The Qantas Frequent Flyer program is one of the airline’s most profitable divisions, according to recent reports. So you can expect Qantas to pick the ideal point in the scale at which to pitch its own platinum card. It’s called the Qantas Premier Platinum Credit Card, and it appears to be fine-tuned to deliver a satisfyingly high level of all the usual perks – bonus Qantas Points, travel voucher, ongoing earning rate, complimentary insurance, lounge passes, other travel benefits, and even a balance transfer offer – with an annual fee similarly elevated but not as high as that of some of its competitors.
There are 80,000 valuable sign up bonus Qantas Points on offer. Here’s how it works.
Spend at least $3,500 using the card in the first 90 days after approval, to be awarded 60,000 Qantas Points. At an average of $1,167 per month, that’s actually a quite achievable target via everyday spending.
Then, 12 months later, on your card anniversary, pay the annual fee for the next year, and you’ll receive a further 20,000 bonus points.
Yes, Qantas want to make sure you stick around for the second year, and those extra 20,000 Points round off the available total to a valuable 80,000 Points.
The earn rate for regular spending is not the highest around, but then neither, as already mentioned, is the annual fee. Nevertheless, the earn rate reaches the much sought-after goal of 1.0 points per domestic dollar spent. You can earn:
Note that there is no absolute cap on rewards, and the $10,000 monthly spending threshold, beyond which the earn rate declines, is far more generous than the threshold imposed by many competing cards. It should rarely be a problem for most cardholders.
Although there are all the usual rewards points options available for redemption — retail gift cards, merchandise, hotel accommodation, movie tickets, car hire, wine — experienced Qantas Points collectors and users know that the best value is extracted by using them for flights (especially long-haul flights and premium seating) and seat upgrades, with Qantas and its more than 50 partner airlines.
Qantas is naturally happiest when you are travelling – on Qantas flights – as often as possible. To that end, they make travel as easy and worry-free as possible with complimentary travel insurance for cardholders. This card has the following insurance cover.
The cover is activated by either purchasing the return airfares (or spending at least $500 on each ticket) of the cardholder and all accompanying family members, using either the card or Qantas Points.
There are no free insurance policies to protect major purchases of merchandise, such as extended warranty cover or purchase protection. Clearly, it’s all about travel.
And because this is a card designed to get you travelling, there are several more travel-related inducements.
If you need a zero-interest balance transfer offer to absolutely clinch the transaction, there’s one of those as well. Transfer a balance from your existing card or cards and pay no interest for 12 months, with no upfront balance transfer fee.
The revert interest rate, if you can’t pay off all the balance after 12 months, is not the high 19.99% p.a. purchases interest rate, but the even higher 21.99% p.a. cash advance rate.
As well, whenever you have an uncleared balance transfer on your account, you’ll be charged interest on each purchase from the date of the transaction, not from the end of the billing cycle. In other words, you’ll temporarily forfeit the up to 55 interest-free days normally allowed each month.
This will make using your card for purchases an unattractive prospect, meaning that you’ll probably forego the bonus points, plus the ongoing points and other perks, for at least 18 months. The pros and cons of balance transfers need to be weighed very carefully.
With an annual fee of $349, this is an expensive card. There’s also an additional $50 per year to pay for each additional card on the account, so the cost for a primary cardholder plus partner would be $399. However, this is less than you would currently pay for several competing cards with the equivalent standard earning rate of 1.0 Qantas Points per dollar spent.
And to sweeten the deal, there’s a $50 annual fee discount in the first year, when you will pay only $349 for the primary card.
This is a suitable card for anyone wishing to accumulate Qantas Points quickly – and with a significant opening boost – without paying a sky-high annual fee. There’s no doubt that the annual fee is quite large, but regular travellers will recover far more than that value every year via lounge passes and travel insurance.
Reviewed by Yvonne Taylor
Lead Product Analyst