Which American Express card is best for Qantas Frequent Flyer points?
If you have a Qantas credit card you can earn Qantas Frequent Flyer points with every dollar you spend on day–to–day purchases. Very often, your card will offer you thousands of bonus points when you sign up (and satisfy the offer’s terms and conditions).
Some cards also have lots of other travel perks such as free travel insurance, concierge services and free lounge access. You must already be a QFF member to earn your Qantas points, but with some cards, you’ll get QFF membership for free anyway.
Which purchases earn QFF points?
The sort of transactions that are eligible for earning points are everyday expenses like buying fuel, groceries and booking travel. Things like balance transfers and cash advances don’t earn points and nor do payments to state or federal governments, like paying a tax bill.
The bonus Qantas points offers
There are some QFF cards that offer the user tens of thousands of bonus points at sign–up. These amounts can be up to 120,000 and even 150,000, but you have to meet particular spending targets within a specified time to collect the award.
Common requirements include having to spend a certain amount within the three months to collect. You need to make sure that you’d spend this sort of money anyway and that you’re not just spending it for the points. Of course you need to pay off the spending and not rack up a big interest bearing debt to make the points worthwhile.
You may also have to be a new customer, so if you already have a QFF card with the same provider then you’re out of luck (or, at least, bonus points).
Very often, you’ll find that the bonus points offers are available for a limited time so you’ll often have to sign up – and spend the necessary money – by a deadline.
Your earn rate
The number of points you earn per dollar is crucial, because the awards can be as low as 0.25 points per dollar or as high as two or more points per dollar. Most offers are around one point per dollar, and this is considered a fair sort of rate. With some cards, your earnings rate will increase if you spend money overseas or on Qantas products.
Points capping schedules
You might find that with some QFF cards your points rate reduces after you hit a maximum monthly spend. If your maximum spend is $10,000, for example, and you reach this on August 24, your points will reduce to, say, 0.5 per dollar until September 1. You might prefer an uncapped card or one with a cap that’s way above your usual monthly spend.
The rates and fees
Most QFF cards have an annual fee, often ranging from $295 to over $1,000. You might find a card with a reduced fee for the first year, which can be handy, but if you do pay a fee, make sure that it doesn’t outweigh the value of the points you’ll earn annually.
The interest rates
QFF cards tend to have high interest rates – often at least 19.49 per cent – and if you don’t pay off your balance in full every month your interest payments can rapidly swamp your QFF points value. You might find a QFF card that offers an introductory zero interest period on purchases and balance transfers but remember that this period won’t last and revert rates can come as a shock.
Watch out for other fees
There may be international transaction fees, or cash advance fees, so factor these in with your annual fee to make sure you’re not paying more than your points earnings.
Watch out for perks
Very often, the higher the annual fee, the more perks and sweeteners you’ll get, including free hotel stays and upgrades, Qantas Club invitations, extended warranties and purchase protection as well as airport lounge passes. You might find these perks worth the fee, but don’t jump for a card that offers them unless you know you’ll use them.
If you know you’ll be paying off your card bill every month by the due date, then you’ll be able to make interest–free purchases. This really helps to reduce or even eliminate your interest burden, making your QFF points even more worth it.
Additional cardholder facility
Some QFF cards let you bring another cardholder onto the account, which, as long as your fellow cardholder pays their portion of the bill on time, increases your QFF earning potential. Just make sure that there’s no huge additional fee for an extra body on the account…
The best American Express cards for QFF points
American Express offers a lot of QFF cards, so if you’re looking for a card that’s going to earn well for you, then Amex is probably a good bet.
Amex is the go–to cards for QFF points, and here are a couple of good ones to get you started on your journey finding the right card for own personal needs:
The David Jones American Express Qantas Frequent Flyer card offers 22,500 bonus QFF points (terms and conditions apply) and an earn rate of between 0.5 and three points per dollar, depending on where you spend the money and which reward scheme you subscribe to. There’s a $99 annual fee and a purchase rate of 20.74 per cent.
The American Express Westpac Altitude Platinum Bundle Qantas card offers a 75,000 QFF bonus – 60,000 on Mastercard and 15,000 on Amex – when you spend $3,000 on each card within 90 days (terms and conditions apply). The earn rate varies from 0.5 to 1.5 QFF points per dollar on different transactions and there’s a $249 annual fee.
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.