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Citi Qantas Signature Credit Card

My monthly spend: 
$5,000
 
offer
card features
rewards program
earn rate
sign up bonus
your earnings
Citi Qantas Signature Credit Card
APPLY BY 30 apr 17
Receive 50,000 points when you spend $2,000 in 90 days from card approval.
0% p.a. for 6 months on balance transfers.
An annual fee of $199 p.a.
Add to comparison
Qantas Frequent Flyer
Qantas Frequent Flyer
1 pt
per $1 spent capped
50,000
points
after spend criteria

Pros & cons

What's good?

What's not so good?

Receive a bonus of 50,000 points when you spend $2,000 in 90 days from card approval.
0% p.a. for 6 months on balance transfers.
Earn 1 Qantas point for every $1 spent up to $3,000 and then 0.5 thereafter (capped to $10,000 per statement period).
Points earning potential on international purchases is uncapped.
1 x complimentary Priority Pass Membership and 2 x complimentary airport lounge visits per year.
Complimentary international travel insurances including Transit Accident Insurance and Interstate Flight Inconvenience Insurance.
Personal 24 Hour Concierge Services.
Points earning potential on domestic purchases is held back by the lower points earn rate at a $3,000 threshold and the max limit of $10,000 per statement period.
The annual fee first and second year is sizeable.
You’ll need to pay an extra $49 annual fee to opt into the Citi Qantas Rewards program.

Review

Our review of the Citi Qantas Signature Credit Card

A credit card should always earn its keep. And if you were to choose the Citi Qantas Signature Credit Card, with its steep annual fee, you’d want to be sure you were getting value for money. Fortunately it’s not too difficult to assign a dollar value to many of the card’s attractive benefits, and the good news is that you’ll come out ahead year after year.

Working out the dollar value

Bear with me here as we dig in.

1. The rewards program: possibly worth $630 per year

The rewards program delivers Qantas Frequent Flyer points in a rather complicated and restrictive tier arrangement. The basic earn rate is one point per dollar spent, but it drops to 0.5 points per dollar after the first $3,000 of purchases in any one month, and to zero points per dollar after a monthly cap of $10,000.

However, overseas expenditure earns an uncapped one QFF point per dollar, so it’s still worth taking the card on an overseas trip or using it for international purchases online. But if you expect to spend more than $3,000 per month on a regular basis, you may need to consider the Citi Prestige Card, with an annual fee of $700 p.a. but uncapped points.

QFF points offer probably the best rate of return, compared with other loyalty programs, if used wisely for longer flights or upgrades. Even a flight between Sydney and Melbourne (8,000 points) returns to the cardholder around 1.6 cents for every dollar spent on purchases.

If you spent $36,000 per year on domestic purchases and $4,000 either overseas or on international websites (a not unlikely scenario, given that the minimum income requirement is $75,000 per year) you’d earn 40,000 points, worth a total of about $630 for five Sydney-Melbourne economy flights (net of taxes).

2. 50,000 points

Citi’s first purchase bonus points offer is much more straight forward, and very generous. All you have to do is spend $2,000 in 90 days of holding the card, and 50,000 points will be credited to your frequent flyer account.

3. Free Priority Pass membership plus two lounge visits: possibly worth $200 per year

Priority Pass has lounges in airports all over the world, but sadly only two in Australia, in Brisbane and Cairns. (The previously available Melbourne lounge has closed.) Nevertheless, if you’re considering a frequent flyer points card you’re probably a regular international traveller who could make use of the many lounges overseas. Citi will pay for your basic Priority Pass membership (USD99) and two lounge visits (2 x USD27) each year. (The two lounge passes must be used in the year of issue, and can’t be rolled over into a later year.)

The USD/AUD exchange rate, at the time of writing, puts the value of this benefit at AUD200 per year.

4. Balance transfer option, 0% p.a. for 6 months: possibly worth $250 (first year only)

You can transfer a balance from your existing card to the Citi card and get 0% p.a. for 6 months. (The revert rate at the end of that time is the cash advance rate of 21.74% p.a., not the 20.99% p.a. purchase interest rate.) If you’ve recently made major purchases on another card—say $20,000 worth%mdash;you could transfer the balance to your Citi card (up to 80 of credit limit, so in this case you’d need a minimum $25,000 limit).

Put the $20,000 cash into a six month term deposit instead of paying off the balance straight away. If you shop around you will probably get 2.5% p.a. at the moment, earning you a pleasing $250 for 6 months on your $20,000. Save even more by putting it into your mortgage offset account for 6 months.

5. International travel insurance: possibly worth $800 per year

Pay your airfare, and that of your family members, using the card or QFF points, and you are all covered by a complimentary international travel insurance policy. It’s an annual, multi-trip policy, including such items as emergency medical expenses, loss or theft of your luggage, travel delay, and rental vehicle insurance excess.

This is not a basic single-trip policy, but a multi-trip policy where any trip can last as long as six months. It covers not only the primary cardholder and family, but also any supplementary cardholder and family, even if travelling without the primary cardholder. Comparable policies start at around $800.

6. Extended warranty insurance: possibly worth $100 per year

This policy doubles the manufacturer’s Australian warranty (up to a maximum of 12 extra months) on personal goods bought with the card.

In practice it would be difficult to buy a policy covering all such items purchased in a year, but if you wanted to buy extended warranty just for a new $1,500 TV, you would almost certainly pay $100 or more.

7. Transit accident insurance: possibly worth $100 per year

This complimentary policy will deliver a cash compensation for a range of specific injuries, or loss of life, sustained as a result of an accident while travelling on public transport (plane, bus, train, ferry, &c) where the fare was paid using the card.

You can obtain this type of general accident insurance (not restricted to public transport) for an individual, for around $200 per year. So cover on public transport only, but for a family, is probably worth at least $100 per year.

8. Interstate flight inconvenience insurance: worth about $110 per year

The card comes with cover for domestic air travel, with a complimentary policy for trips of up to 14 days duration (fares paid with the card), insuring you against the inconvenience of travel delays and cancellation, loss or theft of luggage, as well as rental vehicle insurance excess.

Multi-trip domestic policies are generally not available on the retail market, but even a single trip policy for a family of four for 14 days would cost at least $110.

9. Purchase cover: difficult to value

Personal items you buy with the card are covered against loss, theft or accidental damage for 90 days, with a claim limit of $200,000 per year. It’s useful cover to have, but it isn’t really possible to buy this kind of policy.

10. Guaranteed pricing: difficult to value

Citi will reimburse the price difference (minimum $75, maximum $500) if an item you bought with the card (in a physical store, not online) goes on sale later, at a lower price, in a local printed catalogue. You must make a claim within 60 days of your original purchase. Once again, useful, but impossible to put a price on it.

11. ‘Free wine every time you dine’: possibly worth $210 per year

Cardholders are admitted to the Citibank Dining Program, entitling them to a free bottle of wine at participating restaurants, provided they order a main course for each person dining with them and pay with their Citi card.

There are currently more than 300 restaurants in the program. They are mostly located in Sydney and Melbourne, but there are also a few in Brisbane and the Gold Coast, Adelaide, Perth, Hobart and Launceston, and a small number in regional New South Wales and Victoria. You’ll be able to choose from a limited range of wine with an average value of $35 a bottle.

If you were to visit a participating restaurant once in every two months, you would save around $210 per year.

12. Other benefits: not able to assign a price

As well as the more tangible benefits listed above, there are other advantages—ones that you may or may not be able to use—associated with holding a Citi card. These include:

  • 24/7 personal concierge service: restaurant, entertainment and travel recommendations and bookings
  • Citibank World Privileges: discounts on hotels, restaurants, car rental and shopping, worldwide
  • Citibank eshopex: free US delivery address to accumulate your online purchases before having them bulk shipped to Australia

Total possible value of benefits

A simple sum of all these benefits (only the ones where it’s possible to assign a value) brings up the staggering total of $3,500 in the first year, and $2,150 per year thereafter. Most cardholders will not be able to extract this amount of value every single year, but they should be able to come reasonably close to it by putting around $40,000 of their annual expenditure through the card.

True cost of benefits—actual scenario

How much will you have to pay for this long list of worthwhile advantages? It’s not cheap, but it is value for money. The annual fee is $395, plus $49 per year for participating in the rewards program, a total of $444 (with no additional charge for supplementary cards).

But here’s some more good news: the annual fee is reduced to $148 ($99 + $49 for the rewards program) in the first year only. And there’s no reason to pay a cent in interest in any year, providing you pay off your purchase balance on time every month, and you get up to 55 days interest-free each and every month.

Net value to cardholders

So, in the first year you could enjoy $3,500 worth of benefits for a cost of $148.

In subsequent years you’ll pay a total of $444, but you could get back around $2,150 in value: still more than worthwhile.

Other cards with a substantial fee but plenty of valuable benefits

You could perform this cost-benefit analysis for other cards which have a fee which is off-putting at first sight but which nevertheless deliver benefits with a value well beyond the annual cost. Take a look at the Westpac Altitude Black Credit Card (annual fee $395 p.a., the ANZ Frequent Flyer Black Credit Card ($0 p.a.) and the HSBC Platinum Qantas Credit Card ($199 p.a.).

Who will get the most from this card?

To extract maximum value from this card you need to be prepared use it to pay for a large percentage of your relatively big-spending lifestyle. You’re probably a regular domestic and international traveller (and shopper) who knows how to make the best use of award flights on Qantas and its partner airlines, and you appreciate a good wine to accompany your frequent dining experiences. But at the end of the day, you expect your money’s worth, if not more, for every dollar you spend.

Basic details

About this card

Card setup
Single
Card tier
Black
Card type
Visa
Card use
Personal
Credit rating
Good
Gambling transactions allowed
No
Joint application
No
Minimum age
18 years old
Minimum income
$75,000
Minimum income for pensioners
Same as standard
Pensioners
Rewards program
Qantas Frequent Flyer
Temporary residents
Yes

Cardholders

Additional cardholders
4
Additional card fee
$0 p.a.

Credit limits

Minimum credit limit
$5,000
Maximum credit limit
$100,000

Repayments

Interest charged from
Purchase date
Interest free period
Up to 55 days on purchases
Minimum repayment
2%

Balance transfers

The offer

Interest ratePeriodFeeLimitRevert rate
Balance transfers0% p.a.6 monthsN/A80 of credit limit21.74% p.a.

Balance transfers to this card

Balance transfer earns rewards
No
Balance transfer fee payment due
First statement
Balance transfer from personal loan
Yes
Balance transfer processing time
10 - 14 days
Interest free days with unpaid balance
0 days
Maximum balance transfer
80 of credit limit
Available to existing customers
No

Banks you can't balance transfer from

You can't balance transfer to the Citi Qantas Signature Credit Card at the promotional balance transfer rate from:

  • Bank of Queensland
  • Beyond Bank
  • Citi
  • CUA
  • Family First Credit Union
  • FCCS Credit Union
  • IMB
  • MyState Financial
  • Suncorp
  • Woolworths

Rates & fees

Promotional interest rates

Interest ratePeriodFeeLimitRevert rate
Balance transfers0% p.a.6 monthsN/A80 of credit limit 21.74% p.a.
PurchasesN/AN/AN/AN/A N/A

Ongoing interest rates

MonthlyAnnually
Cash advances 1.81% 21.74% p.a.
Purchases 1.75% 20.99% p.a.

Fees

Annual fee
$199 p.a.
Annual fee 2nd year
$395 p.a.
Cash advance fee
3.5%
Dishonour fee
$15
Duplicate statement fee
$7
Foreign exchange fee
3.3%
Late payment fee
$10
Over limit fee
$40
Overseas ATM balance fee
$0
Overseas ATM withdrawal fee
$5
Overseas emergency card replacement fee
$0
Transaction verification fee
$7

Rewards

Where will your points take you?

Points:
 
Trip:
Origin:
    Rewards program:
      Class:

        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
        50,000 points
        Reward points expiry
        Never as long as you keep your account active
        Rewards program
        Qantas Frequent Flyer
        Spend required for bonus points
        $2,000 in 90 days

        Earning points with this card

        Frequent flyer points
        1 pt per $1 spent
        Overseas earn rate
        1 pt per $1 spent
        Points cap per month
        10,000 (domestic)
        Points cap per year
        120,000 (domestic)
        Reward points
        1 pt per $1 spent

        Additional benefits

        Airport lounge access
        Yes
        Complimentary flight voucher
        No
        Concierge service
        Yes

        Benefits

        This card comes with benefits worth an estimated $1,551

        EntertainmentEstimated value
        Free wine at restaurants or discounts at restaurants
        Cardholders are enrolled into the Citibank Dining Program, which gives a bottle of wine worth $35 available at a list of partner restaurants when paying with your card. Assumes 6 redemptions a year.
        $210
        Shopping
        Extended warranty
        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.
        $50
        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.
        $10
        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.
        $40
        Travel
        Interstate flight inconvenience insurance
        Valuation based on similar domestic travel insurance policies available online that include interstate flight inconvenience.
        $290
        Overseas travel insurance
        Valuation based on similar annual travel insurance policies available online for trips of up to 60 days.
        $801
        Transit accident insurance
        Valuation based on similar global transit accident insurance policies available online.
        $150
        Total estimated value$1,551
        Annual fee$199
        Net customer value$1,352
        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 $75,000 per year
        Have a good credit history
        You have your personal details ready to complete the online application
        Have not applied for multiple credit cards recently
        Joint applications are not allowed
        Temporary residents are eligible
        Age Pension, Disability Pension and Widower's Pension are acceptable.
        Carer's Allowance and Child Support Payments are acceptable.
        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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