Qantas Frequent Flyer credit cards are a type of rewards points credit card where the points come in the form of Qantas Frequent Flyer points. Almost all major Australian credit card providers offer at least one Qantas Frequent Flyer credit card, and there are over 50 to choose from.
Eligible purchases made with a Qantas Frequent Flyer credit card earn Qantas Frequent Flyer Points which are credited directly to the cardholder’s Qantas Frequent Flyer Points account held with Qantas. Points earned from card purchases are pooled with other points in the account (earned from purchasing Qantas flights, for example, or from Woolworths supermarket shopping) and can be redeemed for award flights and seat upgrades, or for other reward types.
Qantas Points earning rates
Points earning rates are normally expressed in terms of number of points per dollar spent, e.g. 0.75 Qantas Points per dollar spent on eligible purchases.
The points earning rate varies from card to card, with the more expensive premium cards typically having a higher points earning rate. An individual card can have more than one earning rate, for example a higher earning rate on purchases from Qantas, and a lower earning rate on government purchases.
Points caps and thresholds
While some cards place no limit on the number of Qantas Points a cardholder can earn in any month or year, other cards have points caps or points thresholds.
A points cap is an absolute limit on the number of Qantas Points that can be earned in any month or year. Once the cap is reached, the points earning rate for the remainder of the period falls to 0 points per dollar spent. The cap may be expressed in terms of dollars spent (e.g. Qantas Points earned on only the first $5,000 of eligible purchases per month) or in terms of Qantas Points earned (e.g. a cap of 7,500 Qantas points per month).
A points threshold is a limit beyond which the earning rate falls for the remainder of the month or year. For example, a card may have a 1.0 Qantas Points per dollar earning rate, up to a threshold of $5,000 of spending per month, beyond which the earning rate drops to 0.5 points per dollar for the remainder of the month.
Qantas Points expire if there has been neither points earning activity (e.g. from credit cards, or from making flights where the fare was purchased with cash) nor points spending activity (e.g. booking an award flight with points or making other points redemptions) within the previous 18 months. So it’s important to keep your Qantas Points account active. Just a small Qantas Frequent Flyer credit card purchase, or a small points redemption (e.g. for a $25 retail gift card) will do the trick.
Qantas Frequent Flyer Points credit cards stipulate that only ‘eligible purchases’ will earn points. In practice, this means that cash transactions and cash equivalent transactions do not earn points. So no points will be earned on cash advances, balance transfers, purchases of travellers cheques and foreign currency, card interest charges and fees, and transfers from a Qantas Frequent Flyer Points credit card account to another bank account.
As well as these types of cash transactions, many cards exclude government transactions (e.g. payments to the ATO, Australia Post, vehicle registration and licences, local government rates, fines, &c) from Qantas Points earning, or allow them to earn points only at a lower rate. Some cards also exclude gambling transactions and BPAY payments from points earning.
Many Qantas Frequent Flyer Points credit cards offer substantial bonus points as an incentive to new cardholders. There is usually a target spending amount attached to these ‘first purchase bonus points’. For example, a new cardholder may receive 60,000 bonus Qantas Points for spending $2,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days of holding the card. These large bonuses are obviously very useful to anyone collecting points to redeem for a long-haul international award flight.