Have card, will travel. But you need the right card for the travelling lifestyle.
Travelling, and travelling overseas in particular, is exactly what St.George is encouraging cardholders to do with its St.George Amplify Platinum Credit Card. For a start, there’s a choice of rewards programs – Amplify Rewards or Qantas Frequent Flyer – with the potential to acquire frequent flyer points with four separate airlines. Additionally, there’s complimentary overseas travel insurance and transit accident insurance. The icing on the cake is the double points you can earn on spending with international merchants, whether you’re on an overseas adventure or just an armchair traveller shopping online.
And there are plenty of other benefits to tempt you to make this your card both for travelling and for when you’re spending closer to home.
Most rewards credit cards are branded to a single program: you choose a particular card because it offers a specific type of frequent flyer points (Qantas, Velocity, etc.) or the bank's own points (e.g. Amplify Rewards or American Express Membership Rewards). Some cards allow you to switch between frequent flyer points and their proprietary rewards points up to once a year. Very few cards allow you to switch programs as often as you like, but that’s exactly what you can do with this card since you can earn Amplify Points or Qantas Points.
When your situation changes, so can your rewards program. But points can’t be transferred from one program to the other, so you will have to leave them behind in their original points account and redeem them from there. Amplify Points left behind in this way will expire within 90 days, so you’ll need to use them pretty quickly.
The rate at which you will earn points for purchases from Australian merchants is:
This is not the best points-earning rate on the market, but it’s reasonable given the card’s moderate annual fee and the other built-in benefits. If you want to earn points at a faster rate, you’ll probably need to choose a more expensive card.
It does get better, however. Leave Australian soil, and you’ll immediately start earning points at twice the normal rate:
Another way to boost the Amplify points earning rate is to spend with Amplify Rewards partners whenever you can. Unfortunately, there aren’t too many of these. They are mainly hotels (Crown, Leisure Inn, Metro, and Park Regis groups) and theme parks (Dreamworld and WhiteWater World). Or you can book flights, accommodation, car hire, and tours through Amplify Travel for more bonus points.
The extra points potential ranges from one third of a point up to three points per dollar. It would be well worth remembering that these bonus partners exist when planning a business trip or family holiday.
In total, you can have the ability to earn points with four airlines that between them cover most of the planet.
You can earn Qantas points directly by opting for Qantas Frequent Flyer as your rewards program, or you can choose Amplify Rewards points which can be exchanged for frequent flyer points with Velocity Frequent Flyer or Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer at the rate of 2 Amplify Points to 1 airline point.
Recognising that Qantas Frequent Flyer’s $89.50 joining fee could deter customers from choosing the Qantas rewards program, St.George has arranged for the fee to be waived for new cardholders signing up for Qantas Frequent Flyer for the first time. So you can consider each scheme on its own merits without the disincentive of a fee.
The two programs have a comparable range of other products available for points redemption.
Since the two rewards programs are so similar, how do you choose between them?
If your aim is to use points for domestic flights, or for long haul flights on routes covered by Qantas, you’d be better off choosing Qantas because you’ll need to spend less to earn the required points.
But in most cases, Amplify Rewards will be the best choice for almost any other kind of redemption because they have been priced at a lower point cost than the comparable Qantas redemption.
But remember, your decision is not set in stone. Once you have earned enough points for your desired reward in one scheme, you can switch to the other. And back again.
There are yet more perks for the traveller, while the stay-at-home shopper is not forgotten, with four complimentary insurance policies:
This card gives you access to the Visa Platinum concierge service.
A concierge service can be useful even when you aren't travelling for assistance with recommendations and bookings for entertaining and dining. But when you are travelling overseas, it becomes a truly valuable amenity, unlocking local knowledge and providing vital assistance, especially if you don’t speak the language.
After all these bonuses for the traveller, it’s unfortunate to see a 3% fee on foreign exchange transactions. Although this is a fairly typical credit card charge, a few cards do come with no surcharge on foreign currency transactions. It would be good news it this travel-oriented card was one of them, but it’s not.
Balance transfers for new credit cards are available at 0% for 24 months, with a 1% balance transfer fee. This can be extremely useful for anyone struggling to repay existing credit card debt, and there is serious money to be saved if you’re paying 20% p.a. or more at the moment. For example, transferring a $5,000 debt from a 20% p.a. credit card would save $2,000 in interest cost during 24 months.
The revert rate is 19.49% p.a., so set up a calendar reminder for the expiry date of the introductory 0% offer so that you can make prompt and full repayment.
The St.George Amplify Platinum Credit Card may suit you if:
Reviewed by Nilooka Dissanayake
I'm very pleased with this card
Reviewed by Marion
Although my card doesn’t give me rewards this is compensated by having to pay no fees. I have this card with no fees for the life that I have it. I don’t know if the no fees I enjoy are the same for everyone, but I’m happy to have it.
Card is useful for frequent flyer points
Reviewed by Rob
This card has been useful for earning Qantas Frequent Flyer points and it has saved me money on travel insurance. The interest rate is only adequate and probably a bit on the high side. It’s very easy to use overseas and widely accepted. The card has a yearly fee as well for those looking to use it, so please look at all the obvious and hidden costs.
Rewards have been reduced
Reviewed by Mark
This card was great. It came as part of my home loan package and had a great earn rate, but then it changed to 1/2 a point per dollar spent. It’s now no longer rewarding me for being loyal to my bank and I think I could get a better deal switching to a different bank.
Lowest interest rate for a rewards card
Reviewed by Narayan
I took this card on offer with no first year fees. The card is valuable, with a minimal interest rate for the first year. You can go for it if you want to earn rewards and save some money on interest. I found this to be the lowest interest rate card compared with any other rewards card in the market.
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