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If you’d like to earn rewards on your substantial credit card spending but don’t expect to need frequent flyer points because you never fly at your own expense, then the ANZ Rewards Black Credit Card may be just what you’re looking for. While frequent flyer points are almost always far better value than ordinary rewards points, they’re worthless if you can’t use them. This rewards card is packed with other benefits too, including first-purchase bonus points and cashback.
Lower annual fee than the corresponding frequent flyer card
The $375 p.a. annual fee (plus $65 p.a. per additional cardholder) is lower than the charge for the ANZ Black Frequent Flyer Card (probably in recognition of the lower value of rewards points compared with frequent flyer points) but it’s still reasonably steep. You can recoup the cost, however, if you take full advantage of the extras, especially in the first year. You’ll need a minimum income of $75,000 to qualify for the card.
Unattractive interest rates
The purchase interest rate on unpaid balances is a high 18.79% p.a. (20.99% p.a. for cash advances), but holders of black credit cards will mostly plan to avoid interest charges by paying off their account balance in full every month.
First year extras
There are two major bonuses on offer, in the first year only.
One, you’ll get 75,000 points if you make at least one purchase, no matter how small the amount, in the first three months. This is a target much easier to achieve than the $3,000 or even $5,000 required spending set by some competing cards, before bonus points can be earned.
Two, you’ll also get $100 cashback for making that same single purchase, effectively reducing the annual fee to $275 in the first year.
Attractive points earning rate
Since this is a Visa card, not an Amex card, you’d be forgiven for assuming that the points earning rate was modest. However, whilst it’s not spectacular, it is certainly appealing, at 2.0 points per dollar up to a threshold of $5,000 per monthly statement period.
Beyond $5,000 it does fall somewhat dramatically to only 1 pt per $1 spent, but there’s no absolute cap, no zero points drawback if you can pull off a major purchase on your credit card. Every eligible purchase, no matter how large, will earn points.
Bonus points mall
You can give your points balance a quick boost of up to 10 points per dollar spent at ANZ Rewards bonus points partners. Stores include David Jones, Marcs, Country Road, Dan Murphy’s online, Apple.com and many more.
Using the rewards points
As the card’s name implies, you’ll be collecting points for the in-house rewards scheme, ANZ Rewards. There are five ways to redeem them.
It’s worth taking a look at each of these redemption methods in more detail.
ANZ Rewards offers a range of products that you might find at a typical department store, plus a variety of experiences and services. You could, for example, purchase a Delonghi Nespresso Inissia Coffe Machine in exchange for 50,280 points (the result of a $25,140 spend if the monthly threshold is not exceeded). Or you could buy it on eBay for $123, making the value of the points 0.5 cents per dollar spent.
You can exchange your points for gift cards to spend at major retailers, or on car hire and hotels, or even use as charity donations. A $20 Woolworths or Myer gift card will cost you 4,445 points, resulting from $2,223 worth of below-the-threshold purchases, an equivalent value of 0.9 cents per dollar spent.
A Sydney/Melbourne one-way economy flight on Qantas costs a minimum of 32,210 rewards points, earned by spending $16,105. This works out at 1.2 cents per dollar, so it’s definitely better value than gifts or gift cards. However, you’d be better off opting for the ANZ Frequent Flyer Black card and spend only $8,000 to accrue the 8,000 QFF points required for the same flight.
ANZ Rewards points can be converted to points with Virgin Velocity, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles and Air New Zealand Airpoints. Once again, if frequent flyer points are your aim it would make more sense (and cents) to use a frequent flyer credit card, although having four airlines to choose from does provide some flexibility.
You can convert your reward points to a cash credit against any ANZ account, including your credit card or a mortgage offset account. You’ll need 12,500 reward points for each $50 credit to your account, requiring a $6,250 spend and working out at 0.8 cents per dollar, slightly less value than a shopping gift card.
The redemption methods come with a 'Points plus Pay’ option, meaning that you can pay with a combination of points plus a cash debit to your credit card if you have insufficient points.
Rewards points expire if not used within three years, and also expire within 60 days if you close the
credit card account on which you earned them.
Other built-in benefits
As you would expect with a black card, there is a range of complimentary benefits to offset the high annual fee:
QBE annual multi-trip international travel insurance for the cardholder and immediate family, covering items like medical expenses, theft, loss and damage of property and car rental excess. For regular travellers this is worth at least $750 a year. Activate the insurance cover by using the card for at least $250 of each trip’s expenses for each traveller to be covered.
Interstate flight inconvenience cover, for flight delay, luggage delay, personal property cover, car rental excess.
Transport accident insurance. Compensation for serious accidents on public transport.
Extended warranty. Up to 12 months on top of existing manufacturer’s warranty.
Purchase protection. 90 day cover on card purchases against loss, accidental damage and theft.
Price protection. Price difference refunded if you find the identical product (purchased in a bricks-and-mortar store) cheaper elsewhere locally within 21 days.
If you’re committed to Qantas and can justify the higher fees for earning direct QFF points at a faster rate, compare the ANZ Frequent Flyer Black Credit Card or the Westpac Altitude Black Credit Card. But if you’d prefer a wider range of reward options, take a look at the St. George or Bank of Melbourne Amplify Signature Credit Cards.
A card designed for . . .
The ANZ Rewards Black Credit Card is ideally suited for the big spender who would like to see some benefit for channelling expenditure through a card, but isn’t a committed frequent flyer points collector. In the first year the 75,000 points (worth $375 p.a. in Flight Centre gift cards), plus the $100 cashback, add up to $100 more than the annual fee, meaning that you are actually paid to be a cardholder. In subsequent years the complimentary insurance policies and lounge access easily offset the otherwise high annual fee.
Pros are that you get a Visa and companion AmEx card. The AmEx earns 3 points per dollar spent, making a $100 gift card redemption work out to be around 22,225 Rewards points. The card includes the usual travel insurance, and purchase protection, etc. There’s a sign up bonus point offer too.
On the downside, ANZ recently reduced the Visa earn rate per dollar spent to 1.25 points (down from 2 points per dollar spent).
The card offers entry to airport lounges worldwide, but when we attended they said that this was no longer available. I am paying a much higher fee than platinum and I can see the difference that it makes to me.
I also don’t like the fact that when you call them it is an overseas call centre. I thought my card had been fraudulently used and they had no idea what was going on.
The ANZ Rewards Black Credit Card has been really great for my purposes. The initial bonus of 75K QFF points was a great bonus, but the points per dollar rewards are also at a good rate. On top of that, the free Qantas lounge passes were really easy to obtain (just a quick phone call) and were delivered quickly.
The sleek, black look and choice of AmEx or Visa is very convenient. I highly recommend this card, especially during the promotion periods where the first year’s fee is dropped.
Good value rewards and points earned (more than 1 per dollar spent). Good choice of reward options, although gift and shopping vouchers are the best value when redeemed, comparing points for dollar value, rather than redeeming for actual physical items. Not the cheapest annual fee but average for platinum type cards.
|Cash advances||1.75%||20.99% p.a.|
Up to $5,000
2 pts per $1 spent
1 pt per $1 spent
Valuation based on the assumption of making a $250 claim once every 5 years. There is no retail market for all-encompassing extended warranty insurance covering more than one item, so no premium saving.
Guaranteed pricing / price protection insurance
Valuation based on the assumption of making a $100 claim once every 10 years. Extensive conditions apply. There is no retail market for this type of insurance, so no premium saving.
Valuation based on the assumption of making a $200 claim once every 5 years. There is no retail market for this type of insurance, so no premium saving.
Interstate flight inconvenience insurance
Valuation based on similar domestic travel insurance policies available online that include interstate flight inconvenience.
Overseas travel insurance
Valuation based on similar annual travel insurance policies available online for trips of up to 60 days.
Rental vehicle excess cover (separate from travel insurance)
Valuation based on similar rental vehicle excess insurance policies available online.
Transit accident insurance
Valuation based on similar global transit accident insurance policies available online.
|Total estimated value||$1,373|
|Net customer value||$998|