The interest free period is the maximum number of days during which interest is not charged on new purchases. If your account has an interest free period for purchases, to be entitled to that interest free period, you need to pay off the “monthly payment balance” listed on your statement of account (not the full closing balance) by the relevant payment due date.
Purchase rate: 20.24% p.a.
Cash Advance rate: Not applicable
Purchase rate: 20.49% p.a.
Cash Advance rate: 21.49% p.a.
Receive both rewards cards in one single application. Westpac Mastercard® issued and serviced by Westpac. AMEX Westpac Altitude Card issued & serviced by American Express.
You can have two cards with just one application – Mastercard’s almost universal acceptance and Amex’s high rewards points – with the American Express Westpac Altitude Platinum Card Bundle (Altitude). It’s not a reprise of the old Amex/Visa companion cards, but rather two completely separate card accounts provided via a single application, each with its own distinct bonus points, ongoing points earning rates and complimentary insurance cover.
The bundle comes in three versions, two for earning Qantas or Velocity points and this one attached to Westpac’s own Altitude Rewards program. So if you want this Altitude version, rather than one with frequent flyer points, you’ll need to specify that you want to earn Altitude points at the time you make your application.
Heaps of bonus points with lots of flexibility
Westpac has cleverly split the target for earning bonus points in two, giving new cardholders extra options about which set of points to aim for:
If you can spend $6,000 in three months, appropriately distributed between the two cards, that’s great, because you’ll earn 110,000 bonus points. But spending $6,000 in such a short time is not only a sizeable target to aim for, it also requires careful allocation of spending between the two cards.
You might be able to take this opportunity to make an already-planned major purchase on the Mastercard, locking in the 80,000 points, and meanwhile try to use the Amex card as frequently as possible for your everyday expenses, in the hope that you’ll reach the $3,000 target before the 90 days come to an end.
If you don’t have any major purchases planned, put away your Amex card until you’ve reached the $3,000 target on Mastercard (to earn 80,000 points), and then reverse your tactics by trying to use Amex exclusively, for the benefit of the higher points earning rate and the possibility of getting those final 30,000 points.
Lots of ongoing points, especially through the Amex card
As usual, the points earning rate on the Amex card is higher than the rate on the Mastercard.
The Amex earn rate is particularly satisfying, but the Mastercard also offers lots of potential for earning 3.0 or 2.0 points per dollar.
Neither card has any absolute cap on points earning, so every dollar spent on eligible purchases will earn points.
Suggestions for spending Altitude points
If you do succeed in spending $3,000 on each card in the first three months, you’ll have lots of Altitude points at your disposal: 110,000 bonus points + 6,000 points from standard Amex card spending + at least 3,000 points from Mastercard spending, a total of 119,000 points. (The points earned could vary slightly if some purchases were in foreign currency or were spent with the specified bonus partners or with government bodies.)
Here are some suggestions for what you could do with those 119,000 Altitude points:
Separate but mirrored suite of complimentary insurance policies
Because there are two separate card accounts there are two separate suites of insurance policies, but the cover provided is identical for both cards. In the event of a claim, you would need to make sure that you had paid for the entire item with either one card or the other. In practice this is unlikely to be a problem, except in the case of the overseas travel insurance, where cover is activated by paying at least $500 of prepaid trip expenses for each person travelling, using your credit card. Avoid complications by making sure that the $500 target for each person is reached on at least one card, rather than spreading costs between the two.
The complimentary policies provided are:
And even more benefits
Sign up for Amex Offers and you’ll be contacted about cashback and discounts for purchases from national and local retailers and entertainment outlets. Offers are updated regularly.
American Express Invites gives you access to hot tickets with reserved seating before they go on sale to the general public.
Westpac Extras brings you shopping cashback offers without messing around with codes and coupons.
The Platinum Concierge service could help you breeze through planning for your next holiday, restaurant visit or major event.
Typical credit card interest rates
Anyone seeking low interest rates will need to look elsewhere. The purchases interest rates (20.49% p.a. on the Mastercard and 20.24% p.a. on Amex) and cash advance interest rate (21.49% p.a., only available on the Mastercard) are among the highest you’ll find.
It’s not worth paying the annual fee for a rewards card if you are going to incur more in interest charges than the points are worth. The best way to use a rewards card is to avoid interest charges by always paying off your balance on time and steering clear of cash advances.
Not as many interest-free days as some other cards
It may not appear significant, but these cards grant fewer interest-free days than some of their competitors – up to 45 days in each statement cycle rather than the more generous 55 days. This is just one more factor to bear in mind when comparing cards.
With this card bundle, you’ll end up parting with your repayment cash 120 days earlier each year, when compared with a 55-day card. If your average monthly closing balance is $3,000 and you withdraw the repayment cash from a 3% mortgage offset account, your mortgage interest savings will be around $30 per year lower than they would be if you had a 55-day card.
Two-part annual fee, discounted in the first year
Since there are two separate card accounts, there are two annual fees to pay: $150 for the Mastercard and $49 for the Amex card (which you can’t have unless you also have the Mastercard). That’s an annual total of $199, less than the $249 you would have to pay if you opted to earn Qantas or Velocity points.
However, Westpac are so convinced that you’ll love this card bundle, they’ll let you try it out at a discounted rate for the first year, still paying $150 for the Mastercard but $0 for the Amex card.
There are plenty of competing rewards programs to choose from
Westpac Altitude Rewards is not the only non-frequent flyer rewards program attached to a credit card. Almost every card issuer in Australia has some kind of credit card rewards program, including ANZ Rewards, NAB Rewards, CommBank Awards, American Express Membership Rewards, Woolworths Rewards, flybuys, and many more. You can view them all on our ‘All rewards’ features page, to find the one that suits you best.
Lots of flexibility for those who don’t want to be locked in
This attractive card bundle delivers flexibility in several ways:
It could be the ideal bundle for cardholders who want to enjoy the convenience of choice while earning lots of points.
|Cash advances||1.79%||21.49 % p.a.|