Rewards Credit Cards

Updated 12 November 2019

Rewarding you for your credit card spending, rewards cards earn points that can be redeemed for anything from gift cards for your favourite retailers to flights to exotic locales.

Designed to offer cardholders something back on their card spending, rewards cards earn points on purchases, which can then be redeemed within a rewards program. Rewards programs can vary hugely. Some reward frequent flyers, while others reward supermarket shoppers. The key is to find the card and the program that rewards you for the spending you do most.

Which is where CreditCard.com.au comes in. Using our visual comparison tool, finding the right card becomes quick and easy. Check out the circles (or bars, if you’re on a mobile device) to see exactly how well the card rates on its most important features. On rewards cards, that is earn rate, bonus points and annual fee.

These features are especially important because they allow you to figure out how well each rewards card will work for you. Its earn rate will allow you to calculate how many points you will earn on your spending, while the annual fee tells you how much you’ll pay out to keep the card. In terms of bonus points, these are awesome for giving you a boost – and giving you extra value on the card.

To find out even more about the cards you are interested in, simply click or tap. Each card page is packed with essential info such as purchase rates and features. You can also check out what we think of the card in our review at the bottom of the page. When comparing cards, details matter, which is why we help you get to the bottom of all that need-to-know info.

5 reviews
points earned over 12 months

6 reviews
points earned over 12 months

31 reviews
points earned over 12 months

10 reviews
points earned over 12 months

1 review
points earned over 12 months

2 reviews
points earned over 12 months

1 review
points earned over 12 months

1 review
points earned over 12 months

1 review
points earned over 12 months

8 reviews
points earned over 12 months

1 review
points earned over 12 months

5 reviews
points earned over 12 months

2 reviews
points earned over 12 months

1 review
points earned over 12 months

1 review
points earned over 12 months

1 review
points earned over 12 months

3 reviews
points earned over 12 months

6 reviews
points earned over 12 months

4 reviews
points earned over 12 months

6 reviews
points earned over 12 months

3 reviews
points earned over 12 months

8 reviews
points earned over 12 months

1 review
points earned over 12 months

1 review
points earned over 12 months

61 reviews
points earned over 12 months

1 review
points earned over 12 months

1 review
points earned over 12 months

1 review
points earned over 12 months

7 reviews
points earned over 12 months

8 reviews
points earned over 12 months

5 reviews
points earned over 12 months

2 reviews
points earned over 12 months

1 review
points earned over 12 months

1 review
points earned over 12 months

1 review
points earned over 12 months

1 review
points earned over 12 months

5 reviews
points earned over 12 months

1 review
points earned over 12 months

4 reviews
points earned over 12 months

5 reviews
points earned over 12 months

14 reviews
points earned over 12 months

24 reviews
points earned over 12 months

2 reviews
points earned over 12 months

1 review
points earned over 12 months

2 reviews
points earned over 12 months

1 review
points earned over 12 months

What are Rewards Cards?

A rewards credit card is designed to offer consumers rewards as an incentive to spend more with their credit card. In return for using and spending with the card they receive points or discounts. One of the most commonly known are frequent flyer point programs which allow you to redeem your points towards buying an airline ticket. You can also receive a range of other benefits such as shopping vouchers and heavily discounted or free items.

How to choose the best Rewards Credit Card?

The best way to choose a Rewards credit card for you is to evaluate how valuable the Rewards credit card is to you and your behaviour and the amount you will be spending on the card to earn the rewards. Depending on what you use your card for most, you can choose from a wide range of reward credit cards to match your spending preferences.

Avoid the biggest mistakes

Consider the terms and conditions closely and decide whether the rewards, features and benefits received outweigh the actual cost of accumulating the rewards points. Overspending in order to accumulate rewards points that may be of lesser value than the money spent is an obvious mistake.

Rewards cards carry a higher annual fee than other card types because the annual fee subsidises the different features that they come with. By using a rewards credit card the idea is the benefits you receive will outweigh the cost of the card as these services and offers would be more expensive if you paid for them separately.

We can’t say which rewards credit card will be best for any particular person or situation, and we do not give financial advice. We do, however, display a range of options on our rewards card table for you to consider and compare based on your own needs and spending habits.

There is no specific amount, and different rewards cards have different minimum income requirements. Some, such as the ANZ Rewards card, require $15,000 per year as your minimum income; some may require as much as $100,000. Where minimum income requirements are available and we have access to the relevant information it is displayed on each card’s feature page.

Yes, there is a range of options from the banks; some offer a linked airline account and others their own rewards program. There are also store credit card options, such as Coles, Woolworths or David Jones credit card. With these different types of reward cards, the points earning ratio will likely be different, so you should check this closely on each reward program when comparing.

There are a couple of reasons for this.

1) With two different card options, there is more chance purchases can earn points, because where American Express cards are not accepted Mastercard or Visa can often be used.
2) Apart from the ability to use either credit card more often, American Express often offers the chance to earn more points by using that card.

Yes, some rewards cards come with a balance transfer option. Where there is one available, and we have the relevant information, the balance transfer column of our table will display the promotional balance transfer rate and the features page will include information on the terms of the offer.

For those interested please see here for more specific information on balance transfer credit cards.

Rewards come in a number of forms:

  • Gift vouchers or merchandise – often similar to a department store range – i.e. cosmetics, homewares, kitchen wares, outdoor and sports equipment, electronic goods, gift packages, hampers and more.
  • Cash back offers on purchases
  • Entertainment – live event tickets, movie or theatre tickets or sporting event tickets
  • Travel rewards – such as free flights, points towards air travel, hotel booking, accommodation, rental car services).

Some programs have more than 3000 options to redeem points, so there will almost always be a lot to choose from.

Some credit card reward programs allow you to support a charity via giving up some of the annual fee or points, or to use your points to offset carbon emissions.

If you are interested in airline miles or travel, you could also consider whether a frequent flyer credit card is a better fit for your spending and needs.

A bank’s own rewards program will generally give members access to a selection of its own partner retailers, and will have its own separate points system. For example you may earn two different amounts of points spending the same amount of money with an airline branded frequent flyer campaign versus a bank own branded card. For example 100 St George Amplify points is not the same as 100 Qantas Frequent Flyer points. The bank’s own rewards program may sometimes have higher points value per $1 spent, but the partners may be different. It is worth considering where you spend your money and how you would use your points before deciding which type of rewards program to choose. For more on this, see ‘how do I use a rewards card’ and ‘what sorts of benefits can I get with a rewards card’.

There are different types of rewards card designed to suit different types of credit card users – often aimed at the amount of money the customer is likely to spend on the card each year. There are often different tiers of rewards cards, which have more perks as the tiers go up. Many of the banks will offer up to three levels of rewards cards. Standard, platinum, diamond or premium cards are all examples of rewards card tiers. Distinguishing between standard and platinum can be hard, but diamond or premium cards are widely considered the most exclusive.

Some credit cards are also labelled by the bank’s own rewards program, for example Westpac Altitude, or St George Amplify, or CBA Awards. These can fit into any tier depending on the individual card features.

Standard Cards

A standard rewards credit card will typically feature rewards points, however the points per $1 spent earning power may not be as high as for a platinum or diamond card, or may not apply as widely.

Standard rewards cards may also have limited options including travel insurance or purchase protection. In some cases, you can have the option to purchase additional insurances or features such as repayment protection, for an extra fee. The card’s terms and conditions will usually explain this, or you can ask the bank if you already have a rewards card.

Platinum Cards

Platinum credit cards often feature the same types of rewards points as gold cards; however the earning potential per $1 spent may be higher or at least higher with partner retailers compared to standard cards.

Platinum cards can also have features such as global customer service, lower international fees or certain fees waived or further travel insurance cover such as transit accident or flight inconvenience. Generally, these types of cards may include special platinum cardholder offers, or access to tickets or events before others. Many platinum cards also have a higher credit limit than standard cards.

Diamond or ‘Super Premium’ credit cards

The Diamond or ‘super-premium’ credit card is the highest tier of rewards credit cards. These often come with exclusive, executive style perks, outstanding concierge services and special access; however they will also have the highest annual fee and a much higher minimum income requirement than the cards in the lower tiers.

How much you travel, whether you have easy access to rewards partner outlets, how much you spend on your credit card in general and whether you are interested in features such as travel insurance and concierge services can also have an impact.

With so many choices when it comes to redeeming points, it can be hard to work out whether the reward you are thinking of redeeming holds real value. Something worth $50 in the store can be redeemed for a different amount of points depending which rewards program it is with.

There is a neat trick you can do, though, to find out the currency of points to redeem rewards when you know the recommended retail price. The formula can also be applied to different rewards in different points programs. Simply divide the number of points required to redeem the reward by the recommended retail price. This gives you the right idea of points required to redeem $1.

So, for example, to compare a reward’s dollar value, you can look at the number of points required to claim it, and then the standard purchase value of it. If a gift worth 3500 points costs $25 in-store you would divide the number of points required by that value:

3500/$25
=140 points per 1$

You can do this calculation for points in a different reward program when you know the number of points needed to redeem the same reward and the price.

In the example above, 140 per $1 is the real value of the reward, and can give you an indication of whether it makes sense to use points to claim it.

You use a rewards credit card in the same way you would use any other type of card when it comes to making purchases. Choosing when and how often to use your card can make a difference to how many rewards points you end up earning, and how quickly you can redeem points. For more information on this, see ‘what types of rewards cards are there’?

Some rewards programs will advertise ways to earn points by paying regular expenses using your card. This usually involves a direct debit coming out of the credit card account to pay monthly bills.

Other ways people use rewards cards include paying for groceries, petrol and everyday expenses using the card (some even have their rent come out to classify as a direct debit). People who do this are always disciplined and pay off the full balance of the card each month, however. Leaving an unpaid balance on a rewards credit card can mean that some or all of the value in holding the card is wiped out when purchases attract an interest charge.

Some people decide that they only want to earn points towards air miles with their credit card, so they choose a Frequent Flyer card with airline points and sometimes other travel related perks as a package.

You should consider how much you are likely to spend on a card per year, and the points value per $1 spent, as defined in ‘How do I work out what rewards points are worth, and whether individual rewards are worth it?’ when comparing rewards credit cards and thinking about how you are likely to use one. The annual fee on some of these cards may mean that some cardholders don’t get enough value versus the cost of their card.

Not necessarily, however a range of credit cards with rewards programs will let you earn points for paying BPay bills using that card. This is something you need to check in the credit card terms and conditions for the card you have.

Recently Asked Questions

Something you need to know? Ask a our credit card expert a question.

Ask a Question

You will be emailed a response in typically 1 business day. By submitting this question you agreee to our privacy policy.

Ask Roland a Question

Hi, I’m the site founder and I will personally answer your question within a business day.

By submitting this question you agree to our privacy policy.

31 questions (showing the latest 10 Q&As)

GMA

GMA

29 August 2019
Hi I currently have 2 credit cards neither of which provide any rewards. I am now traveling overseas 2-3 times per year as well as interstate a couple of time a year. Ian a self funded retiree and have no debts oand pay my credit card off each month . I have a regular income of approx 36000 from superannuation and a further $20000 from investments yet have just been rejected for a virgin card. Can you recommend who and which card I may be eligible for?
    Roland B Bleyer - CreditCard.com.au Founder

    Roland

    30 August 2019
    Hi GMA, Virgin is issued through Citi. Citi have been tight of approvals lately. 2 cards I think of. The HSBC Platinum Qantas with a great earn rate and both domestic and international insurance. Then check out the ANZ Rewards Travel Adventure. This is a great card for travelers with no foreign fees. Saving you 3% on purchases in a different currency. Plus has some decent bonus points and points earning. Can cash advance in debit overseas with no fees as well. ANZ are a good bank that should be able to see your situation clearly. Before applying I would look to cancel at least one of your other cards. They max these cards out now. Then see if you can pay off in 3 years. Depending on your limits, this can be a real downer on your application.
David

David

16 July 2019
Hey Roland, I'm looking at rewards credit cards, to redeem points for flights.. But there is SO MANY, where do i start, my man ? The different programs, with different values for points is confusing . Please help.. I'd like a lowish annual fee, under $200, or there abouts. A no interest period and big bonus points would be awesome ! thank you for your time Ro bro. Cheers, David
    Roland B Bleyer - CreditCard.com.au Founder

    Roland

    17 July 2019
    Hi David, its going to depend on what airline program you like to fly. Qantas or Virgin are the 2 main choices. Depending on which one or network you want to use. Then this will guide your choice. For bonus points and annual fee in the Velocity earning. I like the Virgin Flyer bonus points offer. The ANZ Frequent Flyer black offer with 100k Qantas points and $200 rebate. Brings the 1st year annual fee back to $225. This would be the best bonus v annual fee offer. Go to our frequent flyer section. You can filter by rewards program. https://www.creditcard.com.au/frequent-flyer-credit-cards/
pauline baxter

pauline baxter

17 June 2019
i wish to change my email address and why does this email address be shown when prior to entering it states this email will not be displayed?
    Roland B Bleyer - CreditCard.com.au Founder

    Roland

    17 June 2019
    Change what email address? No ones email address is displayed that asks a question. You can see this clearly on each page. Only the display name is used on the site, with the Q+A. Have can I assist you? If you want a previous question deleted. Just let me know what page and the question if possible.
Madalyne

Madalyne

23 January 2019
Hi I am wanting to apply for a credit card, what would be the best to apply for if I have a low credit rating?
    Roland B Bleyer - CreditCard.com.au Founder

    Roland

    24 January 2019
    Hi Madalyne, have a look at the ANZ First. This would be one of the easier cards to get approved for with low minimum requirements. If you are approved, then with good use, your credit will build. Then you can upgrade to a card that would more suit your needs.
Laurie

Laurie

10 December 2018
I have a Comm-bank visa & Comm-bank master spend approx $20k VISA $6k Master have accumulated pasted 7 years 83,931 rewards on Visa, nil rewards paid on Master. Have been with them 25+ years, is there a better option?
    Roland B Bleyer - CreditCard.com.au Founder

    Roland

    11 December 2018
    Hi Laurie, there are so many better options out there than the low rewards on offer from Commbank. Firstly if you can use an AMEX, you can earn Qantas or Velocity points with no annual fee. If you could let me know what type of rewards you are after I can more refine suggestions for you. Have a look at these rewards cards with bonus points.
Elena

Elena

13 November 2018
I am looking for a card that will give me gold Hilton honours status. what would be the best card?
Kumar

Kumar

7 June 2018
Hi Roland, Currently I have Citi Signature card and Westpac Altitude Black Master card. For both I dont pay any annual fee. My average monthly spending is 1500. Which card gives me more rewards points and benefits. Thanks Kumar
    Roland B Bleyer - CreditCard.com.au Founder

    Roland

    7 June 2018
    Hi Kumar, if you are not paying an annual fee for either. Then it sounds like you might as well keep both. Your spend is not large. What it is going to come down to is the reward programs themselves and which you like better. Additionally the signature card has a tiered points structure. Earn 2 Points per $1 for selected domestic purchases made and booked directly from a range of major: restaurants and restaurant chains, hotel chains and airlines (flights only). Earn 1.5 Points per $1 for selected domestic purchases made at major: petrol outlets, supermarkets and national retailers. Earn 1 Points per $1 spent everywhere else on Domestic Eligible Transactions. Therefore if you are spending mainly where you can earn 1.5-2 points per $1 this could be better. What I say though is that you should review both the reward programs. Look at what the same amount of points get you for each one. Then revert back to how many points you approx each will deliver.
Jeremy Grover

Jeremy Grover

7 March 2018
Hi Roland, I currently have Westpac Altitude Business cards, one Visa and the other Amex. Westpac are now closing all Westpac issued Amex cards. What would be your advice for replacement of the Amex card ? My annual spend on the Amex card is around $30K pa, my wife and I travel o/s at least twice pa so earning points is a priority. I wouldn't want the use of points tied to any particular airline. I'd like to know points earned for general purchases, restaurants etc, the limit on monthly spend for earning points, and what is the annual fee. I would pay the balance off each month by automatic debit from my bank a/c. Looking forward to receiving your recommendation Jerry
    Roland B Bleyer - CreditCard.com.au Founder

    Roland

    8 March 2018
    Hi Jeremy, for a business AMEX, have a look at the Explorer card with 100k Bonus points. It has a high annual fee of $395 but with the bonus points and other features its definitely worth a try at least for a year. It has good insurance plus lounge access in Sydney at the AMEX lounge. These all could be points that make the annual fee more workable. Let me know if the annual fee is way to much to give it a try. Also let me know if you can use non-business credit cards as an option. You can review the full range of AMEX cards available here.
tony

tony

6 September 2017
hi I have a virgin money visa spend about $7000 to $10000 per month looking for the best rewards card for me don't realy go overseas fly local once or twice per year
    Roland B Bleyer - CreditCard.com.au Founder

    Roland

    6 September 2017
    Hi Tony, that spend can bring you some nice rewards. I would suggest the Westpac Altitude Black or ANZ Black Rewards offerings. Really its going to come down to what program you like better. Check out the Altitude Rewards program and also the ANZ rewards program. This way you can compare which program has the kind of rewards you are after. Both are very flexible and can offer you travel as well. I myself have the Westpac Altitude Black.
Kim

Kim

28 August 2017
Hi Roland, reward preference would be for cash back, shopping (had CBA reward card previously) such as household goods or flybuys. Not greatly interested in travel or hotel rewards, thanks Kim
Kim

Kim

24 August 2017
Hello Roland I'm not happy with our BoQ card underwritten by Citibank after the way they handled a fraud incident. My partner & I spend $4 - $6K /mth on our card & pay the full amt ea month. We would like a no or low fee card w rewards. Fraud detection is important & would prefer to be with one of the big 4.
    Roland B Bleyer - CreditCard.com.au Founder

    Roland

    25 August 2017
    Hi Kim, what type of rewards are you after? Qantas points? Velocity? Or anything else specific?
Help us improve

By submitting this feedback you agree to our privacy policy.

My credit card is not listed

By submitting this form you agree to our privacy policy.