Shrewd frequent flyers like to plan well ahead to secure award flights, often booking overseas air travel twelve months in advance in order to maximise the options available. This means they need to earn their Qantas Frequent Flyer Points with a degree of certainty and as quickly as possible, and the ANZ Frequent Flyer Platinum Credit Card offers them both assurance and speed in their points acquisition strategy. It’s actually a pair of cards—AmEx and Visa—on a single account, with a top points rate on the Amex card to take full advantage of everyday spending at most supermarkets, petrol stations, department stores and other nationwide businesses. The Visa card, with a standard but comparatively disappointing earning rate, still provides a useful backup when Amex is either not accepted or attracts a surcharge.
Outstanding points earning rate, liberal points cap
The QFF points earning rate with this pair of cards is as good as it gets. Every 1.5 pts per $1 spent, while the Visa card earns 0.5 pts per $1 spent. If you’re looking for the highest Amex/Visa combination rate, you will find rates as good elsewhere, but you won’t find better without paying a much higher annual fee.
Yes, there is a points cap, limiting to $6,000 (on each card) the spending on which you can earn points in any monthly statement period. In practice, this is a cap which is unlikely to trouble most people, since payment for most of the big-ticket items you can actually buy with a credit card, such as an overseas trip, can usually be spread over several months. On the rare occasions, you do hit the $6,000 monthly ceiling on your Amex card, you can still switch to Visa for the rest of the month, admittedly earning points at a lower rate. Very few cardholders will exhaust both $6,000 caps in a single month.
Earn bonus points, uncapped
One way to earn extra points while avoiding the cap is to do your travel spending through Qantas. ANZ has partnered with Qantas in order to offer its frequent flyer cardholders one extra QFF point per dollar spent on Qantas products, which means that you will get 2.5 points per dollar for Amex spending and 1.5 pts per $1 spent for purchases with the Visa card. Qualifying Qantas products include flights, Qantas Frequent Flyer and Qantas Club membership fees, and Qantas holidays. There’s no limit to the number of bonus points you can earn in a month, even when you have passed your standard points cap.
Substantial first purchase bonus
When you first start to collect QFF points, or when you’re saving them for a big overseas trip, the rate at which the balance grows can seem infuriatingly slow. But ANZ’s ‘welcome aboard’ bonus of 50,000 points will soon lift your points total out of the doldrums and should renew your enthusiasm for collecting them. After all, 50,000 points puts you nearly halfway towards a return economy flight to London (120,000 points), and a further $47,000 spent on the card would give you all the necessary points.
Setting your sights a little lower, you could get two return business class flights between Sydney and Melbourne by using the 50,000 points and spending only $9,333 on AmEx, the equivalent of just a few months’ worth of household and transport essentials for many families.
The 50,000 points are only available to new cardholders (which means you can’t have held any other ANZ card in the previous 12 months) and you’ll need to spend $2,500 on the card in the first three months in order to qualify.
Quantifiable first-year fee savings
Many credit cards come with complimentary benefits to which it is difficult to attach a dollar amount. This card also falls into that category, but it does have two concrete benefits with more obvious savings. Firstly, if you are not already a member of the Qantas Frequent Flyer program, you will need to sign up before you can start earning points. This would normally cost $89.50, but ANZ will save you this amount by paying the fee on your behalf.
Secondly, the annual fee for this card account is $295 p.a. ($240 card fee + $55 rewards program fee). For each supplementary cardholder, the normal fee is a rather pricey $65 ($10 + $55). But ANZ will waive all annual fees in the first year. So, if you needed to enrol in the QFF program and chose to have two supplementary cardholders, your savings in the first year would total $514.50. Not bad.
You can, in fact, have as many as nine additional cards issued on the account, which in theory is a great way to get the points rolling in. But very few primary cardholders will have time to keep under control the spending activities of nine extended family members, not to mention the high cost of these cards after the first year.
‘Complimentary’ insurance cover
The remainder of the allegedly complimentary benefits are more difficult to qualify as being free of charge, and the savings are more difficult to measure. Since the ‘free’ insurance policies in particular form the main point of difference between ANZ’s standard frequent flyer card and this platinum version, there must be a strong correlation between the provision of the insurance cover and the extra $200 charged for the platinum card’s annual fee. However, since there are seven types of insurance policy automatically delivered with this card, an extra $200 seems pretty reasonable. Here are the policy outlines:
Overseas travel cover is activated by paying at least $250 of your trip’s travel, accommodation or tourist activity cost, in advance, using the card. To obtain transport accident and interstate flight inconvenience cover, you must pay for the full fare using your card. The remaining policies require you to have used your card to pay the total purchase price of the insured items.
ANZ say that the overseas travel insurance alone is worth $800 every year, but of course, you need to be travelling overseas at least once a year for this to be true. It is, in fact, possible to buy an annual multi-trip policy without major destination exclusions for as little as $360, but the cover may not be as extensive as the apparently very comprehensive insurance provided with the card.
Other built-in benefits
Most platinum cards have a long list of possibly rarely-used lifestyle extras available to cardholders, and this one is no exception. But it’s certainly worth a look at what’s on offer:
Predictable interest rates
With an emphasis on frequent flyer points and a very extensive range of insurance, this card was never going to be about low-interest rates or interest-free introductory periods on purchases and balance transfers. You’ll get none of these, because ANZ seems to have assumed, probably correctly, that anyone interested in paying for a platinum card is going to settle their monthly account balance in full nearly all of the time. So the interest rate on purchases is an unsurprising 19.99% p.a., while the cash advance rate is 21.49% p.a.. There are, however, Up to 55 days on purchases each month, not the less accommodating 44 days, courtesy of the billing cycle.
Other cards offering 1.5 pts per $1 spent
If collecting Qantas points as quickly as possible is your aim, you’ll want to consider this card alongside competitors offering the same high earning rate. The NAB Qantas Rewards Premium Card gives you the same Amex/Visa pairing and the same points earning rates as this ANZ card, but with only25,000 points. Similarly, the Westpac Altitude Black Credit Card earns – on Amex, but 0.625 points per dollar with the companion MasterCard, trumping the Visa rate. However, the Westpac card’s annual fee is a much higher$395 p.a..
A traveller’s card
Anyone collecting Qantas Frequent Flyer points with the aim of travelling overseas will particularly appreciate the ANZ Frequent Flyer Platinum Credit Card. The first purchase bonus gets your points balance off to a flying start, and the ongoing top earning rate means that you’ll achieve your goal more quickly, with high-quality travel insurance to cushion any problems you might experience when you eventually get away.
The best part about this rewards card is that you are earning points for the money you were going to spend anyway. The helpful team at ANZ advised me to put all my cash into savings and to use my credit card for everything. At the end of the month all I need to do is pay the closing balance so I don’t pay any interest, and I’m earning heaps of points. Given the fact that the card has low fees, it’s a great way to earn something for your day-to-day spending.
The platinum card comes with an American Express and Visa card for different rates of earning points. I highly recommend this card.
I got this card as part of my ANZ home loan, so its fees are minimised as a result. I wouldn’t get this card as a standalone product due to the high fees, but as a part of a package.
The frequent flyer points ratio is high compared to other cards out there.
I’m happy with this card as it’s convenient and easy to use for my family.
I have received great assistance when making any enquiries into any queries that might have occurred during its use, and feel safe in having this card with this bank. I would have no hesitation in recommending it to friends.
It has a very high fee and high rewards. If you are not a big spender, then don’t use this card. However if you spend lots of money, you may even need the rewards.
The annual fee on this credit card is quite high. The interest rate is pretty high also, but there’s a fairly decent awards program with variety of awards to choose from.
Another major negative is that it takes a long time to earn enough points to redeem a decent award. There aren’t really any decent awards that don’t cost a ridiculous number of points. You end up needing to spend tens of thousands of dollars in order to earn enough points to redeem a decent award.
There are many awards programs on offer by any number of different banks that offer the same credit card types but with a much lower interest rate and, most importantly, a much cheaper annual fee.
Every dollar spent on this card earns you points, transferable to anything you wish.
The upfront cost is high, but is easily covered by rewards during the year. Qantas points can be used at the Qantas site or for groceries, electricity, flights, clothes, hardware, gift cards, kitchen appliances and virtually anything you can think of.
They have great fraud protection. You can be rewarded for your everyday purchases and access a flexible rewards program with complimentary insurances and personal concierge.
If you’re making purchases on your credit card, you should get something back. You have the flexibility to redeem reward points on a wide range of rewards, including gift cards, merchandise and cashback. With two cards you could earn more rewards and there’s no cap to the number of reward points you can earn.
ANZ Rewards Platinum also comes with a range of complimentary insurances.
The ANZ Frequent Flyer Platinum Visa card is the best card i have ever owned. it has a long payment period, good interest rate, a low fee, and is accepted all over the world with no hassles.
Also there is an American Express rewards card attached at no extra charge. with only one payment on one account, which is so convenient. i
t has a lot of benefits, the best one being travel insurance. i would never change it.
I’m pleased with this card, but not with an annual cost of $350! It’s worth it if you want to get points on all your everyday purchases, for flights or other rewards. It’s good if you want a higher credit limit.
I have generally been satisfied with ANZ Visa, and had good customer service from them.
ANZ look after me well and I fully recommend them.
The features and rewards from the card make it easy to travel, to shop and to pay bills in a very efficient manner.
The payWave feature allows the speed of interaction to be quick and clean — a great feature.
|Cash advances||1.79%||21.49% p.a.|
Valuation based on the assumption of making a $250 claim once every 5 years. There is no retail market for all-encompassing extended warranty insurance covering more than one item, so no premium saving.
Guaranteed pricing / price protection insurance
Valuation based on the assumption of making a $100 claim once every 10 years. Extensive conditions apply. There is no retail market for this type of insurance, so no premium saving.
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.
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.
Rental vehicle excess cover (separate from travel insurance)
Valuation based on similar rental vehicle excess insurance policies available online.
Transit accident insurance
Valuation based on similar global transit accident insurance policies available online.
Waived Qantas Frequent Flyer joining fee
Valuation based on $89.50 Qantas Frequent Flyer joining fee spread over 5 years.
|Total estimated value||$1,391|
|Net customer value||$1,391|