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.
Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.
Westpac’s credit card designers were certainly at the top of their game when they came up with the Westpac Altitude Black Credit Card (Altitude), which neatly packages most of the features that any credit card user could ask for, even though it comes with the usual hefty fee for a black credit card. If you choose this card, you’ll want to hang around for at least a year to make the most of the multiple benefits, including choice of rewards, high points earning rates coupled with substantial bonus points, and a suite of complimentary benefits.
Westpac’s highest Altitude points earning rate, uncapped
Earn as many Altitude Rewards points as you like, every month, at the following high rates:
‘Golden hello’ bonus points
Effectively a sign-up reward, a whopping 150,000 bonus Altitude Rewards points will be credited to your account, as long as you spend a minimum of $4,000 on purchases with the card within 90 days of account approval. That’s $1,333 per month, an achievable target for most people considering a black-tier credit card.
To give you an idea of what this is worth, 150,000 Altitude points will buy you around $715 worth of retail gift cards delivered electronically. Convert the Altitude points into Velocity frequent flyer points, and the resulting 50,000 points could be used for three return Economy flights between Sydney and Melbourne or Brisbane (46,800 points).
Redeeming Altitude points
There are plenty of attractive options for redeeming your Altitude points, and once you get your hands on those 150,000 bonus points you’ll feel like a kid in a lolly shop:
Almost every conceivable complimentary benefit
This is the area where, on top of the high points earning rate, the card justifies its annual fee.
The extensive, money-saving complementary benefits include:
That’s quite a list, and it not only matches but in many cases exceeds the benefits offered with other black cards.
Annual fee typically high
The $250 annual fee (with no extra charge for a supplementary card on the account) is fairly typical, given the points earning rates and attached complimentary benefits.
Anyone interested in a top-of-the-range card like this is unlikely to be concerned by the card’s interest rates, since they probably plan to pay off their purchase balance in full every month. But for the record, the purchases interest rate is 20.49% p.a., while the cash advance interest rate is slightly higher at 21.49% p.a.
Up to 45 interest-free days on purchases, not 55
Some credit cards give you up to 55 interest-free days on purchases, but this isn’t one of them. You’ll get up to 45 days instead, still a valuable benefit, but it does mean that you’ll need to come up with your repayment cash a total of 120 days earlier during the course of a year.
Competing black cards
If you’re in the market for a black card, you’ll need to compare Westpac’s offerings with the ANZ Rewards Black Credit Card, the NAB Rewards Signature Card and the Citi Prestige Card.
Westpac Altitude Black is designed for . . .
. . . someone who wants it all and can afford to pay for it, but still expects top value per dollar spent: a high points earning rate, bonus points, airport lounges passes and free insurance cover that’s better in many respects than the cover provided by competing cards.
Eventually I was told in writing that they would approve my application if I provided them with payslips and bank details, which I did, after which I heard nothing.
Six weeks later, I called them back to find out why I hadn’t been provided with my card yet, and I was bounced around a Filipino call centre for over an hour, before being told that because I’d disclosed that I own 16% of my employer that I was be deemed to be self-employed. This meant that I was not an employee, which meant that the information I provided was false, which meant that my card application was denied. Unbelievable.
I’m young (38) and I have already made $6m from a standing start, which means that I’m on my way to becoming a very rich old man. This experience has ensured that I will never bank with Westpac ever again.
I saved lots of money by using the 0% balance transfer offer. I transferred another bank credit card balance to my Westpac black card.
I also earned lots of rewards points by using the card to pay bills and for shopping.
I got the card as part of my home loan package, so I don’t have to pay an annual fee of $395 again.
This credit card comes with some great handy features such as free travel insurance, extended warranty insurance and global lounge access through Priority Pass network.
The card also comes with complimentary SPG Gold membership, which is good for staying at Sheraton and Le Meridien hotels around the world.
The downside is high interest charges as well as a very high annual fee.
This is a very good card with great rewards.
They give very good service with enquiries answered in Australia. Their website is very good and easy to use. They are there to help 24/7, and do help if you need them.
They give reward points quickly and have great rewards.
My hubby worked for Westpac, so we’re not paying fees. I love the rewards they offer, including vouchers and so much else to choose from.
Whenever I need help I ring the help desk and always get a prompt solution from a representative.
Cards are always replaced quickly if lost. Whenever we had fraudulent transactions they always rang to make sure everything was OK.
With added benefits of travel insurance with overseas travel, the Westpac Black Altitude card is a standout. It provides a range of gift card options and a good variety of product awards, and a pair of complimentary airport lounge passes annually to use through Priority Pass. This card has it all for avid travellers and shoppers.
It’s a good card to have if you have a Premier Advantage Home Loan package with Westpac, as the fees are already paid for in the Advantage Package fees.
It’s a reasonable offering for complimentary travel insurance. Rewards are reasonable, although you may wish to switch to Velocity Membership points when there is a promotional period on.
This credit card has a great feature in that it allows you to also redeem cash back on purchases using the points that you have available on the card. The items available for purchase using the card are also unique and are quite compelling and make me use my card so I can gain points!
$395 annual fee. Rewards are pretty standard compared to the other big banks. AmEx Velocity (annual fee $349) is better — free domestic flight anywhere plus points, insurance etc)
If I need to speak to a customer rep it is easy (direct phone line).
3 points to the dollar on AmEx, 1.25 points to the dollar on MasterCard. As a family we rack up points quickly, and convert them to fuel and Woolies cards
I’ve had 2 non-authorised transactions in the past, but Westpac was quick to review and rectify.
I tend to use the American Express card more than the MasterCard because of the accumulation of points — not that I have ever redeemed any points, but I have accumulated a great many in the hope of one day redeeming them.
Most of my purchases are made online, so the card is convenient. I don’t like carrying lots of cash, so in store the card is convenient.
|Cash advances||1.79%||21.49% p.a.|