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Get 100,000 bonus Qantas or Altitude Points. The bonus points promotion is available to customers who apply and are approved for a new Westpac Altitude Black card between 17 October 2016 and 28 February 2017, pay the $395 annual fee and spend the minimum amount of $5000 on eligible purchases within 90 days from card approval on one or more transactions. Eligible purchases do not include fees, cash, cash equivalent transactions, BPAY, refunds and balance transfers debited from the card account. In order to be eligible, the account must be open and not in arrears at the time of crediting points. The bonus points depend on your choice of Rewards Program. The bonus Qantas or Altitude Points will be credited to your points balance in two increments – 50,000 and then 50,000 – within 60 days after the eligible spend criteria being met. Switches, upgrades, customers accessing employee benefits or packages are ineligible. This promotion is not available in conjunction with any other offer.
Westpac’s credit card designers were certainly at the top of their game when they came up with the Westpac Altitude Black Credit Card, which neatly packages most of the features that any credit card user could ask for, even though it comes with the usual hefty fee for a black credit card. If you choose this card, you’ll want to hang around for at least a year to make the most of the multiple benefits, including choice of rewards, high points earning rates coupled with unprecedented 100,000 bonus Qantas points, and multiple complementary airport lounges.
QANTAS or Altitude points? Take your pick.
QANTAS frequent flyers can choose to earn QFF points, while anyone can opt for Westpac Altitude Rewards and redeem points for a range of consumer products, entertainment and travel, financial services and shopping gift cards, or even put them towards the purchase price of a new Holden. While you usually get a far greater dollar value from QFF points, Altitude points have the advantage of offering a range of redemption options, including converting them to points with Altitude’s partner airlines, which include Virgin Australia, Malaysian Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Air New Zealand and Cathay Pacific.
You can even set up auto-redemption for Virgin Australia Velocity points, automatically receiving one Velocity point in exchange for every two Altitude points you earn.
Westpac’s highest points earning rate, uncapped
This card account presents you with two cards – AmEx and MasterCard. The AmEx card carries Westpac’s highest points earning rate – uncapped – of 0.625 pts per $1 spent or 1.5 pts per $1 spent. Purchases on the MasterCard will earn a lower 0.625 pts per $1 spent / 1.5 pts per $1 spent in Australia, but 1.5 pts per $1 spent from overseas merchants. AmEx is clearly the best card to use locally, but MasterCard provides a useful fallback if AmEx is declined or attracts a surcharge.
An additional 1.5 pts per $1 spent is available for purchases made using the card from either QANTAS or the Altitude Rewards Travel Service, plus a very limited list of Premium Bonus hotel and restaurant partners.
‘Golden hello’ bonus points
Effectively a sign-up reward, a whopping 100,000 points (QFF or Altitude, depending on your reward choice) will be credited to your account as long as you spend a minimum of $5,000 on purchases with the card within 90 days of account approval. That’s just $1,666 per month.
To give you an idea of what this is worth, a $500 retail gift card can be yours for less than 100,000 points, while 100,000 QFF points will buy you 6 economy return flights between Sydney and Melbourne, with 4,000 points left over. Or go further afield, 2 economy return flights between Sydney and Fiji with 28,000 points leftover to start your next adventure. You’ll still need to pay the normal airline surcharges, taxes and fees.
Every conceivable complementary benefit
This is the area where, on top of the high points earning rate, the card justifies its $395 p.a. annual fee. (Note that you can get an additional card free of charge as well, unlike similar cards which charge around $65 for every extra cardholder.)
The extensive, money-saving complementary benefits include:
That’s quite a list, and it not only matches but in some cases exceeds the benefits offered with other black cards.
Competing black cards
If you’re in the market for a black card, you’ll need to compare Westpac’s offerings with ANZ Rewards Black and ANZ Frequent Flyer Black cards, as well as the Citi Prestige card. The ANZ cards have annual fees and points earnings rates similar to the Westpac card, but the Citi Prestige card annual fee is a whopping $700 p.a., possibly because of its stellar overseas points earning rate and unlimited Priority Pass lounge access for the cardholder and a guest.
Westpac Altitude Black is designed for . . .
. . . someone who wants it all and would actually use it all. Someone who still expects top value per dollar spent: AmEx AND MasterCard; a choice of QFF points or Altitude Rewards; high points earning rate AND the 100,000 bonus points; multiple airport lounge passes and free insurance cover that’s better in some respects than competing cards.
Importantly, before you apply, you must have a good credit score, earn at least $75,000 minimum income, can handle the minimum credit limit of $15,000, won’t choke on paying the $395 p.a. annual fee and will put $5,000 spend through the card in the first 90 days. Lastly, if you are wise you will also avoid paying interest by not carrying a balance on your card month to month.
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