Provided you pay it off in full each month, a frequent flyer credit card can help you to travel in style at low cost, by maximising the rewards you get for the things you already buy in your day-to-day life. With many credit cards now affiliated with frequent flyer programs, it’s easy to earn points if you’re in the know about the best cards to choose.
How does a frequent flyer credit card work?
Frequent flyer credit cards are linked to a loyalty program. There are a number of popular points and miles loyalty programs linked to rewards credit cards available in Australia. These loyalty programs include Qantas Frequent Flyer, Velocity Frequent Flyer and American Express Membership Rewards.
A rewards credit card will generally offer a set number of points per $1 you spend (with some products offering up to 3 points per $1 in selected spend categories). By using a frequent flyer credit card on the things you purchase everyday, you can earn a significant number of points and miles. Selected credit cards also come with sign on bonus points for new card members. Bonus points can help you to earn frequent flyer points quickly.
Does a frequent flyer credit card offer other benefits?
Yes, rewards credit cards often come with other benefits that can help to take the sting out of the annual fee. These can include complimentary return flights, travel credits and airport lounge passes. A number of frequent flyer credit cards also offer complimentary travel insurance.
Are there downsides to consider when comparing frequent flyer credit cards?
Frequent flyer credit cards can come with valuable benefits, but there are a range of potential downsides to consider before you select a card. These include:
- A high annual card fee. Many frequent flyer credit cards come with a high annual fee. When comparing credit card offers, consider whether you can use the card benefits and perks to offset the value of the annual fee. It is possible to obtain a $0 annual fee credit card. However, $0 annual fee credit cards usually include less rewards and a lower point per $1 earn rate when compared with higher tier rewards cards. It’s important to note that there can be a range of other fees and charges associated with credit cards.
- A high interest rate. Frequent flyer credit cards can often have high purchase interest rates. Rewards credit cards should only be used if you plan to pay off the full credit card balance each month. Otherwise, the interest you’ll incur could outweigh the value of the rewards.
- Sign on bonus spend requirements. To take advantage of an introductory bonus point offer, you will generally need to spend a specific amount of money in a set period.
How many bonus points can I earn?
Credit card bonus points offers are offered throughout the year. Currently, the highest bonus point offer we have covered is 75,000 bonus Velocity points with the American Express Velocity Platinum Credit Card. The Champagne Mile does not provide information on all rewards cards and there are higher offers available.
Can a rewards credit card be linked directly with an airline?
Yes. In Australia, Virgin Australia and Qantas operate c0-brand credit cards through their loyalty schemes, Qantas Frequent Flyer and Velocity Frequent Flyer. With a Qantas Frequent Flyer credit card, points are generally credited directly to your account each month.
If you’re not yet a member of Qantas Frequent Flyer, you can join for free here.
Other airline loyalty programs that are popular in Australia include Singapore Airlines Krisflyer and Cathay Pacific Asia Miles. There is currently no direct-earning rewards card for Asia Miles in Australia, but points can be transferred across from AMEX Membership Rewards.
Is it possible to obtain a $0 annual fee rewards credit card?
Yes. There are a range of $0 annual fee frequent flyer credit cards available in Australia. It’s important to note that, $0 annual fee credit cards usually offer less rewards and card member benefits. Generally, these cards also offer a lower point or mile earn rate on day to day spend when compared with higher tier rewards cards that come with annual fees.
Will I lose my points or miles if I close my credit card?
If you hold a co-brand Velocity or Qantas Frequent Flyer credit card, this shouldn’t happen. The points that you earn are generally credited to your frequent flyer account each month. For AMEX Membership Rewards credit cards, however, you’ll need to transfer out or redeem points before you close your card. Either way, it’s helpful to speak with your credit card provider before you close your credit card to ensure you’re not going to lose out on any reward points.
Which rewards credit cards can I compare?
In Australia, American Express, Visa and Mastercard offer rewards credit cards, with a small range of Diners Credit Cards available through Citibank. Generally, acceptance of Visa and Mastercard is highest. However, American Express provides card members with high points earn rates and ongoing benefits.
The Champagne Mile only covers a small selection of credit cards available in Australia.
How can I maximise rewards from a frequent flyer credit card?
Once you’ve earned enough frequent flyer points or miles, it’s time to choose your reward. Popular redemption options include flights, flight upgrades, accommodation and gift cards.
Here at The Champagne Mile, we love to use frequent flyer points for first and business class flights and aspirational accommodation. From Qantas and Singapore Airlines first class, to a five star stay in the desert, we try to get maximum value from rewards points. Get inspired by reading our range of in depth reviews.
There are a number of frequent flyer credit cards available in Australia. Browse our range of rewards credit cards here.