Dual Credit Cards

Enjoy the benefits of American Express and Mastercard or Visa on a single credit card account.

Some reward and frequent flyer credit cards are dual accounts that give you both a Mastercard or Visa card and an American Express card to help you maximise your rewards. Use this guide to find out exactly what dual credit cards are and how they work. You can also compare dual credit cards and look at the other factors to consider before applying for a new credit card.

Westpac Altitude Black

Westpac Credit Card Offer

The Westpac Altitude Black Credit Card gives you 80,000 bonus Qantas or Altitude Points when you meet the minimum required spend plus earn uncapped points with your chosen rewards program.

  • $195 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($395 p.a. thereafter) annual fee
  • 20.24% p.a. on purchases
  • Cash Advance Rate of 20.74% p.a.
  • Up to 45 days interest free
  • Minimum Income Requirement of $75,000 p.a.

Dual Credit Cards Comparison

Rates last updated June 25th, 2017
Name Product Product Description Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee
Westpac Altitude Black
Earn 80,000 bonus Altitude points when you reach a minimum spend of $5,000 on eligible purchases. Offer ends 28 June 2017.
20.24% p.a.
$195 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($395 p.a. thereafter)
Westpac Altitude Platinum Card
Earn 60,000 bonus Altitude Points when you spend $3,000 on eligible purchases. Offer ends 28 June 2017.
20.24% p.a.
$150 p.a.
NAB Qantas Rewards Premium Card
Comes with a Visa and American Express card, both linked to one account and annual fee. No point expiry.
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 6 months
$250 p.a.
NAB Velocity Rewards Premium Card
Offers up to 1 Velocity point per $1 on purchases, combined with complimentary insurance covers and a concierge service.
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 6 months
$150 p.a.
NAB Qantas Rewards Card
A dual Amex and Visa card that allows you to earn up to 0.75 Qantas Points per $1 spent, plus complimentary purchase protection insurance.
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 6 months
$95 p.a.
NAB Velocity Rewards Card
This dual Amex and Visa card offers up to 0.75 Velocity Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases and special Visa Entertainment offers.
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 6 months
$95 p.a.

Compare up to 4 providers

What are dual credit cards?

Dual credit cards are a type of reward or frequent flyer account that provides you with two cards: an American Express and a Mastercard or Visa. Both cards have your name on them and transactions will show up on a single credit card statement for your account.

The main difference between the Amex card and the Mastercard/Visa is the amount of points per $1 you earn. Generally, Amex cards offer higher earn rates but are not as widely accepted as Mastercard or Visa. With a dual credit card, you can choose when to maximise your points with the Amex card and when to earn points with the Mastercard or Visa if Amex is not accepted by a particular merchant.

What is the best* dual credit card?

Compare the following top five dual credit cards based on earn rates and annual fees to find the right option for you.

CardDetailsAnnual fee
CommBank Awards DiamondThis premium credit card earns up to 3 points per $1 spent with the Amex card and 1.25 points per $1 with the Mastercard.$349 p.a.
NAB Velocity Rewards PremiumA frequent flyer credit card that earns 1 points per $1 spent with the American Express card and 0.5 point per $1 spent with the Visa card. Also includes complimentary insurance.$150 p.a.
NAB Qantas Rewards PremiumEarn 1 Qantas Points per $1 on the Amex card and 0.5 point per $1 on your Visa card.$250 p.a.
Westpac Altitude BlackWith this card you earn 3 Altitude points per $1 spent with your Amex and 1.25 points per $1 with your Mastercard.$395 p.a.
Westpac Altitude Business PlatinumDesigned for business owners, this dual credit card earns 3 points per $1 on eligible purchases made with the Amex and 0.5 points per $1 for government payments (including those made to the ATO). With the Visa card, you earn 1 point per $1 for purchases in Australia and 2 points per $1 for overseas purchases.$75 p.a.

How to earn more points with a dual credit card

girl_couch_shoppingbags_creditcard_Shutterstock

Eva has the NAB Velocity Rewards Platinum, which earns 1 point per $1 spent on the Amex card and 0.5 points per $1 on the Visa. She decides to use it for the following expenses:

  • Supermarket shopping: $400
  • Petrol: $200
  • Coffee: $100
  • Dining out: $200
  • Total: $900

Amex is accepted at all major supermarkets (Coles, IGA, Woolworths etc.) and service stations, so Eva is able to earn the higher point rate by using this card for those expenses. But because she knows some of her local cafés and restaurants don’t accept Amex, she decides to use the Visa card to pay for coffee and dining out. After a month, here’s how the earnings look.

  • Amex card: Eva spent a total of $600 on this card, earning her 600 points for the month.
  • Visa card: Eva spent $300 and earned 150 points on this card.
  • Total points earned: 750 points per month.

To put this in perspective, Eva has earned 150 more points than she would with a credit card that offered 1 Velocity point per $1 spent, making the dual card more valuable to her.

What else do I need to consider?

If you’re interested in applying for a dual credit card, make sure you also consider the following factors:

  • Earn rates. With a dual credit card, the amount of points you earn per $1 spent varies depending on whether you use the American Express card or the Mastercard or Visa. It may also vary depending on the type of transaction.
  • Annual fee. Dual credit card annual fees range from around $59 to $400, which is similar to other rewards credit card options. Ideally, the value of the rewards you earn should outweigh the annual fee for the card you choose.
  • Points caps. Many reward and frequent flyer credit cards limit the amount of points you can earn per month or year. When comparing cards, look at how much you expect to spend to decide if this cap will affect you.
  • Amex benefits. Having an American Express card gives you access to exclusive travel and lifestyle offers and promotions through Amex Connect.
  • Visa or Mastercard benefits. The inclusion of a Mastercard or Visa will give you access to exclusive travel, dining, shopping, entertainment and experience offers and promotions through Mastercard Priceless Cities or Visa Entertainment.
  • Sharing your account. Even though you get two cards with a dual credit card account, they are designed to be used solely by you. Sharing them with someone else would void your account’s fraud protection. However, you can share your account by requesting an additional cardholder. When approved, this person will be issued with their own Amex and Mastercard/Visa linked to the account.
  • Surcharges. Some businesses apply a surcharge when you pay with a credit card. Generally, this cost will be around 1–1.5% for Mastercard or Visa and up to 3% for American Express cards. Keep this cost in mind so you can decide if the cost is worth the potential points you’ll earn on a transaction.

Learn how to reduce or avoid surcharges on your credit card

How your transactions could impact on your dual credit card points

As well as the Amex and Mastercard/Visa earning different amounts of points per $1 spent, some dual credit cards vary the earn rates based on the type of transaction you make. For example, from July 2017 the CommBank Awards
credit card
offers the following rates:

  • Amex: For spending overseas (including online with overseas merchants) or with Higher Points Merchants, you earn 1.5 Awards points per $1 spent. For all other eligible spending, you earn 0.5 Awards points per $1 on the Amex card.
  • Mastercard: 1 Awards point per $1 spent.

This means that in some cases, you’ll earn more points with the Mastercard than with the American Express card.

Find out how you can maximise your CommBank Awards points

Dual credit cards are designed to help you maximise your rewards points by offering you two different cards to spend with. As the value of this type of credit card depends on how you use the Amex card and the Mastercard or Visa, make sure you compare a range of options and consider your spending habits so you can apply for a card that’s right for you.

Pictures: Shutterstock

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2 Responses to Dual Credit Cards

  1. Default Gravatar
    Godwin | April 5, 2013

    what is a dual credit card?

    • Staff
      Jacob | April 5, 2013

      Hi Godwin. Thanks for your question. A dual credit card, also referred to as a companion credit card, is a credit card account that comes with both a linked Visa / MasterCard (MC) and an American Express (AMEX) Card. These accounts have the advantage of giving cardholders the opportunity to earn maximum points. So where Amex is accepted you use that card and get more points than if you used a Visa / MC. Where AMEX isn’t accepted you use your Visa / MC. Spending on either card is linked to the one credit account, there’s a shared credit limit between the cards, and the primary cardholder is responsible for spending on both cards. Hope this has helped. Jacob.

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