Our Pick of the Bunch in Rewards Schemes
Everybody loves being rewarded when they spend. Most airlines, and some of the biggest credit card providers run schemes where you can redeem accumulated points on domestic and international air travel.
One of Australia’s most favourite ways of spending their credit card rewards is on international air travel. Here are some of the most outstanding airline credit card rewards schemes.
ANZ Frequent Flyer Platinum Card
The ANZ Frequent Flyer Platinum Card combines features of a frequent flyer program and a platinum card, plus enjoy bonus Qantas Points and no annual fee for the first year.
- $295 p.a. annual fee
- 19.99% p.a. on purchases
- Cash Advance Rate of 21.49% p.a.
- Up to 55 days interest free
- Minimum Income Requirement of $35,000 p.a.
Airline credit card rewards schemes available today
Amex has a travel service specifically for their card holders. With this service, not only can members redeem points for flights, but they can also spend their points on travel vouchers, and can even use them to purchase foreign currency at an American Express foreign exchange branches. Learn more about American Express credit cards.
Qantas Frequent Flyer Program
The Qantas Frequent Flyer Program is the largest frequent flyer rewards program in Australia. Most of the major banks offer credit cards that allow you to earn points, giving this program a lot flexibility and choice in terms of points earning ability. Compare and review the Qantas Frequent Flyer Program here.
The Velocity Rewards program is gaining ground on the other rewards programs with the re-introduction of Virgin Money into the market,and new products like the Velocity Global Wallet. You can now earn points through Virgin Money, AMEX and NAB credit cards. Review and learn more about the Velocity Frequent Flyer Rewards Program.
The Citibank Travel Program
Citibank customers have a wide range of airline companies they can purchase flights from, as they are given the choice of some of Citibank’s many airline partners.
This includes British Airways, Virgin Australia, Emirates and even Qantas. Members also have the choice of redeeming points for either domestic or international flights, giving them even more of a choice. Learn more about Citibank’s Travel Program.
The airline credit card rewards scheme available from Westpac is named the ‘Altitude’ program.
Like some of the other card providers, Westpac allows customers to use points to buy flights on many major airlines.
Westpac’s partners are British Airways, Qantas and Emirates. These flights are not limited geographically, and flights can be purchased for anywhere in the world.
As you can see, generally the basic idea of these cards is the same. Each time you spend money on your credit card you will earn an amount of reward points. The more you spend, the more points you will earn.
These points are then exchanged for rewards that commonly come in the form of domestic and international air travel, travel vouchers, hotel accommodation, car rental, and other travel-related incentives.
The benefits of airline credit cards
Today there are many credit cards linked to these programs. To earn points all you need to do is spend on eligible transactions, which typically includes all of your everyday purchases. Airline Credit cards have a range of other perks.
Low costs or free flights
With the prices going down on domestic travel, interest charges can quickly add up to more than the cost of a flight. That is why it is so important to only collect points if you are absolutely certain that you can pay off your balance at the end of the month. You may be left out of pocket if you don’t.When you pay for purchases using airline credit cards, you’re able to earn points or miles. Accumulate enough of these and you can redeem them for discounted or even free flights.
Complimentary travel insurances
Anyone who travels frequently will tell you the importance of having travel insurance in place before you go away. You’ll find there are plenty of cards that offer a range of complimentary travel insurances. Some of these include domestic and international travel insurance, flight inconvenience insurance, transport accident cover, hotel burglary cover for domestic travel, purchase protection insurance, extended warranties on items purchased your card and more.
Personal concierge service
You can access your own personal concierge 24/7 at home or if you’re travelling and you want a hand organising something. They’ll help you book accommodation, taxis, concert or event tickets, or locate and book restaurants nearby to you. They’ll even help you arrange shipping for any items you buy while you’re overseas.
Access airport lounges
Anyone who travels a lot will know the pain and inconvenience of waiting for a flight in amongst thousands of other economy-class passengers milling around. However, some airline credit cards can offer you complimentary access into some of the quiet, comfortable airport lounges.
Rather than pay the difference between an economy class fare and a business class fare, redeem some of your airline points to upgrade your seat instead.
Discounted car hire
Only some of the airline rewards programs offer discounts on car rentals, but if you look out for programs that offer this, you could redeem some of your points for lower rates on car hire.
Depending on the airline credit card you apply for, you may also be able to redeem your points on other great things that don’t necessarily have to do with flights. For example, you might be able to redeem your points for tickets aboard a cruise ship.
There are also airline rewards available to help you receive discounts on fuel purchases and even grocery purchases if you prefer.
The key to choosing the right airline credit card to suit you is to check out the options available. Be sure the costs will be worth the effort and always take the time to compare the options available.
How to compare airline credit cards
Well, you have probably tackled one of the main hurdles involved. You have already determined that you want an airline credit card as opposed to other types of credit cards. You have made a wise decision up to this point, but how will you continue to narrow down and make your final selection. This will basically depend on a number of factors that you have the power to control at this point.
Just like with any other credit card, there are still a few basics that you need to account for when comparing airline credit cards. Remember that although it’s an airline credit card, it’s firstly a credit card first. You still have to do the proper research to make sure that you will be making a wise decision which takes into account the interest rate, annual fee, balance transfer rate, cash advance rate, and any other credit card surcharges that may be passed along to you via the merchant. Learn more about how to compare these types of cards.
When it comes to airline credit cards, it’s all about the points. Compare the point systems for many of the available programs and determine which one will offer the best benefits. For each dollar that you spend, how many airline miles or points will you gain? In addition to the air miles earned, will you be awarded points for money that is spent on other things besides air travel? This is something that should concern you if you are not a frequent globetrotter. How many points will you earn if you purchase everyday items?
In addition to the regular points that are awarded on credit cards, look for those that have bonus points or introductory offers. For instance, as a new cardholder, many card providers will give you a bonus lump sum payment of points. The bottom line is that you should try to find as many points and perks as you can for a reasonable annual fee and interest rate.
Compare Frequent Flyer credit cards
Tips for earning more points with an airline credit card
There are many ways to boost your points earning potential. The key to this is to use your credit card for transactions which you’ll be rewarded for and which you would’ve had to carry out anyway. Frivolous spending with a rewards card will not net you a return because of the low value which comes with any points earned. Read on to find out a few handy hints when earning points.
Pay for more purchases
If you have a credit card that gives you reward points for spending money, go ahead and pay for the things you need on your card. Pay your bills (as long as you earn points for paying bills), and pay for your groceries and fuel on your card. This will mean increasing your balance, but as long as you remember to put aside enough money to cover the amounts you spend before the interest free days expire, this won’t be a problem. You’ll be earning points without adding to your debt levels this way.
Some airline cards will give you rewards when you eat out at certain restaurants. Take the time to figure out which restaurants will earn you bonus points. It’s easy to find some great places to eat in convenient locations and in a price range to suit your own budget. When you’re done, pay for your meal using your credit card and you’ll be receiving rewards for dining at a partner restaurant, as well as points for using your card. The golden rule for this type of points earning is to only eat there if you were going to eat out anyway. Remember earning points for the sake of it is not a good practice to get into.
Shop with partners
You can boost your airline credit card rewards points by shopping with the various partners of the program you’re with. Most cards offering any kind of reward program will have partnerships with stores, outlets, and airlines that will offer you extra bonus miles when you shop with them. Once again, this allows you to earn points for shopping at those particular outlets and again for using your card to pay for your purchases.
Fly more frequently
With so many budget flights available, why not fly instead of driving between far destinations? Each time you fly using any of the partner airlines within your particular airline rewards program, you’ll be earning more points. Pay for your flights on your card and you’ll receive points for that too.
Watch for special deals
Your airline rewards program is very likely to have some form of newsletter to let you know about any special offers circulating. A good example of this is being asked to complete a survey after you’ve eaten at a partner restaurant. You may have earned bonus points for eating at that establishment and more points again for paying with your credit card. Yet you can earn even more bonus points just for completing a short survey about your experience. This has the potential to triple the number of points you’ve earned from that one transaction.
The secret behind earning plenty of airline credit card rewards points is to be aware of the ways in which you can be rewarded. Then work out ways to use those tips to your advantage and you’ll be racking up those miles in no time.
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Rates last updated October 27th, 2016.
- American Express Qantas Discovery Card
The spend criteria for the bonus points has been changed from $300 to $750.
October 4th, 2016
- NAB Qantas Rewards Premium Card - Exclusive Offer
Exclusive 75,000 bonus points when you spend $1,500 on everyday purchases in the first 90 days.
October 24th, 2016
- Emirates Citi World MasterCard
New 40,000 bonus points offer on your first spend which is valid until 15 December 2016
October 27th, 2016