New American Express Westpac Altitude credit cards launch
The new platinum and black credit cards boast bonus points, complimentary insurance and the spending power of both a Visa or Mastercard and Amex.
Westpac's latest credit card collaboration with American Express is finally here. In late January and after much speculation, finder reported that the American Express Westpac Altitude cards had launched and were available to existing Westpac Altitude cardholders. But from today, they are now available to the wider Australian market as well.
These products are the American Express Westpac Altitude Platinum and American Express Westpac Altitude Black credit cards. When you apply for these cards, you’ll get the spending power of both a Visa or Mastercard and an American Express. Plus, both of the cards are linked with a rewards program, giving cardholders the choice of Qantas Frequent Flyer or Westpac Altitude Rewards.
“We are very excited about this new phase of our partnership with Westpac where all Australians can now apply for the new American Express Westpac Altitude cards, not just existing Westpac Altitude customers,” says American Express vice president of partnerships Adam Roberts. “The bundled offering is a great option for consumers who might have previously held an American Express card issued by a bank, and for those who want to pool their points into an Altitude Rewards or Qantas Frequent Flyer account while enjoying the benefits that come with American Express.”
These cards are Westpac’s answer to the end of dual credit cards following the introduction of the interchange fee regulations in 2017. But how do these rewards credit card bundles work? Read on to discover the rewards, extra features and costs you can expect and how you can apply for one of these American Express Westpac Altitude credit cards.
American Express Westpac Altitude Platinum credit cards
Whether you apply for the Qantas or Altitude Rewards program, Amex Westpac Altitude Platinum credit cardholders can earn 60,000 bonus points when they spend $3,000 on their Visa in the first 90 days. If you meet the same spend requirement on your Amex, you’ll score 15,000 bonus points. If you opt for Qantas, that combined 75,000 bonus points is enough for a First Class flight from Sydney to Bali. This promotional offer is only available until 11 June 2018.
Standard earn rates
If you go for Altitude Rewards, you’ll earn 3 Altitude Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases in a foreign currency, 2 Altitude Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases in Australia and 1 Altitude Point per $1 spent on government spend with your Amex. Whereas you’ll earn 1 point per $1 spent on all eligible transactions with the Visa.
If you prefer Qantas Points, you’ll collect 1.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent on purchases in a foreign currency, 1 Qantas Point per $1 spent in Australia as well as 0.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent on government transactions. You can also earn 0.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent with the Visa.
|Platinum Visa Altitude Points per $1 spent||Platinum Amex Altitude Points per $1 spent||Platinum Visa Qantas Points per $1 spent||Platinum Amex Qantas Points per $1 spent|
Features and fees
Both cards come with complimentary travel and purchase insurance as well as access to Amex Invites. If you opt for Qantas Rewards, you’ll pay a total annual fee of $249 ($150 for the Visa, $49 for the Amex and a $50 Qantas Rewards fee). Whereas if you choose Altitude Rewards, the annual fees total $199.
American Express Westpac Altitude Black credit cards
Rather than a Visa, the American Express Westpac Altitude Black comes with a Mastercard and American Express card in the bundle.
The Altitude Black cards come with an even bigger bonus points offer. When you apply by 11 June 2018 and spend $5,000 on eligible purchases within 90 days of card approval, you’ll get 80,000 bonus Altitude or Qantas Points on the Mastercard. If you also spend $3,000 on eligible purchases with your Amex, you’ll score 40,000 bonus points. If you opt for Qantas Frequent Flyer, 120,000 Qantas Points is enough to fly Economy return from Sydney to Paris (60,000 points each way) or Business Class to Los Angeles (96,000 points).
Standard earn rates
You can also look forward to earning more points per dollar spent with this card. If you’re with Altitude Rewards, you’ll earn 5 Altitude Points per $1 spent on eligible overseas purchases, 3 Altitude Points per $1 spent in Australia and 1 Altitude Point per $1 spent on government payments with your American Express. If you use the Mastercard, you’ll earn 1.25 Altitude Points for every $1 spent on eligible purchases.
Qantas Frequent Flyers will get 2 Qantas Points per $1 spent on foreign transactions, 1.25 Qantas Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases in Australia and 0.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent on government transactions with the Amex. You will earn 0.75 Qantas Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases with your Mastercard.
|Black Mastercard Altitude Points per $1 spent||Black Amex Altitude Points per $1 spent||Black Mastercard Qantas Points per $1 spent||Black Amex Qantas Points per $1 spent|
Features and fees
As well as access to Amex Invites and complimentary insurance, this card also comes with complimentary airport lounge passes. If you choose Qantas Rewards, you’re eligible for two complimentary Qantas Lounge invitations per year after you use your card on select Qantas products or services (such as a flight or hotel booking through Qantas Hotels). If you join Altitude Rewards, you’ll get two complimentary Priority Pass lounge visits which you can use at more than 1,000 locations around the world. Additionally, the Amex gives you two complimentary entries per year to the Amex lounge at Sydney or Melbourne international airports.
You can also make use of the 24/7 Altitude Black Priority concierge service for everything from booking flights, making restaurant reservations to organising a gift for a loved one.
These perks come at the hefty annual costs of $250 for the Mastercard (plus $50 if you choose the Qantas card) and $199 for the American Express. That’s $499 all up if you get the card linked with Qantas Frequent Flyer.
Want more details about the Amex Westpac Altitude cards? Check out our review of the American Express Westpac Altitude Black Qantas card if you prefer frequent flyer points or our review of the American Express Westpac Altitude Black card if you want to earn Altitude Rewards.
How can I apply?
This card is now available to both existing Westpac Altitude cardholders and new customers, but you'll need to make sure you meet the eligibility requirements before you apply. Although the American Express Westpac Altitude credit card and Westpac Altitude Visa or Mastercard cards are technically separate products, new cardholders can’t apply for the Westpac Amex card without the Westpac Visa or Mastercard. Instead, you can apply for both cards in a bundle to take advantage of the prestige and earn rate of an American Express while still banking with Westpac. And while you apply for the American Express card through Westpac, the card is still issued and handled by Amex.
They’re currently being advertised as Platinum or Black bundles, but you can mix and match the cards if you wish. For example, you can apply for the Westpac Altitude Black card and the American Express Westpac Altitude Platinum (or vice versa) depending on the perks you want from your card.
How do they compare to other cards?
Although the American Express Westpac Altitude credit card bundles offer competitive points potential and bonus points, it’s still important to compare them to other rewards offers on the market. As credit card rewards program points have different values, we’ll show you how these products compare if you were to apply for the Qantas Frequent Flyer option.
Looking at the Altitude Platinum card, you can earn a total of 75,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend a total of $6,000 equally over your Visa and American Express within the first 3 months. Although 75,000 Qantas Points is an impressive bonus bounty, there are more competitive bonus points offers on the market.
For example, the ANZ Frequent Flyer Black card currently offers 75,000 bonus Qantas Points when cardholders spend $2,500 on eligible purchases in the first 3 months. That’s less than half the spend requirement to get the same amount of Qantas Points. It also has a waived annual fee for the first year and $425 p.a. annual fee thereafter.
But as dual credit cards are hard to come by these days, the promise of both a Visa or Mastercard and an American Express may be enough to look past these steep spend requirements to get the bonus points and the ongoing, uncapped earn rates.
The American Express Westpac Altitude credit cards offer big bonus points offers and the spending freedom of a Visa or Mastercard with the prestige and higher earn rates of an American Express. However, as the card comes with weighty annual fees and you technically have to apply for two cards to enjoy all of the benefits, make sure to compare your options before you decide if these bundles are right for you.
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