Earn rewards by linking your Opal to your credit card

Sally McMullen 1 August 2016


Now that paper tickets are no longer available, discover how you can be rewarded for using your credit card to top up your Opal.

As of today, NSW commuters no longer have the option to purchase paper tickets for their bus, train or ferry trips. So, if you haven’t already, it’s time to pick up your Opal card. Whether you decide to set up an automatic top up or want to do it manually, you’ll also need to decide which account you’re going to link your card to. If you’re a frequent commuter, linking your Opal with your rewards credit card could be an easy way to pick up rewards points on your daily travels, and a helpful relief now that Opal hacking no longer lets you cut your weekly fare.

To help you discover your rewards potential, we’ve looked at some rewards credit cards that are currently on the market and calculated exactly how many points you could earn on your weekly commute.

How many credit card rewards points could I with my Opal card?

Under the current capping system, no matter how much you travel, you won’t pay more than $60 per week with an adult Opal card (outside of trips to the airport station). For this example, we’ll use this $60 cap to determine how many points an Opal card user could earn per year by topping up with their credit card.

Earn rate per $1 spentExamples of cards with this earn rate Points earned per year
0.51,440 points
12,880 points
1.54,320 points
25,760 points

For this table, we’ve calculated a year as 48 weeks to account for four weeks annual leave that might not involve as much public transport travel.

So if you spent up to $60 a week on your Opal card for 48 weeks out of the year, you could earn up to 5,760 points per year. Exactly what you could redeem with these points would depend on the rewards program you’re with. With American Express, for example, you could redeem a $25 David Jones gift voucher (3,375 points). Or you could cover the bulk of a one-way trip from Sydney to Melbourne (8,000 points).

Of course, the number of points you could earn would depend on your card’s earn rate and how much you travel each week. And while 5,760 points per year isn’t a jackpot of points, it is an easy way to bolster up your rewards card balance with a necessary purchase. As long as you pay off the balance of your credit card each month and avoid collecting interest on your Opal card top ups, it’s an easy way to get rewarded for tapping on and off each day.

Picture: Shutterstock.

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