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Get your Qantas Frequent Flyer points account off to a flying start – or give it a significant boost if you’re already collecting QFF points – with a sign-up bonus of 30,000 points when you choose the American Express Qantas Premium Credit Card. While it may not be the best QFF bonus points offer around, the card does have one of the highest ongoing points earning rates, uncapped. In the end it’s this ongoing rate which will have the greater impact on the regularity with which you can redeem points for something worthwhile.
It’s a card all about flying, giving its cardholders comprehensive travel insurance (not just for overseas travel but for domestic trips too), airport lounge access, and fee-free supplementary cards to further boost QFF points earning. And if you need to lick your finances into shape before you can afford an overseas trip, there’s even a zero-interest balance transfer option.
Providing you haven’t held any other card directly issued by American Express in the last 18 months, to qualify for a 30,000 points bonus all you need to do is make purchases with your new card amounting to $1500 in 3 months.
That’s a mere $500 per month, certainly not an onerous target. And even if you’ve recently held a companion AmEx card issued by one of the Big Four banks, you will still qualify for this substantial bonus.
Where can you go with 30,000 points?
With this many points you could almost get four return economy flights between Sydney and Melbourne (16,000 points each) and you could definitely have a one-way economy flight to Europe (30,000 points).
You’re not restricted to flying with Qantas. Points can be used with any Qantas partner airline, including Jetstar, Emirates, British Airways, American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines and more than 20 others.
You can also use your points to upgrade to business class on a flight where you have already booked an economy seat. If you don’t have enough points to fly to your chosen destination you can take advantage of the Points Plus Pay system by paying the balance in cash.
Other ways to use Qantas points
While it’s generally accepted that award flights and upgrades deliver the best- value method of using Qantas points, you’re not limited to using them just for flights. You can also:
Robust ongoing points earning rate
There’s no need to worry that once you’ve spent your bonus points you’ll never earn enough points to be able to redeem again. That’s because the continuing earning rate is more than respectable, and relatively uncomplicated:
So, even when you pay your tax bill, you can ease the pain with half a point for every dollar it costs you.
More good news: there’s no cap on the number of points you can earn each month or year.
Complimentary travel insurance
One of the exceptional features of the complimentary travel insurance that comes with AmEx credit cards is that it provides comprehensive cover for domestic travel as well as overseas trips, unlike many competing cards which provide limited local travel insurance under the heading 'interstate flight inconvenience cover’. This is the travel cover built into the card:
The travel insurance policies cover such things as emergency medical expenses, baggage loss and delay, delayed flights and missed connections, and unavoidable trip cancellation. They are activated either by purchasing the full fare with the card or QFF points (for both international and domestic trips) or by booking at least four nights’ consecutive accommodation with the card (for domestic trips only).
Unfortunately, AmEx proves to be a further exception to the rule in not covering supplementary cardholders in its personal credit card travel insurance policies (except where the supplementary cardholder is a spouse travelling with the primary cardholder). If you need stand-alone cover for supplementary cardholders and still want to use an AmEx card, you’ll need to consider one of the extensive range of American Express business cards.
Complimentary shopper’s insurance
Few American Express cards, this one included, come with extended warranty insurance, so you’ll need to look elsewhere if that kind of cover is important to you. But you will get a type of cover unique to AmEx cards: refund protection. Although major Australian retailers will accept return of an unused item without hesitation, some smaller vendors do not have this policy. If return for a refund is refused within 90 days of purchase, you can instead claim a refund of up to $500 from American Express.
Another form of 90-day protection for items bought with the card is the purchase protection policy covering theft, loss or damage (maximum claim $2,500 per event and $20,000 per year). AmEx lets you not only travel, but also shop, with peace of mind
Qantas Club access
A frequent flyer’s card isn’t truly complete without airport lounge passes. Your first purchase of a Qantas product in each year of holding the card will earn you two single visit passes to a Qantas Club international lounge. It isn’t possible to purchase single entries to a Qantas lounge, so it’s difficult to put a value on this benefit, but anyone who has experienced the superior comfort of a Qantas-operated lounge in the course of a long-haul flight will agree that this is truly a perk worth having.
Zero-interest balance transfer offer
You can consolidate onto this card your balances from any non-AmEx cards you currently hold, and pay 0% p.a. interest for 12 months. This sounds like a good offer, but there are a couple of catches. Firstly, you’ll pay a 1% credit establishment fee upfront on the total amount transferred, so, considering that you will be reducing the balance with minimum monthly repayments, you will fork out more than the equivalent of a 1% interest charge.
Secondly, if you do choose to transfer a balance, you will be presented with a dilemma. The presence of an unpaid balance means that you will forfeit your interest-free days on purchases (Up to 44 days on purchases). If you postpone using the card for purchases altogether you’ll miss out on your 30,000 points entirely, and forfeit the regular points, complimentary insurance and lounge passes in the first year. So if you do have a balance transfer, you should at least plan to meet the minimum spending target of $1500 in 3 months bonus points, but pay off the purchase balance immediately to avoid being slugged with 20.74% p.a. in interest charges from the date of purchase.
Fairly high annual fee, but free supplementary cards
Credit card annual fees are definitely in the 'You get what you pay for’ category. While $249 p.a. per year isn’t cheap, it’s not unreasonable given the regular annual benefits, and it’s more than reasonable in the first year because of the generous bonus points. Add to this the fact that you can have up to four supplementary points-earning cards without paying an extra cent, and it begins to look like, if not a bargain, certainly a more-than-value-for-money transaction.
Where else to look for a deal like this
If the bonus points are really important to you, there are some other good deals available.
The ANZ Frequent Flyer Black Credit Card will give you 75,000 points, but though it’s fee-free in the first year it will cost you a high $425 p.a. thereafter. The standard earning rate is 1.0 points per dollar, but it drops to 0.5 pts per $1 spent after a threshold of $7,500 per month is reached.
The HSBC Platinum Qantas Credit Card offers 60,000 points for a higher target spending of $3,000, a basic earning rate of 1.0 points per dollar but a very restrictive threshold of $2,500 per month before the rate falls to 0.5 points per dollar. The annual fee is lower at $199 p.a., but it doesn’t come with complimentary airport lounge access.
Ideal cardholder profile for this card
If you’re checking out this card you are probably already a member of the Qantas Frequent Flyer program, so the bonus points may bring a long-haul flight within your reach. The solid ongoing points earning rate could turn you into a regular leisure traveller, and when that happens it will be comforting to know that you’re backed by dependable travel insurance and Qantas Club lounge access.
This is a card for someone who wants to increase their rewards without running into the monthly points cap or threshold that mars so many other cards, and understands that $249 p.a. is not an excessive price to pay for the privileges attached to it.
Provided you are a Qantas Frequent Flyer and have registered your Qantas Frequent Flyer number with your Qantas American Express Premium Card, you are eligible to receive two Qantas Club Lounge Invitations each anniversary year of your Card Membership once you make an Eligible Qantas Purchase on your Qantas American Express Premium Card during that year. Eligible Qantas Purchases are Qantas passenger airfares with a QF flight number purchased directly from Qantas Australia by you (or on your behalf by a travel agent) that appear on your Card statement, Qantas Frequent Flyer, Qantas Business Rewards or Qantas Club membership, joining or annual fees. Excludes purchases from Jetstar, or for any other Qantas branded goods or services offered on behalf of Qantas by third parties such as Qantas Holidays, Qantas Freight, Qantas Cruises, Qantas Box Office, Qantas epiQure and Qantas Assurance. Within 1-2 weeks of the Eligible Qantas Purchase, two Qantas Club Lounge Invitations will be assigned to your Qantas Frequent Flyer account. Visit the Complimentary Invitations Portal to access your invitation, link it with an eligible Qantas flight booking or find out more information. Qantas Club Lounge Invitations are valid for a single visit by one guest to a Qantas Club Lounge and must be used prior to their expiry. Invitations are subject to the Qantas Club Terms and Conditions and are not valid for Qantas International First Class Lounges, the Qantas Chairman’s Lounge, Qantas Domestic Business and or oneworld® alliance partner or associated lounges. Qantas Club Invitations cannot be carried forward to any subsequent year and must not be sold, they may only be transferred as allowed by Qantas. Invitations may be revoked or withheld if your Qantas American Express Premium Card account is not in good standing, if the Eligible Qantas Purchase is refunded in full or if you have not complied with these Qantas Club Invitation Conditions, the Credit Card Terms and Conditions or the Qantas Club Lounge Access Terms and Conditions.
Aside from the excellent earn rate on this card (two points per dollar on grocery and petrol purchases, one point per dollar on everything else, and bonus points for Qantas purchases), this card had given me two passes to the Qantas club, and using the AmEx Connect offers programme I have been able to offset the cost of the yearly fee more than twice over. This was all done through normal spending and using the bonus dollar promotions in the AmEx offers section of their excellent app.
This is a good card for earning points for Qantas Frequent Flyers.
It was easily used overseas with no problems: used in UAE, Egypt and Jordan. It could probably do with more airport lounge access features.
It would be good to see a lower interest rate on purchases (as with all cards) and a reduction in the fee charged when used.
I applied for this card because of the rewards it offered, including two visits to the Qantas lounge. When I tried using the visit to the Qantas lounge I was told I was not eligible because I booked my flights through Flight Centre (pretty big travel agent in Australia). Apparently there are certain travel agents you have to book through to receive this offer. When I asked customer service for a list of these travel agents they were unable to provide me with the list. Feels like a bit of a rort to me.
With the $250 annual fee and the additional charges many places add for using American Express, there are better cards that offer both dual Amex and Visa. This card also doesn’t provide 2 points per dollar on all purchases. Some are only 0.5 points per dollar, on the likes of telecoms and insurance.
They penalise you for being a day late with your repayment. They give no consideration if you have lost your job. Making the standard repayment requires a reduction in the monthly repayment. Consideration should be given to reduce your payment without being penalised for late payments. I still attempt to make my payments even though it is difficult. I have not given up hope.
|Interest rate||Period||Fee||Limit||Revert rate|
|Balance transfers||0% p.a.||12 months||1%||50% of credit limit||20.74% p.a.|
You can't balance transfer to the American Express Qantas Premium Credit Card at the promotional balance transfer rate from:
|Interest rate||Period||Fee||Limit||Revert rate|
|Balance transfers||0% p.a.||12 months||1%||50% of credit limit||20.74% p.a.|
Valuation based on the assumption of making a $200 claim once every 5 years. There is no retail market for this type of insurance, so no premium saving.
Refund cover if retailer refuses return
Most major retailers have 100% guaranteed returns, but not all do. Valuation assumes making a $100 claim once every 5 years.
Interstate flight inconvenience insurance
Valuation based on similar domestic travel insurance policies available online that include interstate flight inconvenience.
Overseas travel insurance
Valuation based on similar annual travel insurance policies available online for trips of up to 60 days. -Andrew Boyd
Transit accident insurance
Valuation based on similar global transit accident insurance policies available online.
|Total estimated value||$1,127|
|Net customer value||$878|