The best AMEX cards for earning and redeeming Qantas Points

By Chris Chamberlin, May 22 2018
The best AMEX cards for earning and redeeming Qantas Points
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.

Whether you’re in the market for a new personal credit card or want to maximise the points you can earn on your business’ everyday spends, American Express cards can be a very rewarding option: both at sign-up and when continuing to use the card year-round.

Taking into account each card’s sign-up bonus and ongoing earning rates – and of course, what you can do with the points you can earn – here are Australia’s top American Express cards for earning and redeeming Qantas Points.

Best for points on personal spend: Qantas AMEX Ultimate Card

With Australia’s highest uncapped earning rate of 1.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent, the Qantas AMEX Ultimate Card is – if you’ll pardon the pun – the ultimate way to earn Qantas points on plastic.

Unlike some cards, payments to insurers and utilities award points at full rates, while an even higher earn rate of 2.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent kicks in when using the card to book Qantas flights or pay for Qantas Club lounge membership, with only government charges attracting a lower 0.5/$1 rate.

Eligible new cardholders who apply, spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months and pay a $450 annual fee can also pocket 55,000 bonus Qantas Points – plus a $450 Qantas Travel Credit (flight voucher) every year, negating the annual fee every time it’s charged.

Assuming a yearly spend of $45,000 on transactions earning 1.5 Qantas Points per dollar spent, that creates an annual haul of 67,500 Qantas Points – and combined with the 55,000 bonus points you can also earn in the first year, is more than enough to book a return business class flight from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane to South East Asian cities like Hong Kong and Singapore with Qantas.

Best for points on business spend: AMEX Qantas Business Rewards Card

Entrepreneurs looking to earn points on their business spends could instead consider the AMEX Qantas Business Rewards Card, pumping out 1.25 Qantas Points per $1 spent, uncapped, via the Qantas Business Rewards program: the highest ‘everyday’ Qantas earning rate of any business card in Australia.

That’s complemented by a reward of 2 Qantas Points per $1 spent directly with Qantas – such as on business travel costs and lounge memberships – and the ability to earn triple Qantas Business Rewards points when you or your employees take an eligible flight for business purposes.

As with most AMEX business cards, payments to utilities, insurers and government bodies provide 0.5 points per $1 spent, although business owners new to AMEX who apply by July 2 2018 and spend $3,000 in the first two months can receive 100,000 bonus Qantas Points in the company’s Qantas Business Rewards account.

For a business spending $100,000 per year on ‘everyday’ expenses (earning 1.25/$1), that’s a yearly taking of 125,000 Qantas Points – and when pooled with the 100,000 bonus points offered at the beginning, would generate enough points to book 28 one-way economy flights from Sydney to Melbourne: saving the company money on business travel well beyond the card’s $450 annual fee.

Best for premium personal spending: AMEX Platinum Charge Card

With an earn rate equal to 3 Qantas Points per $1 spent at most restaurants in Australia, the AMEX Platinum Charge Card is incredibly rewarding for those who spend big on lifestyle and travel – also delivering 2 Qantas Points per $1 spent with airlines and hotels and on all spend overseas.

On insurance, government and utility payments, cardholders can receive 0.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent, and on everything else, the ‘everyday’ rate of 1 Qantas Points per $1 spent applies, with all points earned first in the Membership Rewards Ascent Premium program which can be converted into Qantas Points at a 1:1 rate.

New AMEX customers who apply, spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months and pay a $1,200 annual fee can also earn 80,000 bonus Ascent Premium points, equal to 80,000 bonus Qantas Points when converted in the same way as the points earned every day.

For a cardholder spending $120,000 per year – 15% at restaurants; 40% on travel and when overseas; 2% on government, utility and insurance charges and 43% on everything else – that’s a yearly benefit of over 200,000 Qantas Points, and in the first year, adding the 80,000-point sign-up bonus gives you more than enough Qantas Points to book a business class round-the-world trip!

Read: How to plan and book a round-the-world trip using Qantas Points

Best for premium business spends: AMEX Platinum Business Card

Similar to AMEX’s personal Platinum Charge Card, the Platinum Business Card proves the most rewarding for businesses spending lots at restaurants – whether that’s regular working lunches or on larger functions and events – offering up to 2 Qantas Points per $1 spent.

That high earning rate also applies when using the card with airlines and hotels, along with advertising spend, courier costs and purchases of computer equipment from Apple, Dell and IBM, on which you’ll also earn the equivalent of two Qantas Points per $1 spent.

Government charges and payments to insurers and utilities offer 0.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent, and on everything else, an earn rate of 1 Qantas Point per $1 spent applies. New cardholders who apply by July 2 2018, pay a $1,500 annual fee and spend $5,000 in the first two months can also earn 120,000 bonus Qantas Points via the Membership Rewards Ascent Premium program.

A company spending $200,000 per year via the account – 5% at restaurants; 30% on travel costs; 20% on couriers, advertising and tech purchases; 10% on government, insurance and utility charges, and 35% everywhere else – would take home 300,000 Qantas Points per year.

With the 120,000-point sign-up bonus on top, that’s enough points for 52 one-way flights from Sydney to Melbourne in economy (26 return trips) – unlocking savings of over $6,000 compared to buying retail fares, even considering the taxes, fees and charges paid when booking those reward flights.

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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