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How to earn more Westpac Altitude Rewards points

Information verified correct on May 23rd, 2017

The simple tips you need to earn more Westpac Altitude Rewards Points to redeem rewards faster.

The Westpac Altitude Rewards program lets you earn points on your everyday credit card spending which you can then redeem for rewards including travel, frequent flyer points, merchandise and even Holden vouchers you can put towards car purchases.

Here, we look at the key details of the program, including a comparison of Westpac Altitude credit cards and how to earn more points. We also look at essential details to consider so you can make the most of your Westpac Altitude Rewards credit card and account.

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How does the Westpac Altitude Rewards program work?

Credit cards linked to the Westpac Altitude Rewards program come with both an American Express card and a Visa or Mastercard. The American Express card lets you earn a higher rate of points per $1 spent, while the Visa or Mastercard offers wider acceptance and generally lower surcharges. The program also includes these key requirements and features:

  • Eligible purchases. Most everyday purchases are eligible for earning points, but common exclusions include cash advances, BPAY transactions, government payments and bank fees. Note that ATO payments are not eligible transactions on the Visa or Mastercard. You can earn points for tax payments on the American Express card but higher credit card surcharges apply.
  • Point caps. With the exception of the Westpac Altitude Black, there are limits on the number of points you can earn each statement cycle. The Westpac Altitude Classic has caps of 5,000 points per Visa or Mastercard and 5,000 per American Express credit card and the Westpac Altitude Platinum has caps of 7,500 points per Visa or Mastercard and 7,500 per American Express credit card.
  • Rewards. Reward options include travel, gift cards, merchandise and frequent flyer points. You can also make donations, offset your credit card fees, make Westpac home loan fee rebate redemptions or even convert your points into BT superannuation funds.
  • Online account access. You can manage your membership, track points and make redemptions via the Altitude Rewards website using your secure login email and password.

Note that with this program you could also choose to earn Qantas Points instead of Altitude Rewards. This requires you to opt-in to the Altitude Qantas program, where different earn rates and points caps apply and rewards are available as per the Westpac Altitude Classic caters for basic users, while the Westpac Altitude Platinum caters for higher spenders. Above that, the Westpac Altitude Black packs even more premium perks and an uncapped higher points earn rate at the cost of higher annual fees.

Compare Westpac Altitude Rewards credit cards

7 ways to earn more Westpac Altitude Rewards points?

  1. Compare cards. Before applying, it’s important to compare Westpac Altitude Rewards credit cards to find the card that is most suited to your budget and spending habits. This will also ensure that you don’t end up overpaying for a card that has features you may not use.
  2. Take advantage of bonus points offers. Depending on when you apply, a Westpac Altitude Rewards credit card may include an introductory bonus points offer for new customers. With a substantial bonus points giveaway, you can sometimes earn as much as a free flight simply for signing up and meeting spending requirements.
  3. Request additional cardholders. Additional cardholders can double or triple your point-earning potential by increasing spending on your card account. But account expenditure would still be capped by your credit limit and you would still be responsible for managing all repayments.
  4. Use your card for big-ticket items. Charging major purchases to your credit card allows you to earn more rewards points for your spending. But be careful to make punctual repayments in order to avoid paying high interest costs.
  5. Pay for everyday expenses with your credit card. Where possible, pay for regular purchases using your credit card instead of a debit card or cash. This can be especially fruitful at major supermarkets because they all accept American Express credit cards at no extra cost, allowing you to maximise the points earned per $1.
  6. Use your card for overseas purchases. If you have a Westpac Altitude Black credit card, you can earn 3 points per $1 spent with overseas merchants using either your American Express or the Visa/Mastercard.
  7. Check out bonus partners. Westpac Altitude Rewards has a number of bonus partners including hotels, wine companies and mobile phone retailers that allow you to earn up to 3 bonus points per $1 spent. Visit the Altitude Rewards website to see a list of current bonus partner offers.

Earning Westpac Altitude Rewards points on everyday spending

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Jo has just obtained a new Westpac Altitude Platinum card, which she plans to use for the following everyday expenses:

  • Groceries: $200 per week
  • Fuel: $50 per week
  • Total: $250 per week

If she used her Visa/Mastercard, this would earn her 13,000 Altitude points over a year (or 52 weeks). If she used her American Express card instead, she would be able to maximise points by earning 26,000 points in a 12-month period. That’s twice the number of points, which would be sufficient to redeem a $100 MYER or David Jones gift card.

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What else do I need to know?

To get the most value from your rewards points, you’ll need to keep card costs to a minimum. Therefore if you’re looking for ways to earn more Westpac Altitude Rewards points, also consider the following factors:

  • Repayments and interest charges. Making punctual and full monthly repayments will ensure that you reduce or avoid interest fees on your card.
  • The annual fee. Depending on your card usage, lifestyle and spending habits, your card annual fee should not cost more than the value of rewards and benefits it provides you in a year. Consider your average spending, the points this will yield, rewards you could redeem and perks such as concierge services to get a basic idea of whether the card will be worth it for you.
  • Foreign transaction fees. Westpac Altitude Rewards credit cards have a foreign currency fee worth 3% of the total transaction made with Visa/Mastercard and 3.5% if made with American Express. This charge is particularly relevant if you intend to use your card abroad or shop online with international retailers.
  • Cash advance fees. Also consider cash advance fees and cash advance interest rates before making cash advances on your credit card. Since these fees tend to be high, the best way to avoid them would be to avoid making cash advances altogether.
  • Point expiry. Altitude Rewards points don’t have a fixed lifespan and stay valid as long as your account is active. If you close your account, they expire 90 days from the time you cancel your credit card.

While shopping for a rewards credit card, it is also important to factor in projected card costs so that your earned rewards are worth it. You may also wish to compare Westpac Altitude Rewards with other credit card reward programs before deciding on the option that will suit you best.

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Amy Bradney-George

Amy is a Senior Writer at finder.com.au with more than 10 years experience covering credit cards, personal finance and various lifestyle topics. When she’s not sharing her knowledge on money matters, Amy spends her time as an actress.

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2 Responses to How to earn more Westpac Altitude Rewards points

  1. Default Gravatar
    Helen | April 21, 2013

    Are the altitude points capped on our Westpac Altitude Cards?

    • Staff
      Jacob | April 22, 2013

      Hi Helen. Thanks for your question. According to the Westpac website, ‘a points cap of 7,500 points applies when using either or both cards. Bonus points do not count towards the points cap.’ This will commence from 17 June 2013. Jacob.

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