Review: Westpac Altitude Platinum Mastercard credit card

Choose between 60,000 bonus Qantas Points, or 80,000 bonus Altitude Points to convert to KrisFlyer, Asia Miles and more.

Overall Rating

By Chris Chamberlin, September 17 2020
Westpac Altitude Platinum Mastercard credit card
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.

FF Program

Altitude Qantas, or Altitude Rewards (convert to Asia Miles, Enrich, KrisFlyer)

Sign Up Bonus

60,000 Qantas Points or 80,000 Altitude Points

Annual Fee

$99 first year, $150 thereafter (+$50/yr with Qantas Rewards)

Interest Rate

20.49% p.a. on purchases
21.49% p.a. on cash

Notes
The Good
  • Overseas travel insurance, subject to policy conditions.
The Bad
  • Lower points earning rates than Westpac's Altitude Black card.
Added Value
  • You could earn 60,000 bonus Qantas Points, or 80,000 bonus Altitude Points.
Fees and interest
Points earned
Lounge access
Overall

Introduction

Westpac's Altitude Platinum credit card gives you the flexibility to earn frequent flyer points either directly with Qantas, or with other airlines via Altitude Rewards, from which you can convert points across to its partners as you see fit.

International travel insurance is also part of the package, plus a nice welcome bonus of 60,000 bonus Qantas Points or 80,000 bonus Altitude Points for eligible new customers, depending on the rewards program chosen (eligibility details below).

Rounding out the deal, Qantas earners pick up an extra Qantas Point per dollar spent directly with Qantas.

Westpac Altitude Platinum card: fast facts

  • Grade/tier: Platinum
  • Card type: Mastercard
  • 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 dollar (Altitude Qantas option):
         Spend directly with Qantas, such as booking Qantas flights or buying Qantas Club membership: 1.5
         All other purchases (excluding ATO payments): 0.5
  • Or, Altitude Rewards points earned per dollar (Altitude Rewards option):
         Most everyday purchases (excluding ATO payments): 1
         Selected airlines*: 3.0, up to $10,000 per calendar month
         International spend, and at selected Australian merchants~: 2.0

* 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 Points per $1 spent.

~ Other selected merchants include Spotify Premium, Uber, Uber Eats and Airbnb.

  • 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 Rewards point ($1 spent on most everyday purchases) = 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

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:

  • Annual fee: $99 first year, $150 thereafter
  • Qantas Rewards fee: $0 first year, $50/year thereafter (charged only if opting for Altitude Qantas)
  • Additional cardholder fee: $0
  • Interest rate on purchases: 20.49% p.a.
  • Interest-free days on purchases^: Up to 45
  • Interest rate on cash advances: 21.49% p.a.
  • International transaction fee: 3.0%
  • Minimum income required: $30,000 p.a.
  • Minimum credit limit: $6,000

Earning points for free flights:

New customers who apply by November 11 2020 can net a nice serve of bonus points to boost to their rewards balance: just spend at least $3,000 on eligible purchases within 90 days of card approval.

But choose your rewards option wisely, as there are two different bonus points offers on the table.

Select Altitude Qantas and you could earn 60,000 bonus Qantas Points. However, opt for Altitude Rewards sees your potential haul worth 80,000 bonus Altitude Points: higher in number, but which are worth a lower 26,666 airline frequent flyer points when converted from Altitude at a 3:1 rate.

That's 26,666 KrisFlyer miles, for example, compared to 60,000 bonus Qantas Points when opting for Altitude Qantas.

Pleasingly, there's no monthly or annual frequent flyer earning cap on this card regardless of the rewards option chosen, allowing cardholders to earn points on every dollar they spend on eligible purchases.

Inclusive travel insurance:

You may qualify for free international travel insurance on trips of three months or less when holding a return ticket before leaving Australia and using your Westpac Altitude Platinum credit card to pre-pay at least A$500 of your costs for that trip.

That can include booking your flights, pre-paying overseas accommodation expenses or charging 'overseas itinerary items' to your card such as tours, but if you use only frequent flyer points to book your trip, you're not necessarily covered.

Fortunately, the $500 count also recognises amounts paid in airport and departure taxes as part of frequent flyer reward bookings, so be sure to use your Westpac card to cover any co-pay amount with your reward flights, or to book a night or two of accommodation with the card for peace of mind.

Restrictions to this cover may apply during the COVID-19 pandemic. For further information or to confirm whether your intended journey is covered by this policy, speak directly with the card issuer or insurance underwriter.

The card also provides transit accident insurance along with purchase security protection and extended warranty cover, but other benefits like interstate flight inconvenience insurance and rental car excess cover are absent.

Of course, check the policy documents – and with the card issuer and insurer – to confirm eligibility and whether any additional restrictions are currently in effect.

Airport lounge access:

Free airport lounge access isn't a perk offered by this card, although cardholders opting for Altitude Qantas do earn an extra Qantas Point per $1 spent on Qantas Club lounge memberships purchased directly from Qantas, in addition to the card's regular earning rate.

Westpac Altitude Platinum card: the verdict

Priced at just $99 in the first year (and afterwards, $150/year with Altitude Rewards or $200/year in total when earning Qantas Points), the Westpac Altitude Platinum card pairs travel insurance with frequent flyer points and provides a choice of airlines with which to convert those points.

However, for higher points earning, you might instead prefer Westpac's Altitude Black Mastercard, delivering up to 0.75 frequent flyer points per dollar spent on everyday charges amid extras like airport lounge access, against an annual fee of $250 (or $300 if earning Qantas Points).


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.

Bank disclaimer: New cards only. T&Cs apply.

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


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