
  • $100 Travel voucher: 36,667
Citi Rewards Program40,000
  • Qantas*: 8,000
  • Virgin Australia: From 15,600 (points conversion)
Commonwealth Bank Awards Program20,000
  • $100 Travel voucher: 20,000
  • Qantas: 20,000 (points conversion)
  • Virgin Australia: 19,500 (points conversion)
flybuys Rewards20,000
  • Qantas: From 23,000
  • Virgin Australia: From 25,000
  • Jetstar: From 15,000
Heritage Credit Rewards64 creditsN/A
HSBC Rewards Plus20,000
  • Qantas*: 8,000
Jetstar Dollars ProgramN/A
  • Jetstar: 160
  • Qantas*: 8,000
Krisflyer Rewards ProgramN/A
Macquarie Credit Card Rewards Program19,250
  • Qantas: 17,700
  • Virgin Australia: 19,070
  • Jetstar: 18,690
Myer One10,000N/A
BOQ Q Rewards®28,600
  • Qantas*: 8,000
Qantas Frequent Flyer17,2508,000
Skywards Rewards32,000N/A (Emirates does not offer redemptions for domestic flights)
Suncorp Bank Rewards17,900
  • Qantas*: 8,000
  • Virgin Australia: From 19,500 (points conversion from Suncorp Bank Rewards points to Velocity points at a rate of 2.5:1)
Velocity Rewards18,0007,800
Westpac Altitude Rewards19,000
  • Qantas: 20,710
  • Virgin Australia: 25,320
  • Jetstar: 21,870
Woolworths Rewards20,000
  • Qantas*: 8,000

* Only available for credit cards that earn Qantas frequent flyer points. Opt-in may be necessary and fees may apply.

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Reward Program Credit Cards Comparison

Rates last updated May 30th, 2017
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee
NAB Rewards Platinum Card
Earn 1 NAB Rewards Point per $1 spent and receive double points on purchases made in major department and hardware stores.
19.99% p.a. 4.99% p.a. for 6 months $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($195 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
ANZ Frequent Flyer Black
Receive 75,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $2,500 on eligible purchases within the first 3 months, plus earn up to 1 point for every dollar spent on eligible purchases. Also, earn 75 Bonus Status Credits when you apply by 30 June 2017, buy and fly return with Qantas by 30 September 2017.
19.99% p.a. $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($425 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
Citi Rewards Platinum Credit Card
Consolidate your debt with a low balance transfer offer of 0% p.a. for 24 months and a host of platinum privileges. Earn 1 Citi Reward Points for every $1 spent on eligible domestic and international spend.
20.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 24 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee $49 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
HSBC Platinum Qantas Credit Card
Fly faster with up to 1 Qantas Point per $1 spent and receive bonus Qantas Points on selected Qantas products, services and partners.
19.99% p.a. $199 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Explorer® Credit Card
Earn up to 2 Membership Rewards Points per $1 spent and receive a $400 Travel Credit every year.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $395 p.a. Go to site More info
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
Enjoy an annual fee refund every year if you meet the spend requirement with a balance transfer offer, high credit limits and prestige services including a personal concierge service and VISA Platinum rewards program.
19.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 22 months with 2% balance transfer fee $99 p.a. Go to site More info
St.George Amplify Signature
Receive up to 90,000 bonus Amplify points on eligible spend and earn up to 3 reward points per $1 spent on eligible purchases.
19.49% p.a. $279 p.a. Go to site More info
ANZ Rewards Platinum
Earn up to 50,000 bonus Reward Points when you spend $2,500 in the first 3 months plus $0 in the first year.
18.79% p.a. $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($95 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
Bank of Melbourne Amplify Platinum - Qantas Rewards
Fly faster with up to 1.000 Qantas Point per $1 spent and receive complimentary overseas travel insurance.
19.49% p.a. $99 p.a. Go to site More info
St.George Amplify Platinum - Amplify Qantas
Fly faster with up to 1 Qantas Point per $1 spent and receive complimentary overseas travel insurance.
19.49% p.a. $99 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Velocity Platinum Card
Take off sooner with up to 2.5 Velocity Points per $1 spent and receive a complimentary Virgin Australia return domestic flight every year.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $375 p.a. Go to site More info
St.George Amplify Signature - Amplify Qantas
Fly faster with up to 1.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent and receive 2 complimentary Qantas Lounge Passes.
19.49% p.a. $279 p.a. Go to site More info
ANZ Rewards Black Credit Card
This card offers 75,000 bonus points when you spend $2,500 on eligible purchases in the first 3 months from approval and $0 annual fee for the first year. Earn up to 2 reward points per $1 spent and unlimited access to airport lounges with complimentary travel insurance.
18.79% p.a. $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($375 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
Bank of Melbourne Amplify Signature - Amplify Qantas
Fly faster with up to 1.500 Qantas Point per $1 spent and receive 2 complimentary Qantas Lounge Passes.
19.49% p.a. $279 p.a. Go to site More info
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Exclusive Offer
Earn 2 Velocity Points on top of the standard earn rate per $1 spent within the first 3 months, plus a $129 Virgin Australia Gift Voucher each year.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 18 months $64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
BankSA Amplify Signature - Amplify Qantas
Fly faster with up to 1.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent and instantly become a Visa Luxury Hotel Collection member.
19.49% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months $279 p.a. Go to site More info
NAB Rewards Classic Card
Earn 0.75 NAB Rewards Point per $1 spent and receive complimentary purchase protection insurance.
19.99% p.a. 4.99% p.a. for 6 months $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($95 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
BankSA Amplify Platinum - Amplify Qantas
Fly faster with up to 1 Qantas Point per $1 spent and receive complimentary overseas travel insurance.
19.49% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months $99 p.a. Go to site More info
Westpac Altitude Black
Earn up to 3 Altitude Points per $1 spent and enjoy up to four complimentary airport lounge visits each year.
20.24% p.a. $195 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($395 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
BankSA Amplify Platinum
Earn up to 2 Amplify Rewards Points per $1 spent and receive complimentary travel insurance.
19.49% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months $99 p.a. Go to site More info
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What reward programs offer the best value?

This table highlights how much the value of points and redemptions vary between different programs.

Gift cards

Based on these details, we can see the three rewards programs that offer the greatest value for gift card redemptions are:

  • Heritage Credit Card Rewards: 64 credits
  • Myer One: 10,000 points
  • American Express Membership Rewards: 13,500

Flights

The values for flight redemptions, on the other hand, vary significantly depending on whether the redemption is direct or via points transfer. For example, the Citi Rewards Program requires just 8,000 points for a Qantas flight when you opt-in to earn Qantas Rewards, or 15,600 points if you convert your points to Velocity Rewards and then redeem a Virgin Australia flight.   The airline used for the flight also has a huge impact on the number of points you need and the overall value of the rewards. For example, the Macquarie Credit Card Rewards Program requires 17,700 points for a Qantas booking and 19,070 for a Virgin Australia booking. These differences make it hard to work out a definitive value for each reward program, as it can vary based on your redemption method and airline preferences. Here, we outline the credit card reward programs that offer the greatest value based on whether points are redeemed directly through the credit card rewards program or indirectly by transferring points to a frequent flyer program.

Direct credit card program reward program redemptions

Frequent flyer points transfer program redemptions

Bankwest More Rewards: From 13,200 (Webjet booking)American Express Membership Rewards: 7,800 (Velocity points transfer)
flybuys rewards: From 15,000 (Jetstar)ANZ Rewards: 15,600 (Velocity points transfer)
Macquarie Credit Card Rewards: 17,700 (Qantas)Citi Rewards: 15,600 (Velocity points transfer)
ANZ Rewards:18,185 ($100 travel voucher)Suncorp Bank Rewards: 19,500 (points conversion from Suncorp Bank Rewards points to Velocity points at a rate of 2.5:1)

What about credit cards that directly earn frequent flyer points?

As the table shows, directly redeeming points through the Qantas, Virgin Velocity or Jetstar frequent flyer reward programs offers the greatest value in terms of point requirements, with 8,000 points, 7,800 points and 160 Jetstar Dollars required respectively. Similarly, cards that give you the chance to opt-in to the Qantas frequent flyer program will also offer a top rate on redemptions. Credit card reward programs that provide this option include:

  • ANZ Rewards
  • Bankwest More Rewards
  • Citi Rewards
  • HSBC Rewards Plus
  • Jetstar Dollars (through the Jetstar credit card)
  • BOQ Q Rewards®
  • Suncorp Bank Rewards
  • Woolworths Rewards
Just remember that additional steps and fees may apply to directly earn Qantas points through a credit card rewards program, and the amount of points per $1 required for a credit card that directly earns frequent flyer points could also impact on the value of this option. As a general rule, the key to getting the most out of any of these rewards programs is to choose redemptions that offer the best value to you based on your individual preferences and needs.

How to compare rewards programs

There are a number of other elements you need to consider when you compare different reward programs and credit cards. So keeping the following key points in mind will help you choose an option that suits your needs:

  • Earn rate. The more points you earn per $1 spent, the faster you will be able to make a redemption and the greater value you will get from the rewards program. For example, a credit card that offers 0.5 Qantas points per $1 will require double the amount of spending to get a redemption when compared to one that earns 1 point per $1.
  • Points expiry. Some reward programs require you to use points within a set amount of time, such as 12-24 months. If you don’t use them in that time, they will expire and you won’t get any value from them.
  • Points capping. Depending on the rewards program and credit card you choose, you may only be able to earn a certain amount of points within a month or year. You can work out if a points cap will affect you by comparing your average spending to the points you would earn. If it’s more than the cap, then you may want to consider other options.
  • Membership fees. Some reward programs charge a registration fee, such as the Qantas Frequent Flyer Program, which has a one-off joining cost of $89.50. Make sure you factor this into the cost of the rewards program or try to find a credit card that waives it.
  • Annual fees. Reward credit cards have annual fees ranging from $49 to $450 or more. It’s important to weigh this cost up against the potential rewards you earn to make sure you get value out of the card you choose.
  • Interest rates. Reward credit cards often have high interest rates that will apply if you carry a balance. These charges take value away from the rewards that you earn, so aim to pay off your card in full for each statement period.
  • Other fees. Credit cards have a range of other charges that apply in certain situations, including international transaction fees, late payment and over limit penalties and charges for opting into a particular rewards program.

Reward programs offer a wide range of benefits for members, with gift cards and flights just two of the popular redemption options. Now that you know how to compare the value of these points against different rewards and program features, you will be able to choose a credit card and a rewards option that suits your needs.

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Image: Shutterstock.

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