Get the points: NAB's triple Qantas points offer

By danwarne, April 6 2011
Get the points: NAB's triple Qantas points offer
Disclaimer

Executive Traveller may receive a commission when you apply for these credit cards via our links.

You should seek independent advice and consider your own personal circumstances before applying for any financial product.

If you're currently looking for a better rewards card for earning Qantas Frequent Flyer points, a new NAB promotion offering triple the normal frequent flyer points might appear to be perfect.

However, the numbers don't really stack up.

The offer provides triple Qantas Frequent Flyer points between now and September, for people who sign up for a new NAB Qantas Gold Card before 6th June.

That means that for spending on the Mastercard, you'll earn two points per dollar (normally only 0.66 points per dollar), and on the companion American Express card that comes with it, you'll earn three points per dollar (normally only one point per dollar).

However, there are some catches -- NAB limits that level of points earning to $3,000 worth of spending a month, so if you were hoping to pump some really large purchases through the card to stock up on Frequent Flyer points, you can forget it.

Beyond $3,000, up to $10,000 in a month the points are halved, yielding only one point per dollar on Mastercard and 1.5 point per dollar on American Express.

After $10,000 spent in a month, there are no points awarded.

Based on our calculations, if you spent $10,000 a month from April to August (the promotion ends on 1 September), the most you could earn would be 97,500 points -- and that would require you to spend all the money on the American Express card, which would doubtlessly incur surcharges greater than the value of the points you'd earn.

If you only spent the full $10,000 each month on on the Mastercard, which usually doesn't require payment of a surcharge, the points you'd earn would be 65,000.

Based on our analysis earlier this week of what a Qantas Frequent Flyer point is worth, your 97,500 points could be worth as little as $292.50 if you spent them on gadgets at the Qantas Frequent Flyer shop, $721.50 if you spent them on Myer vouchers, or $1228.50 if you redeemed them on a Sydney-London flight.

The best way you could extract value out of the points would be an upgrade from economy class to business class on a long-haul international flight -- you'd see the value of those points rocket up to as much as $7,800 considering the cost of purchasing an actual business class fare.

However, upgrades with Qantas are never guaranteed, and only allocated just before a flight departs if Qantas hasn't been able to sell the seat to a cash-paying customer.

The NAB card has a $145 annual fee, so clearly, whether the triple points promotion pays off for you depends very much on how you intend to spend those points.

However, as personal finance expert Paul Clitheroe observed in this month's Money Magazine, nobody should be paying a 2-3% surcharge to use an American Express card if the reward they're going to get from using it is worth less than 1% of the value of the transaction.

At least with Visa and Mastercard, many merchants still don't charge a credit card surcharge and the cost of providing the rewards is absorbed by them (ultimately resulting in higher prices for everyone, though.)

Given there are cards like Woolworths Everyday Rewards Qantas MasterCard offering one Qantas point per dollar spent, with no earning limits and a lower $89 annual fee, the NAB limited-time triple points deal doesn't compare particularly well.

 

Each week Australian Business Traveller drills into frequent flyer point earning tips and strategies, the best ways to burn them once earned, and how to extract the most value from frequent flyer memberships.

Are you a point maven? Do you do mileage runs in your sleep? Are you merely a Woolworths grocery shopper who has discovered a particularly good points earner? Send your earning and burning tip-offs to [email protected].

Disclaimer

Executive Traveller may receive a commission when you apply for these credit cards via our links.

You should seek independent advice and consider your own personal circumstances before applying for any financial product.


Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Get the points: NAB's triple Qantas points offer

Notice (8): Undefined variable: infiniteScroll [APP/views/news/view.ctp, line 216]
Notice (8): Undefined variable: infiniteScroll [APP/views/news/view.ctp, line 222]
Warning (2): Invalid argument supplied for foreach() [APP/views/news/view.ctp, line 222]