A Guide To Westpac Altitude Rewards Program
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A Guide To Westpac Altitude Rewards Program

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Westpac, like each of the other Big Four banks, has its own rewards program, offering a flexible option to credit card holders wanting to earn rewards without being tied down to one particular frequent flyer program. This is Altitude Rewards.

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.

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 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.

Earning Points

To earn points on the Altitude Rewards program, you need an Altitude Rewards credit card. As there is no longer a classic card offered in this range, it means you will need to choose between the Westpac Altitude Platinum Card and the Westpac Altitude Black Card.

In terms of points earning, 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.

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, to then 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 will 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.

It is worth pointing out that to earn Qantas Points, you will need to pay an additional $50 Qantas Rewards fee each year, which should be factored into your calculations when determining value.

If you so choose, you can 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. It’s also worth mentioning that you cannot convert Altitude Points to Qantas Points.

Comparing 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.

Altitude Platinum Mastercard

Annual Fee $150
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.

Altitude Black Mastercard

Annual Fee $250
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.

Using 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.

According to the Westpac site, “Pay With Points is temporarily unavailable until further notice”.

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 selfless, 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.

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.

Founder - Roland B Bleyer

Roland Bleyer

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.

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