Best Frequent Flyer Credit Card
We compare the latest Frequent Flyer Credit Cards of 2017 to help you select the best Frequent Flyer Credit Card where point earn rates, introductory bonus points, redemption opportunities and points capping are all integral to accessing the best choice for you.
Frequent Flyer Reward programs which are offered with frequent flyer credit cards are customer loyalty programs which reward credit cardholders for using their frequent flyer credit card to pay for eligible purchases. There’s a number of frequent flyer programs which have partnered with credit card providers, though they all operate in much the same way, with more frequent credit card usage translating to greater points accumulation. The 2 most popular frequent flyer programs in Australia are the Qantas Frequent Flyer and the Velocity Frequent Flyer programs, though frequent flyer credit cards also are offered, which have frequent flyer reward points on offer, from Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Program and Emirates Skywards Program.
The Best Frequent Flyer Credit Cards feature a combination of high point earn rates, generous introductory bonus points, low fees, complimentary airport lounge access and competitive purchase and cash advance interest rates. Our guide to selecting the best frequent flyer credit card (below the table) is designed to help select the best frequent flyer credit card for your financial circumstances and credit requirements.
Frequent Flyer Credit Card Comparison
The costs associated with using and holding a frequent flyer credit card, including interest rates, annual card fees and transacting costs should be at the forefront when comparing the frequent flyer credit cards available as no amount of rewards points will pay off the debts incurred on your credit card.
The value you can attain from any frequent flyer points earned from the frequent flyer credit card, be it from an introductory offer, bonus frequent flyer points or your ongoing use of the credit card should be accessed in conjunction with the aforementioned costs of the frequent flyer credit card.
Earning the most frequent flyer points
The frequent flyer points earned from holding a frequent flyer credit card are dictated by 5 factors as previewed below:
1. The Frequent Flyer point earn rate
The earn rate of a frequent flyer credit card determines the number of frequent flyer points that you are rewarded by the credit card provider for each $1 spent on eligible purchases (more on this later) using your frequent flyer credit card. So if the earn rate is 1 Point for each $1 spent using your frequent flyer credit card and you spend $20, you will earn 20 frequent flyer points.
The earn rates offered on frequent flyer credit cards tends to fall in the range of 0.5 to 3 points for each $1 spent using your frequent flyer credit card, with the higher point earn rates being offered by Platinum and Black Frequent Flyer Credit Cards. Some frequent flyer credit cards have different earn rates depending on the type of purchase which you are using your credit card to pay for, so for example if you use your American Express Velocity Escape credit card to purchase a flight from Virgin Australia, the points earned will be calculated relative to a “partner point earn rate” which tends to be higher than the general point earn rate.
2. Introductory Bonus Frequent Flyer Points
There are around 50 Frequent Flyer credit cards available in Australia with many of the credit cards offering very similar features, benefits and rates so to differentiate their frequent flyer credit cards the credit card providers often have promotional periods during which introductory offers of bonus points are used to entice prospective frequent flyer card holders, to choose their credit card over a competitors.
Increasingly these point frequent flyer bonuses have become subject to new cardholders using their frequent flyer credit card at a denoted level within the first few months of holding the card. So for example a sign up bonus of 10,000 points maybe offered, with the points being lodged into your nominated frequent flyer account once you make a purchase within three months of receiving your new frequent flyer credit card.
Best Introductory Bonus Point Offers for Qantas and Velocity Points
100,000 Qantas Points Full Card Details >>
Annual fee $450, no points cap, Complimentary Insurances
100,000 Velocity Points Full Card Details >>
Annual fee $375, no points cap, Complimentary Insurances
3. Purchases eligible to earn frequent flyer points
Frequent Flyer points are only awarded when you use your frequent flyer credit card to pay for eligible purchases, these eligible purchases vary slightly by credit card provider but generally include everyday purchases and exclude balance transfers, utility bills and ATO transactions.
4. Frequent Point Points Expiry periods
Some frequent flyer points have an expiry date, which is generally in the range of 24-36 months. Having earned the points you should look to select a frequent flyer credit card that will allow you to redeem your points in a timeframe acceptable to you.
5. Points Capping of the frequent flyer points you can earn from your credit card
Many frequent flyer credit cards fix a limit on the number of points which can be earned across a defined time period, usually monthly or annually. Once this “cap” is reached any spend you make using your frequent flyer credit card will not be rewarded with frequent flyer points. Frequent Flyer Credit Cards with Uncapped Point earning potential do exist but are limited in numbers, with Qantas Credit Cards with No Points Cap and Velocity Credit Cards with No Points Cap well worth consideration when you are seeking to be rewarded for every dollar of spend on your frequent flyer credit card.
Which Frequent Flyer Programs have Frequent Flyer Credit Cards aligned with them?
Qantas has partnered with many of the credit card issuers and is the most active in the frequent flyer credit card category with over 50 Qantas Frequent Flyer Credit Cards, available including from providers including American Express, Westpac, nab and ANZ. With over 400 Qantas Rewards partners participating in the Qantas Rewards program the opportunities for bonus points for spending with partners is extensive, and compliments the bonus point opportunities when booking with Qantas Holidays and Qantas Airways.
Virgin Australia has formed relationships with each of the major credit card issuers who offer over 40 Velocity Credit Cards, providers include American Express, Virgin Money and nab.
The redemption opportunities with Velocity Rewards are extensive and as you'd expect include flights, to over 600 global destinations, with tickets starting at just 7,000 points. The Velocity eStore features hundreds of merchandise choices from electronics to gift cards and even charity donations. Velocity Points can also be transferred to the Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer program at the rate of 1.35 Velocity Points for 1 KrisFlyer Mile.
Emirates in partnership with Citi and American Express offer Frequent Flyer Reward credit cards aligned with the Emirates Skywards Rewards program. Skywards Miles can be redeemed for a variety of rewards and can be earned through flights, promotions and partner offers, notabley it is free to join with no annual membership fee.
Singapore Airlines has partnered with Westpac and American Express to offer Frequent Flyer Credit Cards aligned with its KrisFlyer program. Cardholders can redeem their KrisFlyer miles for award flights to more than 1,000 destinations in over 170 countries as well as upgrades on Singapore Airlines, SilkAir and world-class airline partners in the Star Alliance. Both Citi Rewards and Velocity Points can now be transferred to Singapore Airlines Krisflyer Miles.
If you are not loyal to a single airline and would prefer the flexibility of transferring your points to a range of Airline Frequent Flyer Programs the Westpac Altitude Program is worth consideration. Westpac Altitude Rewards key feature is it's versatility to transfer your Altitude points to a wide choice of frequent flyer partner programs including Qantas Rewards, Velocity Frequent Flyer Rewards, Malaysia Airlines Enrich, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, Singapore Airlines Krisflyer and Air NZ Airpoints.
With the opportunity to transfer your American Express Member Rewards points to one of 9 Airline Frequent Flyer Programs the American Express Credit Cards are a good option when you are not loyal to any one airline and prefer to have complete flexibility on how you use your points with any of the avaialble frequent Flyer Programs. The Airline Frequent Flyer Programs American Express currently partners with for points transfer are: Virgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyer, Emirates Skywards, Etihad Guest, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Air New Zealand Airpoints, THAI Royal Orchid Plus, Malaysia Airlines Enrich and Cathay Pacific Asia Miles.
Citi Rewards Credit Cards offer you the choice of earning Qantas Frequent Flyer points on your Citi Signature credit card or Citi Prestige credit card by joining Citi Qantas Rewards. Your points will automatically be transferred to the Qantas Frequent Flyer program each month which enables you to use your points to redeem from over 2,000 products, vouchers or experiences through the on-line Qantas Frequent Flyer Store or any available Classic Award flight with Qantas, Jetstar and participating partner airlines.
ANZ Qantas Frequent Flyer Credit Cards are offered as companion credit cards, so cardholders hold both an American Express and a Visa Credit Card to provide acceptance across the globe, combined with the ability to maximize all Qantas Point earning opportunities, by presenting the Qantas credit card with the highest Qantas Point earn rate, when paying for goods and services.
Qantas Frequent Flyer Point earn rates
|Qantas Frequent Flyer Credit Card||Visa/Mastercard Qantas Points per $1 spent||American Express Qantas Points per $1 spent||Annual Card Fee|
|American Express Discovery Credit Card||0||1.0||$0|
|Citi Qantas Signature Credit Card||1.0||0||$299|
|NAB Qantas Rewards Premium Credit Card||0.5||1.5||$250|
|NAB Qantas Rewards Credit Card||0.5||1.0||$95|
|American Express Qantas Ultimate Credit Card||0||0.5 - 3.0 depending on purchase type||$450|
Velocity Frequent Flyer Point earn rates
|Velocity Frequent Flyer Credit Card||Visa/Mastercard Velocity Points per $1 spent||American Express Velocity Points per $1 spent||Annual Card Fee|
|American Express Velocity Escape Credit Card||0||1.0||$0|
|Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Credit Card||1.0||0||$129|
|American Express Platinum Velocity Credit Card||0||0.5 - 3 points depending on purchase type||$349|
|NAB Velocity Rewards Credit Card||0.5||1.5||$95
Credit Cards with Reward Point Sign Up bonuses - Generous reward point sign up bonuses are offfered intermittently by the credit card providers to entice new applicants to apply for their credit card, over a competitors, these sign up bonuses range from 5,000 to 50,000 reward points, the current deals are reviewed in this article. Read more
Best Frequent Flyer Credit Card - Frequently Asked Questions
Qantas and Virgin are the top two airlines in Australia with a wide following in their respective frequent flyer programs. However, there are also a few other international airlines frequent flyer programs that are linked with Australian credit cards.
One is the Emirates Skywards Miles program, which is linked to the Emirates Citibank World credit card. Citibank offers 1 Skywards mile for every $1 spent. Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Rewards program is linked to some cards in Australia including the St George Amplify Platinum Credit Card and Westpac Altitude Credit Card.
No. Both Qantas Frequent Flyer and Velocity Frequent Flyer programs don’t expire points. However, you should earn or redeem points within a certain time period - 18 months for Qantas and 36 months for Velocity - to keep the status of your account, and your points active.
No, Qantas Points earned from using your Qantas Frequent Flyer Credit Card do not shown immediately in your linked Qantas Frequent Flyer Account.
The time it takes for your earned FF points to be transferred to your Qantas Frequent Flyer account is dependent on your credit card providers processes. Providers usually have a designated day of the month when transfers are made. If you have previously earned frequent flyer points, you may check your account statements for the previous months to know the exact date of the transfer. If you are a new frequent flyer cardholder, you can expect that the points will be moved once a month, usually after your first billing period and after you’ve made a payment on your card.
Unsuccessful transfers or delays in the process could be due to the following reasons:
- The credit card name is different from the name of the Frequent Flyer account;
- The provider holds an incorrect Qantas Frequent Flyer number; or
- The provider has purposely withheld the points in accordance with certain terms and conditions.
If you have already made a payment on your credit card and your Frequent Flyer points do not reflect on your Qantas account within 30 days, it is best to contact your credit card provider regarding this matter.
Although many points are awarded based on 1 point per $1 spent this does not result in the points being worth $1.
What you spend your frequent flyer points on will determine the value you are able to yield from your frequent flyer points. Redeeming your frequent flyer points for a $100 gift card is easy and convenient but will not be the best value. Redeeming your frequent flyer points for a premium economy seat or business class seat on an international flight with most airlines will yield a much higher points-to-dollar value.
No. Both Qantas Frequent Flyer and Velocity Frequent Flyer programs do not penalize members who do not use their points. However, you should earn or redeem points within a certain time period - 18 months for Qantas and 36 months for Velocity - to keep the status of your account and your points active.