Does the idea of earning Qantas Frequent Flyer points appeal, but you’re not sure where to start? The slow way is to earn points directly from Qantas on the flights you purchase. The fast way, and much smarter way, is to have a credit card which earns QFF points on your everyday spending without charging the earth in annual fees – a card like the NAB Qantas Rewards Card. It allows you to discover the benefits of Qantas points – kicking off your points account with a great first purchase bonus – without making you pay for extra benefits you may never use.
Earn Qantas points on eligible everyday purchases
You don’t need to change your spending pattern, or spend more than you normally would, in order to earn Qantas points. On all your regular purchases at supermarkets, petrol stations, department stores and other retailers (including online purchases) you will earn points. You can even earn points for paying medical expenses and other services with your card, and for online payment of utility bills.
The only exclusions are items which are not really purchases. They include things like cash advances, and account fees and interest charges. Over-the-counter bill payments and gambling transactions are also excluded.
Very reasonable points earning rate
Since this is two cards in one (an AmEx/MasterCard duo so that you can maximise both points earning and card acceptance) there are two different points earning rates:
While this is not as good a rate as that offered by some more expensive cards, it is still more than acceptable given the card’s moderate annual fee. It’s a good way to explore the benefits of Qantas points before moving on to a card with a faster earning rate, such as the NAB Qantas Rewards Premium Card or the ANZ Frequent Flyer Black Credit Card, which inevitably come with a higher price tag.
Extra points for buying Qantas products
Here’s some very good news. Since you’re obviously going to be a Qantas Frequent Flyer member if you hold this card, you’ll probably choose to fly Qantas or Jetstar because you’ll earn QFF points from Qantas when you purchase flights (and other Qantas products like Qantas Insurance). But you can add an extra point per dollar for every time you use the card to spend directly with Qantas for flights, upgrades, Qantas Club membership and purchases from 'Qantas Travel’ customer shopfronts.
This means that you’ll earn points three times over:
The regular 1.0 or 0.5 points from NAB for using your NAB Qantas Rewards Card, PLUS
The bonus point from NAB for using your card to pay Qantas, PLUS
The points from Qantas itself for purchasing Qantas or Jetstar products
Note that Item 2 (above), the bonus point from NAB, is not payable for Qantas Holidays or Jetstar flights.
Points cap unlikely to be a problem
There’s a points cap, but it’s very unlikely to trouble you. After the first 20,000 you spend on the card each month, you’ll earn no more points for that month.
Anyone putting $240,000 per year through their credit card is not going to be worried about collecting frequent flyer points. The cap is just there in case you decide it would be a good idea to put a really huge purchase (like a second hand Maserati) through your card, in the hope of making a big points win.
Why bother, when you can make a points coup just by spending normally in the first three months? Read on to find out how.
15,000 points first purchase bonus points
When you make just one purchase – of any amount – in the first 90 days, you’ll reap the rewards with 15,000 points to kickstart your QFF points balance, or give it a serious boost if you’re already a seasoned collector.
Not joined Qantas Frequent Flyer yet? NAB will pay your fee.
NAB don’t want the thought of the $89.50 Qantas Frequent Flyer joining fee to deter you from choosing this card. So they will pay your joining fee if you’re not already a QFF member.
Ways to spend your Qantas points on flights
The smartest way to use your Qantas points is for Qantas and Jetstar flights and upgrades. You’ll get the best return per dollar spent if you use them in this way.
For example, a one-way economy flight between Sydney and Melbourne requires 8,000 points plus $34 in charges on Qantas, or 6,400 points plus $30 in charges on Jetstar. The lowest cost for a typical Sydney to Melbourne flight is around $160 on Qantas and about $120 on Jetstar. That equates to a return of 1.6 cents per point on the Qantas fare and about 1.4 cents per point on the Jetstar fare.
Generally speaking, the longer the flight the better the rate of return, so spending points on long-haul flights is more cost-effective. With that in mind, remember that you can use QFF points to book flights on Qantas partner airlines in the Oneworld alliance, including major players like British Airways, American Airlines, Japan Airlines and Cathay Pacific.
Other ways to spend your Qantas points
Just in case you prefer to use your points in other ways, Qantas gives you plenty of options. You can:
Every selection, including Qantas and Jetstar flights, is available as a ‘Points + Pay’ option, in case you don’t have quite enough points for your desired redemption.
Twin zero-interest offers you can actually use
NAB’s standard balance transfer arrangement lets you bring across what you owe on another card and pay 4.99% p.a. on the balance for six months, which is not particularly tempting. But for a limited time they are matching their balance transfer deal with their purchase interest rate deal, and both are now available at 0% for a long 15 months.
Best of both worlds
By making matching zero-interest introductory offers –15 months at 0% p.a. on both balances transferred from another card and purchases made using the new card – NAB are delivering the best of both worlds. You can make an enormous saving by transferring the balance if you have an existing credit card debt on which you are currently paying 20% p.a. or more in interest.
But the best part is that you can still use your new card for purchases too. Under normal circumstances, having an unpaid balance transfer means that you forfeit regular interest-free days, rendering the card useless for making purchases (and earning points) until the debt is cleared. In this case, the corresponding zero-interest offer on purchases means that you don’t have to worry about losing the standard interest-free days.
Don’t bother transferring a balance to earn interest
Unfortunately, the 3% upfront fee payable on transferred balances means that there’s no point in transferring it so that you can put the cash in a savings account for 15 months, since the 3% fee cancels out any interest you would earn.
Watch out for the revert interest rates
The revert interest rate charged on any uncleared purchase balance, after the 15 months expires, is the ongoing purchase rate of 19.99% p.a. For uncleared balance transfers, the revert rate is the standard cash advance rate of 21.74% p.a. Both rates are definitely on the high side, even for a credit card, but both can be avoided if you steer clear of cash advances and always pay your account in full and on time.
Up to 44 days on purchases every month
After the expiry of the 15 months introductory offers it’s back to business as usual, but you will still receive a period of interest-free credit every month. Once the monthly statement cycle ends, you have another two weeks before you have to pay. You can maximise your interest-free days by timing purchases and bill payments to occur at the beginning of the statement cycle wherever possible.
However, NAB’s Up to 44 days on purchases cards are not as generous as many others, which add 25 days’ grace to the statement closing date before payment is required. Thus they deliver up to 55 days interest free each month. NAB’s earlier payment date could be a major disincentive for anyone who constantly struggles to pay on time.
Complimentary purchase protection insurance
There’s no long list of ‘free’ insurance policies, such as travel and extended warranty cover, with this card. If there were, you’d end up paying for the policies in the form of a higher annual fee. But you do get one policy which could prove very useful. Most new personal items you purchase using the card are insured for three months against loss, theft or damage. Although this doesn’t replace a home contents policy, it’s reassuring to know that you can shop for the things that make life more pleasant without worrying that they will be stolen or broken before you’ve had a chance to enjoy them.
Jewellery, watches and artworks are limited to $2,500 per claim, and claims are limited to a liberal $100,000 in any 12-month period.
Lots of extras from AmEx and MasterCard
Because you get two cards you get two bites at the cherry when it comes to built-in benefits. They aren’t platinum cards, but it will feel like they are. Here’s what you’ll get:
All this for $95 p.a. per year
The annual fee of $95 p.a. for the primary cardholder, and no charge for a supplementary cardholder, is very reasonable indeed for a Qantas rewards card with a basic rate of one point per dollar on the AmEx card. Although the 0.5 points earned by the MasterCard is less appealing, it does mean that there is a points-earning backup card for when AmEx transactions attract a surcharge or are declined altogether.
The purchase protection insurance policy is estimated to be worth about $40 per year, which leaves $55 to be recovered in rewards points value before the cardholder has broken even and can make a net gain. If points are valued at 1.6 cents each (when redeemed for Qantas award flights), annual card expenditure of only $3,437 would be required in order to offset the remainder of the fee.
In the first year, of course, the 15,000 bonus points are worth $240 and the QFF joining fee is worth $89.50 if you need to use it. Together, these benefits alone are worth more than three times the annual fee.
One of the best Qantas Frequent Flyer starter cards
There’s no doubt that the NAB Qantas Rewards Card is one of the best starter cards for the novice QFF points collector. It allows you to get a feel for earning and redeeming Qantas points without committing to a high annual fee to pay for expensive ‘complimentary’ insurance you may never use.
Even veteran points collectors may decide that this minimalist card offers the best value for money over the longer term.
I chose this as my first card due to the reasonably low annual fee and decent rewards scheme. My card has a pretty low limit as my aim was to build a credit history and start benefiting from paying bills, through rewards points.
I pay it all off fairy rapidly so it’s more like an extension of my debit card, but with rewards! So far it has been perfect for my needs. It comes with an American Express card linked, and I mostly use that. I have found that many places accept it without surcharge now, and it is perfect for PayPal purchases (looking at you, eBay-a-holic). All those little expenses and bills have added up with the 1.5 points per dollar Qantas rewards, and in a year I could earn enough points for a flight to Melbourne and a flight to Sydney one way from Brisbane. The bonus 15000 points are a nice touch.
Note: via Classic Rewards flights, you could grab a flight worth 12000 points in Australia, which is likely to set you back between $135-$250. So you can think about the fee in the first year as a $95 flight with some points left over — saving you upwards of $100. Yay!
- It’s a great choice for a first credit card, to build your credit history
- It has a reasonable annual fee at $95 for the bonus of getting rewards, provided you already spend enough to earn decent points
- It’s super easy to manage through online banking
- You can pay share house bills via AmEx (especially if you link it to PayPal), reap the rewards, and have your housemates directly BPAY your credit card. This is great if your housemates give you the money at different times, or get paid on different days and have to delay a few days. I would only recommend doing this with people you trust though.
- Some people might opt for the $39 low fee card instead as a starter. But consider — if you earn more than $56 of rewards in a year, which is very likely, it’s already worth it to get the Qantas card, especially with the bonus starter points.
- The best way and honestly only way to ensure you use your frequent flyer points so you don’t spend more than you would with cash, is to claim Classic Reward flights, or to upgrade to business or first class. If you aren’t interested in flying around Australia or maybe having a luxury flight to New Zealand (achievable in the short term) or saving up for that round-the-world trip (the 10-year plan), then maybe try a flybuys card and save on your groceries. Claiming points in the Qantas store is usually a total waste.
Altogether, if you have the nous and are a single person with no dependants and not a huge income, this is a great card to work the system with and really start benefiting from your spending. I personally cannot recommend it more for share house situations. Get all the rewards for only one third of the cost, or however you split the bills.
I am happy with the fees to collect lots of Qantas points. It is well worth it for a yearly trip and even a flight upgrade, which I managed to score.
Credit Card Compare is very helpful to those who want to choose the best value and benefits in their credit card.
It’s a great card to earn points. I use it instead of my debit card and it’s amazing how quickly they can add up.
The service at NAB is pretty good and they always help you out when there is a problem.
The fee is a little high but it’s worth it.
A few months back I decided to shop around to find a credit card that would offer me the highest Qantas point yield per dollar spent. During my research I discovered that most credit cards out there limit the number of points you can earn in a statement period. The NAB Qantas Rewards card has no reward points cap, unlike other credit cards. In short, I would recommend this card to anyone who is looking for a credit card to earn Qantas Frequent Flyer Points at a high yield.
This is a great card for frequent flyer points. Both Visa and American Express were offered simultaneously. As always, there’s great customer service at NAB.
The only negative is that the fees could be a bit lower. It is one of the most expensive cards to maintain. But overall, I’ve been happy with it.
I have had the Qantas card with NAB for a few years now. They’ve been great to deal with and very helpful when my card number was hacked earlier this year.
Rewards are fair for the yearly fee you pay, and the card is accepted everywhere so that’s useful. We also have a secondary card for my wife linked to the same account.
I am not super savvy when it comes to knowing all the tricks of the trade or getting the best out of my accounts and cards. I decided to step up and be proactive, and have recently joined the NAB team. Having never banked with them before I was super impressed with how great the service was as well as the simplicity and easy set up.
I am now hoping to pay off debts faster and in 100 years earn enough points to fly around the world.
I’m very satisfied with the NAB card. Points earning rate is good on the AmEx card (1 point per dollar). The Visa earn rate at 0.5 per dollar is not as attractive, I can check my transactions online almost immediately. The complimentary insurance policy appears to offer good coverage. I’d recommend this card to others considering a frequent flyer-linked credit card account.
Both the AmEx and MasterCard earn rewards, with 1 point for Amex and half of a point with MasterCard. As I pay regularly I am gaining rewards for what I would be buying normally anyway. Linked to Paypal, I also get a reward point for anything where I use Paypal. The bank is responsive and helpful so I have had no issues, and this card suits me and my lifestyle.
I changed to the NAB card after a very disappointing customer service from ANZ. NAB appreciates customers more than ANZ does, and made the whole process seamless. Great work, the team at NAB, for focusing on customers and taking the time to understand their needs from each credit card.
|Interest rate||Period||Fee||Limit||Revert rate|
|Balance transfers||0% p.a.||15 months||3%||90% of credit limit||21.74% p.a.|
You can't balance transfer to the NAB Qantas Rewards Card at the promotional balance transfer rate from:
|Interest rate||Period||Fee||Limit||Revert rate|
|Balance transfers||0% p.a.||15 months||3%||90% of credit limit||21.74% p.a.|
|Purchases||0% p.a.||15 months||N/A||N/A||19.99% p.a.|
|Cash advances||1.81%||21.74% 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.
Waived Qantas Frequent Flyer joining fee
Valuation based on $89.50 Qantas Frequent Flyer joining fee spread over 5 years.
|Total estimated value||$58|
|Net customer value||$-37|