Rewards Credit Card

If you’re one to make frequent purchases on your credit card, earning rewards for doing what you have always done maybe worth consideration. Rewards credit cards enable cardholders to earn rewards for using their card to pay for everyday purchases. The higher your credit card spending the higher your rewards.

When you compare credit card rewards programs, you’ll find a broad range of perks and items that you can redeem with your rewards points. From cash back rewards and shopping privileges to frequent flyer points and free hotel stays, there’s an endless variety of reward options awaiting the rewards credit card user. A typical rewards credit card gives one reward point for every $1 spent. Once you’ve accumulated enough reward points, you can then redeem these for the reward of your choice, usually via the credit card providers online redemption store.

Introductory offer: Reduced Annual fee in the first year of $49 (a reduced rate of $149 ongoing) PLUS 0% p.a. on Balance Transfer for 24 months

  • Up to 55 interest free days on purchases 
  • Generous Points - 1 Citi Point per $1 spent on eligible purchases in Australia 
  • High Points cap - Earn up to 150,000 points every year with Citi's Rewards Program
  • Low Minimum Income requirement - eligibility level of $35,000 p.a.
  • Complimentary Insurances - Purchase Cover, International Travel, Transit Accident & Extended Warranty insurances on eligible purchases.
  • Visa payWave - provides the convenience of tap and go quick payments on transactions up to $100.
  • Concierge Services - 24/7 Service
  • Free wine - every time you dine with the Citi Dining Program

Offer conditions: 1.5% BT fee applies rate reverts to cash advance rate after 24 months.

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Selecting the Best Rewards Credit Card

 

Rewards Credit Cards award you points in return for each dollar you spend using your card, any reward points you earn may then be redeemed for a wide variety of “rewards” including flights, gifts and even cash.

Rewards Credit Cards are offered by all the major Credit Card Providers who each run their own reward program, these programs all work in pretty much the same way where you earn points from using your rewards credit cards which can then be redeemed via their online rewards stores.

Rewards credit cards are popular with cardholders who wish to be rewarded for their credit card spend but want flexibility in how they may use these points, so unlike the Frequent Flyer Credit Cards, Rewards credit cards are not tied to a particular service providers such as Qantas or Virgin Airways. The most popular credit card rewards programs are Westpac Altitude Rewards, St George Amplify Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, CommBank Awards, Citi Rewards and ANZ Rewards. If you are loyal to aparticular airline it maybe worth including frequent flyer credit cards in your comparison, with Qantas Credit Cards and Velocity Credit Cards both offering Frequent Flyer Points as rewards on your credit card spending.

 

Rewards Credit Card Comparison

A good first step when comparing Rewards Credit Cards is to assess the value of any rewards you may earn from using the card against the fee charged to hold the card and participate in the cards reward program. If the cards annual fee is greater than the value of the rewards you believe you will earn from using the card it is likely that it is not worth paying the fee for this card.

Once you have established that a reward credit card will deliver good value, given your projected credit card spend and the card fees, the next step is to dive into the detailed features of the card, the main ones which you should consider including in your comparison are:

  • Number of points earned per $1 of spend - the credit cards point earn rate or point ratio
  • Do the reward points expire, if so after what time period
  • Are sign up bonus points offered by the card? If so, how many and what if any conditions are associated with the award of these bonus points?
  • Does the rewards program include items or services that are of genuine value to you. There is no benefit in earning reward points that can only be redeemed for items that bring no joy or benefit to you.
  • Are the number of reward points you can earn capped?

 

Guide to Credit Card Reward Programs

Each of the major Credit Card providers has developed a Rewards program designed to reward their cardholders with Reward Points, relative to their card usage. These reward programs all operate in pretty much the same way and all typically feature:

  • A standard point earn rate per $1 spent on eligible purchases
  • A bonus reward point earn rate that is earned when you use your reward card to make a purchase at one of the bonus partners. These Bonus earn rates range from double points to 5 x the standard earn rate.
  • A Points Cap that determines the maximum number of Reward Points you can earn from using your Reward credit card each month
  • An online Rewards store where you can manage and redeem your Reward Points
  • The ability to transfer your Reward Points to a variety of Airline Partners, these partners vary by rewards program.

 

Westpac Altitude Rewards

Westpac Altitude Rewards are offered across 5 Altitude credit cards issued by Westpac including 2 Business credit cards.  This program has proved popular with cardholders who are looking for flexibility in how they redeem their reward points for travel, as Altitude Rewards Points can be transferred to many of the major frequent flyer programs including, Velocity Frequent Flyer Rewards, Malaysia Airlines Enrich, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, Singapore Airlines Krisflyer and Air NZ Airpoints. All (except Air NZ) transfer Altitude Reward Points to the airline programs at 2 Altitude Rewards Points for 1 frequent flyer point.

Complimenting this ability to transfer your Altitude Rewards Points to a chosen airline is the ability to book direct with 30 airlines using your Altitude Reward Points. Altitude is not all about redeeming Points for travel as they also offer an extensive range of goods and services in their Altitude on line store.

When you apply for a Westpac Altitude credit card you will be issued with 2 credit cards, an American Express credit card (for maximum Altitude Reward earning opportunities) and a Visa or MasterCard, (to ensure you have worldwide acceptance). These 2 Altitude Reward credit cards will be managed on a single account with one monthly statement, one annual fee and a single credit limit.

Altitude Rewards points do not expire so long as you remain an Altitude Reward cardholder.

 

St George Amplify Rewards

St George Amplify Rewards are offered across 4 Amplify credit cards issued by St George all of which are designed for personal, as opposed to business use.

The Amplify Rewards program has proved popular with cardholders who are not loyal to a single airline and are looking for flexibility in how they redeem their Amplify Reward points for airline travel. St George has delivered on this demain for flexibility by enabling Altitude Reward members to transfer their Altitude Rewards Points to many of the major frequent flyer programs including, Velocity Frequent Flyer Rewards, Malaysia Airlines Enrich, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, Singapore Airlines Krisflyer and Air NZ Airpoints. All (except Air NZ) transfer Altitude Reward Points to the airline programs at 2 Altitude Rewards Points for 1 frequent flyer point.

Complimenting this ability to transfer your Amplify Rewards Points to a chosen airline is the ability to book direct with 30 airlines using your Amplify Reward Points. Altitude is not all about redeeming Points for travel as they also offer an extensive range of goods and services in their Amplify on line store.

Amplify Rewards features a number of Bonus Partners who offer the highest Amplify Reward Point earn rates, these include Crown Hotels, Dreamworld, Holiday Inn Hotel and Resorts, Secure Parking and Park Royal Hotels.

 

Citi Rewards

Citi Rewards are offered across 4 Citi credit cards issued by Citi all of which are designed for personal, as opposed to business use.

Citi as one of the pioneers in credit card rewards consistently offer some of the most generous introductory bonus reward point offers and point earn rates. Each of their Reward Credit Cards also includes the opportunity to participate in the Citi Dining Program that is very popular and well used by Citi Reward cardholders who frequently dine out.

Citi Rewards is one of the most flexible credit card points programs for Visa credit cards, as Citi have invested heavily in partnering with a broad range of transfer partners to whom Citi Rewards Points can be transferred.

To compliment the longstanding rewards partnerships with Velocity Frequent Flyer, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Emirates Skywards and Cathay Pacific’s Asia Miles (for the Citi Prestige credit card only), Citi have recently added a number of new point transfer partners - notably Hilton & IHG Hotels, Etihad Guest, Delta Skymiles and Garuda Airlines.

Citi has a well established list of Bonus Partners who all offer 3 Citi Reward Points per $1 of spend, these partners include well known brands across a variety of services:

  • Accomodation - Intercontinental Hotels, Crowne Plaza Hotels and Resorts, Park Royal Hotels, Oaks Hotels and Resorts and Fraser Suites.
  • Shopping - Bose, Salvatore Terragamo and Fresh Flowers.com.au
  • Automotive - Wilson Parking and Europcar car rental

 

American Express Member Rewards

American Express Member Rewards are offered across 10 American Express credit cards issued by American Express 6 of which are designed for personal use, with 4 reserved for the business cardholder.

Member Rewards are managed and redeemed via the American Express on line Reward store, via this store you are able to transfer Member Rewards to

Nine Airline Frequent Flyer Programs including Virgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyer, Emirates Skywards, Etihad Guest, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Air New Zealand Airpoints , THAI Royal Orchid Plus, Malaysia Airlines Enrich and Cathay Pacific Asia Miles. Continuing the travel theme, American Express REwrad Points can also be redeemed through the Travel Agency Partner, helloworld, or alternatively you may choose to use your points with Webjet, American Express Travel Online, or a range of Hotel Guest Transfer Partners, you can even redeem your points for foreign currency.

American Express Member Reward Points don’t have an expiry date or period. You may, however, forfeit points earned in the previous month if your account is overdue. You automatically lose points when you cancel your Card or cancel your enrolment in the Membership Rewards program. You must redeem your points or transfer your points to a linked account prior to a cancellation.

A recent introduction has been the ability to pay off your credit card account with your Reward Points in what American Express call their Points for Credit. When using Points for Credit Rewards may be redeemed on your primary Card account in set denominations of $50, $100, $250, $500 and $1,000.

 

NAB Rewards

NAB Rewards Program was launched in February 2017 with a significantly improved offer which notably improved the flexibility with which new NAB cardholders could use their rewards. Previously NAB reward credit cardholders had the choice of earning Qantas Points, Velocity Points or flybuy points.  The new NAB rewards Program changes this single Points approach by allowing cardholders to earn NAB Rewards, which can be redeemed with airline partners including Virgin Australia, Cathay Pacific and Air New Zealand, as well as flights and travel deals through Webjet, gift cards for your favourite retailers and cash direct to your NAB account.

The NAB Rewards Program was launched with 3 new NAB Reward Credit Cards, the NAB Rewards Classic Card, NAB Rewards Platinum Card and NAB Rewards Business Platinum Card, all of which are Visa credit cards.

There’s no cap on the number of Reward points that can be earned or converted from each of the NAB Reward Caredit Cards, although payments to the Australian Taxation Office earn no reward points

Higher point rates are available with NAB Reward partners for example you can earn triple points when booking through Webjet or when making foreign transactions online or overseas. You’ll also earn double points on purchases made in major department and hardware stores such as JB Hi-Fi, Kmart, Country Road, Myer, David Jones, Mitre 10 and Bunnings.

 

Coles Flybuy Credit Cards

Coles Credit Cards offer generous reward points and discount on your shopping. Coles currently offer 3 reward credit cards, a No annual fee credit card, a low rate credit card and a Rewards credit card with a high flybuy point earn rate. Each of the Coles credit cards share three features which Coles has included to deliver against their promise of everyday value:

Each of the Coles Credit Cards, when used at the Coles checkout to pay for your shopping multiplies your flybuy earn rate from the standard earn rate to either 1.5 times with the Coles No Annual Fee Credit Card, or 3 times with the Coles Rewards MasterCard.

Coles flybuy Reward Credit Card

  • Coles Rewards MasterCard - A rewards credit card that is the fastest way to earn flybuys points - earn 2 flybuys points per $1 spent everywhere on top of what you earn at other flybuys participants. Applicants with Credit Limits in excess of $6,000 are offered the Coles Platinum Rewards MasterCard which features to additional benefits of a 24/7 concierge and purchase protection insurance on your purchases.
  • Coles MasterCard with No Annual Fee - you’ll still earn flybuys points, but you won’t pay an annual fee. You'll earn 1 flybuys point per $2 you spend everywhere - that’s on top of the usual flybuys points from flybuy partners. Applicants with credit limts in excess of $6,000 are offered the Coles No Annual Fee Platinum Mastercard which still features the no annual fee and includes a couple of additional benefits of a 24/7 concierge and purchase protection insurance.
  • Coles Low Rate MasterCard - the latest addition to the Coles Credit Card offering, features one of the lowest purchase rates available in tandem with flybuy rewards, up to 62 interest free days and a low annual fee of just $49 p.a.

All Coles Credit Card holders also benefit from 2 benefits, firstly you have the option to take $10 off your Coles Supermarket shop, instantly at the till, by simply redeeming 2,000 flybuys and secondly if you prefer shopping online with Colesyou can enjoy free delivery of your order every time you spend $100 or more, and pay with your Coles Credit Card at Coles online.

Virgin Australia frequent flyers have the option to earn Velocity Points when they shop at Coles under a new rewards deal that emulates the loyalty partnership between rivals Qantas and Woolworths. This new partnership allows flybuy members the option to convert their flybuy points they earn at Coles and 27 partner retailers including Kmart, target and Liquorland, for Velocity Points. In an Australian first for a loyalty program, the partnership will allow flybuys members to earn Velocity status credits at Coles and its liquor stores.

 

ANZ Rewards

ANZ Rewards are offered across 3 ANZ credit cards issued by ANZ all of which are designed for personal use, as opposed to business, each of cards are companion cards and come with an American Express credit card in association with a Visa credit card to ensure global acceptance and the ability to maximise all the Reward earning opportunities.

ANZ Rewards allows transfers to Velocity Frequent Flyer, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, and Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, with minimum Point transfer levels applying. In addition to the frequent flyer options you can earn and redeem ANZ Reward Points for cash-back, travel offers, gift cards which are all redeemed via the ANZ Rewards online store. A recent innovation introduced by ANZ Rewards is the Auto Redemption feature that enables you to select a Reward from the ANZ Reward Store at any time, and then once your Rewards Balance meets the number of Points required to attain the selected Reward, the Reward will be automatically sent to you.

ANZ Rewards Points do expire, to avoid losing any Reward Points you must use your points within 36 months of 31st December of the year in which the points were added to a your ANZ Reward account, any  Reward Points that remain unused after that period will be cancelled. Additionally if your ANZ Rewards account is closed, you need to use your Reward Points within 60 days of the date of closure

ANZ partners with various merchants to offer bonus points – these points are in addition to what you’d normally earn on any given transaction, aren’t subjected to the usual points capping rules, and can be converted into frequent flyer points in the same way. Bonus partners include Stamford Hotels and Resorts, Adairs, ACE Insurance, Hoyts, Prouds Jewellers and Dreamworld.

 

CommBank Rewards

CommBank Awards are offered across 4 CommBank credit cards issued by CommBank all of which are designed for personal use, as opposed to business, each of the credit cards are companion cards and come with an American Express credit card in association with a MasterCard to provide global acceptance and the ability to maximise all the Reward earning opportunities.

CommBank Awards is the largest rewards program of any bank in Australia and each of the Rewards Credit Cards has no expiry date on the points earned.

The size of the CommBank Awards program delivers the largest selection of Bonus Partners whom offer the highest point earn rates. These partners include: 

Adairs, Bob Jane T-Marts, Crown Metropol, Crown Promenade Hotel, Crown Towers, Hoyts, Magshop, Napoleon Perdis, Prouds the Jewellers, RedBalloon, Rendezvous Hotels & Resorts International, Thrifty Car Hire and Village Cinemas.

A recent innovation introduced by Comm Bank to their Awards Reward program is the feature that allows you to pay for goods in store with your CommBank Awards. This feature can be used at Myer where you simply redeem your Awards points instantly in-store at Myer for purchases by presenting your Awards credit card. This feature can also be used to redeem Awards points for travel with no blackout dates at Flight Centre where you can choose any seat, any airline, any destination at any time. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Do any rewards credit cards offer 0% Balance Transfers?

Yes, some rewards credit cards include 0% balance transfer deals. Take note though, that any balance transfers are generally not eligible for earning rewards points. To be sure, check the terms and conditions of the rewards and balance transfer offer of the credit card provider.

How do the benefits of the different tiers of Reward Credit Cards differ?

Most credit card providers offer reward credit cards in 4 tiers:

  • Classic Credit Cards - These are the entry level Reward Credit Cards which feature the lowest annual card fees, lowest reward point earn rates, lowest point caps, lowaest income eligibility levels, starting around $15,000 p.a. and a limited number of benefits. Examples would be the Westpac Altitude credit card and the Citi Classic Reward credit card
  • Gold Credit Cards Gold reward credit cards feature minimum income levels in the range $15,000 to $50,000 p.a. depending on the deth of benefits offered with the card. Gold reward credit cards also feature credit limits in the mid range as are the point earn rates and levels of any point caps.
  • Platinum Credit Cards Platinum reward credit cards tend to feature a higher minimum income requirement and users of these cards are generally offered a higher credit limit. Platinum cardholders may earn more points for every dollar spent as compared to Gold credit cards, and they may be given access to some exclusive card offers such as global customer support, 24/7 concierge services, waiver of fees, and complimentary international travel insurance.
  • Black Credit Cards - Also called Premium Credit Cards, this level is considered as the top tier of rewards credit cards. Black cardholders are given the privilege of the highest credit limits, the most generous travel perks, complimentary 24/7 concierge services, highest point earn rates, highest or no point caps.

 

Coles Flybuys vs Woolworths Everyday Rewards vs Credit Card Rewards, which offers best value?

Credit card reward programs offered by the banks operate as loyalty programs much like Coles flybuys or Woolworths Everyday Rewards with each rewrading you with points when you spend using your reward credit card.

With loyalty programs like flybuys and Everyday rewards however, you can earn points only by making purchases at partner establishments. The flybuys program for instance, lets you collect flybuy points from a number of partner retailers and service providers such as Coles, KMart, Target, Travelworld, Best Western, and others.

On the other a hand, a bank or a credit card provider’s rewards program lets you earn points by using your credit card to pay for purchases and services anywhere. Although it’s possible to earn more rewards points from a select group of brands and retailers that the provider is associated with, your capability to earn points is not limited to the purchases made at partner stores. 

Rewards Credit Card vs Frequent Flyer Credit Card which is best?

Deciding on which type of these credit card types is right for you comes down to a sngle question: Are you currently loyal to one specific airline? If the answer is yes it's likely that opting for a frequent flyer credit card aligned with your airline of choice will deliver the most value from a rewards perspective. If you have no specific loyalty to any airline a Reward Credit Card will generally offer better value as it provides infintely more flexibility on how you might choose to use any reward points you earn, with some rewards cards offer the option to transfer your points to a selection of airline partners. This flexible option is offered by NAB Rewards credit cards, Altitude Credit Cards from Westpac and Memembership Reward cards from AMEX.