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Westpac Altitude Black Credit Card

My monthly spend: 
$5,000
 
offer
card features
rewards program
earn rate
sign up bonus
your earnings
Westpac Altitude Black Credit Card
APPLY BY 28 jun 17
41 reviews
80,000 points when you spend $5,000 after a first eligible purchase in the first 90 days.
$200 off the first year annual card fee (bringing the fee to $195).
2 complimentary passes per year to use at over 700 VIP Priority Pass airport lounges worldwide.
Add to comparison
Altitude Rewards
Altitude Rewards
3 pts
per $1 spent
80,000
points
after spend criteria

Pros & cons

What's good?

What's not so good?

Earn 80,000 points bonus Altitude Rewards points or Qantas Points when you spend $5000 on eligible purchases on your new Card within the first 90 days of Card Membership.
Earn 3 pts per $1 spent on the Amex worldwide and 1.25 pts per $1 spent on the Mastercard in Australia.
$200 off the 1st year annual fee
24/7 Altitude Black Card Priority Service line.
Redeem Altitude points through Altitude Black Travel Service or convert your points into Virgin Australia’s Velocity, Malaysia Airline’s Enrich, Air New Zealand Airpoints, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Cathay Pacific AsiaMiles.
2 complimentary passes per year to use at over 700 VIP Priority Pass airport lounges worldwide.
2 complimentary Qantas Lounge invitations per year after your first Altitude Black Card spend on selected Qantas products and services.
2 complimentary American Express Sydney international Airport lounge passes.
The $195 p.a. annual fee is considerable but has been reduced from $395 p.a. until 28th June 2017 for new cards only.
From 1 July 2017 the points earn rate will drop back to $1 = 1.25 points on the Mastercard overseas and $1 = 2.5 points on the American Express worldwide.

Review

Our review of the Westpac Altitude Black Credit Card

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 (discounted, however, in the first year). 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 substantial bonus points, and a suite of complimentary benefits.

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 larger 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, and all points are uncapped. Here are the details:

AmEx card: 1.5 QFF points or 3.0 Altitude points per dollar spent

MasterCard: 0.625 QFF points or 1.25 Altitude points per dollar spent with Australian merchants

MasterCard: 1.5 QFF points or 3.0 Altitude points per dollar spent with overseas merchants (including online)

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 1.0 bonus points per dollar is available for purchases of Qantas flights and upgrades made using the card.

'Golden hello’ bonus points

Effectively a sign-up reward, a whopping 80,000 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 in 90 days of account approval. That’s $1,667 per month, an achievable target for most people considering a black-tier credit card.

To give you an idea of what this is worth, 80,000 points will buy you $400 worth of retail gift cards delivered electronically, while 80,000 points is almost enough for a return economy flight to Los Angeles (90,000 points). Convert the Altitude points to Velocity, and the resulting 40,000 points could be used for five economy flights between Sydney and Melbourne, with 1,000 points remaining.

First year annual fee reduction

Although the ongoing annual fee for this card is a high $195 p.a., in the first year of holding the card you will pay just $195, significantly reducing the cost of trying out the card to see if it is a good fit for you.

Every conceivable complementary benefit

This is the area where, on top of the high points earning rate, the card justifies its $195 p.a. annual fee after the first year. (Note that you can get an additional card free of charge, unlike similar cards which charge around $65 for every extra cardholder.)

The extensive, money-saving complementary benefits include:

  • Multi-trip overseas travel insurance for trips lasting up to six months, saving you at least $750 a year for a family policy. Activate the cover by using the card for at least $500 of each trip’s prepaid expenses.
  • Purchase security insurance, providing four months of loss, theft or accidental damage cover against goods purchased with the card (better than competing cards, which limit the cover to three months).
  • Extended warranty insurance of up to 24 months on card purchases (again, an improvement on competitors’ 12 months maximum extended warranty).
  • Price guarantee cover. Price difference refunded if you find a recent purchase advertised at a lower price in a printed store catalogue within 21 days.
  • Interstate flight inconvenience cover for delays, cancellation, luggage loss or damage.
  • Rental car excess cover, overseas and in Australia.
  • Transport accident cover, providing cash compensation in the event of a serious accident sustained on public transport or a commercial airline .
  • Two free Qantas or Priority Pass airport lounge passes, every year.
  • Two free entries per year to the AmEx lounge at Sydney International Airport.
  • Westpac’s 24/7 concierge service for assistance with travel, entertainment and restaurant information, recommendations and bookings. There’s also a Black Card Concierge app.
  • Waived QFF joining fee for the primary cardholder, if not already a member.
  • American Express Connect, bringing you exclusive offers and discounts for entertainment, dining and shopping.

That’s quite a list, and it not only matches but in many 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 cards. The ANZ cards have annual fees similar to the Westpac card, but a lower points earning rate. The Citi Prestige Card’s annual fee is a whopping $700 p.a. ($749 p.a. for the Citi Qantas Prestige Card), possibly because of its unlimited Priority Pass lounge access for the cardholder and a guest, plus other valuable benefits.

Westpac Altitude Black is designed for . . .

. . . someone who wants it all and can afford to pay for it, but still expects top value per dollar spent: AmEx AND MasterCard; a choice of Altitude Rewards OR QFF points; high points earning rate AND bonus points; Qantas or Priority Pass lounges passes AND AmEx lounge passes; and free insurance cover that’s better in many respects than the cover provided by competing cards.

User reviews

4.2 out of 5.0 based on 41 reviews95% of reviewers would recommend this card.

Rates and fees
Rewards
Customer service
Convenience
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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.

Saved on balance transfer, earned lots of rewards

Reviewed and recommended by Huan Ling Winnie on 29 Apr 2017

I saved lots of money by using the 0% balance transfer offer. I transferred another bank credit card balance to my Westpac black card.

I also earned lots of rewards points by using the card to pay bills and for shopping.

I got the card as part of my home loan package, so I don’t have to pay an annual fee of $395 again.

Great features but comes at a high price

Reviewed and recommended by Avinash on 27 Apr 2017

This credit card comes with some great handy features such as free travel insurance, extended warranty insurance and global lounge access through Priority Pass network.

The card also comes with complimentary SPG Gold membership, which is good for staying at Sheraton and Le Meridien hotels around the world.

The downside is high interest charges as well as a very high annual fee.

Great rewards and service

Reviewed and recommended by Greg on 26 Apr 2017

This is a very good card with great rewards.

They give very good service with enquiries answered in Australia. Their website is very good and easy to use. They are there to help 24/7, and do help if you need them.

They give reward points quickly and have great rewards.

Love the rewards and service

Reviewed and recommended by Michelle on 04 Apr 2017

My hubby worked for Westpac, so we’re not paying fees. I love the rewards they offer, including vouchers and so much else to choose from.

Whenever I need help I ring the help desk and always get a prompt solution from a representative.

Cards are always replaced quickly if lost. Whenever we had fraudulent transactions they always rang to make sure everything was OK.

I have received a large number of rewards

Reviewed and recommended by Samantha on 07 Jan 2017

I love this card! The points for purchases are great and I can receive either rewards or money off my next bill.

I can use this card everywhere without excess fees and I cannot recommend it highly enough. It’s truly one of the best cards I’ve ever had.

Westpac is friendly and helpful. I especially like being able to deposit cash or cheques through ATM’s.

A well-rounded travel and award-ready card.

Reviewed and recommended by Liz on 12 Dec 2016

With added benefits of travel insurance with overseas travel, the Westpac Black Altitude card is a standout. It provides a range of gift card options and a good variety of product awards, and a pair of complimentary airport lounge passes annually to use through Priority Pass. This card has it all for avid travellers and shoppers.

A solid offering with good rewards and insurance

Reviewed and recommended by Sarah on 12 Dec 2016

It’s a good card to have if you have a Premier Advantage Home Loan package with Westpac, as the fees are already paid for in the Advantage Package fees.

It’s a reasonable offering for complimentary travel insurance. Rewards are reasonable, although you may wish to switch to Velocity Membership points when there is a promotional period on.

Good rewards system

Reviewed and recommended by Jonno on 11 Dec 2016

This credit card has a great feature in that it allows you to also redeem cash back on purchases using the points that you have available on the card. The items available for purchase using the card are also unique and are quite compelling and make me use my card so I can gain points!

Travel insurance, plus points to swap for goods

Reviewed and recommended by Chris on 30 Nov 2016

The card is good, with a low interest rate and good perks like Altitude points and travel insurance. It’s good for travel insurance when you use the card for booking tickets to go overseas. Plus you get Altitude points to buy other stuff also, like toasters, iPads, computers, kitchenware, TVs and hi-fi equipment.

Some cons but more pros

Reviewed and recommended by Phil on 21 Oct 2016

CON:
$395 annual fee. Rewards are pretty standard compared to the other big banks. AmEx Velocity (annual fee $349) is better — free domestic flight anywhere plus points, insurance etc)

PRO:
If I need to speak to a customer rep it is easy (direct phone line).
3 points to the dollar on AmEx, 1.25 points to the dollar on MasterCard. As a family we rack up points quickly, and convert them to fuel and Woolies cards
I’ve had 2 non-authorised transactions in the past, but Westpac was quick to review and rectify.

Show 31 more reviews

Basic details

About this card

Card setup
Dual Card
Card tier
Black
Card type
MasterCard & AmEx
Card use
Personal
Credit rating
Good
Gambling transactions allowed
No
Joint application
Yes
Minimum age
18 years old
Minimum income
$75,000
Minimum income for pensioners
Same as standard
Pensioners
Rewards program
Altitude Rewards
Temporary residents
Yes

Cardholders

Additional cardholders
1
Additional card fee
$0 p.a.

Credit limits

Minimum credit limit
$15,000
Maximum credit limit
$75,000

Repayments

Interest charged from
Purchase date
Interest free period
Up to 45 days on purchases
Minimum repayment
2%

Rates & fees

Ongoing interest rates

MonthlyAnnually
Cash advances 1.73% 20.74% p.a.
Purchases 1.69% 20.24% p.a.

Fees

Annual fee
$195 p.a.
Annual fee 2nd year
$395 p.a.
Cash advance fee
2%
Dishonour fee
$9
Duplicate statement fee
$7.50
Foreign exchange fee
3%
Late payment fee
$15
Over limit fee
$15
Overseas ATM balance fee
N/A
Overseas ATM withdrawal fee
N/A
Overseas emergency card replacement fee
N/A
Transaction verification fee
$0

Rewards

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
80,000 points
Reward points expiry
Never as long as you keep your account active
Rewards program
Altitude Rewards
Spend required for bonus points
$5,000 in 90 days

Earning points with this card

ATO payment earns rewards (amex)
1.5 per $1 spent
ATO payment earns rewards (mc)
0 per $1 spent
Frequent flyer points (amex)
3 pts per $1 spent
Frequent flyer points (mc)
1.25 pts per $1 spent
Overseas earn rate (amex)
3 pts per $1 spent
Overseas earn rate (mc)
3 pts per $1 spent
Points cap per month (amex)
N/A
Points cap per month (mc)
Unlimited
Points cap per year (amex)
N/A
Points cap per year (mc)
Unlimited
Reward points (amex)
3 pts per $1 spent
Reward points (mc)
1.25 pts 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 $1,391

ShoppingEstimated value
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
Rental vehicle excess cover (separate from travel insurance)
Valuation based on similar rental vehicle excess insurance policies available online.
$32
Transit accident insurance
Valuation based on similar global transit accident insurance policies available online.
$150
Waived Qantas Frequent Flyer joining fee
Valuation based on $89.50 Qantas Frequent Flyer joining fee spread over 5 years. Note that this benefit does not apply if cardholder chooses Altitude Rewards rather than Qantas Frequent Flyer points.
$18
Total estimated value$1,391
Annual fee$195
Net customer value$1,196
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 allowed
Temporary residents are eligible
Age Pension, Disability Pension, Veteran's Pension and Widower's Pension are acceptable.
Overseas Pension is not acceptable.
Austudy, Child Support Payments, Family Tax Benefits and Parenting Payments, Foster Care Allowance and Youth Allowance are acceptable.
Carer's Allowance is not 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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