Frequent Flyer Credit Cards
Best Frequent Flyer Credit Card Comparison
Compare the Best Frequent Flyer Credit Cards. All the deals on earn rates, sign up bonuses, low rates & fees. Apply on line, 60 second response.
A Frequent Flyer Credit Card is a rewards credit card that is linked to a frequent flyer program of an airline, with any rewards points earned for using the credit card being allocated to your frequent flyer account.
Consumers can earn frequent flyer points for using their frequent flyer credit card, which will then be credited to the frequent flyer program. Points or frequent flyer miles earned under a frequent flyer program can be redeemed for free flights and other travel benefits like seat upgrades, priority check-in and boarding, access to airline lounge, and insurance. Frequent Flyer points may also be redeemed for shopping and entertainment rewards.
The Best Frequent Flyer Credit Cards offer a combination of high point earn rates, generous introductory bonus points, low credit card fees 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 rewards programs are widely used in Australia and among the most popular are the Qantas Frequent Flyer and Velocity Frequent Flyer programs. Credit card providers typically award 1 point for every $1 spent, although the point earn rates per $1 spent tend to be higher (1.5, 2 or 3 points) for the prestige level frequent flyer credit cards (i.e gold credit cards and platinum credit cards). Other features of frequent flyer credit cards such as annual fees, interest rate, bonus points, point capping and balance transfer offers vary from one provider to another.
If you are a current member of a Frequent Flyer Program or have a preferred program use our quick links to compare the frequent flyer credit cards within your frequent flyer program of choice: Qantas Credit Cards, Velocity Credit Cards, Singapore Airlines Kris Flyer Credit Cards, Emirates Skywards Credit Cards
Select the Best Frequent Flyer Credit Card.
Frequent Flyer Credit Cards are rewards credit cards which are aligned to specific airline partners, who reward frequent flyer credit card users who are members of the airlines loyalty program, with reward points which can be redeemed for travel, services and merchandise offered via the Airlines Frequent Flyer Loyalty programs.
Many Australians are members of Frequent Flyer programs and earn reward points for flying with their preferred airline, Frequent Flyer credit cards aligned with their chosen Airline provide an additional means of accumulating Frequent Flyer points, by attaining points in return for using their frequent flyer credit card for everyday purchases.
Compare Frequent Flyer Credit Cards
Which Frequent Flyer Program should I choose?
Each Frequent Flyer Credit Card is aligned to a specific airlines frequent flyer credit card program, so the initial decision you will need to take is to decide which airline is your preferred provider. This maybe an easy answer, as you may already be a member of a frequent flyer program for which you have earned points from using the Airline.
If you are not already a member of a Frequent Flyer Program you should consider the following when deciding on best frequent flyer credit card program for you:
- Does the Airline I normally fly with have a frequent flyer program?
- Does this Frequent Flyer Program offer the types of rewards that are attractive to me?
I’m not a frequent flyer are frequent flyer credit cards relevant to me?
Probably not, as to maximize your points earning with a frequent flyer credit card you will need to be travelling relatively frequently on the airline providing the frequent flyer program. If you are looking to be rewarded for your credit card spending a more general Reward Credit Card should be considered which is not tied to a Frequent Flyer Program.
I’m a frequent flyer but not loyal to a single airline - are frequent flyer credit cards relevant to me?
Many frequent travellers choose their airline based on the price of the ticket offered, which may mean the end up using multiple airlines to fulfill their travel requirements.
A number of Rewards Credit Cards cater for this type of traveller by offering frequent flyer credit cards that are aligned to a number of Airline partners, as opposed to just one. With this flexibility points earned on credit card purchases can be transferred to any of the airline partners participating in the Reward Program, an example of this type of program is the Altitudes Reward Program, operated by Westpac Group that is aligned with about 10 airlines.
What are the earn Rates of the Best Frequent Flyer Credit Cards?
At the base level each frequent flyer credit card rewards cardholders with points for each $1 spent on eligible purchases. This raises two questions:
1. What are eligible purchases?
This varies by the credit card provider, so check the terms & conditions of the frequent flyer credit cards you are considering, but the general criteria states that eligible purchases are everyday purchases and excludes balance transfers, utility bill payments, ATO payments and council related payments.
2. How many points do I earn per $1 spent?
The “earn rate” for frequent flyer points is one of the key card features to compare when accessing the Best Frequent Flyer Credit Cards as it can vary significantly between credit cards. Most frequent flyer credit cards have a base earn rate that applies to the majority of purchases, and then a second that is higher than the standard, and rewards you for spending with a range of “partners”. A third level may also be available where the earn rates are again increased for spending with the Airline to which your frequent flyer credit card is aligned, so for example purchasing a holiday via Qantas holidays with your NAB Qantas Rewards Credit Card.
What are Introductory Bonus Point Offers?
Frequent Flyer credit card providers are aware that potential card holders are eager to build their points balances and have responded to this by offering points as an incentive to apply for their respective credit card. Introductory Frequent Flyer Bonus point offers of up to 60,000 are promoted by the credit card providers, often to attain the full quantity of bonus points offered certain spend thresholds must be met within the 1st year of holding the frequent flyer credit card.
55,000 Bonus Qantas Points Full Card Details >>
$450 p.a. annual card fee, No points cap, complimentary insurances, 0% p.a. on Balance Transfers for 12 months.
30,000 Bonus Qantas Points Full Card Details >>
Annual Fee $249, No Points cap, 0% p.a. Balance Transfer for 12 months, up to 44 days interest free on purchases
50,000 Bonus Velocity Points Full Card Details >>
50,000 Bonus Qantas Points Full Card Details >>
Reduced Annual fee of $199 for first year (Normally $395), high Qantas Point earn rates, complimentary insurances.
Do I have to be a member of the Airlines Frequent Flyer Program to benefit from the Frequent Flyer credit card rewards?
Yes, you will need to be a member of the Frequent Flyer program that your frequent flyer credit card is aligned to. Membership of these programs usually attracts an annual fee, so check this when comparing the frequent flyer credit cards on your shortlist. Frequently the credit card providers waive this membership fee for the first year, as an additional incentive to apply for their frequent flyer credit card.
Each Frequent Flyer Program operates a tiered membership system with the most frequent flyers attaining the highest platinum level status which translates to access to premium airport lounges, priority check in and larger luggage allowances. These higher tiers also have higher frequent flyer point earn rates for flying with the Airline.
What is a “direct earn” Frequent Flyer Credit Card?
Direct Earn Frequent Flyer Credit Cards are designed to make managing your points super easy through linking with your Frequent Flyer Account. This linking of the accounts means that your Frequent Flyer Account will be automatically credited with any points you earn from using your frequent flyer credit card at the end of each statement period.
Do the Frequent Flyer Rewards points expire?
The expiration conditions of any reward points earned from a Frequent Flyer credit card vary by credit card provider, and should be checked closely as a short expiry period for points will impact your ability to accumulate a volume of points required to acquire, through redemption long haul flights or merchandise of real merit.
Will I earn frequent flyer points for every dollar I spend on eligible purchases using my frequent flyer credit card?
This depends on whether your frequent flyer credit card has a points cap or not. If it has a points cap, this means that the amount of points you can earn over a specified period (usually a month) is capped at stated level, and any eligible purchases made once you have reached this cap will not earn any frequent flyer points. Some frequent flyer credit cards feature both monthly and annual caps that could potentially significantly curtail your FF points earning potential.
When accessing the impact any point caps might have on your frequent flyer rewards compare your forecast monthly and monthly credit card spend with the point cap values the frequent flyer credit card places across the cap periods. Frequent Flyer Credit Cards with uncapped point earning do exist but are few in numbers, Qantas Credit Cards with No Points Cap and Velocity Credit Cards with No Points cap should be considered when you are seeking to be rewarded for every dollar of spend your frequent flyer credit card.
How competitive are the Purchase Rates offered by Frequent Flyer Credit Cards?
Frequent Flyer credit cards typically feature purchase rates at the higher end of the range, which means if you do not pay of your balance in full each month the value of the rewards you have accrued through card usage will soon be eroded away by high monthly interest charges. Consequently Frequent Flyer credit cards are most suitable for customers who can pay off their balance each month in full and avoid any interest charges.
Which Airlines have Frequent Flyer Credit Cards aligned with them?
Qantas is perhaps the most active in the frequent flyer credit card category with most of the top credit card providers issuing Qantas Frequent Flyer Credit Cards, including American Express, Westpac, nab and ANZ. With over 400 rewards partners the opportunities for bonus points for spending with partners is extensive, as are the opportunities when booking with Qantas Holidays and Qantas Airways.
Virgin Australia has relationships with each of the major credit card providers who between them issue over 40 Velocity Credit Cards, providers include American Express and nab.
The redemption options with Velocity Rewards are broad starting with 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 Skywards Rewards program. Skywards Miles can be redeemed for a variety of rewards and can be earned through flights, promotions and partner offers, notable it is free to join with no annual membership.
Singapore Airlines has partnered with Citi, American Express and Westpac to offer Frequent Flyer Credit Cards aligned with its KrisFlyer Miles 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 considering. 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 America Express Credit Cards are a good option when you are not loyal to any one airline and prefer to have total flexibility on how or of you use your points with any of the avaialble frequent Flyer Programs. The AirlineFrequent 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 Card to provide acceptance across the globe, combined with the ability to maximize all Qantas Point earning opportunities, by presenting the 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||$290|
|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|
Best Frequent Flyer Credit Cards of 2016 - Compare the best Frequent Flyer credit cards currently available side by side to appraise sign up bonuses, frequent flyer earn rates, complimentary insurances, card fees and interest rates. Compare the best FF Credit Cards
Frequent Flyer Credit Cards with no points cap - Credit Cards offering no points cap are becoming a rare commodity, with many providers chnaging their card conditions to remove the no cap feature. Compare the cards which have retained the no points cap from Westpac, Amex, Citi, St George and Virgin Money. Read more
Virgin Australia Velocity Reward Credit Cards reviewed and compared - Virgin Australia has partnered with a host of Australian credit card providers to offer range of Velocity reward credit cards, spending on which is rewarded with Velocity Reward points, which are automatically added to your existing Velocity Frequent Flyer Account. Compare the Velocity Reward Cards
Qantas Frequent Flyer Credit Cards reviewed and compared - Accelerate your earning of Qantas Frequent Flyer points by earning Qantas Points for your every day purchases paid for using one of the Qantas Frequent Flyer credit cards. Each of the major credit card providers offers a Qantas Frequent Flyer credit card which frequently include balance transfer and introductory bonus Qantas Point offers. Compare the Qantas Reward Credit Cards
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Sinpapore Airlines Krisflyer Credit Cards - Flying many routes from Australia, Singapore Airlines is a popular choice of many frequent international travellers, these credit cards offer the opportunity to accelerate your KrisFlyer Miles earning through simply using your KrisFlyer credit card to pay for everyday purchases. Read more
ANZ Qantas Frequent Flyer Credit Cards - With an entry level card, Platinum and Black credit card ANZ has the full remit of Qantas Cards on offer, all boasting generous sign up bonus Qantas Points and competitive Qantas Point earn rates. Read more.
Qantas Rewards Credit Cards - Compare the best Qantas Rewards credit cards side by side to appraise Qantas Point sign up bonuses, Qantas Point earn rates, complimentary insurances, card fees and rates. Read more
Frequent Flyer Credit Cards - Frequently Asked Questions
Qantas Rewards credit cards are rewards credit cards that can be used to earn points that go toward the Qantas Rewards program. Having been one of the first frequent flyer programs launched, the Qantas program is without doubt the most popular to date. All major banks and providers in Australia are offering their own Qantas credit card, with some providers offering as much as 5 frequent flyer points per dollar spent.
Qantas recently made a few changes to their Frequent Flyer program and now requires that the cards are nominated as direct earn cards. This means that consumers earn points directly into the Qantas program, whereas before points were earned under the card provider’s program and then transferred to the Frequent Flyer program at their discretion.
Just early this year, Qantas also announced a newly-formed alliance with Emirates. Here are some of the salient features of the Qantas and Emirates Partnership Frequent Flyer program as released by Qantas:
- Under the alliance, both Qantas Frequent Flyers and Emirates Skywards members will earn either Qantas FF points or Skyward miles on all flights. Points/miles conversion will depend on the fare amount.
- Since March 2013, Frequent Flyer points can already be redeemed for a Qantas Classic Award flight on Emirates services and Emirates Skywards miles can be used to redeem a Skywards Saver Reward flight on Qantas services. These arrangements are subject to availability.
- Access to the Emirates lounges (where available across Australia, Europe, Asia, North Africa and the Middle East) will be open to Platinum One, Platinum and Gold Qantas Frequent Flyers.
- Benefits given to high-tier credit cardholders of the operating carrier will be extended to the other carrier’s frequent flyer card members. These benefits may include priority check-in, priority waitlist, and immigration fast-tracking where available.
Velocity Frequent Flyer credit cards are credit cards associated with the Velocity Rewards program by Virgin Australia. Velocity Frequent Flyer credit cards are offered by American Express, NAB, and the Virgin Money line. These reward credit cards allow you to earn 1 Velocity point (or up to 2 points for some high-tier cards) for every $1 you spend. Bonus points, low or no annual fee on the first year, and interest-free days may be offered to new Velocity credit card members.
If you travel often and are keen on flying with Virgin, the Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer credit card may be one of the better frequent flyer deals for you. For an annual fee of $129, you get:
- 15,000 bonus Velocity points;
- Balance transfer offer of 2.9% p.a. for 6 months;
- Interest-free period of up to 44 days;
- Earning rate of 1 point per $1 spent for up to $1,500 of spending every month (then it reverts to 1 point per $2 spent);
- 4 complimentary flights every year with the 2 for 1 flights offer.
At the moment, there is only one Emirates-branded credit card in Australia that lets you earn points for the Emirates Skywards Miles program - the Emirates Citibank World credit card. This card allows you to earn 1.5 miles per $1 spent, and offers 3.9% interest on balance transfers for 9 months. The Citibank Emirates card also offers complimentary Emirates lounge access pass, one chauffeur driven airport transfer for use in Australia per year, and unlimited access to the Emirates Dubai lounge.
However, with the recent partnership of Emirates with Qantas, consumers are now given more opportunities to earn Emirates Skyward miles. Qantas flights with an Emirates flight number will earn Skywards miles and Tier miles as if you were on an Emirates flight, and Qantas flight numbers will earn Skywards miles at a partner earn rate. For more information on what the Qantas-Emirates alliance could mean to frequent flyer members of both programs, please see FAQ on Qantas Frequent Flyer credit cards above.
The time it takes for your earned FF points to be transferred to your Qantas Frequent Flyer account depends on your credit card provider. 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.
It will depend on your credit card provider. Most providers initiate automatic transfers of frequent flyer points but others do not. The specific details for this can be found on the respective credit card provider’s Terms and Conditions and you can check this out before deciding on a credit card which is linked to an Airlines reward program.
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.
Velocity frequent flyer points can be transferred to or combined with the points of an eligible family member who is also a Velocity member. The process of transferring points is easy and can be done online for free, or through the Velocity Membership Contact Centre for a small fee.
When transferring points online, just log in to your account and look for the ‘Points Transfer’ button on the left hand side of the screen. Transfers can be made up to four times a year and the number of points to be moved should be between 5,000 to 100,000 points. Check the Velocity program Terms and Conditions for information on who is considered an eligible family member.
To be able to use Qantas points you have earned through your credit card, membership to the Qantas Frequent Flyer program is a must. As of February 2013, the joining fee for the Qantas program is $82.50. However, the membership is usually linked with your credit card application and some providers that charge higher annual fees often simply include this as part of the frequent flyer credit card package.
If you are not yet a member of the Qantas program and are planning to get a Qantas-linked frequent flyer credit card, be sure to check whether you will still have to pay a separate fee for the membership.
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 tied with Australian credit cards.
One is the Emirates Skywards Miles program, which is linked to the Emirates Citibank Platinum credit card. Citibank offers 1.5 Skywards miles for every $1 spent. Another frequent flyer program available in Australia is the Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Rewards program. KrisFlyer miles can be earned through the Westpac Singapore Airlines Platinum card, American Express Platinum Edge credit card, and the American Express Platinum card.
No. Flights are only part of the rewards of the Qantas Reward program. In fact, you actually don’t have to be a frequent flyer to own a frequent flyer credit card because the points you accrue under this rewards program don’t just cover flights, flight upgrades, hotel bookings, and other travel perks. Frequent flyer points can also be redeemed for a variety of other rewards.
The Qantas store for instance, boasts of over 3,000 merchandise and gift items from quality brands. The Velocity Rewards Store also offers thousands of items over a wide range of categories. Merchandise can be easily redeemed online through your frequent flyer program account and delivered to your address. Rewards under the frequent flyer program can also be redeemed using a combination of earned points and cash.
Definitely not. Frequent flyer programs like the Qantas Frequent Flyer and the Velocity Rewards were started by the airline companies to reward their loyal patrons. Flyer points or miles were earned when travellers flew on these airline carriers and on their partner airlines. Seeing as how well-received these customer loyalty programs were, credit card providers then offered frequent flyer credit cards and rewards programs that linked to the existing frequent flyer programs of Qantas, Virgin, and others. These credit cards gave consumers more ways to earn frequent flyer points.
Consumers continue to earn frequent flyer points by booking flights on the airlines, as well as using frequent flyer credit cards. Aside from these, flyer points can also be earned by using the services of partner merchants. Qantas and Velocity have hundreds of program partners that include other airline carriers, department stores, restaurants, hotels, car rentals, and other services.
If you are scouting around for a rewards credit card that best suits your spending habits and financial position, there are many options you can consider and a frequent flyer card is just one of them. Frequent flyer credit cards are a good fit for cardholders who:
- Travel frequently. Frequent flyer programs were originally designed with the frequent flyers in mind so it follows that these consumers would be able to make the most of this card. Since you’ll be taking these flights anyway whether or not you have a FF card, then you might as well take advantage of the benefits of one. The rewards get better when your membership status goes higher and you’ll get extra travel perks.
- Use a credit card a lot. If you’re a fairly big spender and manage to settle your balance in full every month, you could really be well-rewarded with a frequent flyer credit card. You’ll earn more points the more you charge on your card, and you could actually get enough points to earn a free flight. Or, you could exchange your points for a wide range of exciting rewards other than flights.
If you don’t fall under these two general categories, then perhaps you could do better with a more conventional rewards card. Frequent flyer cards typically charge higher annual fees and you lose out when you don’t spend enough. Now with a no-frills rewards credit card that waives the annual fee (or charges a low one), you can actually be rewarded for your everyday spending without having to pay for anything in return. This is of course, provided you pay your balance in full every billing cycle. Cashback cards in particular, offer very tangible rewards because you can see the savings credited back to your account.
Although many points are awarded based on 1 point per $1 spent this does not result in the points being worth $1. To put a value of Frequent Flyer Reward Points its a good approach to consider the points you earn as a separate currency to the Australian dollar. What you spend your 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.