American Express Qantas Ultimate Credit Card | Reviewed

American Express Qantas Ultimate Credit Card

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Save money
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Card features
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Sign up bonus
Points earned
American Express Qantas Ultimate Credit Card
Get 55,000 bonus Qantas Points when you apply online, are approved and spend $3,000 on your new Card within the first 3 months.
Earn 1.25 Qantas Points for every $1 spent on Card purchases, except spend at government bodies in Australia where you will earn 0.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent.
$450 Qantas Travel Credit each year. (Conditions Apply)
Add to comparison
Qantas Frequent Flyer
Qantas Frequent Flyer
1.25 pts
per $1 spent
after spend criteria

Pros & cons

What's good?

What's not so good?

Get 55,000 bonus Qantas Points when you apply online, are approved and spend $3,000 on your new Card within the first 3 months.
Earn 1.25 Qantas Points for every $1 spent on Card purchases, except spend at government bodies in Australia where you will earn 0.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent.
Earn 1 additional Qantas Point per $1 spent on eligible Qantas products and services.
$450 Qantas Travel Credit each year. (Conditions Apply)*
0% p.a. for 12 months for balance transfers and a one-off credit plan establishment fee of 1%. T&Cs apply.
Enjoy two complimentary entries per year to the American Express Lounges at Sydney or Melbourne International Airports. (Conditions Apply)
Complimentary domestic and overseas travel insurance.
Receive 2 Qantas Club lounge invitations each year.
Eligible for use with Android Pay, Apple Pay and Samsung Pay.
There’s a small 1% balance transfer fee applied to any amount you transfer over to this card.
The annual fee might put some people off.
The interest rate is as high as you would expect for a premium card like this.

This introductory offer is available to new Card Members, as well as Bank-issued American Express companion cardholders. *When you use your Qantas Travel Credit for eligible international or domestic Qantas flights when you book and pay online at American Express Travel.
Entry into The American Express Lounge is governed by the full Terms and Conditions available at

Disclaimer (2): Reviews rely upon third party information that may not be correct or may be changed without Credit Card Compare’s knowledge. You must carefully consider your own circumstances before making any commitments and confirm all offers and terms with credit card providers before accepting them. Please refer to our T&Cs for more.

Our review

Our review of the American Express Qantas Ultimate Credit CardReviewed by Yvonne Taylor

What is your definition of ‘Ultimate’? American Express have their own definition, it seems, which they have applied to the American Express Qantas Ultimate Credit Card. But does it coincide with your idea of the perfect card?

The fact that it comes with 55,000 points first-purchase bonus points is an excellent start. Qantas Frequent Flyer points are much more valuable, if used for flights and upgrades than the same number of points in a card issuer’s proprietary rewards program.

Other benefits include a high ongoing QFF points earning rate, an annual $450 Qantas Travel Credit (which neatly offsets the annual fee), a suite of insurance covers (with some omissions compared with other cards) and access to airport lounges.

But you’ll still have to live with having some merchants adding a surcharge to Amex transactions, or even declining the card altogether. Amex says it is working on improving the acceptance of its cards, but they’re not quite there yet. So it’s important to be fully aware of the details so that you can weigh the sweeteners against a few drawbacks.

Outstanding bonus points boost

Although Amex has other cards offering significant sign-up bonus points in its own Membership Rewards Scheme, these are valuable Qantas Frequent Flyer points. The American Express Qantas Ultimate Credit card offers more QFF bonus points than other personal cards in the Amex stable. Kickstart your QFF points account, or give it a significant one-off boost, just by using your card for all your purchases in order to meet the spending target.

Simply use the card for at least $3,000 worth of purchases during the first three months, and you’ll receive 55,000 QFF points.

Bank-issued companion cardholders qualify for bonus points

Although you won’t qualify for the bonus points if you have held any card issued by American Express itself during the previous 18 months, you are still eligible if you have recently had another bank’s ‘companion’ Amex card.

Outstanding ongoing points earning potential

The card’s regular earning rate of 1.25 QFF points per dollar (uncapped) is as good as it gets for QFF points.

This rate applies to all eligible purchases except transactions with government bodies (ATO, Australia Post, federal, state and local government), where the earning rate drops to 0.5 points per dollar.

On the upside, Qantas products and services earn an additional 1.0 points per dollar, lifting the rate for Qantas purchases to 2.25 points per dollar.

There’s a further points boost accompanying the complimentary premium membership of Qantas Wine (usually charged at $99). Buy wine or gourmet food through Qantas Wine and earn a total of 4.25 points per dollar spent on these purchases (3.0 points from Qantas Wine + 1.25 points for card spending).

$450 Qantas Travel Credit every year

This one effectively wipes out the otherwise steep $450 annual fee. Each year, once you have paid the annual fee and at least the minimum account payment by the due date, you’ll receive a $450 travel credit with American Express Travel.

It’s actually a Qantas Travel Credit, meaning that you can only use it to book a Qantas flight or flights. Use it within 365 days of your anniversary date, otherwise it expires, and note that if your booking amounts to less than $450, you’ll forfeit the remaining balance. Preferably use it for a booking in excess of $450, because you’ll earn 2.25 QFF points for every dollar spent over $450 if you pay using your Qantas Ultimate Card.

Airport lounge access

In each year that you purchase a Qantas flight or pay a Qantas Club membership fee using your card (by booking directly with Qantas or through its travel agency partners), you’ll receive two single-visit Qantas Club lounge passes, worth $49 each.

Cardholders will also receive two complimentary single visit passes each calendar year, to use the American Express lounge at Sydney’s Kingsford Smith airport. These are each worth $55, the amount per visit Amex charges to some of its cardholders after they have exceeded their number of free visits for the year.

Complimentary insurance cover

A suite of free insurance policies is fairly normal for a card of this type and annual fee level. Here’s what you’ll get:

  • Free travel insurance – both domestic and overseas – for you and your immediate family travelling with you. It covers things like medical expenses, lost luggage, cancellation and delays, but there is no mention of rental vehicle excess. Also missing is any cover under this policy for supplementary cardholders (unless they are also a spouse accompanying the primary cardholder), which is a rather unusual exclusion.
  • Transport accident cover, providing cash compensation for loss of life, limb or eyesight while travelling as a passenger on a plane, ferry, train or bus.
  • Purchase protection cover – 90 days cover against loss, theft or damage for items purchased with the card.
  • Refund protection cover, refunding the purchase price of an unused item (90 day limit) if the retailer won’t take it back.

Missing from this list, in addition to rental vehicle excess and supplementary cardholder travel insurance, are extended warranty insurance and price protection insurance, cover types which many premium cardholders have come to expect.

The activation requirements for the travel insurance and transport accident cover are payment of 100% of the trip fare with the card or with QFF points.

0% p.a. interest balance transfer

A balance transfer at 0% for 12 months is certainly useful, but far from exceptional given that other cards offer up to 24 months, some even more. Also take into account that you’ll pay a 1% credit establishment fee on the total transferred, and the maximum you can transfer is $10,000. The balance transfer is probably not meant to be the main feature of this card, but it may just tip the scales in its favour when lined up with all the other benefits. If you pay your Balance Transfer over time, an interest-free period will not apply to your purchases.

Interest-free days are 44, not 55

This isn’t a big deal, but it needs to be considered as part of the bigger picture. With only 44 interest-free days a month instead of 55, you’ll end up paying earlier by 12 × 11 = 132 days per year. If your average credit card closing balance is around $4,000 each month and you remove cash from a 3% deposit account to pay off the balance each time, you’ll lose about $43 in interest income each year.

Don’t forget that if you have any unpaid balance on your account (including a balance transfer) you’ll forfeit the interest-free days on purchases altogether. The standard purchase interest rate of 20.74% p.a. will be charged from the day the item hits your account.

Standard interest rate

The standard purchase interest rate of 20.74% p.a. is perfectly normal for a card of this type. There’s nothing ‘ultimate’ about it, but Amex are smart enough to know the customers they are pursuing can afford to pay the card balance in full every month and therefore attach little importance to interest rates.

There’s no cash advance interest rate quoted because cash advances are not available with Amex cards.

Turn your phone into a digital wallet

Leave your card at home and pay on the go with your smartphone. This card is eligible for use with Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Pay when you download the appropriate app.

Amex also has regularly changing retail discount offers for cardholders, easily accessed using your phone or other internet-connected device.

Which cards compete?

The Westpac Altitude Black Credit Card, NAB Qantas Rewards Signature Card and ANZ Frequent Flyer Black Credit Card all have similar annual fees but a lower points earning rate than this Amex card.

You can check out all credit cards which earn QFF points on the Qantas page in our Features section.

Who will get most benefit?

The American Express Qantas Ultimate Credit Card is for avid QFF points collectors who fly regularly. They’ll be able to earn QFF points at one of the highest rates in Australia, scoring plenty of Qantas award flights plus the $450 Qantas Travel Credit every year, relax free of charge in the Qantas and Amex lounges (a total of four visits per year), and rest easy knowing that they and their family are protected by insurance (with some exceptions). It’s an ideal choice for anyone who previously had an Amex companion credit card account, given the special eligibility for bonus points.

And don’t forget that the $450 annual Qantas Travel Credit effectively wipes out the annual fee.

Disclaimer: Reviews rely upon third party information that may not be correct or may be changed without Credit Card Compare’s knowledge. You must carefully consider your own circumstances before making any commitments and confirm all offers and terms with credit card providers before accepting them. Please refer to our T&Cs for more.

User reviews

4.1 out of 5.0 based on 2 reviews100% of reviewers would recommend this card

Rates and fees
Customer service

Reviews from users

Great value rewards and service, free flight

Reviewed and recommended by Mark on 04 May 2017

Direct American Express cards are excellent. This card comes with first class Australian customer service with quick response times. In addition the support given on disputed transactions is paperless and the agent works hard to resolve it quickly.

Rewards are excellent with a good earn rate, and if you regularly travel, the free Qantas return flight makes the high cost of the card worthwhile. In fact, on its own, for Perth residents the card pays for an east-west flight that is more often cheaper than what you would spend on a flight with Qantas.

The only downside is the high fee, but this comes with some major perks. The free flight is caveated as well. There is selected routes it will only work on (with the best value being cross-country flights). It also requires an advance Qantas spend before it activates the free flight (but you can get around this by paying for the fare difference by opting for a higher fare bracket).

Finally, the general lack of acceptance of AmEx in general (which is getting better) means you can’t solely rely on this card for all your spending.

Bonus points and excellent rewards

Reviewed and recommended by Alicia on 10 Apr 2017

The American Express site is easy to navigate, and the one question I had was answered immediately over the phone.

While the fees are on the higher side you do get one free domestic flight per year, which is excellent. 75K bonus points on sign-up was the main incentive.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed about credit cards are the reviewer's alone, and do not reflect the views of Credit Card Compare or the credit card issuer. Reviews have not been approved or otherwise endorsed by Credit Card Compare.

The basics

About this card

Card setup
Card tier
Card type
American Express
Card use
Credit rating
No bad credit history
Gambling transactions allowed
Joint application
Minimum age
18 years old
Minimum income
Minimum income for pensioners
Rewards program
Qantas Frequent Flyer
Temporary residents
Business Long Stay Visa (subclass 457)


Additional cardholders
Additional card fee
$0 p.a.

Credit limits

Minimum credit limit
Maximum credit limit


Interest charged from
Purchase date
Interest free period
Up to 44 days on purchases
Minimum repayment
whichever is greater, $30 or 2.5%

Balance transfers

The offer

Interest ratePeriodFeeLimitRevert rate
Balance transfers0% p.a.12 months1%$10,000 or 70% of credit limit20.74% p.a.

Balance transfers to this card

Balance transfer earns rewards
Balance transfer fee payment due
First statement
Balance transfer from personal loan
Balance transfer processing time
10 - 14 days
Interest free days with unpaid balance
0 days
Maximum balance transfer
$10,000 or 70% of credit limit
Available to existing customers

Banks you can't balance transfer from

You can't balance transfer to the American Express Qantas Ultimate Credit Card at the promotional balance transfer rate from:

  • American Express

Rates & fees

Promotional interest rates

Interest ratePeriodFeeLimitRevert rate
Balance transfers0% p.a.12 months1%$10,000 or 70% of credit limit 20.74% p.a.
PurchasesN/AN/AN/AN/A N/A

Ongoing interest rates

Cash advances N/A N/A
Purchases 1.73% 20.74% p.a.


Annual fee
$450 p.a.
Cash advance fee
Dishonour fee
Duplicate statement fee
Foreign exchange fee
Late payment fee
Over limit fee
Overseas ATM balance fee
Overseas ATM withdrawal fee
Overseas emergency card replacement fee
Transaction verification fee

Rewards & points

Cool stuff you can get with your points

Disclaimer: Points required accurate as of the 31st March 2018.

Rewards program basics

First purchase bonus
55,000 points
Reward points expiry
Never as long as you keep your account active
Rewards program
Qantas Frequent Flyer
Spend required for bonus points
$3,000 in 3 months

Earning points with this card

Frequent flyer points
1.25 pts per $1 spent
Overseas earn rate
Same as standard earn rate
Points cap per month
Points cap per year
Points earned on ATO payments
0.5 pts per $1 spent
Reward points
1.25 pts per $1 spent

Additional benefits

Airport lounge access
Yes, 2 passes per year
Complimentary flight voucher
Concierge service

Minimum criteria for this card

What you need before applying

Be over 18 years old
You are a resident or citizen of Australia
Earn a regular income of more than $65,000 per year
Have no history of bad credit
You have your personal details ready to complete the online application
Have not applied for multiple credit cards recently
Disclaimer: The minimum criteria are intended only to be a guide. Your application may still be rejected by the bank even if you can answer 'Yes' to all the minimum criteria. The final decision regarding your application is up to the bank.

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