The best Platinum credit cards for points and perks

By Chris Chamberlin, December 12 2017

Black-level credit cards are great for earning lots of frequent flyer points and enjoying plenty of high-end perks, but they’re not always easy to qualify for – and that’s where Platinum credit cards come into play.

For example, most Platinum credit cards have a minimum income requirement of between $35,000 and $40,000, compared to $65,000+ on the bulk of Black cards, making Platinum the next-best option for those who don’t meet that higher threshold.

Black credit cards also usually attract high minimum credit limits beginning at around $15,000 – unlike Platinum cards which commonly start at $6,000 – which again makes Platinum a more achievable goal.

Some Platinum cards are better for points, some shine on benefits and a select few combine both, so without further ado, here are five top Platinum credit cards to consider for a space in your wallet.

1. The Qantas Premier Platinum Mastercard

Qantas Money’s Qantas Premier Platinum credit card has many of the same features as a Black-level card but without the hefty income requirements – you only need to be earning $35,000 per year to apply for a minimum credit limit of $6,000, and with a reduced annual fee of $149 in the first year (normally $299).

Once in your wallet, you can earn one Qantas Point per dollar spent in Australia up to $10,000 per month and 0.5 Qantas Points per $1 thereafter (excluding government payments) – and while overseas, the earn rate increases to 1.5 Qantas Points per dollar spent in foreign currencies, uncapped.

You’ll also receive an extra Qantas Point per dollar spent directly with Qantas, with 75,000 bonus Qantas Points also on the table for eligible new cardholders who spend at least $3,000 within 90 days of card approval, along with airport lounge passes, travel insurance and domestic companion airfare discounts, among other benefits.

2. HSBC’s Platinum Qantas Visa credit card

With an affordable ongoing annual fee of $195 and a reasonable earn rate of one Qantas Point per dollar spent up to $2,500 per month (excluding government transactions), HSBC’s Platinum Qantas Visa is also accessible to most full-time workers with an income requirement of $40,000 per year and a $6,000 minimum credit limit.

There’s no extra fee to have an additional cardholder on the account, and you’ll earn 0.5 Qantas Points per dollar spent on amounts exceeding $2,500 per month (up to a total of 7,500 Qantas Points), with 60,000 bonus Qantas Points on offer as well for new cardholders who spend at least $3,000 in the first three months.

Travel insurance comes as standard, along with complimentary membership in the Frequent Values program by Entertainment Publications which unlocks discounts on dining, activities and travel, which could easily offset HSBC’s annual fee if used effectively.

3. ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures Visa credit card

Turning up the dial on perks more so than points, the Platinum-grade ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures Card comes packed with extras like a complimentary return domestic flight each year with Virgin Australia and two Virgin Australia lounge passes, aside a $225 annual fee.

New cardholders can also fetch 40,000 bonus Velocity points when spending $500 on eligible purchases within three months of card approval – and speaking of approvals, you can apply with an income of $35,000 which could unlock a credit limit beginning at $6,000.

You won’t pay any international transaction fees when shopping abroad, and while the card certainly isn’t as rewarding as the aptly-named ANZ Rewards Black Visa, you can earn the equivalent of 0.75 Velocity points per dollar spent up to $2,000 per month, and 0.25 Velocity points per dollar spent thereafter.

Those points are earned via the ANZ Rewards scheme – from which, you can convert your points to Velocity – and if you’d rather earn points without extra frills like flights and lounge access, the ANZ Rewards Platinum Visa earns the same number of points per dollar spent with a lower $95 annual fee.

4. ANZ Frequent Flyer Platinum Visa credit card

Also with an achievable minimum income requirement of $35,000 per year and a minimum credit limit of $6,000 is ANZ’s Frequent Flyer Platinum Visa, which serves up Qantas Points as opposed to ANZ reward points (or by extension, Velocity points), with no annual fee in the first year either.

You can earn 0.75 Qantas Points per dollar spent up to $3,000 per month and 0.5 Qantas Points per dollar spent thereafter, uncapped – plus a cool bonus of 65,000 Qantas Points when you spend $2,500 on eligible purchases within the first three months.

An annual fee of $295 applies after year one, although the card comes with an array of other extras from the get-go including overseas travel and medical insurance, interstate flight inconvenience insurance, rental excess cover, extended warranty protection and more.

5. Don’t overlook your American Express options

Many American Express cards appear to have higher income thresholds, but unlike other card issuers, AMEX considers your entire household income when considering your application – being what you and your partner earn if living together – not just your personal, individual income.

For instance, the $65,000/year income requirement for its top-tier Qantas Ultimate and Velocity Platinum credit cards could be reached by a working couple earning at least $32,500/year per person: opening the door to earning 1.5 frequent flyer points per dollar of everyday spend, with credit limits from just $3,000.

The American Express Platinum Edge credit card is even more accessible with a minimum household income of $50,000/year – and while this workaround won’t help single folks on a lower income, working couples with two income streams can certainly use this to their advantage.

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!

wrwjaw

wrwjaw

01 Feb 2015

Total posts 1

In your description of these credit cards, you mention minimum income requirements. Does it matter how this income is derived? E.g., from government age pension supplemented by cashing in Super?

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2948

Hi wrwjaw, you'll need to check with each card issuer as to how they assess and calculate income, as this can vary from bank to bank.

We're not in a position to assist with this and can't provide you with personal financial advice, but can highlight that some card issuers also ask for information about your assets (including fixed and liquid/cash assets) during the credit card application process which could assist the outcome of your application.

philelltt

philelltt

27 Oct 2017

Total posts 1

Hi wrwjaw,

I am a self funded retiree. My entire income is from shares. Bankwest needed to see copies of every dividend statement of every company for the last 2 years in order to get approval to issue their no-fee platinum credit card.

That is a useful card to old people as it has no upper age limit on the included comprehensive travel insurance. That could far outweigh any reward points scheme.

In all, the approval process took about a week as 2 overnight bags of paper copies of dividend statements (I kid you not) were dropped into the Adelaide office and sent to Perth for them to rummage through.

Because my income was derived from shares they reduced that income by a certain percentage, to arrive at the credit limit on the card. They have a chart to show how different sources of income affect credit limit if you ask.

My tax office income statements weren't proof enough. I think most banks would assume a credit card applicant is working full time. Proving an income stream could pose challenges to retirees.


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