NAB Qantas Rewards Signature Card review

By   |   Verified by David Boyd   |   Updated 28th September 2021

NAB Qantas Rewards Signature Card Review

When a premium card is just not enough to complement your successful, adventurous lifestyle, there's a new level of prestige card just for you: the Signature card. And for committed Qantas Frequent Flyers (or even those new to the scheme), there's a very special card, the NAB Qantas Rewards Signature Card.

It has almost everything you could look for in a frequent traveller's card, including a truly valuable first-purchase bonus points boost, lots of ongoing QFF points, and one of the most comprehensive suites of complimentary insurance policies available with a credit card.

NAB Qantas Rewards Signature Card

On NAB's website

Highlights

  • Earn up to 110,000 bonus Qantas Points. Receive 90,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 in the first 60 days from account approval date and 20,000 bonus points when you keep your card open for over 12 months. Terms and conditions apply.
  • Enjoy 0% on balance transfers for 6 months with 2% Balance Transfer Fee.
  • Reduced annual fee of $295 p.a. instead of $395 p.a. (saving you $100).

Pros

  • Complimentary Qantas Frequent Flyer membership fee valued at $99.50.
  • Six complimentary insurances when you make an eligible purchase.
  • Earn 1 Qantas Point per $1 spent on everyday purchases up to $5,000 per statement period then 0.05 pts per $1 spent thereafter (capped at $20,000).

Cons

  • Annual fee of $395 p.a. is quite high.

110,000 Qantas points bonus, just for normal spending

No one is going to pay for a premium card like this, and then leave it in their wallet. At this level, cardholders can usually spend $1,500 per month on card purchases without batting an eyelid. Do just that, by spending $3,000 in the first 60 days, and be richly rewarded with 90,000 bonus Qantas Frequent Flyer points.

Then, after 12 months, just pay your second-year annual fee and you'll receive a further 20,000 bonus QFF points. Those 110,000 Qantas Points are nearly enough for a return economy flight to London or New York (110,400 points).

Best QFF ongoing points rate on a Visa card

This is a stand-alone Visa card, like all NAB credit cards now that they have dropped their Amex companion cards. It earns 1.0 Qantas Frequent Flyer point for every dollar spent on eligible purchases, and that's equal to the best rate going on any Visa card or Mastercard available in Australia at the time of writing.

You'll also benefit from an extra 1.0 points per dollar if you use your card to purchase Qantas flights, Qantas Club memberships, or travel from the Qantas Travel service. So that's a massive two points per dollar for all spending directly with Qantas on Qantas products.

Fairly generous points threshold and cap

Also unlike the NAB Qantas Rewards Premium Card, there is a very liberal points cap. The Premium Card is capped at $6,000 per month, but this Signature Card lets you earn 0.5 Qantas points on monthly purchases between $5,000 and $20,000. The $20,000 cap is unlikely to worry you, but the $5,000 threshold, while potentially annoying, means that you still earn at least some points on major purchases or in big-spending Christmas and holiday periods.

Get Qantas Frequent Flyer membership for free

NAB will pay the $99.50 Qantas Frequent Flyer program joining fee for any new cardholder who is not yet a member.

Using your Qantas Frequent Flyer points

Accepted wisdom says that the best way to use your Qantas points is for award flights or seat upgrades with Qantas and its more than 50 partner airlines worldwide, and accepted wisdom is not wrong. The longer the flight and the higher the seat class, the greater your return is per dollar spent in earning points.

However, you may occasionally wish to redeem your Qantas points in other ways, and you can choose from:

  • An online merchandise catalogue
  • Retail, travel, car hire and entertainment gift cards and vouchers
  • Wines and spirits
  • Qantas Epicure wine and food events

But be aware that non-flight redemptions almost always deliver a much lower value per point than flights and seat upgrades.

Complimentary insurance policies to safeguard your lifestyle

Prestige cards usually get a good workout for both travelling and shopping, so NAB have included a wide-ranging collection of insurance policies (seven in total) to make sure that your purchases are protected as far as possible from unexpected problems and unforeseen extra costs:

  • Overseas travel insurance: covers emergency medical expenses, luggage and documents, unavoidable trip cancellation, rental vehicle insurance excess, and more
  • Interstate flight insurance: similar to overseas travel cover, but without emergency medical expenses
  • Domestic hotel burglary insurance: covers personal items stolen from a locked hotel room in Australia (a policy unique to NAB credit cards)
  • Transport accident insurance: compensation for loss of life or serious injury as a result of an accident in a plane, bus, taxi, train or ferry
  • Extended warranty insurance: doubles the manufacturer's warranty up to a maximum of 12 extra months
  • Purchase protection insurance: purchased items covered for three months against loss, theft or accidental damage

In all cases, insurance is activated by purchasing with the card the goods and services for which cover is required. For the overseas travel insurance policy, $500 of pre-booked travel expenses must have been charged to the card, and for the remaining travel policies the card must have been used to pay the full fare.

Transfer your balance and enjoy a 0% interest rate for 6 months

If you already have a competing credit card, chances are you may have recently made a major purchase which has created a blip in your cash flow. This is your opportunity to bring your balance across to your new NAB card and pay no interest on it for 6 months while making monthly repayments of only 2% of the balance. There is a 2% upfront balance transfer fee to pay, which will slightly reduce your interest cost savings.

The only problem with having an unpaid balance transfer is that during this time you will sacrifice the normal interest-free days granted each month on purchases, in this case, up to 44 days per month. So you'll want to avoid using your card for purchases for the first 6 months if you have a balance transfer. This means that you'll miss out on earning points and being covered by insurance.

Plan to pay off the balance in full at the end of 6 months in order to avoid the 21.74% p.a. balance transfer revert interest rate. This is also the cash advance rate, and the rate on unpaid purchase balances is 19.99% p.a.

All the premium level service and security you've come to expect

The Signature-level card features, designed for busy people like you, include:

  • NAB Concierge Service: a dedicated 24/7 global travel and lifestyle service for NAB Signature, Platinum and Premium cardholders only.
  • Visa Premium Access: jump the queue to get reserved seating for the hottest events, plus other privileges and discounts.
  • NAB Pay for Android: convert your smartphone into a digital wallet, tap and pay with your phone (secure fingerprint ID), block, unblock and control your card account features, use your account before your card arrives in the mail.
  • NAB Defence: proactive fraud detection, always on the lookout for suspicious transactions.
  • Verified by Visa: an extra level of security for online shopping, using a password or One Time PIN delivered by SMS.
  • Worldwide emergency assistance: help available around the clock if your card is lost or stolen.

A premium price, but get back more than you pay for

You'll pay a reduced annual fee of $295 in your first year of holding the card (with no extra charge for supplementary cards), rising to $395 in subsequent years.

This hefty amount will probably not come as too much of a surprise, given the high points earning rate and the many other benefits. The bonus points cover the fee several times over in the first year. But no one likes paying more than they need to, so consider what you get for the fee every year:

  • High points earning potential: If you put $5,000 per month through the card, you'll earn 60,000 Qantas points, more than enough for a one-way economy fare to Europe or the US.
  • Complimentary insurance package worth an estimated $1,370 per year.

Other cards to consider

$395 per year is a big commitment, so take a look at some competing cards before making your final decision. You'll find all the major Qantas Frequent Flyer points earning cards listed on our Qantas credit card comparison.

Verdict

The NAB Qantas Rewards Signature Card will handsomely compensate you for the travel you need to do for both work and leisure, while at the same time making your life a little easier. So whether you've already arrived at the top of your field, or you merely have it in your sights, this card could be an ideal choice.

NAB Qantas Rewards Signature Card

On NAB's website

Highlights

  • Earn up to 110,000 bonus Qantas Points. Receive 90,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 in the first 60 days from account approval date and 20,000 bonus points when you keep your card open for over 12 months. Terms and conditions apply.
  • Enjoy 0% on balance transfers for 6 months with 2% Balance Transfer Fee.
  • Reduced annual fee of $295 p.a. instead of $395 p.a. (saving you $100).

Pros

  • Complimentary Qantas Frequent Flyer membership fee valued at $99.50.
  • Six complimentary insurances when you make an eligible purchase.
  • Earn 1 Qantas Point per $1 spent on everyday purchases up to $5,000 per statement period then 0.05 pts per $1 spent thereafter (capped at $20,000).

Cons

  • Annual fee of $395 p.a. is quite high.