If you want to get rewards such as flights and upgrades, a frequent flyer credit card can help by offering you points for your everyday spending. While most of these cards come with an annual fee, this could save you anywhere from $70 to $700 or more.
American Express Credit Card Offer
Qantas American Express Discovery Card
$0 annual fee
Eligibility criteria, terms and conditions, fees and charges apply
American Express Credit Card Offer
Earn uncapped Qantas Points on purchases and pay $0 annual fee for the life of the card.
Earn 0.75 Qantas Points per $1 spent (0.5 points / $1 with government bodies in Australia)
Purchase interest rate of 20.74% p.a. with up to 44 days interest-free
Compare frequent flyer credit cards with no annual fee
Updated April 6th, 2020
What’s the deal with no annual fee frequent flyer credit cards?
These credit cards give you a way to earn frequent flyer points or reward points that you can transfer to a frequent flyer program. They also help you save money on account costs, with two different no annual fee options.
$0 annual fee in the first year
Some frequent flyer credit cards will offer to waive the standard annual fee in the first year you have the card as part of an introductory offer. After the first 12 months, you’ll be charged a standard annual fee for the account.
This means you have time to test out the card (and enjoy perks such as bonus point offers or complimentary lounge access) without paying an annual fee. If you decide the card is worth it, you can then keep it and pay the fee once it’s applied. If not, you can cancel it before the first year and avoid being charged any annual fee.
The catch is that you may not have as many extra features, such as complimentary travel insurance or lounge access. It’s also less common for frequent flyer cards that offer no annual fee for life to have huge introductory bonus point offers. But if you get one of these cards and pay the balance off each month, it does give you a way to earn frequent flyer points per $1 spent without paying any account fees.
Is a no annual fee frequent flyer credit card right for me?
These cards are for people who want to earn frequent flyer points using a credit card but don’t want to pay an annual fee for the service. They can also be a good starting point if you are new to the world of frequent flyer programs and credit cards because they give you a chance to test the waters without paying any upfront costs.
However, if you're a big spender, a card with an annual fee and a higher earn rate could give you more value than the savings you'd get from a $0 annual fee.
How can I compare frequent flyer credit cards with no annual fee?
Weigh up these features when you’re looking for a credit card that earns frequent flyer points and has no annual fee.
Annual fee details. Before choosing one of these frequent flyer credit cards, check whether the $0 annual fee is for the first year only or an ongoing feature of the card so that you know exactly what you’re getting in the long run.
Bonus points. Many frequent flyer credit cards offer thousands of introductory bonus points when you meet the spending requirements as a new cardholder. This could give you a huge amount of value in the first year – especially without an annual fee. Just remember that this value is temporary, so you’ll still need to think about the costs that could apply beyond the first 12 months if you plan to keep the card.
Points per $1 spent. The amount of points you’ll earn per $1 can help you figure out how much value you’ll get from the card based on your typical spending. Keep in mind that although you’ll earn points for most everyday purchases, you usually won’t get any for transactions such as cash advances, BPAY payments and government charges.
Interest rates. These types of frequent flyer credit cards typically have high interest rates, which could offset the value of the no annual fee if you carry a balance.
Additional cardholders. If you want to boost your frequent flyer point balance by sharing the account with a partner or family member, check whether they’ll also get the option to have a card with no annual fee. Otherwise, you could end up paying more for the account than what you earn in points.
Complimentary extras. Weigh up the value of any perks, such as complimentary insurance, lounge passes or annual travel credit. If the card offers a $0 annual fee in the first year, also consider whether these benefits will outweigh the cost of the standard annual fee once that applies.
FAQs about no annual fee frequent flyer credit cards
Want to know more about frequent flyer credit cards that offer no annual fees? We’ve answered some of the most common questions people ask us about them. If you have a question of your own, you can also get in touch with us using the comment box below.
Currently, the Qantas American Express Discovery Card is the only card that earns Qantas Points and has a $0 annual fee for life. You can also compare current introductory offers to see which Qantas Frequent Flyer credit cards offer a waived or reduced annual fee in the first year. Remember to consider the other costs and benefits available so that you can find a card that works for you.
Yes, it is possible to do this. Just make sure you pay the card off in full and cancel it before 12 months has passed. You may even want to call the provider and check what date the annual fee will be charged so that you can be sure you close the account before then.
Amy is an editor and writer at finder.com.au with more than 10 years experience covering credit cards, personal finance and various lifestyle topics. When she’s not sharing her knowledge on money matters, Amy spends her time as an actress.
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