Compare credit cards that have a low minimum income requirement and let you earn frequent flyer points.
Frequent flyer cards tend to have higher minimum requirements than regular credit cards which don't have the ability to earn points. They also more often than not have higher annual fees. However you can still enjoy frequent flyer benefits without paying the hefty annual fees with low minimum income frequent flyer credit cards. Learn about the benefits and features available in our guide below.
What is a low minimum income frequent flyer credit card?
So what's classified as a low minimum income for a credit card? Some of the lowest minimums available is the $15,000 p.a. set out by banks such as ANZ and the Commonwealth Bank for some of their entry level credit cards.
Compare low minimum income frequent flyer credit cards
There are also cards which allow joint applications, meaning some cards with slightly higher minimum incomes around the $40,000 a year mark also make it into this comparison.
How does a low minimum income frequent flyer credit card work?
A low minimum income frequent flyer credit card functions like a regular frequent flyer credit card. That is, it earns frequent flyer points on all eligible transactions, which generally exclude cash advances, gambling and buying foreign currency. The exact transactions will be listed in the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) for any card.
Because the card caters to those on a lower minimum income and, therefore, might have a lower annual fee, it's not uncommon for low income cardholders to miss out on some of the added features some frequent flyer cards come with. This includes not getting a linked card, such as a MasterCard or Visa to use, no complimentary travel insurances, and lower points earning rates. If you are looking for more benefits and premium frequent flyer cardholder features then you may like to compare high credit limit frequent flyer credit cards.Back to top
How to compare low minimum income frequent flyer credit cards
Like a regular frequent flyer credit card, you should consider the following when you try to compare low income frequent flyer credit cards:
- What is the annual fee? The biggest factor when determining the value you'll receive is the annual fee you'll pay vs the amount you'll spend on the card each year. Try to estimate how much you'll spend and how many points you'll earn in a year. Once you do this, look at your rewards program to see what rewards you'd most likely buy with those points. If this doesn't outweigh the annual fee, you may not get much value from the card.
- Which rewards program is on offer? You're reading this page because you want to be rewarded for your spending, so it makes sense that you should take a thorough look at the rewards program offered with each credit card. Some will be airline frequent flyer programs such as those offered by Qantas or Virgin Australia, others might be supermarket programs, like flybuys, and others still might be the card provider's own rewards program.
- How many interest-free days are there? If you're earning rewards points you're probably paying your balance off in full each month. If so, you may want to take advantage of any interest-free days on offer.
- What are the rewards? Try to find a program which satisfies how you'll use your card and the rewards offer things you enjoy. If you plan to slowly build up your points, choose a program that doesn't have an expiry on points. The rate of points earnings should also be an important factor in deciding which frequent flyer credit card you choose. In other programs like Qantas Frequent Flyer and the Virgin Velocity Frequent Flyer your points don't expire as long as you keep your account active every 18 to 36 months depending on the provider.
- Where is the card accepted? As mentioned above, some frequent flyer cards come with two linked cards, a MasterCard/Visa and an American Express, which earns points at a slightly better rate. Most low minimum income frequent flyer credit cards will only come with one card. If this is an American Express, note that while they're always adding to their networks, you may pay higher surcharges at certain retailers in Australia.
- Are there any extras? Some credit cards with a low minimum income requirement will still have bonuses, such as complimentary insurance policies which protect items bought using the card or even complimentary travel insurance, although this may be rare. Other cards may offer free additional cardholders, so you can share your account with your partner and rack up more points.
What are the pros and cons of a low minimum income frequent flyer card?
- Earn points as you spend. Low minimum income frequent flyer cards allow cardholders to earn points and enjoy the advantages of a frequent flyer card even if you don't have a high income.
- Access rewards. Be rewarded for your spending and have receive a variety of rewards, from discounts on travel costs or products from the provider's e-store.
- Extra bonuses. Get access to the other perks these cards come with, such as complimentary insurance or signup bonus points.
- Rates. Frequent flyer cards tend to lack good earn rates, which can add up over time.
- High annual fees. Although it may not be as expensive as some other frequent flyer credit cards, these cards generally come with a higher annual fee.
- Limited extras. While low minimum income frequent flyer credit cards may offer some bonus extras, they're usually not as lavish as some of the more premium frequent flyer cards.
Things to avoid with low minimum income frequent flyer credit cards
- Not doing the maths. If you don't work out if a credit card is netting you rewards worth more than your annual fee you may get stuck with a card which provides no extra value.
- Spending just for the rewards points. It's tempting, but a frequent flyer credit card ceases to be worth any value once you start making needless purchases on it to accrue points. Just let your regular purchases do the points earning.
Low minimum income frequent flyer credit cards can be a good way for low income earners to receive rewards as they spend. As there are a few low minimum income frequent flyer credit cards on the market and no one perfect product, you should always compare the offers available on the market while also considering your unique financial situation and what you want to get out of the card.
How many points will I need for my next flight or to redeem a certain reward?
Most frequent flyer providers have a points or miles calculator on their website. Using this calculator, you can estimate how many points you'll need for a certain flight. If you're after a particular product from your provider's e-store, you can usually locate the number of points required to redeem the reward on the e-store website.
How will I know if the points have accrued properly?
You can usually monitor your points and account history through the relevant frequent flyer online portal. Usually you'll just need a frequent flyer membership number and password to login.
Do I need to be a frequent flyer member to use a low minimum income frequent flyer credit card?
Generally you will need to be either an existing member or opt into the program upon signing up for the card in order to earn frequent flyer points as you spend on your credit card.