Your guide to the Westpac Altitude Rewards program & credit cards

Here's your guide to earning Qantas Points or other frequent flyer points via Westpac's Altitude Rewards credit cards.

By Chris Chamberlin , July 20 2020
Your guide to the Westpac Altitude Rewards program & credit cards
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.

Westpac's range of Altitude Rewards credit cards allow cardholders to earn frequent flyer points with popular airline programs including Virgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyer, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer and more, by first earning Altitude Points, and later converting them into frequent flyer points.

Alternatively, Westpac's Altitude Qantas option lets cardholders earn Qantas Points directly into their Qantas Frequent Flyer account every month, without needing to manually convert them before using them to fly.

Whether you're already a Westpac Altitude cardholder and are looking to get the most from your points, or are considering the switch to what may be a more rewarding card, here's what you need to know about the Westpac Altitude Rewards program and credit cards. 

Westpac Altitude Rewards: eligible credit cards

Altitude Points can be earned via the following Westpac Altitude Rewards credit cards, when the cardholder is enrolled in the Altitude Rewards program.

This allows the cardholder to earn Altitude Points via the Altitude Rewards program, while the same cards also provide a separate 'Altitude Qantas' path, by which the cardholder can earn Qantas Points directly into their frequent flyer account every month.

It's not possible to convert Altitude Points into Qantas Points for personal Altitude credit card holders – Qantas Points can instead only be earned via that 'Altitude Qantas' path.

Westpac Altitude Rewards: earning Altitude Points via your credit card

Cardholders who opt for the Altitude Rewards program (as opposed to earning Qantas Points via Altitude Qantas) can earn Altitude Points at the rates below.

The number of points earned per dollar spent depends on the type of Altitude card used, and where the transaction takes place.

Spend type / earn rate per $1 spent

Altitude Platinum Mastercard

Altitude Black Mastercard

All international spend

Plus, purchases at Airbnb, Spotify, Uber and Uber Eats in Australia

2

2

David Jones, Myer, The Iconic

1

2

Qantas, Jetstar, Virgin Australia

<$10k/month: 3
>$10k/month: 1

<$10k/month: 6*
>$10k/month: 1.25

Emirates, Singapore Airlines

1

<$10k/month: 6*
>$10k/month: 1.25

Government payments (e.g. ATO)

No points

No points

All other eligible purchases

1

1.25

*The elevated earning rates for eligible airline spend on the Altitude Black Mastercard have a collective monthly limit of $10,000 across all airlines (Qantas, Jetstar, Virgin Australia, Emirates and Singapore Airlines), above which, points are awarded at the card's regular earning rate.

As you can see, the Altitude Black Mastercard earns points at the highest rates across all categories of spending, equal only to the Altitude Platinum Mastercard on international spend, and on transactions with Airbnb, Spotify, Uber and Uber Eats in Australia.

While the Altitude Platinum Mastercard does offer a higher earning rate on some spends – such as with Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin Australia – the card's regular 'everyday' earning rate applies to most spends, including those that might otherwise earn additional Altitude Points via the Altitude Black Mastercard.

For example, on flight bookings made with Emirates and Singapore Airlines, the Altitude Platinum Mastercard doesn't award any additional points, over and above what could be earned on any other eligible transaction, whereas the Altitude Black Mastercard offers additional points on these, up to $10,000 per month.

Neither card imposes a points cap, so you'll continue to earn reward points regardless of how much you spend every month or year.

Convert Altitude Rewards points into frequent flyer points

Once you've earned a nice stash of Altitude Points from your purchases, one of the best ways to use them is to convert them into frequent flyer points.

The Altitude Rewards program offers a number of frequent flyer transfer partners, with points able to be exchanged at the following rates:

Frequent flyer program

Conversion rate

Example

Air New Zealand Airpoints

180:$1

180 Altitude Points = $1 Airpoints Dollars

Cathay Pacific Asia Miles

3:1

3 Altitude Points = 1 Asia Mile

Malaysia Airlines Enrich

3:1

3 Altitude Points = 1 Enrich mile

Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer

3:1

3 Altitude Points = 1 KrisFlyer mile

Virgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyer

3:1

3 Altitude Points = 1 Velocity Point

By knowing both a card's 'earning rate' – how many Altitude Points can be earned per dollar spent – plus the conversion rate that applies when transferring those points to your preferred frequent flyer program, this allows you to calculate how many actual frequent flyer points you're earning per dollar spent.

We've crunched the numbers for you: after taking into account those earning and conversion rates, here's how many actual frequent flyer points you're getting per $1 spent, if converting to Asia Miles, Enrich, KrisFlyer or Velocity.

Spend type / earn rate per $1 spent

Altitude Platinum Mastercard

Altitude Black Mastercard

All international spend

Plus, purchases at Airbnb, Spotify, Uber and Uber Eats in Australia

0.66

0.66

David Jones, Myer, The Iconic

0.33

0.66

Qantas, Jetstar, Virgin Australia

<$10k/month: 1
>$10k/month: 0.33

<$10k/month: 2*
>$10k/month: 0.416

Emirates, Singapore Airlines

0.33

<$10k/month: 2*
>$10k/month: 0.416

Government payments (e.g. ATO)

No points

No points

All other eligible purchases

0.33

0.416

*Again, the $10,000/month threshold for Altitude Black on airline purchases applies across all eligible airlines, after which, the card's regular earning rate applies.

It goes without saying that the number of actual frequent flyer points you can earn per dollar spent on these Westpac cards may not look as good on paper as some other products, but Westpac has no points capping or tiering (other than the tiering level for airline spend).

This means that rather than switching earning rates part way through the month – such as giving you one frequent flyer point per dollar up to a certain level, and then cutting this in half, or worse – Westpac's earning rates continue to apply regardless of how much is charged per month.

Particularly for higher spenders, this could result in more frequent flyer points being earned overall per monthly statement period, given the everyday earning rate on these cards doesn't decrease after a certain level of spend.

Just to flag, when converting Altitude Points into frequent flyer points, there may be a minimum number of points that need to be transferred – check the Altitude website for the latest details.

Westpac Altitude: earning Qantas Points

Now that you're familiar with how to earn Altitude Points and later convert them into frequent flyer points, there's one other option you might also consider.

Known as 'Altitude Qantas', cardholders who take this path will simply earn Qantas Points from their Westpac credit card spends, credited directly to Qantas Frequent Flyer every month.

As you can't manually convert Altitude Points into Qantas Points, this is the only way that personal Westpac Altitude cardholders can earn Qantas Points, so it's this path, or Altitude Rewards.

When opting for that Altitude Qantas option, here's how many Qantas Points (actual frequent flyer points) you could earn per dollar spent:  

Spend type / earn rate per $1 spent

Altitude Platinum Mastercard

Altitude Black Mastercard

Qantas spend (e.g. flight booking)

1.5

1.75

Government payments (e.g. ATO)

No points

No points

All other eligible purchases

0.5

0.75

 

As an example, on the Westpac Altitude Platinum card when opted-in to Altitude Qantas, you could earn 1.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent on flights purchased directly from Qantas, as well as purchases such as Qantas Club membership.

There's no limit to the number of Qantas Points you can earn per month or year, so regardless of how much is spent, points will continue flowing in at the rates above.

Of course, choosing the Qantas path doesn't unlock as many 'bonus points' categories as on the Altitude Rewards cards, but that's offset by a boosted everyday earning rate, and a strong (and uncapped) rate for earning points on eligible Qantas spend.

Altitude Rewards: earning bonus Altitude Points or Qantas Points

When applying for a new Westpac Altitude credit card, you may qualify for a helping of bonus points, if applying during an offer period and following the requirements of that offer, such as by meeting certain spending thresholds.

These offers can change from time to time, but here's a selection of offers based on what's currently on the table across the Altitude credit card portfolio. Annual card fees apply.

Westpac Altitude Black Mastercard – Altitude Rewards

Pocket 150,000 bonus Altitude Points when you apply for the Westpac Altitude Black Mastercard with Altitude Rewards by November 11 2020, and spend $4,000 on eligible purchases within 90 days of card approval.

Under the 3:1 conversion rate that applies to most frequent flyer transfers from this card, that puts your bonus on par with 50,000 Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, Malaysia Airlines Enrich miles, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles, or Virgin Australia Velocity Points.

For cardholders preferring to earn Airpoints Dollars with Air New Zealand, those 150,000 bonus Altitude Points unlock approximately $833 in Airpoints Dollars value.

Also, 150,000 bonus points currently gets you $500 in cashback or up to $700 in e-Gift cards with Altitude Rewards1.

Westpac Altitude Platinum Mastercard – Altitude Rewards

Get your hands on a new Westpac Altitude Platinum Mastercard with Altitude Rewards and you could earn 80,000 bonus Altitude Points when you apply by November 11 2020 and spend $3,000 on eligible purchases within 90 days of card approval.

Again, when converted to Altitude's frequent flyer partners at a 3:1 rate, that's worth 26,666 Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, Malaysia Airlines Enrich miles, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles, or Virgin Australia Velocity Points.

With Air New Zealand, those 80,000 bonus Altitude Points could instead provide $444 in Airpoints Dollars value.

Westpac Altitude Platinum Mastercard – Altitude Qantas

Prefer to earn Qantas Points? Apply for the Altitude Platinum Mastercard with Altitude Qantas by November 11 2020, and you could earn an easy 60,000 bonus Qantas Points after spending $3,000 on eligible purchases within 90 days of card approval.

As with all the points earned from your everyday purchases, these 60,000 bonus Qantas Points will be automatically credited to your Qantas Frequent Flyer account after being earned. 

Westpac Altitude Rewards FAQ

Can I earn points from an additional cardholder?

Absolutely! If you choose to have an additional cardholder, any spends made on the additional card earn points at the same rates at the 'primary' card.

In the case of cards enrolled in the Altitude Rewards program, the $10,000/month tiering threshold for eligible airline spend applies across the entire account, not per card.

However, all points earned are credited to the primary cardholder only – either to their Altitude Rewards account, or their personal Qantas Frequent Flyer account, depending on the rewards option selected.

Can I earn points using Apple Pay or Google Pay?

Yes you can. All Westpac Altitude Mastercards are eligible for use across all major mobile wallets, including Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, Fitbit Pay and Garmin Pay.

The number of points earned via these transactions is the same as if the physical (plastic) card was used for the same transaction.

Westpac Altitude Rewards credit card reviews

In search of more information about a Westpac Altitude Rewards credit card? Peruse the following Executive Traveller reviews:

The reviews of each card include information about both points earning options – Altitude Points via Altitude Rewards, and Qantas Points via Altitude Qantas.

Apply for an Altitude Rewards credit card

Ready to apply? You can lodge your application securely online via the following pages, depending on your preferred card and rewards option.

Westpac Altitude Black

Westpac Altitude Platinum


Bank disclaimer:

1. Converting Altitude Points: You can redeem the points earned on your Altitude Black Altitude Rewards credit card for cash back or gift cards via the Altitude Rewards website. The estimated cashback and gift card value in above examples are based on current redemption rates as at 20th July 2020 and is subject to change without notification. All redemption of Altitude Rewards points are subject to availability and the Altitude Rewards Terms and Conditions (PDF 2MB).

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.