- One point per dollar on a Visa
- Earn double points on Qantas transactions
- Very restrictive travel insurance
- 3.65% overseas transaction fee
- 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.
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
Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT
Review: Qantas Credit Union Visa Platinum credit card
Review: Bullet train business class on the Hong Kong-Guangzhou high-speed line
Review: Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-1000 business class (Perth-Hong Kong)
Review: Virgin Atlantic's new Airbus A350-1000 Upper Class
Review: MTR High Speed Rail first class (Hong Kong to Guangzhou)