Flying with Qantas? Make these credit cards your first choice

By Chris Chamberlin, December 11 2017

If you regularly take off with Qantas, the right credit card could help maximise the points you earn when booking the ticket, the benefits you’ll get along the way, and in some cases, even the price you’ll pay (or not pay) for your airfares.

That’s not to mention the number of frequent flyer points you can earn on your everyday purchases which can quickly unlock free flights with Qantas or upgrades to business class, with some cards tempting with complimentary wine club memberships and more.

Whether your focus is on points, perks or both, we’ve scoped out the best overall credit cards for Qantas flyers.

1. Qantas American Express Ultimate Card

We’d rate the Qantas American Express Ultimate Card as the ultimate all-rounder for Qantas loyalists, beginning with its yearly $450 Qantas Travel Credit: a voucher that can be used towards a Qantas flight booking, zeroing out the ‘cost’ of the card’s $450 annual fee.

Using the card to pay for further Qantas flights or for Qantas Club lounge membership attracts a generous 2.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent, while all other purchases reel in a solid 1.5 Qantas Points per dollar spent, except for government transactions which earn 0.5 Qantas Points per dollar spent.

Also thrown in are two Qantas lounge passes each year, two complimentary visits to the AMEX Lounge at Sydney Airport, complimentary Premium membership in the airline’s epiQure wine club, worldwide travel insurance, 100,000 bonus Qantas Points for eligible new cardholders, and more.

2. ANZ Frequent Flyer Black Visa

With a host of benefits beyond points alone, ANZ’s Frequent Flyer Black Visa credit card is also worth a look.

Two yearly Qantas lounge visits are included, but using the card to purchase year-round Qantas Club membership comes with savings of up to $497 in the first year: not bad for a card with no annual fee until year two (from which, it’s $425).

Points aren’t forgotten though, with an earn rate of one Qantas Point per dollar spent up to $7,500 per month and 0.5 Qantas Points per dollar spent thereafter – plus one bonus point for every dollar spent booking Qantas flights or paying for lounge membership – and 75,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $2,500 within the first three months.

3. The American Express Platinum Charge Card

AMEX’s top-of-the-line Platinum Charge Card is the only personal card in Australia open for general application which allows you to manually convert your points to Qantas, while retaining the option of converting those points elsewhere, such as to the frequent flyer programs of Cathay Pacific, Emirates and Malaysia Airlines.

Qantas flight bookings reel in the equivalent of two Qantas Points per dollar spent, as do bookings made with airlines the world over: perfect if planning a trip with one of the Roo’s many alliance partners. Hotel charges and all overseas spend accrues points at the same high earn rate as well.

Also thrown in is access to over 1,100 airport lounges globally including in many of the cities Qantas and its partners fly to, such as AMEX Centurion Lounges in places like Hong Kong and Dallas/Fort Worth: the latter even offering complimentary day spa treatments before Qantas flight QF8 to Sydney.

A $1,200 annual fee applies, but the sting is reduced with the inclusion of a $300 Platinum Travel Credit, the equivalent of 80,000 bonus Qantas Points for eligible new cardholders, and other benefits like free SPG Gold, Hilton Gold and Shangri-La Golden Circle Jade status.

4. Qantas American Express Premium Card

Although the Qantas AMEX Ultimate Card is packed with more perks, the Gold-grade Qantas American Express Premium Card offers many of the same features as the Ultimate, but at a lower annual fee of $249.

For instance, you’ll still get two complimentary Qantas lounge passes each year, free Qantas epiQure Premium membership and both domestic and international travel insurance, but without a Qantas Travel Credit or access to the AMEX Lounge in Sydney.

The card offers a rewarding 2.25 Qantas Points per dollar spent on Qantas flight bookings and Qantas Club memberships, and 1.25 Qantas Points per dollar spent everywhere else (except for government spend, being 0.5/$1), with 30,000 bonus Qantas Points on the table for eligible new cardholders.

5. Qantas Money’s Qantas Premier Platinum Mastercard

Do you often take charge of your family’s holiday plans? Then take a look at the Qantas Premier Platinum Mastercard, on which cardholders can save 10-20% on domestic airfares once per year when travelling in a group of up to nine people: with those discounts applying to all tickets on the same booking, not just one!

Throughout the year, you’ll also enjoy two complimentary Qantas airport lounge visits, plus six months interest-free on your first Qantas purchase – whether that’s a flight booking, Qantas Club membership, Qantas voucher or even a case of wine from Qantas epiQure.

You’ll pile up one Qantas Point per Australian dollar spent (except government transactions) up to $10,000 per month, and 0.5 Qantas Points per dollar spent thereafter: plus an extra point per dollar spent directly with Qantas, and up to 75,000 bonus Qantas Points for new cardholders.

Spending overseas earns a higher 1.5 Qantas Points per dollar spent, uncapped, provided you’re paying in a foreign currency – so decline any opportunity to pay in Aussie dollars overseas, as your transaction would earn the standard 1.0/0.5 points per dollar as opposed to the higher 1.5/$1 rate.

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!



20 Dec 2017

Total posts 13

First row in the QF PE (row 20) solves the pitch problem but there’s another. You have to board super early if you want locker space as there are seven reaonsably bulky Ottomans as QF terms these free-standing weird leg supports stored up there. They are apparently searching for another permanent home for them onboard. BTW a related problem in the last row of business. The bin is locked as it extends beyond a wall support into PE. So it cannot open at all. Beware.

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