Frequent flyer credit cards in Australia. A quick glance.

Roberto Efflandrin

If you’re a regular traveller, either for business or pleasure, you’re undoubtedly signed up for at least one airline frequent flyer program.

A way to collect miles for future travel and potentially reduce or eliminate the cost of flights for your next trip, frequent flyer programs may help your money go further.

One option to boost your points balance is to link your membership to a frequent flyer rewards credit card.

In this guide, we’ll compare some of the leading options in this market, looking at fees, charges and points earning rates so you can make the most informed choice.

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Understanding credit card point earn rates

No matter which frequent flyer credit card you opt for, the earning rates for spend vs. miles accrual are likely to differ.

Additionally, depending on the card type chosen, not all purchases will count or be eligible for points and some may offer higher earn rates or lower based on where the spending occurred.

However, as a general indication or example, you might expect to earn between 0.5 to 1.25 points or more per dollar spent.

Here are some of the top frequent flyer credit cards in Australia

The following is a comparison of 6 available frequent flyer credit cards within Australia.

Please note all fees are listed in Australian Dollars and all information is accurate as of 23 November 2023.


1. Qantas American Express Ultimate Credit Card

The Qantas American Express Ultimate Credit Card is an option worth considering for those who prefer to travel with Qantas and would like some added travel benefits alongside frequent flyer points.

This frequent flyer credit card at a glance

Information on the fees and charges associated with this card are outlined below.

Card Qantas American Express Ultimate Credit Card¹
Fees² - Annual fee of $450

- Currency conversion fee is 3% of the converted amount

Points - Earn 1.25 Qantas points per $1 spent on eligible purchases

- Earn 2.25 Qantas points per $1 on eligible Qantas products and services

Exchange rate used Variable, based on customary industry sources³
P.A. Interest rate 23.99%
Credit limit - Minimum limit $3000 maximum limit determined on application

As seen on 24 November 2023

Pros and cons

Here are a few pros and cons to consider about this card.

Pros Cons
  • Uncapped Qantas Reward points
  • Higher points per dollar spent compared with competing cards
  • Complimentary travel insurance
  • Some lounge access benefits
  • Reward points are not available on all purchases
  • High annual fee
  • High-interest rate

2. CommBank Smart Awards Credit Card

Also able to be linked to Qantas’ frequent flyer program, this option, backed by Commonwealth Bank allows you to opt in for either Qantas points or their Award Points Program.

For this article, only the Qantas Award points option is covered in the below table.

This frequent flyer credit card at a glance

Information on the fees and charges associated with this card are outlined below.

Card CommBank Smart Awards Credit Card⁴
Fees - $19 monthly fee, waived if $2000 is spent during the statement period

- $60 annual fee to opt into the Qantas Points program

- No international transaction or currency conversion fee on purchases

- $4 or 3% of the transaction amount on cash advances, whichever is greater

Points - Points boost offer, earn 0.8 Qantas points on the highest eligible purchase per statement period up to a maximum of 400 points

- 0.6 Qantas points on eligible spend for grocery, fuel, dining, utilities and shopping up to $5000 per statement period

- 0.4 Qantas points for all other purchases up to $5000 per statement period

- 0.2 Qantas points awarded on all spend over $5000 per statement period

Exchange rate used Variable, based on Mastercard foreign exchange rate on day translation is processed⁵
P.A. Interest rate 20.99% on purchases

21.99% on cash advances

Credit limit - Minimum limit $3000 maximum limit determined on application

As seen on 24 November 2023

Pros and cons

Here are a few pros and cons to consider about this card.

Pros Cons
  • Potential to avoid card fees if minimum spend is met
  • Uncapped points earning each statement period
  • Lounge access to over 1,300 participating airport lounges worldwide
  • Complimentary travel insurance
  • Reward points are not available on all purchases
  • High-interest rate
  • Relatively low point earning rate per $1 compared with some alternatives

3. NAB Qantas Rewards Premium Credit Card

Often running several bonus points offers for new applicants, the NAB Qantas Rewards Premium Credit Card also rewards Qantas Frequent Flyers for their everyday spending.

This frequent flyer credit card at a glance

Information on the fees and charges associated with this card are outlined below.

Card NAB Qantas Rewards Premium Credit Card⁶
Fees - Annual fee of $250 (reduced to $150 for the first year)

- Currency conversion fee is 3% of the transaction amount plus a $5 withdrawal fee⁷

Points - Earn 1 Qantas point per $1.50 up to $3000 on everyday purchases each statement period

- Earn 1 Qantas point per $3 spent for the next $3000 per statement period

- Earn 1 bonus point per dollar on eligible Qantas services

Exchange rate used Variable based on Visa currency conversion rates⁷
P.A. Interest rate 19.99% variable rate on purchases

21.74% variable rate on cash advances

Credit limit - Minimum limit $3000 maximum limit determined on application

As seen on 24 November 2023

Pros and cons

Here are a few pros and cons to consider about this card.

Pros Cons
  • Higher points earn rate per dollar than some competing cards
  • Complimentary travel insurance
  • Access to NAB’s concierge service
  • Offers high sign-up points bonus for eligible applicants
  • Points capped at $6000 per statement period
  • Higher annual fee and lower points accrual per dollar than some options, including those with NAB
  • High-interest rates

4. ANZ Rewards Black Credit Card

With uncapped Qantas points earning potential and a free initial membership to the Qantas Frequent Flyer Program, the ANZ Rewards Black Credit Card may be worth a look for both new and existing Qantas members.⁸

This frequent flyer credit card at a glance

Information on the fees and charges associated with this card are outlined below.

Card ANZ Rewards Black Credit Card⁸
Fees - Annual fee of $425 comprising of a $370 card fee and a $55 Qantas reward fee

- 3% of any international transaction plus $4 for cash advances⁹

Points - Earn 1 Qantas point per $1 spent up to $7500 per statement on eligible purchases

- Earn 0.5 Qantas points per $1 spent over $7500 per statement on eligible purchases

Exchange rate used Variable based on Visa currency conversion rates¹⁰
P.A. Interest rate 20.49% on purchases

21.99% on cash advances

Credit limit - Minimum limit $15,000, maximum limit determined on application

As seen on 24 November 2023

Pros and cons

Here are a few pros and cons to consider about this card.

Pros Cons
  • Uncapped points on eligible purchases
  • Annual Qantas lounge benefit
  • Complimentary insurances
  • Complimentary sign-up to Qantas, worth $99.50 if not already a member
  • Reward points are not available on all purchases
  • High minimum limit which is expected to be mostly cleared each month
  • High annual fee
  • High-interest rate

5. St. George Amplify Qantas Platinum Credit Card

Featuring a lower annual fee than some competing frequent flyer credit cards, the St. George Amplify Qantas Platinum Credit Card also offers a flat-rate points-earning system.

This frequent flyer credit card at a glance

Information on the fees and charges associated with this card are outlined below.

Card St. George Amplify Qantas Platinum Credit Card¹¹
Fees - Annual fee of $199 comprised of a $124 card fee and a $75 Qantas Rewards fee

- Currency conversion fee is 3% of the AUD equivalent amount

- 3% of any cash advance amount

Points - Earn 0.5 Qantas points per dollar on eligible purchases up to $100,000 annually
Exchange rate used Variable based on Visa currency conversion rates¹²
P.A. Interest rate 19.49% variable rate on purchases

21.49% variable rate on cash advances

Credit limit - Minimum limit $6000 maximum limit determined on application

As seen on 24 November 2023

Pros and cons

Here are a few pros and cons to consider about this card.

Pros Cons
  • Lower annual fee than many competing cards
  • Potential to earn a large Qantas points boost on sign-up when eligible
  • Complimentary domestic travel insurance
  • Reward points are not available on all purchases
  • Points are capped annually once the maximum spending limit reached
  • High-interest rates

6. Westpac Altitude Qantas Platinum Credit Card

Rounding out our top 6 is the Westpac Altitude Qantas Platinum Credit Card which also allows you to earn points for a linked Qantas frequent flyer account.

This frequent flyer credit card at a glance

Information on the fees and charges associated with this card are outlined below.

Card Westpac Altitude Qantas Platinum Credit Card¹³
Fees - Annual fee of $175 plus $75 annual Qantas Rewards program fee

- Foreign transaction fee is 3% of the converted amount

- 3% fee on cash advances

Points - Earn 0.5 Qantas points per $1 spent in eligible purchases up to $100,000 per year
Exchange rate used Variable rate set by Mastercard¹⁴
P.A. Interest rate 19.99% variable rate on purchases

21.49% variable cash advance rate

Credit limit - Minimum limit $6000 maximum limit determined on application

As seen on 24 November 2023

Pros and cons

Here are a few pros and cons to consider about this card.

Pros Cons
  • Potential to earn bonus points on sign-up and with preferred partners
  • Reduced card fee in first year for new or existing Westpac customers
  • Complimentary travel insurance
  • Reward points are not available on all purchases
  • High-interest rates
  • Capped points earning annually

What to keep in mind when choosing a frequent flyer credit card

  • Most airlines restrict awards seats to certain routes and a limited number of seats per flight, which may make them harder to use
  • Weigh up all fees, charges and interest rates and whether these costs negate the potential savings on points flights
  • Not all spending will accrue points so may not give you maximum points benefits based on your typical purchasing

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Sources:

  1. American Express – Card Overview
  2. American Express – Fees & Charges
  3. American Express – Exchange Rates pg. 17
  4. CommBank – Card Overview
  5. CommBank – Exchange Rate
  6. NAB – Card Overview
  7. NAB – Overseas Fees & Exchange Rates
  8. ANZ – Card Overview
  9. ANZ – Overseas Fees pgs. 17 & 18
  10. ANZ – Exchange Rates pgs. 26 & 27
  11. St. George – Card Overview
  12. St. George – Exchange Rates
  13. Westpac – Card Overview
  14. Westpac – Exchange Rates pg. 10

Sources checked on: 24 November 2023


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This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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