Frequent Flyer Cards to Keep Tabs On

Plenty of us love to be rewarded for spending on our credit card – and many of us love travelling with those rewards. CANSTAR has looked at a range of rewards credit cards to determine which ones give bang for buck for savvy travellers, across both Qantas and Virgin.

On both flyer programs, there are plenty of things you can do with your Flyer points. For example, rather than redeeming frequent flyer points for economy flights, some travellers prefer to squeeze extra value out of their points by using them for more opulent experiences.

Both the Virgin and Qantas Frequent Flyer programs offer members the ability to use their points to upgrade from economy to business class. Upgrades on Virgin start at 10,000 points on domestic routes, but they don’t allow discount economy bargain hunters to upgrade from their Saver Lite fares. Qantas, on the other hand, allows discount economy travellers to upgrade to business class for the same starting amount of 10,000 points.

Qantas also offers its oneworld® Classic Flight Reward, an around-the-world flight redemption starting at 140,000 Frequent Flyer Points (plus taxes) in economy and including up to 5 stopovers. The same trip in business class would use 280,000 points – and considering business class fares are usually much more than twice the price of an economy fare, to some people this redemption represents better value than it might seem.

Credit cards for Qantas Frequent Flyers

For someone trying to accrue as many points as they possibly can, some of the cards with the highest earn rates for the Qantas Frequent Flyer program are as follows.

American Express and Diners Club Qantas Frequent Flyer Cards By Earn Rate

For merchants that accept American Express or Diners Club cards, the companion card offerings from Westpac, NAB, and Diners Club come out on top with their 1.5 point per dollar earn rates. These cards also come with a MasterCard or Visa in addition to the higher-earning American Express. This is useful as not every retailer has an arrangement to accept American Express cards, or they may charge an additional fee (which may not be worth paying just to earn extra points). Be aware though that the MasterCard or Visa will attract a lower earn rate.

Company Credit Card Purchase Rate (p.a.) Annual Fee ($) Interest Free Days Card Type Uncapped Earning Qantas Point Earn Rate
Diners Club Australia Frequent Flyer Dual Card Charge Card 260 37 Diners Yes 1.5
NAB Qantas Rewards Premium Card 19.99% 250 44 Amex No 1.5
Westpac Altitude Black – Qantas Points Option 20.24% 395 45 Amex Yes 1.5
Rates and fees as at 1 March 2016. Source: CANSTAR Research.

MasterCard and Visa Qantas Frequent Flyer Cards By Earn Rate

Interestingly, the Visa or MasterCard halves of the companion cards from the previous list aren’t represented here – apart from the Diners Club Frequent Flyer Dual Card. All of these cards have earn rates of 1 point per dollar – lower than 1.5 but they come with the near-universal acceptance of MasterCard and Visa.

Company Credit Card Purchase Rate (p.a.) Annual Fee ($) Interest Free Days Card Type Uncapped Earning Qantas Point Earn Rate
Bank Australia Platinum Rewards Visa Credit Card 18.74% 189 55 Visa Yes 1
Citi Prestige – Qantas Points Option 20.74% 749 55 Visa Yes 1
Citi Qantas Signature 20.99% 348 55 Visa No 1
Diners Club Australia Frequent Flyer Dual Card Charge Card 260 37 MC Yes 1
G&C Mutual Bank Platinum Visa Credit Card 18.99% 249 50 Visa Yes 1
HSBC Platinum Qantas Credit Card 19.99% 199 55 Visa Yes 1
Jetstar Platinum MasterCard – Qantas Points Option 19.99% 149 55 MC No 1
Macquarie Bank Black Card – Qantas Points Option 20.70% 299 55 Visa No 1
Macquarie Bank Platinum Card  – Qantas Points Option 20.70% 249 55 Visa No 1
Qudos Bank Visa Platinum Credit Card 18.99% 195 55 Visa Yes 1
Woolworths Qantas Platinum Credit Card 20.49% 139 55 Visa Yes 1
Rates and fees as at 1 March 2016. Source: CANSTAR Research

Credit cards for Virgin Velocity flyers

American Express and Diners Club Velocity Frequent Flyer Cards By Earn Rate

For merchants that accept American Express or Diners Club cards, the companion card offerings from Westpac, NAB, and Diners Club come out on top with their 1.25 – 2 point per dollar earn rates. The Personal Dual Card from Diners Club has the highest earn rate of 2 Velocity points per dollar – albeit with the acceptance of Diners Club cards generally lower than that of American Express. These cards all also come with a MasterCard or Visa in addition to the higher-earning American Express. This is useful as not every retailer has an arrangement to accept American Express or Diners Club cards, or they may charge an additional fee (which may not be worth paying just to earn extra points). Be aware though that the MasterCard or Visa will attract a lower earn rate.

Company Credit Card Purchase Rate (p.a.) Annual Fee ($) Interest Free Days Card Type Uncapped Earning Velocity Point Earn Rate
Commonwealth Bank Diamond Awards 20.24% 349 55 Amex No 1.5
Commonwealth Bank Platinum Awards 20.24% 249 55 Amex No 1.25
Diners Club Australia Personal Dual Card Charge Card 389 44 Diners Yes 2
NAB Velocity Rewards Premium Card 19.99% 150 44 Amex No 1.5
Westpac Altitude Black 20.24% 395 45 Amex Yes 1.5
Rates and fees as at 1 March 2016. Source: CANSTAR Research

MasterCard and Visa Velocity Frequent Flyer Cards By Earn Rate

Interestingly, the Visa or MasterCard halves of the companion cards from the previous list aren’t represented here – apart from the Diners Club Personal Flyer Dual Card. All of these cards have earn rates of between 0.75 and 1 point per dollar – which is lower than 1.5, but they do come with the near-universal acceptance of MasterCard and Visa.

Company Credit Card Purchase Rate (p.a.) Annual Fee ($) Interest Free Days Card Type Uncapped Earning Velocity Point Earn Rate
Bank of Melbourne Amplify Signature 19.49% 279 55 Visa Yes 0.75
BankSA Amplify Signature 19.49% 279 55 Visa Yes 0.75
Citi Prestige 20.74% 700 55 Visa Yes 1
Citi Signature Rewards 20.99% 395 55 Visa No 0.75
Diners Club Australia Personal Dual Card Charge Card 389 44 MC Yes 0.8333
St.George Bank Amplify Signature 19.49% 279 55 Visa Yes 0.75
Virgin Money Velocity High Flyer Card 20.74% 289 44 Visa Yes 1
Rates and fees as at 1 March 2016. Source: CANSTAR Research

Compare Frequent Flyer Credit Cards

CANSTAR is an information provider and in giving you product information CANSTAR is not making any suggestion or recommendation about a particular credit product. If you decided to apply for a credit card, you will deal directly with a financial institution, and not with CANSTAR. Rates and product information should be confirmed with the relevant financial institution. For more information, read our detailed disclosure, important notes and additional information.

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