Boost your rewards points account by applying for a credit card with a sign up bonus, available from most banks and often linked with Qantas and Velocity.
Firstly you should compare the various rates and find a deal that offers you the biggest savings. You must also take into consideration how long the introductory deal lasts, and how it changes when the honeymoon period expires. Sign up bonuses look great in the short term, but you also need to plan ahead to make sure you get the best deal for the long term. Many sign up bonuses involve a single bonus of points added to your account. So when you are comparing this type of bonus, consider how many points are on offer, what they can be redeemed for and how many points you need to redeem for something you actually want, e.g. flights, hotels, electronics, etc.
If you need to make a balance transfer to switch your debt from one card to another, a sign up bonus could be the right choice for you. Finding a card with a 0% rate on balance transfers allows you to pay off your debt with less interest, but to get the savings you need to repay the debt within the bonus period and avoid the higher rates when the promotion expires.
If you are someone who regularly travels either domestically or internationally, then a sign up bonus offering frequent flyer points may be exactly what you are looking for. However, before deciding on the card you want to apply for you should carefully consider what airline you fly with most, which airlines fly the routes you travel most and even what airlines fly from your local airport. Here are other details to consider.
The terms ‘sign up bonus’ and ‘ first purchase bonus’ are often used interchangeably. In fact, there is a difference. A very small number of cards will give you the sign up bonus as soon as your account is approved – no spending required &ndash: and this is a true ‘sign up bonus’. But for most cards, the sign up bonus is in fact a ‘first purchase bonus’; that is, you will be required to fulfil certain spending conditions (e.g. make $1,000 worth of purchases in the first three months of holding the card) before you can receive the bonus.
Normally, no. The sign up bonus is a one-off incentive for new customers. You will receive the bonus once only, either when your account is approved or when you meet the spending conditions. Most sign up bonus offers exclude existing customers who currently have, or have previously held, another card from the same issuer. This exclusion can often extend to customers of another bank in the same group (e.g. the wide-ranging Westpac/St. George group). However, in some cases you will be able to qualify for the sign up bonus if a reasonable period of time (e.g. 12 or 18 months) has elapsed since you last held one of the issuer’s cards.
Yes. AmEx companion card holders are not excluded from AmEx’s own sign up bonus offers. American Express will still allow you to qualify for a sign up bonus if you apply for a directly-issued American Express card, even though you may already have a companion AmEx card issued by another bank.
No. Your card issuer will normally ask you to notify them of your frequent flyer number within a given period (e.g. four weeks) after your new card is approved. However, you will need to have the appropriate brand of frequent flyer account, before you can receive any bonus points or points earned on normal spending.
Sign up bonus points involving a target spending amount will normally be credited to your points account within two or sometimes three months of the spending criteria being met. For example, if you are required to spend $1,000 in the first three months after card approval, and you don’t reach the spending target until the end of the third month, your bonus points may not arrive until six months after you first get your new card.
No. These two transaction types are considered to be ‘cash equivalents’, and will not be counted as part of your qualifying spending. You must make actual purchases of goods or services in order to meet any spending criteria.
Other types of transactions likely to be excluded include:
Some cards will also exclude any BPAY payments made using the card, and any premiums paid for the bank’s proprietary brand of credit card insurance.
Applying for a sign up bonus credit card couldn’t be easier. Simply hit the ‘Application’ button, check if you meet the bank’s eligibility requirements, and complete the easy and secure online application process. Many banks will give you an instant answer, and if approved you should receive your card in the post within a week or so.