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A Guide To Westpac Altitude Rewards Program

Last updated

Pauline Hatch      

Westpac’s Altitude Rewards program is a flexible option if you want to earn rewards without being tied down to one particular frequent flyer program.

Similar in style to Amplify Rewards, which is offered on Westpac Group members’ St.George, BankSA and Bank of Melbourne credit cards, Altitude Rewards allows cardholders to earn either Altitude Points or Qantas Points.

Westpac’s Altitude Rewards is another program that focuses on bigger spenders, by only offering a Platinum and Black card. Redemption options are well rounded, including merchandise, gift cards, cashback and travel, as well as conversion options to a good selection of rewards partners.

With a number of rewards to choose from on either program, Altitude can work well for frequent travellers, as well as those who prefer to redeem their points on non-travel options such as gift cards and items available in the Altitude Store or Qantas Store.

For cardholders who opt in to earn Altitude Points, they also have the option to convert their points to partner programs Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Malaysia Airlines Enrich and Air New Zealand Airpoints.

In this guide, we’ll dig deeper to show you what the Westpac Altitude Rewards program has to offer, looking at how you can earn points, what options you have when you redeem points, and which cards Westpac are currently offering that earn on the Altitude program.

Editor’s note: All rates, fees and offers are correct and updated on 15 June 2023

Earning Points

To earn points on the Altitude Rewards program, you need an Altitude Rewards credit card. Westpac keeps it simple, offering two cards in their rewards range: the Westpac Altitude Platinum Card and the Westpac Altitude Black Card.

Westpac Altitude Rewards works in much the same way as any other credit card-based rewards program. Depending on the card you choose, you earn a certain number of points per dollar within various spending categories.

Westpac Altitude Platinum Credit Card

As a flexible rewards card with great earning power, Westpac Altitude Platinum Credit Card has up to 120,000 Altitude Rewards Points on offer for new cardholders. Apply by 31 July 2024 spend $3,000 on eligible purchases within 90 days of card approval to get 90,000 points. Plus 30,000 points when you keep your card for at least 12 months. New approved cards will also enjoy a reduced annual fee of $49 for the first year ($175 thereafter).

Westpac Altitude Black Credit Card

Westpac Altitude Black Credit Card provides the unique opportunity of choosing between three point rewards systems – Westpac Altitude Rewards, Velocity Frequent Flyer, and Qantas Frequent Flyer. If you choose the Westpac Altitude Rewards program, you will enjoy up to 150,000 bonus Altitude Points (worth up to $700 in eGift cards) — 100,000 Rewards Points in the first year when you apply by 31 July 2024 and spend $6,000 or more on eligible purchases within 120 days of card approval. Plus, you get an additional 50,000 points after your first eligible purchase in the second year. This premium card also offers a discounted annual fee in the first year, plus a range of complimentary insurances for travel and purchased goods.

It’s worth noting that as long as you are an Altitude cardholder, your points will never expire. And, unlike many other rewards cards, there is no points cap placed on either the Altitude Platinum or the Altitude Black card.

This essentially allows you to rack up as many points as you want each month and keep them as long as you need, building up your balance to get the rewards you really want.

For individual earn rates, see the section below on Altitude credit cards.

Bonus Points

As with so many premium rewards cards, Altitude cards tend to offer bonus point introductory offers to new cardholders as an incentive to sign up. These offers change over time, and may be provided in conjunction with other intro offers such as reduced annual fee offers, so it’s a good idea to see what’s available before you apply.

You’ll usually find bonus point offers provide a chunk of points, payable after meeting a minimum spend on the card. So, as long as you meet that spend within the specified period of time, you can boost your points balance significantly, to enjoy extra value from the card.


Altitude Rewards or Altitude Qantas?

One of the many appealing aspects of the Altitude program is the fact that as a cardholder, you can choose to earn Altitude Points or Qantas Points on your card spending.

When you apply for a card, you decide which program you want to earn points on. This choice may be influenced by the bonus points offer – regarding which offer provides better value – or alternatively, which program will give you more value ongoing as you use the card day to day.

To earn Qantas Points, you’ll need to pay an additional $50 Qantas Rewards fee each year, which should be factored into your calculations when determining value.

You can also switch between programs at any time, and any number of times. You should allow at least 10 business days for the switch to be processed. Take note though, it doesn’t work the other way – you can’t convert Altitude Points to Qantas Points.

Comparing Westpac Altitude Credit Cards

Time to compare card options. Note, all info is correct at time of writing. Check each of the card’s pages on CreditCard.com.au for the most up-to-date info before you apply.

Westpac Altitude Platinum Credit Card

The Westpac Altitude Platinum Credit Card has no rewards fee and has plenty of options in how you can use your points. Thus, you can fully enjoy up to 120,000 bonus Altitude Rewards Points – 90,000 points when you spend $3,000 on eligible purchases within 90 days of card approval, and 30,000 points when you keep your account open for at least a year. Plus, earn 1 Altitude point per $1 spent on eligible purchases, uncapped. Other perks include a discounted annual card fee, one additional card holder at no extra cost, complimentary overseas travel insurance and many more.

Westpac Altitude Platinum Credit Card – Qantas

As a platinum rewards credit card, Westpac Altitude Platinum Credit Card – Qantas is presently offering a special treat to its new cardholders. Get 70,000 bonus Altitude Qantas Points when you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases within 90 days of card approval. Offering you the choice of two rewards programs, this card is flexible with an excellent range of platinum perks which include a discounted annual card fee, generous points earn rate and complimentary overseas travel insurance.

Altitude Platinum Mastercard

Annual Fee $49 first year; $175 thereafter
Minimum Credit Limit $6,000
Minimum Annual Income Required $30,000
Opting in to the Altitude Rewards program, you will earn uncapped Altitude Points on eligible purchases, as following:
• Earn 2 points per $1 spent overseas and with domestic partners Spotify Premium, Airbnb, Uber and Uber Eats
• Earn 1 point per $1 on all other everyday eligible purchases
• You can earn additional Altitude Points with selected airlines
Opting in to the Qantas program, you will earn uncapped Qantas Points on eligible purchases, as following:
• Earn 0.5 Qantas Points per $1

In terms of features on this card, you can benefit from a range of complimentary insurance covers including overseas travel, extended warranty, purchase security and transit accidents. You can also earn points faster by adding one additional cardholder at no extra cost. Apple Pay is now available.

Westpac Altitude Black Credit Card

Featuring premium rewards and benefits, Westpac Altitude Black Credit Card currently offers a huge 150,000 bonus Altitude Points when you apply by 31 July 2024 and spend $6k within the first 120 days (100,000 points) of card approval in year 1, plus make an eligible purchase in year 2 (50,000 points). Redeem your points for $700 in eGift cards with Altitude Rewards or transfer your points to Asia Miles, Air New Zealand Airpoints, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Velocity Frequent Flyer or other participating airlines for future travels. This card gives one of the highest earn rate of up to 6 points per $1 on eligible spending, uncapped. Plus, complimentary travel insurance, airport lounge visits per year and so many extras.

Altitude Black Mastercard

Annual Fee $295
Minimum Credit Limit $15,000
Minimum Annual Income Required $75,000
Opting in to the Altitude Rewards program, you will earn uncapped Altitude Points on eligible purchases, as following:
• Earn 2 points per $1 spent at Spotify Premium, David Jones, Myer, THE ICONIC, Airbnb, Uber and Uber Eats
• Earn 1.25 points per $1 on all other eligible purchases
• You can earn additional Altitude Points with selected airlines
Opting in to the Qantas program, you will earn uncapped Qantas Points on eligible purchases, as following:
• Earn 0.75 Qantas Points per $1

With a higher annual fee than its platinum brother, the Westpac Altitude Black Card has a few more features on offer. Alongside the platinum features mentioned above, the black card provides two complimentary lounge passes each year (Priority Pass lounge passes for Altitude Points earners and Qantas Club lounge passes for Qantas Points earners), plus access to a 24/7 personal concierge service.


Using Points

Having covered how to earn points on the Altitude program, it’s now time to look at how to redeem them.
Redemption options on the Altitude rewards program include:

    • Gift cards. Unlike some programs, there is no standardised redemption value for gift cards within Altitude, so you would need to pick wisely to get the highest value on your redemption. As an example, you could redeem 11,750 points for a $50 Caltex gift card.
    • Merchandise from the Altitude Store. As an example, you could redeem 118,525 points for Apple Airpods Pro, with an RRP $399.
    • Book travel, including flights, hotels, car hire and other activities.
  • Transfer to frequent flyer partners (conversion rate not provided):
    • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
    • Asia Miles
    • Air New Zealand Airpoints
    • Velocity

Unfortunately, like quite a few big bank programs, you need to log in as a member to find out the full range of redemption options and how many points are required to redeem them. To determine the value on offer here, we used the limited examples provided on the Altitude rewards page.

Westpac Altitude Rewards Platinum Card (3, 2 or 1 points per $1 depending on spend type, $49 annual fee in the first year, then $150, insurances, bonus points).

    • On a monthly spend of $5,000 on everyday purchases (outwith bonus partners), you would earn 5,000 points each month, or 60,000 points per year, equal to $212 in cashback value, or $255 in gift card value.Factoring in the bonus points on offer, you would earn 190,000 points in the first year, equal to $673 in cashback value, or $808 in gift card value.
  • On a monthly spend of $10,000 on everyday purchases (outwith bonus partners), you would earn 10,000 points each month, or 120,000 points per year, equal to $425 in cashback value, or $510 in gift card value.Factoring in the bonus points on offer, you would earn 250,000 points in the first year, equal to $886 in cashback value, or $1,063 in gift card value.

Westpac Altitude Rewards Black Card (6, 2 or 1.25 points per $1 depending on spend type, $295 annual fee, lounge passes, insurances, bonus points).

    • On a monthly spend of $5,000 on everyday purchases (outwith bonus partners), you would earn 6,250 points each month, or 75,000 points per year, equal to $265 in cashback value, or $319 gift card value.Factoring in the bonus points on offer, you would earn 225,000 points in the first year, equal to $798 in cashback value, or $957 in gift card value.
  • On a monthly spend of $10,000 on everyday purchases (outwith bonus partners), you would earn 1,250 points each month, or 150,000 points per year, equal to $532 in cashback value, or $638 in gift card value.Factoring in the bonus points, you would earn 300,000 points in the first year, equal to $1,064 in cashback value, or $1,276 in gift card value.

Using Altitude Points for Travel

While certain travel options are still a no-go, it is still possible to redeem points for travel-related redemptions with the Altitude Travel team. For more info regarding what you can and can’t use your points on, contact Altitude Travel, bearing in mind most call centres are seeing increased call volumes due to pandemic-related enquiries.

Using Altitude Travel, you can use your points to book flights, hotels, car hire and activities, or create your own travel packages. There is the option to talk to a consultant direct on the Altitude Travel line on 1300 887 820, or alternatively, you can use the online booking platform to book 24/7.

With this redemption option, you can book travel for anyone. You can also take advantage of exclusive offers and rates, while earning points on eligible flights. Note, Points Plus Pay is usually an option when booking via Altitude Travel, but that seems to be on hold for the moment.

Convert Points to Frequent Flyer

For cardholders earning Altitude Points, there is the option to convert those points to partner programs:

  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
  • Malaysia Airlines Enrich
  • Air New Zealand Airpoints

Prior to Virgin Australia entering voluntary administration, cardholders could also choose to convert their points to Velocity Points, but that option is no longer available.

Here is the conversion rate:

Frequent Flyer Program Conversion Rate How It Works
Air New Zealand Airpoints 180:$1 180 Altitude Points = $1 Airpoints Dollars
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles 3:1 3 Altitude Points = 1 Asia Mile
Malaysia Airlines Enrich 3:1 3 Altitude Points = 1 Enrich mile
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer 3:1 3 Altitude Points = 1 KrisFlyer mile

So, how does that stack up against other rewards cards earning within these frequent flyer programs? While the conversion rate may not look as good as some options currently out there, it’s worth remembering that these options from Westpac have no points capping or points shaping, which could work out to offer more value for bigger spenders.

Cashback

Moving away from travel redemptions, cardholders may choose to redeem their points for cashback on their card. This effectively allows you to lower your card balance, either to cover everyday spending or perhaps a large purchase.

Taking advantage of this option, you choose to redeem increments of $50, $100, $500 or $1000, which will then be credited to your account. Some things to note here include:

  • Points will be deducted immediately from your Altitude Rewards account, but you will need to allow up to 10 business days for the funds to be credited to your card account.
  • You will still need to make your minimum monthly payment, but cashback can help reduce your card balance.
  • American Express Westpac Altitude Cards are ineligible for Cashback Redemption.

Pay With Points

Using Pay With Points, you select a card purchase you have made in the last 90 days (excluding BPAY transactions), to redeem your Altitude Points for a statement credit to the value of that purchase. This lowers your card balance, essentially allowing you to use your points on almost anything.

Annual Fee Rebate

Just as the cashback option allows you to lower your balance, you can also choose to use your points to lower or pay off your annual fee with an annual fee rebate. Annual fee rebates are available for all of the Westpac Rewards Cards, and you can redeem points for cash increments of $25, $75, $100, $125 and $150.

Mortgage Fee Discount

As a rewards card holder and Westpac home loan user, you can use your Altitude points in exchange for a rebate on your Westpac mortgage fees. This allows you to pay off all or part of monthly loan maintenance fees or package fees.

There is a minimum redemption on this option that starts at 9,600 points. You can only activate this redemption by phone.

Donate Points to Charity

If you’re feeling philanthropic, you may choose to donate your points to charity. Westpac partners with a wide range of charities, giving you the opportunity to redeem your points for a donation to more than 10 different charities, including the Westpac Rescue Helicopter and Surf Life Saving Australia.

Shop the Altitude Store

As with most rewards programs, Altitude allows cardholders to redeem points for items on offer within its online store. The Altitude Store offers the usual line-up, covering homewares and home appliances, gardening and DIY, technology and more.

Gift cards are a popular option within the store, with cards on offer from David Jones, Myer, JB-Hi Fi, Woolworths, Westfield, Bunnings, Caltex and many more.

Qantas Redemptions

Opting in to the Qantas program, you will obviously earn Qantas Points rather than Altitude Points. To find out more about how you can redeem Qantas Points, visit our Qantas Guide.

Why Choose Altitude?

How do you know if Altitude is the right rewards program for you? First up, start with the card. You will need to consider whether your spend is significant enough to allow you to earn a higher value in points than you pay out in annual fees.

Bonus points should also be a consideration. Introductory offers on bonus points can significantly increase the value of the card – and even if there isn’t the option to redeem points for higher-return travel redemptions right now, you will have those points in the bank to use when travel opens up again.

From there, it’s worth thinking about the kind of value on offer from the rewards themselves, particularly with travel scaled back as it is. It is worth pointing out that these Westpac cards are excellent for the flexibility they offer, specifically in the way they provide the option to earn Qantas Points, or convert to four partner frequent flyer programs.

Again, a higher earn is needed to see true value year-to-year on this program, however it is possible to boost your earn potential by spending with Qantas, Jetstar and other partners. Both cards have big juicy bonus points offers, adding even more value in the first year. The rewards program itself seems pretty flexible, but limited info is provided prior to member log-in.

Want to know more? Check out each of the Westpac Altitude card options here on CreditCard.com.au to find all the essential info – and to get our take on what each one offers in our review.

Photo source: Shutterstock
Pauline

Pauline Hatch

Pauline is a personal finance expert at CreditCard.com.au, with 8 years in money, budgeting and property reporting under her belt. Pauline is passionate about seeing Aussies win by making their money – and their credit cards – work smarter, harder and bigger.

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22 comments (showing the latest 10 Q&As)

Lena

Lena

30 January 2024
Hi, can l use some altitude points to help pay for a girlfriend to visit me in Melbourne. She lives in Gold Coast. I have the Black card. And can l do this online. Thx
    Pauline - CreditCard.com.au

    Pauline

    31 January 2024
    Hi Lena, the Altitude Travel website says you can buy a ticket for someone else, as long as you're the primary cardholder. You can read more on the Altitude Rewards FAQ page here. Thanks Lena!
Sophie

Sophie

1 April 2023
Hello, Are you aware of whether once altitude points have been converted to Asia Miles (Cathay Pacific) they can be converted back (for instance if you can no longer fly?) Thank you, Sophie
    Pauline - CreditCard.com.au

    Pauline

    3 April 2023
    Hi Sophie! Unfortunately once you’ve transferred the points to frequent flyer points they’re locked in and can’t be converted back. That’s the general rule for all points programs. Hope that helps!
Frederick laughton

Frederick laughton

16 December 2022
How can I access my attitude points account.
    Pauline - CreditCard.com.au

    Pauline

    16 December 2022
    Hi Frederick, to check your Altitude rewards point balance or for redemption, you can login to Westpac’s online banking or the Westpac app, then look for Rewards & Offers, and click Altitude Reward Points. Another way is to call the Altitude Rewards Centre at 1300 887 820 for assistance.
Martin

Martin

14 October 2022
how to redeem Westpac Altitude Rewards into cash
    Pauline - CreditCard.com.au

    Pauline

    17 October 2022
    Hi Martin, technically you can’t turn points into cash, but you can get cashback. To redeem, you can login to Westpac’s online banking or into your Westpac app, then go to Rewards & Offers option and look for or tap Altitude Reward Points, select the Redeem option, and follow the prompts, or you can also give Altitude Rewards Centre a call at 1300 887 820.
ron gillies

ron gillies

15 July 2022
If I buy a flight fare from Singapore Air can I use points to upgrade. Will the card travel insurance enough to cover Indonesia and Thailand and cover both myself and my wife.
    Pauline - CreditCard.com.au

    Pauline

    19 July 2022
    Hi Ron, with the Altitude rewards program, you can convert your points to Krisflyer Miles. If upgrades are available for your flight, Singapore Air will invite you to participate. This is dependant on many factors including seat availability. With regards to the insurance, if you’ve met the eligibility requirements you and your wife may be eligible for coverage. You can check Westpac’s official complimentary insurance T&Cs for further information. Personally speaking I always book travel insurance through a third party as well as activating complimentary insurances. Hope you have a great trip!
Ivan

Ivan

30 June 2022
How do I convert altitude card points to Krisflyer points??
    Pauline - CreditCard.com.au

    Pauline

    1 July 2022
    Hi Ivan, I checked this for you and it looks like you actually need to login to your Westpac Online Banking account, go to Rewards & Offers, find Altitude Reward Points, select Redeem Points, and follow the prompts. Alternatively, you can call 1300 887 820 to speak to someone from Altitude Rewards Centre for assistance.
linda oon

linda oon

9 May 2022
how do I contact Westpac Redemption to find out about a Tefal Air Fryer I recently received that is faulty and needs to be replaced? Thanks
    Pauline - CreditCard.com.au

    Pauline

    9 May 2022
    Hi Linda, I’m sorry to hear about this. You can reach out to Westpac directly at 132 032.
Ana Bolkus

Ana Bolkus

19 February 2022
How many Altitude points for $200 David Jones voucher
    Pauline - CreditCard.com.au

    Pauline

    22 February 2022
    Hi Ana, it appears that you have to login to the official Altitude Rewards site to get detailed information. The only information that I could find is that gift cards are available from 4,200 points.
Lynette Rackley

Lynette Rackley

28 November 2021
How do I redeem my points to buy e gift cards
    Pauline - CreditCard.com.au

    Pauline

    29 November 2021
    Hi Lynette, you can either call the Altitude Rewards Centre at 1300 887 820 or go to the Altitude website to redeem your points for gift cards or any other items that may catch your eye!
Suzanne Groves

Suzanne Groves

19 November 2021
How do I activate Altitude gift cards
    Pauline - CreditCard.com.au

    Pauline

    22 November 2021
    Hi Suzanne, you actually don’t need to activate the gift cards, you just need to redeem your points for the gift cards. If you are talking about a specific gift card from a retailer, each store has their own policies for activation. You may need to get in touch with the company you got the gift card for. Best of luck!
david place

david place

17 May 2021
Hello Altitude, I inadvertently selected the wrong product and have received it by post, am l able to return this Breville unit (not opened) and exchange for Smeg 50's retro style aesthetic hand blender in "Black" HBF02 If this is the case how do l proceed? kind regards David
    Roland B Bleyer - CreditCard.com.au Founder

    Roland

    18 May 2021
    Hi David, thanks for your question! I see you’re referring to the merchandise you redeemed your points to. Please give the bank a call so they can discuss your options on this.

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