Reviews

Review: Suncorp Clear Options Platinum Visa, issued by Citibank

By Chris Chamberlin, June 23 2016
Suncorp Clear Options Platinum Visa, issued by Citibank
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.

Notes
The Good
  • Earn points with four airlines
  • No additional cardholder fee
  • Free overseas travel insurance
The Bad
  • Earns 0.5 airline frequent flyer points per dollar
  • Extra $49/year charge to earn Qantas Points
Added Value
  • 20,000 bonus points for new, eligible customers

Introduction

With a reasonably low annual fee and the ability to earn frequent flyer points with four different airlines including Qantas, Virgin Australia, Emirates and Singapore Airlines, the Suncorp Clear Options Platinum Visa credit card is the bank's top-of-the-line personal product, issued on its behalf by Citibank.

But due to recent changes, the number of points you'll earn per dollar spent has been cut by up to 50%, now maxing out at one airline frequent flyer point for every $2 charged to the card, rather than earning in parity.

Here's what you need to know.

Suncorp Clear Options Platinum Visa: fast facts

  • Grade/tier: Platinum
  • Card type: Visa
  • Loyalty program: Qantas Frequent Flyer or Suncorp Rewards
  • Qantas Points earned per $1 (via opt-in): 0.5
  • Suncorp Rewards airline partners: Virgin Australia, Emirates, Singapore Airlines
  • Suncorp Rewards points earned per $1 spent: 1.25
  • 1.25 Suncorp Rewards points = 0.5 Velocity points, 0.5 Skywards miles, 0.5 KrisFlyer miles
  • Points capping: 120,000 points per year (either program)

Fees, charges and interest:

  • Annual fee: $169
  • Additional annual fee to earn Qantas Points: $49
  • 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: 21.99% p.a.
  • International transaction fee: 3.4%
  • Minimum income requirement: $35,000 p.a.
  • Minimum credit limit: $6,000

Earning points for free flights:

This card gives you the flexibility to automatically earn Qantas Points every month, or to first earn points in the Suncorp Rewards program and then manually convert them into points or miles with Virgin Australia Velocity, Emirates Skywards and Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer.

Whichever you choose you'll pick up the equivalent of 0.5 airline frequent flyer points/miles per dollar spent on the card – on the lower side for a Platinum product.

Choose Suncorp Rewards and Virgin Australia Velocity and you'll earn enough points for a one-way hop from Sydney to Melbourne for every $15,600 charged to the card, or choose Qantas and you'll get the same from $16,000 in spend.

Convert your points to Velocity and take your seat aboard Virgin Australia...
Convert your points to Velocity and take your seat aboard Virgin Australia...

New customers can also earn a bonus 20,000 Suncorp Rewards points (equal to 8,000 Velocity/Skywards/KrisFlyer points) by spending at least $5,000 on the card within the first six months.

Higher spenders should also consider the annual points cap of 120,000 Qantas Points or 120,000 Suncorp Rewards points – the latter being equal to just 48,000 frequent flyer points, but the former attracting an additional $49/year opt-in fee.

Free insurance coverage:

Underwritten by Allianz, Suncorp's international travel insurance covers you on return journeys of six months or less, or on trips of up to 31 days when departing Australia before your return flight has been booked.

To qualify you'll need to hold an Australian Medicare card or 457 visa and have billed the cost of your international airfare (but not necessarily the cost of airport taxes/fees) to your Suncorp Clear Options card.

You're also covered if you used Suncorp Rewards points to book your flights directly via Suncorp, but there's no cover when using actual airline frequent flyer points to do the same, even if you earned those points via your Suncorp card.

Also included is complimentary purchase protection insurance, interstate flight inconvenience insurance, transit accident cover and access to a 'guaranteed pricing scheme', whereby you can request a refund for the difference if an item you just purchased is advertised at a lower price.

Airport lounge access:

Access to domestic and international airport lounges isn't a benefit provided by this card.

Suncorp Clear Options Platinum Visa: the verdict

With so much competition in today's credit card marketplace, Suncorp's Clear Options Platinum Visa doesn't come in first place on its main features of frequent flyer points and insurance cover, but a few features do stand out.

For one, there's no fee for having an additional cardholder, which means your partner or spouse could be boosting your points balance wherever they spend, in additional to the points you're earning yourself.

The international travel insurance also covers you on one-way tickets – notably, most credit cards require a return journey to be booked before leaving Australia – which is great if you're planning a trip but won't know your return date until after leaving home.

You can also change your preferred rewards option without migrating to a new card with a new card number (and updating all of your direct debits in the process), although of course, 0.5 frequent flyer points earned per dollar remains at the lower end of the spectrum.

Also read: Jetstar Platinum Qantas Frequent Flyer MasterCard review

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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.

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!


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