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American Express Qantas Ultimate Credit Card

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American Express Qantas Ultimate Credit Card
APPLY BY 01 may 17
1 review
Earn 75,000 points when you apply by 1st May 2017 are approved and spend $1,500 on eligible purchases within the first three months. Conditions apply.
Earn 75 Bonus Status Credits when you book and fly return with Qantas by 30 Sep 2017.
Earn 1.5 pts per $1 spent on card purchases.
Add to comparison
Qantas Frequent Flyer
Qantas Frequent Flyer
1.5 pts
per $1 spent
after spend criteria

Pros & cons

What's good?

What's not so good?

Earn 75,000 points when you apply by 1st May 2017 are approved and spend $1,500 on eligible purchases within the first three months for New Card Members and bank-issued Amex companion cardholders.
Earn 75 Bonus Status Credits when you book and fly return with Qantas by 30 Sep 2017.
Earn 1.5 pts per $1 spent on card purchases.
0% p.a. for 12 months for balance transfers and a one-off credit plan establishment fee of 1%.
Earn 1 additional Qantas Point per $1 spent on selected Qantas products and services in Australia.
Get a complimentary Qantas domestic economy return flight each year.
Complimentary domestic and overseas travel insurance when you pay for eligible travel with this card.
Purchase protection and refund protection.
Online Fraud Protection Guarantee.
Eligible for use with Android Pay, Apple Pay and Samsung Pay.
There’s a small 1% balance transfer fee applied to any amount you transfer over to this card.
The annual fee might put some people off.
The interest rate is as high as you would expect for a premium card like this.
You won’t qualify for the bonus points if you have held any kind of AmEx card in the previous 18 months.


Our review of the American Express Qantas Ultimate Credit Card

What is your definition of 'Ultimate’? American Express have their own definition, it seems, which they have applied to the American Express Qantas Ultimate Credit Card. But does it coincide with your idea of the perfect card?

The fact that it comes with 75,000 points is an excellent start. Qantas Frequent Flyer points are much more valuable, if used for flights and upgrades, than the same number of points in a card issuer’s proprietary rewards program. And there is also the potential to earn highly-prized Qantas status credits, which could make an important contribution to your quest for a higher frequent flyer membership level.

Other benefits include a high ongoing QFF points earning rate, a suite of insurance covers (with some omissions compared with other cards) and a zero-interest balance transfer option. Pretty average, in reality, except for the considerably higher-than-average $450 p.a. annual fee. You’ll also have to live with having some merchants adding a surcharge to AmEx transactions, or even declining the card altogether.

So where else does the 'Ultimate’ come in? Perhaps with the very handy complimentary Qantas domestic return flight each year and the airport lounge access. Hence it’s important to be fully aware of the details so that you can weigh the sweeteners against a few drawbacks.

Outstanding bonus points boost

Although AmEx has other cards offering up to 100,000 sign-up bonus points in its own Membership Rewards Scheme, the American Express Qantas Ultimate Credit card offers more QFF bonus points than any other card in the AmEx stable. Kickstart your QFF points account, or give it a significant one-off boost, just by using your card for all your purchases in order to meet the spending target.

Simply use the card for at least $1,500 worth of purchases during the first three months, and you’ll receive 75,000 points. That’s enough for a return economy flight from Sydney to Honolulu, with 5,000 points left over.

Earn exclusive Qantas status credits

No one wants to languish at the bottom of the pile, a bronze frequent flyer forever, when a world of extra benefits awaits those with a higher status. Status credit can only normally be earned from non-award flights with Qantas, Jetstar and some partner airlines, and they pave the way to benefits such as a higher rate of QFF points earning on each paid flight, lounge passes, priority check-in, extra baggage allowance and more.

A Qantas Flexible Economy fare between Sydney and Melbourne, for example, would normally earn 20 status credits. But you can earn an additional 75 status credits if you book and fly on any Qantas return flight before 30th September 2017. Those 75 extra credits could make a significant difference to your annual or lifetime frequent flyer membership tier.

Companion cards qualify for bonus points and status credits

The Big Four banks have begun to re-engineer the benefits attached to the AmEx companion cards they issue alongside Visa or MasterCard in their rewards credit card accounts, ahead of the changes to bank interchange fees scheduled for 1st July 2017. In some cases the AmEx companion card has been withdrawn altogether.

If you are disappointed about the disappearance of your highly-rewarding AmEx companion card, or worried about what your bank is planning to do, AmEx is ready to welcome you with a directly-issued American Express card. To sweeten the deal, you will still qualify for the 75,000 points and 75 status credits, even though you may have held an AmEx companion card in the last 18 months.

Unfortunately, if you’ve held a card issued by AmEx itself in the last 18 months, you won’t qualify for the bonuses.

Outstanding ongoing points earning potential

The regular earning rate of 1.5 pts per $1 spent (uncapped) is as good as it gets for QFF points.

This rate applies to all eligible purchases except transactions with government bodies (ATO, Australia Post, federal, state and local government), where the earning rate drops to 0.5 pts per $1 spent.

On the upside, Qantas products and services (the flight you take to earn those 75 status credits, for example) earn an additional 1.0 points per dollar, lifting the rate for Qantas purchases to 2.5 points per dollar.

One free domestic return flight every year

This one goes a long way towards justifying the $450 p.a. annual fee. Your first spending on Qantas products (flights etc) in every year that you hold the card will qualify you for a complimentary economy class return flight between any of the major Australian mainland cities. If you flew from Brisbane to Perth and back, that would be worth a minimum of $600.

Airport lounge access

Cardholders will receive two complimentary single visit passes each calendar year, to use the American Express lounge at Sydney’s Kingsford Smith airport. These are each worth $55, the amount per visit AmEx charges to some of its cardholders after they have exceeded their number of free visits for the year.

Complimentary insurance cover

A suite of free insurance policies is fairly normal for a card of this type and annual fee level. Here’s what you’ll get:

  • Free travel insurance – both domestic and overseas – for you and your immediate family travelling with you. It covers things like medical expenses, lost luggage, cancellation and delays, but there is no mention of rental vehicle excess. Also missing is any cover under this policy for supplementary cardholders (unless they are also a spouse accompanying the primary cardholder), which is a rather unusual exclusion.
  • Transport accident cover, providing cash compensation for loss of life, limb or eyesight while travelling as a passenger on a plane, ferry, train or bus.
  • Purchase protection cover – 90 days cover against loss, theft or damage for items purchased with the card.
  • Refund protection cover, refunding the purchase price of an unused item (90 day limit) if the retailer won’t take it back.

Missing from this list, in addition to rental vehicle excess and supplementary cardholder travel insurance, are extended warranty insurance and price protection insurance, cover types which many premium cardholders have come to expect.

The activation requirements for the travel insurance and transport accident cover are payment of 100% of the trip fare with the card or with QFF points.

Zero interest balance transfer

A balance transfer at 0% p.a. for 12 months is certainly useful, but far from exceptional given that other cards offer up to 24 months. Also take into account that you’ll pay a 1% credit establishment fee on the total transferred, and the maximum you can transfer is $10,000 or 70% of credit limit. The balance transfer is probably not meant to be the main feature of this card, but it may just tip the scales in its favour when lined up with all the other benefits.

Up to 44 days on purchases, not 55

This isn’t a big deal, but it needs to be considered as part of the bigger picture. With only Up to 44 days on purchases a month instead of 55, you’ll end up paying earlier by 12 × 11 = 132 days per year. If your average credit card closing balance is around $4,000 each month and you remove cash from a 3% deposit account to pay off the balance each time, you’ll lose about $43 in interest income each year.

Don’t forget that if you have any unpaid balance on your account (including a balance transfer) you’ll forfeit the interest-free days on purchases altogether. The standard purchase interest rate of 20.74% p.a. will be charged from the day the item hits your account.

Standard interest rate

The standard purchase interest rate of 20.74% p.a. is perfectly normal for a card of this type. There’s nothing 'ultimate’ about it, but AmEx are smart enough to know the customers they are pursuing can afford to pay the card balance in full every month and therefore attach little importance to low interest rates.

Turn your phone into a digital wallet

Leave your card at home and pay on the go with your smartphone. This card is eligible for use with Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Android Pay when you download the appropriate app.

AmEx also has regularly changing discount offers for cardholders, easily accessed using your phone or other internet-connected device.

Which cards compete?

The Westpac Altitude Black Credit Card and NAB Qantas Rewards Premium Card both offer a high QFF points earning rate on the companion AmEx card. The ANZ Frequent Flyer Black Credit Card (a stand-alone Visa card) has a lower points earning rate but matches the AmEx cards bonus points and status credits offer.

Who will get most benefit?

The American Express Qantas Ultimate Credit Card is for avid QFF points collectors who fly regularly. They’ll be able to score plenty of Qantas award flights plus the free return flight every year, relax free of charge in the AmEx lounge twice a year, and rest easy knowing that they and their family are protected by insurance (with some exceptions). It’s an ideal choice for anyone considering switching from an AmEx companion credit card account, given the special eligibility for bonus points and status credits.

User reviews

3.6 out of 5.0 based on 1 review100% of reviewers would recommend this card.

Rates and fees
Customer service
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed about credit cards are the reviewer's alone, and do not reflect the views of Credit Card Compare or the credit card issuer. Reviews have not been approved or otherwise endorsed by Credit Card Compare.

Bonus points and excellent rewards

Reviewed and recommended by Alicia on 10 Apr 2017

The American Express site is easy to navigate, and the one question I had was answered immediately over the phone.

While the fees are on the higher side you do get one free domestic flight per year, which is excellent. 75K bonus points on sign-up was the main incentive.

Basic details

About this card

Card setup
Card tier
Card type
American Express
Card use
Credit rating
No bad credit history
Gambling transactions allowed
Joint application
Minimum age
18 years old
Minimum income
Minimum income for pensioners
Same as standard
Rewards program
Qantas Frequent Flyer
Temporary residents


Additional cardholders
Additional card fee
$0 p.a.

Credit limits

Minimum credit limit
Maximum credit limit


Interest charged from
Purchase date
Interest free period
Up to 44 days on purchases
Minimum repayment

Balance transfers

The offer

Interest ratePeriodFeeLimitRevert rate
Balance transfers0% p.a.12 months1%$10,000 or 70% of credit limit20.74% p.a.

Balance transfers to this card

Balance transfer earns rewards
Balance transfer fee payment due
First statement
Balance transfer from personal loan
Balance transfer processing time
10 - 14 days
Interest free days with unpaid balance
0 days
Maximum balance transfer
$10,000 or 70% of credit limit
Available to existing customers

Banks you can't balance transfer from

You can't balance transfer to the American Express Qantas Ultimate Credit Card at the promotional balance transfer rate from:

  • American Express

Rates & fees

Promotional interest rates

Interest ratePeriodFeeLimitRevert rate
Balance transfers0% p.a.12 months1%$10,000 or 70% of credit limit 20.74% p.a.
PurchasesN/AN/AN/AN/A N/A

Ongoing interest rates

Cash advances N/A N/A
Purchases 1.73% 20.74% p.a.


Annual fee
$450 p.a.
Cash advance fee
Dishonour fee
Duplicate statement fee
Foreign exchange fee
Late payment fee
Over limit fee
Overseas ATM balance fee
Overseas ATM withdrawal fee
Overseas emergency card replacement fee
Transaction verification fee


Cool stuff you can get with your points

Disclaimer: Does not include taxes, fees, or charges. Accurate as of 25th January 2016.

Rewards program basics

First purchase bonus
75,000 points
Reward points expiry
Never as long as you keep your account active
Rewards program
Qantas Frequent Flyer
Spend required for bonus points
$1,500 in 3 months

Earning points with this card

ATO payment earns rewards
0.5 pts per $1 spent
Frequent flyer points
1.5 pts per $1 spent
Overseas earn rate
Same as standard earn rate
Points cap per month
Points cap per year
Reward points

Additional benefits

Airport lounge access
Yes, 2 passes per year
Complimentary flight voucher
Concierge service


This card comes with benefits worth an estimated $1,127

ShoppingEstimated value
Purchase protection
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
Annual fee$450
Net customer value$677
Disclaimer: Details of who, what, and where coverage applies to, as well as its duration and any coverage limitations will be listed in the credit card insurance product disclosure statement (PDS) on the card issuer's website. The names/labels of complimentary insurance products may differ from one issuer to another. Terms and conditions apply. Always check the insurance PDS when considering a financial product. Accurate as of 31st October 2015.

Minimum criteria for this card

What you need before applying

Be over 18 years old
You are a resident or citizen of Australia
Earn a regular income of more than $65,000 per year
Have no history of bad credit
You have your personal details ready to complete the online application
Have not applied for multiple credit cards recently
Joint applications are not allowed
Disclaimer: The minimum criteria pointers are intended only to be a guide. Your application may still be rejected by the bank even if you can answer 'Yes' to all the minimum criteria. The final decision regarding your application is up to the bank.

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