Review: Qantas Credit Union Visa Platinum credit card

By Chris Chamberlin, December 21 2015
Qantas Credit Union Visa Platinum credit card
The Good
  • One point per dollar on a Visa
  • Earn double points on Qantas transactions
The Bad
  • Very restrictive travel insurance
  • 3.65% overseas transaction fee
Added Value
  • No points cap: unlimited points


Promising one Qantas frequent flyer point per dollar spent with no limit to the number of points you can earn is the Qantas Credit Union Visa Platinum credit card: yours for just $195 each year.

Although previously known as the 'Qantas Staff Credit Union', anybody – be they a frequent flyer or a once-a-year traveller employed in a completely unrelated field – can apply for this card and bank with QCU.

Qantas Credit Union Visa Platinum: fast facts

  • Grade/tier: Platinum
  • Card type: Visa
  • Loyalty program: Qantas Frequent Flyer
  • Qantas Points earned per $1 – everyday spend: 1
  • Bonus points earned per $1 – eligible Qantas spend: 1
  • Points capping: Uncapped

Fees, charges and interest:

  • Annual fee: $195
  • Additional/supplementary cardholder fee: $0
  • Interest rate on purchases: 18.99% p.a.
  • Interest-free days on purchases: Up to 55
  • Interest rate on cash advances: 18.99% p.a.
  • International transaction fee: 3.65%
  • Minimum income requirement: None defined
  • Minimum credit limit: $6,000

Earning points for free flights:

Apply by December 31 2015 to earn up to 30,000 bonus Qantas Points, netting the first 5,000 points straight away and then a further 5,000 points per month over the next five months, provided you use your card at least once each month.

In real terms, that's enough for a complimentary upgrade from flexible economy or premium economy to business class on a Sydney-Hong Kong or Sydney-Singapore flight (as offered), with 5,000 points leftover.

Swap your regular seat for a Qantas Business Suite on selected flights to Asia...

With no cap on the number of points you can earn, every $8,000 spent on the card also earns enough points for a one-way Sydney-Melbourne flight plus taxes and fees, while spending just $4,000 with Qantas will do the same.

The only cap you'll face comes in the form of Visa PayWave, which QCU restricts to a maximum of five transactions or $200 per day, whichever comes first – pass that limit and you'll need to slow things down and enter your PIN.

Airport lounge access:

Unfortunately the Qantas Credit Union Visa Platinum card doesn't offer any inclusive airport lounge visits, but you can earn double points on Qantas Club joining and yearly fees by using the card to pay for your membership.

Free international travel insurance:

Like most Platinum credit cards complimentary overseas travel insurance is offered: yet QCU's policy is one of the most restrictive we've ever seen on an Australian card.

For starters, medical emergency cover is capped at $500,000 whereas many other policies provide unlimited cover for peace of mind.

Cardholders also need to charge at least 50% of their pre-paid and ongoing 'travel costs' to the card throughout their trips in order to remain insured, which includes both flights and accommodation costs.

That's not a typo – you're required to continue using this card throughout your journey while paying QCU's high 3.65% international transaction fee on top just to stay covered, rather than having the freedom to use a card with a lower transaction fee, or indeed no fee at all.

Cover is also strictly limited to trips that are solely for "leisure purposes" and up to 90 days in length, so planning a holiday but taking a day out to visit an overseas client or business contact could technically invalidate your insurance.

As a saving grace the policy does cover you on international trips booked using your Qantas Frequent Flyer points, although the 50% requirement still applies for all other expenses paid using real money.

Qantas Credit Union Visa Platinum card: verdict

Boasting a solid earning rate of one Qantas Point per dollar spent, the Qantas Credit Union Visa Platinum card proves fantastic within Australia – particularly if you frequently book and pay for Qantas flights.

With no points cap, it could well serve either as your primary credit card or indeed as your 'backup' to use where American Express cards aren't welcome, the use of which could earn you even more points per dollar.

Internationally, however, it's less impressive – many Australian banks levy a standard 3% charge when transacting abroad, although QCU's 3.65% fee surpasses that figure by more than 20% in comparative terms.

And, that's not to mention the hard-to-qualify-for and hard-to-keep travel insurance policy where accidentally whipping out the wrong card on the road could cost you a lot more than your hotel bill.

Also read: Bankwest Qantas Gold MasterCard 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!



21 Dec 2015

Total posts 5

Be prepared for a lengthy application process. A month in now and still waiting for them to finalise the application - they've acknowledged they have a backlog, but it's not a great start to trusting them in the case of any customer service problems.



Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 May 2013

Total posts 111

I have the ANZ Black Visa which has 0.75 points per dollar spent.  This sounds much better (earning ratio).

As per ng192, if there is a wait list, do you get these bonus based on date of application or approval date?



21 Dec 2015

Total posts 5

Their site says you have to apply by end of the year.



20 Jan 2016

Total posts 3

Talk about lenghty application process ng192, I have done home loan applications which have been easier and quicker. Having said that, given that they are one of the few cards left which still award points on ATO payments it is just a small price to pay.



21 Dec 2015

Total posts 5

I gave up. They offered a lousy credit limit unless I cancelled other cards. Meanwhile Citibank are throwing credit increases at me. Annoyingly they opened a savings account before approving the application which I now have to close.

No faith that if I ever had a customer service need I'd get assistance from them in a timely manner. Their banking website is woefully simplistic compared to major banks.

I agree there aren't many ATO payment friendly cards anymore, but given the hassle I gave up. Fair chance that they'll crack down on points on ATO payments like everyone else. 

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