Westpac Altitude Platinum Credit Card

My monthly spend: 
$5,000
 
Offer
Card features
Rewards program
Earn rate
Sign up bonus
Points earned
Westpac Altitude Platinum Credit Card
Apply by 11 jun 18
33 reviews
60,000 points when you spend $3,000 after a first eligible purchase in the first 90 days.
Earn 0.5 pts per $1 spent on the Visa card (Altitude Qantas).
Points never expire.
Add to comparison
Altitude Rewards
Altitude Rewards
0.5 pts
per $1 spent capped
60,000
points
after spend criteria

Pros & cons

What's good?

What's not so good?

Earn 60,000 points when you spend $3,000 on eligible purchases on your new card within the first 90 days of Card Membership.
Choose to earn into two great rewards programs: Altitude Rewards or Altitude Qantas.
Earn up to 1 Altitude point per $1 spent.
Earn up to 0.5 Qantas points per $1 spent.
Redeem your Altitude points for popular rewards, including Westfield gift cards and bookings through Altitude Travel.
Altitude Points never expire.
Convert your Altitude Reward points into five frequent flyer programs including Asia Miles, Air New Zealand Airpoints, Malaysia Airlines, Singapore Airlines Krisflyer and Velocity Frequent Flyer.
Complimentary overseas travel insurance cover for trips up to 3 months.
Complimentary concierge service to be your own personal assistant, 24/7, worldwide.
The interest rates are as high as you would expect for a platinum card.
Altitude Points are capped at 7,500 per statement cycle.
Qantas Points are capped at 3,750 per statement cycle.
Blackout dates may apply when using points for travel on Altitude Travel.
  • Please note: All Westpac-issued American Express Cards will close in April 2018.

Our review

Our review of the Westpac Altitude Platinum Credit CardReviewed by Yvonne Taylor

When it comes to choosing the ideal credit card, it makes sense to have your own wishlist against which any card’s features can be checked. So if yours reads something like this – Rewards Points, Bonus Points, Flexibility, Complimentary Benefits, Security – you need to seriously consider the Westpac Altitude Platinum Credit Card. Prepare to be surprised at how much you get for a fee that’s probably lower than you expect.

So let’s roll out the wishlist.

Rewards points

Tick this one off right away, because this is a rewards card account. You can choose between Westpac’s proprietary Altitude Rewards points or Qantas Frequent Flyer points. Here are the relevant earning rates, not the highest available, but quite reasonable for the price of the card:

  • 1 pt per $1 spent
  • 0.5 pts per $1 spent

Altitude points never expire as long as you hold an Altitude card, and Qantas points won’t expire provided you don’t go longer than 18 months without earning or using some points, even if it’s just a few.

There are points caps to be aware of. Altitude points are capped at 7,500 per month, while Qantas Points are capped at 3,750 per month. This is unlikely to trouble most cardholders, since you’d need to outlay $7,500 in a single month to earn 7,500 Altitude points or 3,750 Qantas points. If you regularly spend this much, you would probably find the Westpac Altitude Black Credit Card a better fit.

Bonus points

When you first start collecting points, accumulating enough of them to redeem your first reward can seem like climbing a mountain. Credit card issuers have recognised this, and many cards now have a sign-up or first purchase bonus designed to give your points account a kickstart and boost your enthusiasm.

So here’s another wish you can fulfil. The bonus with this card is a very generous 60,000 points, earned by spending $3,000 in 90 days of holding it. That’s not such a high target – $1,000 per month – especially when the $30,000 minimum recommended income, as a basis for card application, is taken into account.

Since you have a choice, the bonus is particularly substantial if you start by selecting the more valuable Qantas points rather than Altitude points. You can switch later if you want to.

Flexibility

You can choose between Altitude and Qantas points, but your decision is not set in concrete. You can switch between the two programs to suit your needs as often as you like (although any points already earned will remain in the program in which they started). Travelling a lot this year? Choose Qantas points. Shopping a lot next year? Switch to Altitude points to earn retail vouchers.

Secondly, both loyalty programs are loaded with redemption options.

Qantas points redemption options

Qantas gives you award flights, not just with Qantas but with more than 30 affiliated airlines, including Jetstar. This is by far the most cost effective way to use points. Those 60,000 points will get you all the way from Australia’s east coast to New York or Europe (60,000 points).

But it doesn’t stop there. You can also use Qantas points for Qantas flight upgrades, and merchandise and retail gift cards from the Qantas store (although these last two options don’t deliver anywhere near as much value per point as air travel does).

Added flexibility is granted by the Points + Pay option, in case you don’t have quite enough points for your chosen redemption and wish to pay the balance in cash. Plus, you can earn one bonus point, on top of the normal points, for every dollar you spend with the card on purchasing Qantas flights.

Altitude points redemption options

Not to be outdone, Altitude also lets you fly with your points, allowing you to convert them into frequent flyer points with five partner airlines: Virgin Australia, Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Air New Zealand and Malaysian Airlines. Even more airlines can be accessed through Altitude Travel. The Altitude online store also has a range of merchandise and gift cards similar to those found at Qantas, but generally requiring lower card spending for the equivalent redemption.

Additional Altitude program features include the option to apply points against the purchase price of a new Holden, and the ability to set up Velocity points auto-redemption, to have one Velocity point credited to your Virgin Australia frequent flyer account in exchange for every two Altitude points you earn. Just set and forget.

Complimentary benefits

Your platinum card wishlist wouldn’t be complete without some platinum lifestyle complimentary benefits. Here’s what you’ll get with this card:

  • Overseas travel insurance for cardholders and their families, covering multiple annual trips of up to three months’ duration, activated by using the card for at least $500 of prepaid trip expenses for each person requiring cover
  • Transit accident insurance, providing up to $250,000 compensation for serious injury sustained while travelling as a passenger in a plane, bus, train or ferry, where the fare was paid with the card
  • Extended warranty insurance, doubling the manufacturer’s Australian warranty for items purchased with the card, to a maximum of 12 extra months
  • Purchase security insurance, covering new items bought with the card against loss, theft or accidental damage for three months
  • Worldwide concierge service, supplying a personal assistant for your dining, entertainment and travel needs
  • American Express Connect – pre-sale tickets, reserved seating, exclusive offers, and significant discounts at major Australian retailers (until April 2018 only)

Security

Although security may be last on your list, it should perhaps come first, because you won’t be able to take advantage of any of the benefits if you’re hesitant about using the card because of concerns about fraud. But Westpac gives you a Fraud Money Back Guarantee (provided you follow a few simple precautions) and also participates in the Verified by Visa one-time password systems for more secure online shopping.

If you download the Westpac mobile banking app to your Samsung smartphone you will transform your phone into a digital wallet for Tap & Go payments (because using the card itself for Tap & Go is so last century). You can also use a secure fingerprint log-in on your phone for card payments, get a Quick Balance for your card account or points account in seconds, and put your account on hold with a few taps if you temporarily misplace the card (saving you the annoyance of having to cancel a card you later find).

If you truly want to pay on the go, you also have the option of paying with a Westpac PayWear waterproof wristband or your Fitbit.

SmartPlan

Here’s a benefit that’s probably not on your list because you didn’t know it existed. If you manage to run up a balance on your card that you are struggling to repay, or if you make a major purchase that you’ll need time to clear from your account, you can choose to commit to a SmartPlan monthly repayment program and take advantage of an interest rate that’s lower than the advertised purchase interest rate – 18.24% p.a instead of the normal 20.24% p.a.

High foreign transaction fees

Something that certainly won’t be on your 'most wanted’ list is a foreign transaction fee, but it’s an unfortunate reality. The transaction fee for foreign currency payments, and overseas merchant fees even if in Australian dollars, is 3% of the amount spent.

None of this will be a problem if you don’t intend to use the card overseas or online, but it’s something you need to be aware of (and most cards do charge a foreign transaction fee of up to 3%).

Reasonable annual fee

With an annual fee of $150 p.a. and no charge for a supplementary card, it costs less than you might expect for a platinum rewards card with tons of options and heaps of benefits.

How does it compare with similar platinum rewards cards?

'Platinum Rewards’ is one of the most popular varieties of credit cards, but for the sake of brevity, here are three of the card’s strongest competitors:

  • American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card
  • ANZ Rewards Platinum Credit Card
  • NAB Qantas Rewards Premium Card

What’s missing from all of these cards, however, is the element of choice. Although the ANZ card comes in an alternative variety offering solely Qantas points (the ANZ Frequent Flyer Platinum Credit Card) there are very few cards which allow you to switch between two loyalty programs at will, as this Westpac card does, and access Qantas points at a relatively low price.

A card that ticks all the boxes

Looking back at that credit card wishlist, with most cards you may find it difficult to tick everything off without paying more than you were prepared for. But this card has the advantages of a satisfactory points earning rate, an upfront points bonanza, significant platinum benefits, security and hi-tech convenience, and an acknowledgment that sometimes you may need to change your mind without changing your card.

User reviews

3.8 out of 5.0 based on 33 reviews94% of reviewers would recommend this card

Rates and fees
Rewards
Customer service
Convenience
Trust

Reviews from users

Pleased with convenience

Reviewed and recommended by Anon on 30 Sep 2013

The one overlimit fee I was charged was more than the amount I was over limit. My other accounts would have covered it so disappointed not contacted. Accepted worldwide which is wonderful for travelling. Have learnt to ensure a good balance on card before travelling though. Having just one card for debit and a credit is very useful.

Best value card ever

Reviewed and recommended by Donald on 16 Sep 2016

We were offered this particular credit card as a result of over 50 years of being a loyal customer with both personal, business and retirement accounts over this time.

We pay no annual fees on this card, which includes comprehensive travel insurance when using the card to purchase air fares, cruises and overseas accommodation. We also accumulate frequent flyer points on practically every purchase made with this card.

I do not believe this offer would be possible with any other credit card provider.

AmEx card does not have a chip

Reviewed and recommended by Norma on 27 Sep 2016

I’m very happy with the Visa, but the American Express does not have a chip and sometimes does not go through. Why is this, do you think? I would be even more happy with the Altitude Platinum Credit Card if a chip was provided on both the Visa and the Amex.

I would also prefer it if the second card had a different number on it so one could tell who had used the credit card, the primary cardolder or the secondary cardholder

Good rewards program

Reviewed and recommended by Bob Punch on 19 Jun 2015

My Westpac Altitude came with both MasterCard and AmEx credit cards with 1 point per dollar on MasterCard and 2 points per dollar on AmEx. I think Altitude is a good rewards program because the reward points can be used for flights direct from a range of airlines if you want, or for other things through the store. The flexibility is a real plus point.

Very pleased with the rewards

Reviewed and recommended by LM on 10 Jul 2013

I have used this credit card for the past 6 years and managed to collect rewards to a substantial value. I use the card for almost every single transaction. From groceries to bills to donations. I save my Altitude points to get Harvey Norman gift cards. I have redeemed almost $800 in gift cards to date.

As a fee-free service, this card is the best

Reviewed and recommended by Donald on 14 Jun 2016

As a free service that came with our home loan, this card provides us with total security when overseas, plus gives us a further fee-free travel insurance cover. It also has an attached platinum American Express card, which provides extra frequent flyer points when we use it for purchases. Also, the frequent flyer points accumulated by using either card have been very useful when booking flights.

Never had a problem

Reviewed and recommended by Marianne on 01 Jul 2016

I have had this card for years and never had a problem. I pay it off in full every month so that interest never accrues. It is accepted everywhere and often I can use the American Express version of the card, which then gives me more frequent flyer points.

The only point I don’t like is that Westpac puts a cap on how many points you can earn. We use this credit card for everything, so it could potentially earn a lot more points.

Very useable card

Reviewed and recommended by creditgirl on 11 Jul 2013

I use this card to pay for nearly all my purchases which I then pay off in full every month. Receiving the added bonus of points is useful as I then apply and have received many practical items to help make my dollar stretch that bit further. Overall a beneficial card when you can pay it off in full.

Annual fees are high for non traveller

Reviewed and recommended by Gemma on 12 Jul 2016

This credit card is convenient and easy to use. Westpac’s new cash-back system for cardholders can also save you hundreds. However, if you don’t travel much or use Visa concierge services, it is a very expensive card for daily shopping and rewards. Westpac provides exceptional security against credit card fraud.

No long-term customer benefits

Reviewed and recommended by Kathy on 21 Sep 2016

I believe the fees to be quite high, especially for loyal long-term customers with a great credit rating.

I think the Interest rate is too high, and obscene for any cash advances given current interest rates.

Loyal long-term customers should be considered for better interest rates on the odd occasion they may be charged for not paying on time.

Show 23 more reviews
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.

The basics

About this card

Card setup
Single
Card tier
Platinum
Card type
Visa
Card use
Personal
Credit rating
Any
Gambling transactions allowed
No
Joint application
No
Minimum age
18 years old
Minimum income
$30,000
Minimum income for pensioners
Same as standard
Pensioners
Rewards program
Altitude Rewards
Temporary residents
N/A

Cardholders

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

Credit limits

Minimum credit limit
$6,000
Maximum credit limit
$50,000

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
$150 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
$0
Overseas ATM withdrawal fee
$2.5
Overseas emergency card replacement fee
$0
Transaction verification fee
$0

Rewards & points

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
60,000 points
Reward points expiry
Never as long as you keep your account active
Rewards program
Altitude Rewards
Spend required for bonus points
$3,000 in 90 days

Earning points with this card

Frequent flyer points
0.5 pts per $1 spent
Overseas earn rate
Same as standard earn rate
Points cap per month
7,500 Altitude
Points cap per year
90,000 Altitude
Points earned on ATO payments
N/A
Reward points
1 pt per $1 spent

Additional benefits

Airport lounge access
No
Complimentary flight voucher
No
Concierge service
Yes

Benefits

This card comes with benefits worth an estimated $1,059

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
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
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
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$1,059
Annual fee$150
Net customer value$909
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 $30,000 per year
You have your personal details ready to complete the online application
Have not applied for multiple credit cards recently
Joint applications are not allowed
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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