Providing a great way to earn travel rewards on everyday credit card spending, frequent flyer credit cards are a popular option for frequent travellers and those who love to travel. Ranging from basic, no frills options to those that offer big points and even bigger features, there is a frequent flyer card for almost everyone.
So, whether you’re looking for credit card offers on bonus points or balance transfers, or you’re simply looking for the frequent flyer card that will offer the best rewards on your day-to-day spend, you can find a great selection of credit cards and credit card deals right here.
Check out our top frequent flyer deals for this month, and apply today.
Receive 100,000 bonus Qantas Points, 75 bonus Status Credits and $150 back on your card when you apply online for the ANZ Frequent Flyer Black credit card, and spend $3,000 on eligible purchases in the first 3 months. Plus get an additional 30,000 bonus Qantas Points when you keep your card for over 12 months. You’ll earn 1 Qantas Point per $1 spent on eligible purchases up to $7,500 per statement period, then 0.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases above $7,500 per statement period. Enjoy two complimentary Qantas Lounge invites per year plus unlimited access to participating airport lounges overseas. Complimentary international travel and purchase protection insurance, and access to Exclusives by ANZ.
The NAB Qantas Rewards Signature Credit Card gives you a decent earn rate of 1 Qantas points per $1 spent up to $5,000 and then 0.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent between $5,001 and $20,000. Receive 130,000 Qantas Frequent Flyer points when you keep your card open for over 12 months and make a minimum $3,000 spend in first 60 days. Enjoy complimentary insurances, including Overseas Travel Insurance. The annual fee is reduced to $295 first year and $395 p.a. thereafter.
With the American Express Qantas Business Rewards Credit Card you can take advantage of high flying features and excellent rewards. As a cardholder, you earn 1.25 Qantas Points per $1 spent on everything, except for utilities, insurance (with the exception of American Express) and government bodies where you’ll earn 0.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent. Further to this you earn TRIPLE Qantas Points for business on eligible flights. Receive two domestic Qantas Club lounge passes per year, plus complimentary international travel insurance. Annual fee is $450 p.a. and with no extra charge on up to 99 additional cardholders. And, if you apply today, you could earn 150,000 bonus Qantas points when you spend $3,000 on eligible purchases within 2 months from card approval. Offer ends 7 October 2020.
Get up to 80,000 bonus Qantas Points, that’s 20,000 bonus Qantas Points per month when you spend $1,500 or more on eligible purchases each month for a total of 80,000 bonus points over the first 4 months. Annual fee is $199 first year, $299 p.a. thereafter. Plus 75 bonus Status Credits when you make an eligible purchase by 30 November 2020. Earn 1.5 Qantas Points per $1 on international spend. Earn 1 Qantas Point per $1 on domestic spend (up to $10,000 per statement period), then 0.5 Qantas Points per $1. This is a great card for Qantas travellers. The Qantas Premier Platinum also comes with complimentary travel insurance. If you are transferring an existing credit card debt you can take advantage of 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 18 months on credit card application.
With a tempting 150,000 bonus Altitude points when you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases within 90 days of card approval the Westpac Altitude Black provides great value. 150k bonus points currently gets you $500 in cashback or up to $700 in e-Gift cards with Altitude Rewards. The annual fee is $250 and you can add one free additional card holder. Earn 1.25 Altitude Points per dollar spent on eligible purchases and you can earn up to 6 Altitude Points per $1 spent on select purchases. Comes with complimentary international travel insurance for trips up to 6 months and two lounge passes each year with Priority Pass. Altitude Points do not expire so you can choose when to redeem your points.
Offering you the opportunity to earn rewards points on your purchases, a frequent flyer card could be the perfect option if you want to earn something back on your credit card spending. But, with so many frequent flyer programs and frequent flyer cards on offer, how do you choose the right one for you?
As with any other type of credit card, there is no one-size-fits-all option when selecting a frequent flyer credit card. Choosing the right frequent flyer card means understanding how you will use the card, what you will need from the card, and what’s available. Allowing you to narrow the options, this guide can help you look at every angle, to then find the best frequent flyer card for you.
Before you even begin to compare frequent flyer cards, you need to work out which frequent flyer program would work best for you. Choosing the right frequent flyer program means knowing what options are out there, and what they offer in terms of rewards.
There is a number of popular frequent flyer programs, covering both Australian and international airlines. Here are just some of the options available:
When comparing frequent flyer cards in Australia, you’ll notice the most commonly linked frequent flyer programs are Qantas Frequent Flyer and Virgin Velocity Frequent Flyer. However, you may also want to keep an eye out for cards that allow you to transfer points to other frequent flyer programs, such as Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, Air New Zealand Airpoints, Emirates Skywards and Etihad Guest.
If you’re not currently a member of a particular program, consider what is required of you to join. For example, joining Qantas Frequent Flyer usually costs $99.50, but some cards will waive this fee on application.
Before you apply, it’s a good idea to check the small print on the card to find out how and when the points you earn are transferred to your frequent flyer account. Some cards offer direct transfer, others transfer points at the end of each month, while others only offer manual transfer at the cardholder’s request – with a minimum transfer amount required.
You may want to keep in mind whether the frequent flyer program you are interested in offers membership status, or a tiered system of rewards-earning potential. As you rise through the tiers, you may earn more points on your purchases, while also enjoying additional extras, such as lounge access, extra checked baggage allowance, and complimentary flight upgrades.
When comparing frequent flyer cards, you should find the one that offers the most value. But, of course, value is personal. What is valuable to you may not be valuable to the next person. Each frequent flyer card rewards different types of spending, so it’s up to you to find the one that rewards the type of spending you do most, so you can enjoy the maximum rewards.
One of the first things to look at when comparing frequent flyer cards is each card’s earn rate. This is the number of points you can earn on each dollar you spend within a variety of categories. Some cards may offer a certain number of points per dollar across the board, while other cards may have a tiered system, so you earn more points per dollar on say, supermarket spending or flights.
Try to choose a frequent flyer card that offers the most points on your biggest purchases. So, if you use your card most frequently for supermarket spending, make sure you get the best earn rate on those purchases. Similarly, if you use your card mostly to pay for travel, ensure the card you choose rewards that type of spending.
Check out how you can maximise your points-earning potential on your chosen card. This may mean using your card with certain partners within the travel industry, such as hotels and car hire companies, or with certain retailers. While it may sound tedious, reading up on how your frequent flyer card works should allow you to get more value from your card – and the program.
At this point, it’s a good idea to check if the card you’re interested in has a points cap. A points cap limits the number of points you can earn within a given period of time. When you reach that points cap threshold, you will either earn fewer points per dollar, or you will stop earning points altogether, until the threshold rolls over.
If you want a card that allows you to earn big, you may want to avoid cards with a cap. Points caps can also affect the value of rewards you earn. For example, if you have a card with an annual fee of $250, and a points cap that caps points-earning potential at $200, you may not be getting the best value from that card. Ideally, you want to get more back from your card than you pay out.
Another factor that can affect the value of a frequent flyer card is points expiry. While some frequent flyer points never expire, some expire after a specified period of time. This will affect you if you don’t fly that often, or if you are earning points on a number of airlines, as you may find your points expire before you get the opportunity to use them.
Of course, there’s no sense earning lots of points if you don’t have anything you want to spend them on. Choosing a frequent flyer card should allow you to earn points on the spending you do most often, while also rewarding you with rewards options you actually want to spend your points on.
As travel rewards cards, frequent flyer cards allow you to use your points for rewards flights. But, you may also be able to opt for points-plus-pay options, where you use a smaller number of points and make up the difference with a dollar amount. Points can generally be used to cover flight upgrades as well, but be aware of certain restrictions that may apply.
Depending on the frequent flyer program you choose, you may also be able to redeem the points you earn across other categories. You could redeem your points on accommodation and car hire, on insurance or memberships, such as Qantas Wine or Qantas Club. In terms of merchandise, your points could be redeemed for gift cards, experiences, retail products and more.
Before redeeming your points, it may be worthwhile doing some homework to find out which rewards offer the most value. International flights may offer more value than say, a gift card or home appliance. Some frequent flyer programs provide special deals throughout the year as well, which may offer even more back on those hard-earned points.
Finding out how much a card costs is essential to finding out its true value. First, look at the annual fee. By working out how much you think you will spend on the card within a year, you should be able to work out how many points you will earn. This allows you to then calculate the dollar value of those points, in terms of the rewards you will redeem them for.
Try to choose a card that gives you a higher value in rewards than you pay out in annual fees. However, you should also take into account the various features the card has to offer, and what value they provide as well.
Another important aspect to consider is interest. If you tend to carry a balance on your frequent flyer card, you may find you lose value on any rewards you receive. As frequent flyer cards tend to have higher rates of interest on purchases, it’s best to clear the balance by the due date each month to make the most of the rewards you earn.
If you are thinking about adding family members to the account, find out whether the card allows for additional cardholders. Frequent flyer cards that offer additional cardholders at no extra cost can provide an easy way to earn more points while paying nothing extra for the privilege. More cards being used day-to-day means more points accruing, helping to earn points faster.
As we mentioned previously, another way you can enjoy more value from your frequent flyer card is by taking advantage of the features on offer. While basic frequent flyer cards offer fewer features, the fancier – more expensive – cards tend to sell themselves on their bigger features. This may include airport lounge access, airport transfers, travel insurance, hotel stays and travel credit.
But, just because a card offers more features, does not mean it’s more valuable to you. You may not need insurance cover, and you might not travel frequently enough to make the most of lounge access or hotel upgrades. If that’s the case, you could be paying more for a card that offers those features, without you getting any real benefit from them.
Instead, check out the features on offer, and think about whether they are useful to you. Think about how often you will make use of each feature, and what value it provides. As cards loaded with features tend to charge more in annual fees, you may find you get more value from a cheaper card.
Introductory offers on frequent flyer cards usually involve bonus rewards points. Enticing you to apply by offering you a chunk of frequent flyer points, these offers can provide an easy way to boost your points balance. But, there may be some small print to take into consideration.
While some offers provide bonus points simply for signing up, others require a minimum spend on the card within a specified period of time. If you want to take full advantage of those bonus points, make sure you are not spending just for the sake of reaching that minimum spend – and that you can afford to pay it back before it starts accruing interest.
In terms of other introductory offers available, you may benefit from a reduced annual fee, a purchase offer or a balance transfer offer. If you choose a card with a reduced annual fee, be aware of what it reverts to if you plan on keeping the card in the long term.
As for balance transfer offers, you may not find the best value in these when combined with a frequent flyer card. With a balance transfer offer, it’s best to focus on paying down that balance while paying less in interest. But, a frequent flyer card often provides most value when you spend on it, as spending earns points. Depending on your circumstances, you may find it difficult to pay down your transferred balance while clearing your monthly spend.
Time to compare the options? Check out the best frequent flyer deals for this month above, or take a look at the rest of our great frequent flyer card offers here.
Founder of Creditcard.com.au. Roland has extensive knowledge about credit cards in Australia. Known as a credit card expert, he has been featured on tv and in various publications. Some popular offers on our site right now include the ANZ Low Rate. Ever popular with no annual fee first year, low purchase rate and 0% balance transfer. Have a look also at the 0% balance transfer HSBC offer with no balance transfer fee, plus an annual fee waiver each year you meet a spend criteria.