High Income Frequent Flyer Credit Cards

Discover the benefits of having a frequent flyer credit card with a high income requirement.

A high income frequent flyer credit card is one of the most rewarding types of credit cards. This card usually has high annual fees and so you need to use it more frequently and spend a large amount per year so as to outweigh your annual fee with the value of your redeemed points. The key thing to remember with this type of card is that the value you receive out of it is largely decided by how much you spend on it.

How does a high income frequent flyer credit card work?

A high income frequent flyer credit card works just like a regular frequent flyer card. Once you sign up to the card and frequent flyer program of your choice, your points will automatically be accrued when you spend on eligible transactions and thereafter will appear on your credit card statement.

The period it takes for the points to be shown in your frequent flyer account will depend on the program you've signed up for.

Depending on the card, you can earn points on travel costs and everyday purchases.

Comparison of high income frequent flyer credit cards

Rates last updated July 16th, 2018
Name Product Bonus Points Rewards Program Rewards Points per $ spent Purchase rate (p.a.) Annual fee Product Description
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
Velocity Frequent Flyer


0.66
20.74% p.a.
$64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
Take advantage of 0% p.a. on balance transfers for up to 18 months. $64 in the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter), plus, bonus Velocity Points.
American Express Explorer Credit Card
50,000 bonus points
Membership Rewards Gateway


2
20.74% p.a.
$395 p.a.
Receive 50,000 bonus Membership Rewards points, a yearly $400 Travel Credit and 2 entries per year to the American Express Lounge.
Qantas American Express Premium Card
30,000 bonus points
Qantas Frequent Flyer


1.25
20.74% p.a.
$249 p.a.
Enjoy 30,000 bonus Qantas Points, 2 complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations per year and the protection of complimentary insurance covers.
Citi Signature Qantas Credit Card
50,000 bonus points
Qantas Frequent Flyer


0.5
20.99% p.a.
$199 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($395 p.a. thereafter)
Receive 50,000 bonus Qantas Points, 2 yearly airport lounge visits and complimentary travel insurance. Plus, a discounted first year annual fee.
Emirates Citi World Mastercard
60,000 bonus points
Emirates Skyward Miles Program


1
20.99% p.a.
$149 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($299 p.a. thereafter)
Receive up to 60,000 bonus Skywards Miles, pay half the annual fee for the first year and indulge in curated local and global experiences.

Compare up to 4 providers

How do you compare high income frequent flyer credit cards?

There are different types of high income frequent flyer credit cards and you need to compare before choosing which one to go for. High income credit cards typically have more premium benefits including higher rewards points earnings, complimentary insurances and concierge services. The credit card you choose will determine how you are rewarded and how much you earn for your spending. Choosing the right credit card for you is important to ensure that you can earn as many points as possible and get the most value for your money.

What do I need to know about high income frequent flyer credit cards?

Comparing credit card options involves considering a number of factors. We've narrowed down some of the more important factors you'll need to consider:

  1. Annual fee. High income frequent flyer credit cards have relatively high annual fees and this will reduce the overall value of the rewards you earn. This is why it's important to select a high income frequent flyer credit card that has reasonable balance between the annual fee and the rewards you earn. Different high income frequent flyer credit cards have different earn rates. Some will come with both an American Express and a Visa/Mastercard. You'll earn more points on the American Express but the Visa/Mastercard is more readily acceptable and attracts lower surcharges. Some cards may also give more points per dollar based on the type of transaction.
  2. Frequent flyer program. Every high income frequent flyer credit card has its own program which comes with associated features and benefits. Ensure that the frequent flyer program is with an airline you enjoy flying with, or allows you to use airlines you enjoy through their alliance partners.
  3. Interest rate/interest free days per statement cycle. The interest rate or interest free days will vary in importance when you compare cards depending on how you are planning to use your card. If you'll be paying your balance off in full every month, you'll want a card with enough interest free days. If you struggle to pay your balance each month, you may wish to consider a card with a lower ongoing rate. However, these cards usually have high interest rates and won't reward frequent flyer points when you have a balance.
  4. Points expiry/caps. Before choosing any high income frequent flyer credit card, you should consider the expiration or cap on any points you earn. It will be useless for you to earn points that will expire before you exchange them. Work out how many points you'll earn with your expected spending and ensure your card won't limit the amount of points you'll earn.

What are the advantages and drawbacks of a high income frequent flyer credit card?

Pros

  • Better earn rates. Most high income frequent flyer credit cards have high earn rates because they award points depending on how frequent you make trips or spend using your credit card. This translates to more points, and therefore more rewards if used correctly.
  • Promotional offers. Many card providers with high income frequent flyer credit card programs attract new customers with signup bonus points and additional perks which will increase your total rewards from the get go.
  • Various reward options. Points accumulated from high income frequent flyer credit cards can be redeemed for a wide range of items including air travel, goods and services, airline class upgrade, discounts, VIP access to lounges or priority bookings.
  • Added benefits. Frequent flyer cards with high income requirements are generally platinum or black cards, and this means they come with the usual premium benefits such as complimentary insurance policies, discounts on services, airport lounge passes and more.

Cons

  • High annual fee. Generally, high income frequent flyer credit cards tend to have relatively high annual fees. This means that you have to spend more on using the credit card to outweigh the annual fee with the value of your redeemed points.
  • High interest rates. Many premium cards with high income requirements and frequent flyer programs will come with a high interest rate compared to regular cards.
  • Exclusive. As suggested by the name, high income frequent flyer credit cards are only available to high income earners, restricting the number of cardholders who can take advantage of its benefits.

High income frequent flyer credit cards pose a number of benefits to a certain type of cardholder. If you're a high income earner who regularly spends on their credit card, you can receive rewards as you spend and outweigh the costs of the card with the rewards gained. However, if you're not a high income earner, do not regularly use your credit card or struggle to pay off your balance each month, this card may not be for you. As there are many high income frequent flyer credit cards on the market, it's ideal to compare the available options with your own financial situation to secure the most suitable card for you.

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    Marc Terrano

    Marc Terrano is a content marketer manager at finder. He's been writing and publishing personal finance content for over five years and loves to help Australians get a better deal.

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