If you’re a frequent traveller, whether it’s sheer wanderlust or business (or both, if you’re lucky), then a frequent flyer credit card may well be a great way to earn rewards. Accumulating rewards points lets you redeem flights, upgrade to the next class and get freebies and discounts galore. The trouble is, there are so many products out there that offer points for this, points for that, some transferable between carriers and airlines, some not, that your head can spin. Settle on a particular brand to make things simple Many credit cards are linked to Qantas but if you’re often flying Virgin, then you might as well focus on the Virgin Velocity Frequent Flyer programme. Dedication to this cause and a bit of brand loyalty will earn you some extra flights, cheaper or free car hire, sports tickets, holiday packages and fuel. Of course, you need to do a bit of homework before deciding if a frequent flyer credit card is something you actually need and something you can make work for you. Why should you get a frequent flyer credit card? If you’re looking for a card which earns you credit card points with Virgin or Virgin Australia more than any other airline, then you need to ask yourself these questions. Do you pay off your closing card balance in full each month? If you do, then all well and good. Frequent flyer credit cards tend to have slightly higher interest rates than other cards, so if you always have a balance on your card, the “extra” interest could eat up all the advantages you’ve earned on your points. Earning the points and then spending more money than you need to on interest might end up as a net loss to you. Are you looking to earn points for international or domestic flights? Domestic flights take fewer points than international flights, so you need to decide if you’re saving points for one long–haul flight or a few shorter flights each year. Do you actually need travel points? You might need a different product than a frequent flyer card if you’re looking to redeem points for gifts, shopping vouchers and cashback, for example. The real acid test is whether you pay off your balance in full each month; if you don’t, then a flyer programme isn’t going to work as well for you as another rewards programme. If you decide that a frequent flyer credit card is suitable for you… Then you should spend some time perusing a comparison site to see which one suits you best. There are so many different ones out there that you could easily get lost in a forest of options! Using a side–by–side comparison tool allows you to see how many Velocity points you’ll earn for each dollar you spend. This rundown assumes a monthly spend of $3,000 (don’t forget to clear this balance each month for your maximum benefit). American Express’ Velocity Platinum Card You’ll earn 1.25 Virgin points for every dollar; the promotional purchase rate is 20.74 per cent and the annual fee is $375. ANZ’s Rewards Black This card offers one Virgin point per dollar but it has a relatively low promotional purchase rate of 18.79 per cent. The annual fee is $375. Virgin Money’s Velocity High Flyer Card You’ll get one Virgin point per dollar and a promotional purchase rate of 20.74 per cent. The annual fee is $289, one of the lower ones. Coles’ Rewards Mastercard With just 0.87 points per dollar, you might think it’s a bad deal, but the promotional rate is 19.99 per cent and the annual fee is a mere $99. Bank of Melbourne’s Amplify Signature Rewards Option You’ll get 0.75 points per dollar, as well as a promotional rate of 19.74 per cent and a $279 annual fee ($179 in your first year). (Also offered by St George and BankSA) Velocity Frequent Flyer cards with special bonus offers Some cards offer special deals for new sign–ups. Generally, these bonuses are extra rewards points which can work out really well for you if you redeem them with Virgin Velocity. Always do the maths, though! If your bonus points won’t outweigh your annual fee and you’re not likely to spend much (even if you clear your balance each month), then look elsewhere. These are some good examples of frequent flyer cards that offer bonuses partnered with Virgin Velocity. American Express’ Velocity Platinum Card The bonus is 100,000 points if you spend $1,000 a month for the first four months. Thereafter you’ll get 1.25 points per dollar, a 20.74 per cent promotional rate and a $375 annual fee. on American Express's website ANZ’s Rewards Black You’ll get 100,000 Virgin points if you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months. There’s a $375 annual fee and an 18.79 per cent promo rate. Virgin Money’ Velocity High Flyer Card This card offers you 90,000 points if you spend $3,000 each month for the first three months (eligible purchases only). Then there’s one point per dollar, a 20.74 per cent promo rate and a $289 annual fee. What you should look for in a frequent flyer card When you’re looking for your ideal frequent flyer card then there are a few essential factors that you have to look at and consider before making your decision. These include: Your earn rate, as this tells you how quickly your points balance will rack up and is a major factor. your annual fee, because if it outweighs the amount of money or goods you’ll redeem, it’s not worth it. your promotional period, its rate and its other features, because you may feel like you’re in clover for six months or so, before everything becomes more expensive, and. any freebies or extras, because if you get free travel insurance, this may tip the balance of costs in your favour despite the annual fee. Compare rewards credit cards at InfoChoice. The information contained on this web site is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs, and where appropriate, seek professional advice from a financial adviser. If you or someone you know is in financial stress, contact the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007.