Reviews

Review: Bank of Queensland (BOQ) Q Rewards Platinum Visa credit card

By Chris Chamberlin, August 30 2016
Bank of Queensland (BOQ) Q Rewards Platinum Visa credit card
Notes
The Good
  • Earn up to 0.667 Velocity points per dollar spent
  • Free travel insurance
The Bad
  • High 3.4% international transaction fee
  • Insurance doesn't cover trips booked using Velocity points
Added Value
  • Annual points capping, rather than more restrictive monthly caps

Introduction

Bank of Queensland's Q Rewards Platinum Visa credit card pairs Virgin Australia Velocity frequent flyer points with travel insurance, as many cards do, and can be yours with a $99 annual fee for life under the bank's current promotion.

But for that price, don't expect frills like airport lounge access or top-tier hotel loyalty status: this card is all about the points and the insurance, and if you can recoup in value at least what you're paying in annual fees, this card might be good fit for your wallet.

BOQ Q Rewards Platinum Visa: fast facts

  • Grade/tier: Platinum
  • Card type: Visa
  • Loyalty program: Q Rewards
  • Q Rewards airline partner: Virgin Australia
  • Q Rewards points earned per $1 spent: 2.0
  • 2 Q Rewards points = 0.667 Velocity points (manual transfer)
  • Points capping: Earn up to 240,000 Q Rewards points per year (80,000 Velocity points)

Fees, charges and interest:

  • Annual fee: $199 (current promotion: $99 for life)
  • Additional/supplementary cardholder fee: $0
  • Interest rate on purchases: 20.74% p.a.
  • Interest-free days on purchases: Up to 55
  • Interest rate on cash advances: 21.74% p.a.
  • International transaction fee: 3.4%
  • Minimum income requirement: $35,000/year
  • Minimum credit limit: $6,000

Earning points for free flights:

Converting your Bank of Queensland Q Rewards points into Virgin Australia Velocity frequent flyer points is easily done via the bank's website and achieved at a 3:1 ratio, with a minimum transfer of 30,000 Q Rewards points at a time.

That's equal to 10,000 Velocity points – more than enough to get you flying from Sydney to Melbourne on Virgin Australia, plus a small payment to cover taxes and fees.

Provided you meet that minimum transfer amount, you'd earn the 7,800 Velocity points needed for that flight for every $11,695 spent on the card.

But unlike many other cards in the Australian market, there's no offering of sign-up bonus points to be had here.

Airport lounge access:

Airport lounge access isn't offered on this Platinum card.

Free international travel insurance:

Simply use your card to pay for your international flights and you may be covered by BOQ's free international travel insurance on return trips of up to six months or when departing Australia on a one-way ticket on trips of up to 31 days.

However, there's no cover if you use your Velocity Frequent Flyer points to book an international flight – only if you use your Q Rewards points to make that booking directly via Bank of Queensland, but which usually requires far more points to secure.

Complimentary purchase cover, extended warranty, interstate flight inconvenience insurance, transport accident insurance and access to a guaranteed pricing scheme are all included too.

BOQ Q Rewards Platinum Visa: verdict

BOQ's Platinum-grade card leaves a lot to be desired – particularly when it comes to earning frequent flyer points, paying fees and using the included insurance cover.

On points, 0.667/$1 is respectable but not great for a Visa card, although comes without a restrictive monthly earning cap that some other banks impose: instead, a simple and higher cap per calendar year.

A 3.4% international transaction fee is also among the highest in the market, with many other banks rounding theirs down to an even 3% or dropping them entirely, as with the ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures Card.

It's also disappointing to see that flights booked using the frequent flyer points earned on the card aren't covered by card's own international travel insurance policy – unless you book via the bank's own system at a higher rate.

If you can snag this card under the current $99/year promotion it could certainly still pay for itself, but if applying from September when the usual $199 annual fee returns, you'd want to make sure you're at least getting that back in value.

Also read: ANZ Rewards Black credit card review

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Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!

Serg

Serg

QFF

12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1446

One of the best Platinum non-Amex card is JetStar branded Master card – modest $149 fee, 1 QFF point per dollar and plenty of perks like insurance and warranty.

Mark77

Mark77

06 Sep 2015

Total posts 26

Earn up to 0.667 Velocity points per dollar spent

I wouldn't consider that as "what's hot". but what is relatively "hot" is the $99/yr annual fee which is good for an entry level card.


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