Frequent Flyer Credit Cards with No Foreign Transaction Fees

Information verified correct on December 9th, 2016

Who else wants a frequent flyer card that offers waivers on foreign transaction fees?

While a number of Australian credit cards offer frequent flyer points linked to one frequent flyer program or another, you can even find one that does not charge any foreign transaction fees. Such cards may or may not come with complimentary insurance covers, and the same applies to access to concierge services. Other features you can look for in such a card include global acceptance and interest-free days on purchases.

Currently, the Bankwest Qantas Platinum MasterCard is the only frequent flyer credit card with no foreign transaction fees available on the Australian market.

Frequent flyer credit cards with no foreign transaction fees

Rates last updated December 9th, 2016
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee
Bankwest Zero Platinum MasterCard
An introductory offer on balance transfers with $0 annual fee. Complimentary travel insurance & 24/7 Concierge service and $0 foreign transaction fees.
17.99% p.a. 2.99% p.a. for 9 months $0 p.a. Go to site More info
28 Degrees Platinum MasterCard
Benefit from no international transaction fees on purchases, no currency conversion fees and no annual fee.
21.99% p.a. 4.99% p.a. for 6 months $0 p.a. Go to site More info

People who fly frequently can benefit by getting a credit card that offers frequent flyer points based on spending. If you’re someone who travels overseas and end up using your card regularly while away, you could benefit by getting one that doesn’t charge fees for foreign transactions.

While you might have to pay an annual fee to maintain such a credit card, you can sometimes expect to receive complimentary insurance covers along with other added features in return. If you don’t plan to use such a card overseas, you might be better off looking at regular frequent flyer credit cards.

What is a frequent flyer credit card with no foreign transaction fees?

When you get a frequent flyer card with no foreign transaction fees you can look forward to earning frequent flyer points as per your spending, and you won’t have to pay any transaction fees when you use your card overseas.

What you have to remember is that such a card, in all likelihood, would charge a high interest rate on purchases and cash advances, so it’s advised that you use such a card if you plan to pay your outstanding balances in full each month. By doing this, you can even make use of a given number of interest-free days on purchases.

How do they work?

A card that comes linked to a frequent flyer program and doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees is not your average no-frills card, so you can expect to pay some kind of an annual fee for as long as your account remains active. Other than this, such a card would work like any other credit card, where you can use your card to make in-store, online, and over-the-phone purchases, in Australia and overseas. You can also use such a card for cash advances.

What are the types of frequent flyer credit cards with no foreign transaction fees?

As of now you have little choice in this realm, given that there’s only one such card in the market - the Bankwest Qantas Platinum MasterCard. This card works like any other frequent flyer card, and it comes linked to the Qantas Frequent Flyers Reward Program. When you use this card to make eligible purchases, you earn Qantas points, which you can redeem for light tickets and more.

Since this is also a no foreign transaction fee card, you can look forward to a waiver of transaction fees when you use this card for overseas transactions.

Features of using frequent flyer credit cards with no foreign transaction fees

  • Earn while you spend. When you use such a credit card to make eligible purchases you stand to earn reward points in accordance with how much you spend. The Bankwest Qantas Platinum MasterCard currently earns 0.5  per $1. You can redeem accumulated points in different ways, depending on the frequent flyer program you’re part of. ome of your options include getting flight ticket, holiday vouchers, shopping vouchers, and cashback.
  • Spend overseas without transaction fees. When you use a regular card for overseas transactions, you can end up paying a tidy sum in the form of overseas transaction fees. With such a card you can spend outside Australia all you want, without worrying about the additional fees.
  • International acceptance. Since such a card doesn’t charge overseas transaction fees, it should be safe to assume that it finds global acceptance, no matter if it’s Visa or MasterCard, and you can use these cards at ATMs and EFTPOS terminals alike.
  • Complimentary insurance covers. Most cards that provide complimentary insurance covers provide cover for purchases made using the card, as well as travel insurance when cardholders use their cards to pay for travel tickets.
  • Bonus points. Certain frequent flyer cards offer bonus points for new customers, but this is not always the case. Even in cases where such offers apply, you might have to fulfil minimum spending requirements to qualify.

Pros and cons of frequent flyer credit cards with no foreign transaction fees

Pros

  • Reward points. When you use a frequent flyer card to make eligible purchases in Australia or overseas, you stand to earn reward points. These reward points accumulate in time, and you can redeem your accumulated points for rewards like flight tickets, flight upgrades, hotel stays, and a range of merchandise.
  • Spend conveniently when overseas. When you’re travelling overseas, you don’t have to worry about paying hefty foreign transaction fees each time you use your card, and you’re free to use your card as often as you like without paying any additional fees.
  • Complimentary insurance covers. You can expect such a card to come with complimentary purchase and travel insurance covers, but this is not always the case.

Cons

  • Limited variety. Individuals looking for such cards don’t have too many options from which to choose, and the one card that qualifies as of now is the Bankwest Qantas Platinum MasterCard.
  • Annual fees. Although these cards give you unlimited freedom when it comes to overseas use and earning rewards on spending, it usually comes at a cost of a high ongoing annual fee.'

Things to be wary of

  • High annual fees. It is only natural for such a card to charge annual fees, and don’t be surprised if this ongoing annual fee is in between $100 and $150, or more. Ask yourself at the onset if the benefits of the card outweigh this cost.
  • High interest rate. Pay attention to both the purchase rate and cash advance rate of any such card. Most such cards charge higher interest rates when compared to no-frills cards, and if you don’t pay your outstanding balance in full each month, you could end up paying a fair amount in the form of interest.
  • Caps and expiry of points. There could be a cap on the maximum number of reward points you can earn during a given time period, so don’t assume you can earn unlimited points. For example, the Bankwest Qantas Platinum MasterCard has a cap of 200,000 points which can be earned in any one year. Your accumulated points could also expire after a given time period, so this aspect requires your attention as well.

Getting a frequent flyer card that doesn’t charge any foreign transaction fees makes sense only if you plan to use your card overseas regularly. Otherwise, it is better that you compare regular frequent flyer cards or credit cards with no transaction fees.

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Frequently asked questions

Can I get an additional card with such a credit card?

While most credit card providers give cardholders the ability to get one or more additional cards for free, this can vary from one credit card to the next.

Can I use such a card to make contactless transactions?

If you card is Visa payWave or MasterCard PayPass enabled, you can use it to make contactless payments for purchases of less than $100.

What eligibility criteria do I have to fulfill to apply?

You should be over 18 years of age, you should be a permanent resident of Australia, have a good credit history, and meet minimum income requirements.

Do such cards come with balance transfer offers?

They can, and as of now the Bankwest Qantas Platinum MasterCard comes with a special balance transfer rate offer for 9 months.

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2 Responses to Frequent Flyer Credit Cards with No Foreign Transaction Fees

  1. Default Gravatar
    Gary | January 27, 2014

    I am a retired person on a part Australian pension and part funded from my Superannuation.
    I would like to apply for a Bankwest Qantas Platinum MasterCard or similar that may give me free travel insurance with no or low fees and no overseas transaction fees.It is not so easy to give you an income per year amount as if I don’t have enough cash for holidays or big purchases I just withdraw from my Super. I at the moment have 4 credit cards with a $50,000 credit and nothing owing. I was looking for a card with no fees that I can use overseas.
    Thanks Gary

    • Staff
      Marc | January 28, 2014

      Hi Garry,
      thanks for the comment.

      You may wish to contact Bankwest directly regarding this. They’ll be able to help answer whether or not you’ll be able to apply for this card given your personal circumstances.

      I hope this helps,
      Marc.

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