Review: Westpac Altitude Platinum AMEX + Mastercard combo

By Chris Chamberlin, July 17 2018
Westpac Altitude Platinum AMEX + Mastercard combo

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.

The Good
  • No points capping or tiering
  • Integrated points earning across American Express and Mastercard
The Bad
  • Two cards from two different issuers means you'll pay two separate annual fees (after first-year discount)
Added Value
  • Earn Qantas Points directly, or use Altitude Rewards to convert points to other partners


Following the 2017 changes to credit card 'interchange fees' which had sweeping effects for bank-issued American Express cards, Westpac and AMEX have teamed up to offer a different type of card combo: a Mastercard issued and serviced by Westpac, together with an AMEX card issued and serviced by American Express.

While it means the cards are no longer 'combined' onto one account (you'll receive separate monthly statements for each, each card has its own credit limit, and so on), you can still apply for both cards via single application, and the points you earn from all your spends are still pooled into a single rewards account.

If you're collecting Qantas Points, those will be transferred straight across to Qantas Frequent Flyer on a monthly basis, or if you opt for Altitude Rewards, your points will all be credited to the one Altitude account, keeping everything in the same place when it comes time to put your reward points to work.

Westpac Altitude Platinum Bundle: fast facts

  • Grade/tier: Platinum
  • Card type: Mastercard + American Express
  • Loyalty program: Choose between Altitude Qantas or Altitude Rewards
  • Points capping: Earn uncapped points without tiering via your chosen rewards option.
  • Qantas Points earned per $1 spent (Altitude Qantas, split as Mastercard / AMEX):
         Spend within Australia, excluding government spend: 0.5 / 1
      International transactions: 0.5 / 1.5
         Charges directly with Qantas: 1.5 / 2
         Government spend: No points / 0.5
  • Or, Altitude points earned per $1 spent (Altitude Rewards, split as Mastercard / AMEX):
         Most domestic spend, excluding government payments: 1 / 2
         International transactions: 1 / 3
         Government spend: No points / 1
         Selected airlines*: 3.0, up to $10,000 per calendar month
         Other selected merchants~: 2.0

* Applies to Mastercard only. Selected airlines include Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin Australia, on direct purchases made in Australia. Above $10,000 per month, these transactions earn points at the Mastercard's regular rate of 1 Altitude Point per $1 spent. This increased earning rate does not apply when using AMEX at these airlines.

~ Applies to Mastercard only. Other selected merchants include Spotify Premium, Uber, Uber Eats and Airbnb. However, these businesses all accept AMEX without surcharge, so points-savvy spenders would earn the same number of points at these businesses regardless of whether the Mastercard or AMEX card is used.

  • Altitude Rewards airline conversion partners: Virgin Australia (3:1), Air New Zealand (180:$1), Cathay Pacific (3:1), Malaysia Airlines (3:1) and Singapore Airlines (3:1)
  • 1 Altitude point ($1 spent on Mastercard on most everyday transactions) = 0.33 Virgin Australia Velocity points, 0.33 Malaysia Airlines Enrich miles, 0.33 Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, 0.33 Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles, $0.0055 in Air New Zealand Airpoints Dollars
  • 2 Altitude points ($1 spent on AMEX in Australia) = 0.66 Virgin Australia Velocity points, 0.66 Malaysia Airlines Enrich mile, 0.66 Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, 0.66 Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles, $0.0111 in Air New Zealand Airpoints Dollars

Note: Following Virgin Australia's entry into voluntary administration and the inability for Velocity Frequent Flyer members to redeem their points until at least May 19 2020, points conversions from Altitude Rewards to Velocity are currently suspended.

Fees, charges and interest:

  • Mastercard annual fee: $150
  • Separate AMEX annual fee: $0 first year, $49 thereafter
  • Qantas Rewards fee: $50/year (when earning points via Altitude Qantas)
  • Additional cardholder fee: $0
  • Interest rate on purchases (Mastercard): 20.49% p.a.
  • Interest rate on purchases (AMEX): 20.24% p.a.
  • Interest-free days on purchases^: Up to 45
  • Interest rate on cash advances: 21.49% p.a. on Mastercard only (no cash advances on AMEX)
  • International transaction fee: 3.0% (both cards)
  • Income required to apply for the Mastercard: $30,000 p.a.
  • Income required to apply for the AMEX: $50,000 p.a.

Earning points for free flights:

With a solid earning rate of 1.5 Qantas Points per A$1 spent overseas on the American Express (when choosing Altitude Qantas), this card is particularly rewarding for international travellers and those who shop regularly at overseas-based websites.

Opting-in for Qantas Points also allows you to earn two Qantas Points per $1 spent directly with Qantas, such as on Qantas Club membership costs and flight bookings in Australian dollars, on top of the points you'd normally earn when taking the flight.

Inclusive travel insurance:

You may qualify for complimentary international travel insurance on journeys of three months or less when pre-paying at least $500 of your travel expenses for that trip before it commences: such as paying for your flights or hotels using your Altitude credit card.

This could allow you to redeem airline frequent flyer points to book your ticket while simply using your credit card to cover off a few nights of accommodation costs while still being covered, but as always, read the policy documents carefully to ensure you qualify for the cover and that the insurance meets your needs.

Transit accident insurance and purchase security insurance are available too, along with extended warranty cover when buying eligible new appliances using your Altitude credit card: again, all subject to eligibility criteria and the policy wording, so have a good read of those documents (available from Westpac and AMEX) before deciding if these insurance products are right for you.

Airport lounge access:

As is standard of most Platinum-grade cards, complimentary airport lounge access isn't offered with Altitude Platinum, but is available via the higher-tier Westpac Altitude Black AMEX + Mastercard combo.

However, customers who opt-in for Altitude Qantas can earn one extra Qantas Point per $1 spent on Qantas Club membership purchases, over and above their applicable card's regular 'everyday' earning rate.

Westpac Altitude Platinum credit card bundle: the verdict

All things considered, the Westpac Altitude Platinum AMEX + Mastercard pairing unleashes a solid earning rate on international transactions, and on spend directly with Qantas for those earning Qantas Points.

On other purchases in Australia, these cards are less rewarding than some other options in the market, and compared to what you could earn from Westpac's Black-tier products.

Although the conversion rates from Altitude Rewards to its partner programs isn't as generous as in the past, having these options still gives you the flexibility to transfer points on occasion as a 'top up' if you've already earned some points in those other schemes from flying, although it may make Altitude Qantas the more appealing choice for many spenders.

Bank disclaimer: ^The interest free period is the maximum number of days during which interest is not charged on new purchases. If your account has an interest free period for purchases, to be entitled to that interest free period, you need to pay off the “monthly payment balance” listed on your statement of account (not the full closing balance) by the relevant payment due date.


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 not just with a single step, but also a strong latte, a theatre ticket, and later in the day, a good gin and tonic.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Dec 2016

Total posts 1

Can you still get the bonus if you've had a Westpac card before (ie Westpac Altitude Black)?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Apr 2015

Total posts 12

I had to spend $3000 over 3 months (from memory, hopefully that is correct) to receive 20,000 Altitude points. The application process was completely painless and the credit limit they applied was similar to my original combined limit but in addition to that original limit …. effectively doubling the credit limit by taking away and re-issuing the Amex card. It doesn't make me spend twice as much but it's nice as a backup should the Black Card get lost or stolen.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Feb 2018

Total posts 8

In the fine print you will see that it has to be over 12 months since you have had a altitude card to get the bonus points, this is the same typically for the ANZ and NAB offers.

I cycle between these three providers with who has the free or lowest priced first year, hold for a year, cancel and wait a year. Keeps the fees low if you can get it at the right time and means bonus points each year. Ive done ANZ black x3, NAB x 2 and this is my second on the Westpac Altitude also. I pay by credit card to get points not for cash flow reasons.

I have the Black version of this card and the separate statements is not that annoying but having the card issues by AMEX means its a separate credit limit not combined with the MasterCard.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Mar 2013

Total posts 137

And if you have a home loan package with them, they’ll waive the MasterCard fee (not the Amex fee)

Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Westpac Altitude Platinum AMEX + Mastercard combo