Move over, Black, Diamond and Signature cards. There’s a new kid on the top-of-the-range block, and it’s called the Qantas Premier Titanium Card. Unlike previous Titanium cards available in Australia (by invitation only, to select American Express customers), this one is accessible to everyone, provided you can clear one hurdle of $200,000 minimum income requirement and get your head around the $1,200 annual fee.
Still reading? That’s good. Because if you can meet the eligibility requirements and the cost, and you’re a regular Qantas traveller, this card has the potential to shower you with Qantas Points and complimentary benefits worth several times the annual fee.
Qantas have the holders of competing prestige cards in their sights, hence the ultra-generous sign up bonus on offer. It’s certainly going to tempt cardholders who currently have the American Express Platinum Card or the Citi Prestige Card.
The qualifying spending target is quite high – $5,000 in the first 90 days – but anyone earning $200,000 per year or more is probably going to have no problem putting $20,000 per year of everyday expenses on the card.
150,000 Qantas Points would get you a one-way Business Class flight to London or New York (128,000 points) plus a one-way Business Class seat on a Sydney-Melbourne flight (16,000 points), with 6,000 points left over (almost enough for a return flight in economy, if you can bear it – 8,000 points).
It’s not surprising to discover that a Qantas Premier Titanium Credit Card currently offers the best Qantas Points earning rate. It gives special rewards for spending with Qantas and international spending.
Although there is a $12,500 threshold on domestic spending, there is no absolute cap. It’s a generous threshold, and all purchases will earn at least some Points.
The 3% fee applied to foreign transactions takes some of the shine off the overseas earning rate, but 3% is similar to the charge applied by many other cards.
Using Qantas Points for award flights and seat upgrades delivers the best value, starting at about 1.5 cents per Qantas Point for a Qantas short-haul economy flight, and potentially rising to 4.0 cents per Qantas Point or more for long-haul Business Class flights and upgrades, even more for First Class redemptions.
But if you must, you can also use Qantas Points for retail gift vouchers (about 0.6 cents per point value), movie tickets, travel, and merchandise from an online catalogue, with this last option returning the lowest value per point.
Since holders of this card are very likely to be Qantas frequent flyers in a tier above the entry-level bronze, they will be interested in maintaining their tier benefits to keep a firm hold on perks like additional Points earned on purchased flights, seating privileges, lounge invitations, priority check-in and extra baggage allowance.
So the card’s bonus 20% Status Credits (for both primary and additional cardholders), when it is used to pay for Qantas flights, will be a very welcome benefit. A Business Class flight from Sydney to Melbourne would earn 48 Status Credits instead of the usual 40 if paid for with the card.
No prestige traveller’s credit card is complete without top-level complimentary travel insurance.
Both primary and additional cardholders, plus their accompanying spouse and dependents, are covered, provided their full airfares have been purchased with the card.
It’s an annual, multi-trip policy for trips of up to 180 days each (overseas) and 14 days (domestic air travel), covering delayed or lost luggage, documents, unavoidably missed connections and delays, unavoidable trip cancellation, rental car insurance excess waiver, loss of income, emergency medical expenses overseas, and much more.
There’s also a separate policy to cover serious injury or death as a result of accidents on public or commercial transport.
Use the card to purchase all your appliances, furniture, technology and valuables, and they will be covered by extended warranty insurance (up to 12 months on top of the existing manufacturer’s Australian warranty) and purchase protection insurance (articles covered against theft or damage for 90 days after purchase).
Qantas is offering the services of the Qantas Premier Titanium concierge service to accompany this card. And to encourage you to use the service, they will give you a 10% discount on up to four flights per year (two bookings for two people) when the bookings are made through the Qantas Premier Titanium concierge service and paid for with the Qantas Premier Titanium Card. The offer applies to any eligible Qantas flight (both domestic and international) and any fare or cabin class.
You can also use the Qantas Premier Titanium concierge for items like booking theatre tickets or making dining reservations.
When you make your first Qantas purchase (of flights, Qantas Club fees, Qantas gift vouchers and other items from the Qantas store, plus Qantas Wine and Epiqure items) during the first six months of holding the card, you can leave the amount unpaid on your card account for six months without paying any interest.
It could be the perfect financing option for most of the cost of a big overseas trip for the whole family.
While many premier cards come with two lounge invitations, this one offers four single-visit lounge entry passes.
Two of the passes will provide entry to Qantas Club domestic and selected international business lounges. A further two will see you relaxed in supreme comfort in a Qantas First lounge in Sydney, Melbourne, or Los Angeles.
“Enjoy the same wines you experience in flight, at home,” says Qantas. An annual fee of $99 normally applies to premium membership of Qantas Wine, but holders of this card can have it free of charge. You will get free delivery on wine and gourmet food items, invitations to members-only wine tastings, and an extra 3 Qantas Points per dollar on food and wine purchases, on top of the points already earned by paying with your card.
There are so many benefits attached to this card that it would be difficult not to come out ahead every year, despite the steep $1,200 annual fee (plus, unfortunately, an additional $100 annual fee for each supplementary cardholder on the account). The sign up bonus and interest-free period on Qantas purchases will more than take care of the annual fee in the first year. But it’s worth extracting every last cent of benefit every year if you can, by:
Tick just a few of these boxes every year, and you’re likely to agree that the annual fee is justified. And hey, it’s a metal card instead of one of the boring old plastic ones.
Reviewed by Yvonne Taylor
Lead Product Analyst