Rewards Credit Cards

Earn points as you spend to get free flights, upgrades, free gifts, shopping vouchers, cash back and more with rewards cards.

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A rewards credit card gives users something extra for spending money they would have spent anyway. Competition among banks means there are many such cards to choose from. Of course, for something extra, the banks also expect something in return.

The types of rewards include points per dollar spent that can be redeemed for flights, hotel stays, merchandise, gift cards and cash back. The cards vary in what they offer, and you should consider your habits when deciding on the right one. If you don’t travel often, for example, there is little point in getting a card that awards points toward miles on a particular airline. In addition, the value of award points can be deceiving: even if you do get 2 points per $1 spent on a certain credit card, you may need three times as many points for, say, a flight, than on a card that only awards one-for-one. The best way to understand what you get is through maths: calculate the worth of each point in dollar terms. And keep in mind that plenty of reward programs, particularly the ones that sound too good to be true, are actually betting that consumers will not redeem the rewards at all because of cumbersome restrictions they impose on redemption. Then there’s the fine print – on some cards, points will expire due to inactivity, for example.

Banks do consider rewards programs an added feature, so the annual fee and the purchase rate on a rewards card could both be higher than on a standard card. But with the variety of rewards programs and constant competition, there is probably a card that will suit you. Many cards listed in this table also offer sign-up bonus points, some offer programs that can be redeemed on any airline, and a few have added benefits for travellers, such as complimentary travel insurance. If there is something you are looking for in particular, the Smart Search tool can help you winnow your choices down.

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Westpac Altitude Black Credit Card Exclusive Offer
APPLY BY 26 oct 17
EXCLUSIVE OFFER
80,000 + Bonus 20,000 Qantas or Altitude Points. New cards only. Min spend and T&Cs; apply.
$200 off the first year annual card fee (bringing the fee to $195).
2 complimentary passes per year to use at over 700 VIP Priority Pass airport lounges worldwide.
More info
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Altitude Rewards
Altitude Rewards
2.5 pts
per $1 spent
80,000
points
after spend criteria
Citi Rewards Signature Credit Card Points Offer
APPLY BY 31 jan 18
Receive 120,000 bonus reward Points when you spend $3,000 in 90 days from Card approval.
2 pts per $1 spent on selected purchases and receive a complimentary Priority Pass membership with two airport lounge visits per year.
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Citi Rewards
Citi Rewards
1 pt
per $1 spent
120,000
points
after spend criteria
ANZ Frequent Flyer Black Credit Card
APPLY BY 31 oct 17
15 reviews
75,000 points when you spend $2,500 in 3 months.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year.
75 Bonus Status Credits when you buy and fly return with Qantas by 28th Feb 2018.
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Qantas Frequent Flyer
Qantas Frequent Flyer
0.5 pts
per $1 spent
75,000
points
after spend criteria
Receive 50,000 points when you apply online, are approved and spend $1,500 on your card within the first 3 months.
Receive a $400 Travel Credit each year towards any flights, hotels and car hire when you book online with this card.
Enjoy up to two entries per year to the American Express Lounge.
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Membership Rewards Gateway
Membership Rewards Gateway
2 pts
per $1 spent
50,000
points
after spend criteria
Citi Prestige Card
APPLY BY 31 jan 18
Receive 150,000 bonus reward Points when you spend $3,000 on your card within 90 days of card approval.
3 pts per $1 spent on selected purchases.
One of the most prestigious credit cards for high income earners.
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Citi Rewards
Citi Qantas Rewards or Citi Rewards
1 pt
per $1 spent
150,000
points
after spend criteria
Get 55,000 bonus Qantas Points when you apply online, are approved and spend $1,500 in 3 months.
Earn 1.5 pts per $1 spent on card purchases.
0% p.a. for 12 months for balance transfers.
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Qantas Frequent Flyer
Qantas Frequent Flyer
1.5 pts
per $1 spent
55,000
points
after spend criteria
Citi Rewards Platinum Card Points Offer
APPLY BY 31 jan 18
Receive 100,000 points when you spend $3,000 in 90 days from card approval.
0% p.a. for 15 months on balance transfers.
Reduced annual fee of $49 p.a. in the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter).
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Citi Rewards
Citi Rewards
1 pt
per $1 spent capped
100,000
points
after spend criteria
HSBC Platinum Qantas Credit Card
APPLY BY 31 oct 17
4 reviews
Bonus 60,000 points with Qantas (spend criteria applies).
Earn Qantas points at participating retailers.
Useful package of travel insurances for international travel.
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Qantas Frequent Flyer
Qantas Frequent Flyer
1 pt
per $1 spent
60,000
points
after spend criteria
0% p.a. for 12 months for balance transfers and a one-off credit plan establishment fee of 1%.
Pay no annual card fee.
Earn up to 2 Qantas points per $1 spent on Qantas flights, goods, and services.
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Qantas Frequent Flyer
Qantas Frequent Flyer
1 pt
per $1 spent
-
NAB Qantas Rewards Signature Card
APPLY BY 12 nov 17
90,000 points when you spend $4,000 in 60 days.
Seven complimentary insurances when you make an eligible purchase.
Fast 60 second instant approval process.
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Qantas Frequent Flyer
Qantas Frequent Flyer
1 pt
per $1 spent capped
90,000
points
after spend criteria
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Credit Card 0% Purchase Offer
APPLY BY 31 oct 17
2 reviews
0% p.a. for 12 months on purchases.
Earn Velocity Points on your everyday spend.
Exclusive $129 Virgin Australia Gift Voucher each year.
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Velocity Frequent Flyer
Velocity Frequent Flyer
0.66 pt
per $1 spent capped
-
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Q&As about Rewards Credit Cards from Customers

Q: Is this the right card for me?

If you travel a lot, for business or pleasure, you’ll be spending enough on flights and hotels and other things to earn good points toward more flights and hotel stays. Keep in mind that not all reward points programs give you the option of redeeming points for travel, but most do. On the other hand, if you’re spending more than, say, $2,000 per month, you’ll be able to earn good points whether you travel or not. If you don’t use a credit card often, you won’t be earning many points unless you’re happy to change your lifestyle and use your credit card for everything, making sure you pay back the balance on time each month of course.

Q: Am I eligible to get one?

To qualify, you’ll need to be over 18 and an Australian resident. If you have a poor credit rating, or your income is very low, you might have trouble getting approval for a new rewards credit card and the rejection could damage your credit rating, so be careful.

Q: What types of rewards are available?

There are a host of programs with which you can redeem your points for flights. Make sure you check whether they’re just redeemable with specific airlines, like Qantas or Virgin, or whether you can choose between a good selection of reputable airlines.

Other cards allow you to redeem points for things like hotel stays. Sometimes you have to book through certain partner travel agencies or with certain hotel brands, so check to see how much freedom you actually have. If you’re a traveler, you might also want to check if you get complimentary travel insurance included in the features of the card.

If travel isn’t your thing, you’ll be looking for other ways to redeem points. Many programs have online stores where you can purchase a range of products and merchandise – everything from watches, to technical gadgets, to cologne. Have a look at the store before you sign up and make sure they sell things you’d actually want or need and that items are a good deal.

Fourthly, you can redeem points for gift cards or cash back. Sometimes it is more efficient to do one rather than the other so you want to read the fine print.

Q: How can you tell a good rewards program from a bad one?

There are several factors to consider:

Points are not equal across programs: You usually earn 1 point per $1 spent, but sometimes this goes as high as 3 points. But a point with one program is not equivalent to a point with another program – it depends on what those points actually buy.

Points capping, points expiration: Most programs limit the amount of points you can earn in, say, a year. For the big spender particularly, this can be limiting and frustrating. Secondly, some points expire. This is a frustration for the lower spender who might take a while to build up enough points to get anything of real value. Both capping and expiry information will be found in the small print of the program.

Annual fees and interest rates – You should see whether there are annual or start up fees involved in signing up for the reward program and for the credit card. In addition, rewards points credit cards often come with both higher fees and interest rates.

Flexibility – Some cards only allow points for flights on one airline; others allow users to exchange them for flights on several airlines, or redeem them for cash back, merchandise or gift certificates.

Ease of points redemption – Unfortunately, some companies make it quite difficult to redeem points in the hope that people won’t bother. You might have to squint through the depths of the fine print to find out how on earth to get something back for your points. Look for a rewards points program that makes redemption simple and straight forward. Some even offer automated redemption, where cash back goes straight into your account at the end of the month based on the points you’ve earned.

Bonus points – As an introductory offer, many reward credit cards will offer you the opportunity to earn bonus points. Sometimes to get them you have to spend a lot of money or shop in a particular store.

Q: Do balance transfers and cash advances earn reward points?

They do not. And, in fact, a rewards credit card may have higher interest rates on these transactions than a regular card.

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