10 Credit card rewards you didn’t know about from Amex, Virgin and more

lady discovering best credit card perks on a rewards card

If you’ve got a trusty credit card in your pocket, you’re probably already familiar with most of the features and rewards that come along with it. Depending on which card you have though, you could be sitting on some seriously interesting perks that you don’t even know about.

Here are some of the underexplored extras that come along with certain credit cards – and how they might help you out:

Travel insurance

Chances are that you’ve skim-read something about your credit card having one or more kinds of travel insurance at some point in holding it. Despite that, many Aussies will still take out a separate policy to head on holidays – effectively paying twice for something they already have.

Credit card travel insurance can include coverage for:

  • Lost baggage
  • Flight cancellation
  • Medical insurance
  • Injury & accidental death
  • Rental cars
  • Loss of income

If you need a fairly straightforward travel insurance policy, make sure to check if your specific credit card grants access to it. 

If you do have travel insurance, there may be criteria required to activate it - so check the terms and conditions to see how to get your policy put in place. You’ll also need to check for exclusions.

Note: Many credit card travel insurance policies do not provide cover for pre-existing health conditions, certain ages, or certain activities (like cruises and snow sports).

Mobile phone insurance

lady in mobile phone

Can’t live without your phone? A lot of credit card providers know you shouldn’t have to. 

Both the American Express Essential Credit Card and the American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card offer cover for screen repair up to $500 when you pay for your phone outright or your monthly bill with the relevant Amex credit card (terms and conditions apply).

Likewise, Citi credit cards also entitle their holders to mobile phone insurance. That’s not just fixing cracked screens but also lost or stolen phones - which you’re eligible for by paying your monthly mobile bill on an automatic debit from an eligible Citi credit card (terms and conditions apply).

If you think that your credit card might cover some of the damage you might have avoided by getting a better phone cover, it’s time to check if you have one of these cards!

Price protection

One of those little credit card benefits we all tend to skim past, price protection can actually be a seriously useful addition to your toolkit.

Think of price protection like the classic “find a better price and we’ll match it” offer – if you notify your credit card company that you’ve found a purchase priced better elsewhere, you may actually be able to get the difference refunded. 

There are usually some notable terms and conditions to this protection, especially surrounding time limitations or minimum price differences. Still, if you’ve made a major purchase, it could provide some serious peace of mind.

Extended warranty

When you make a purchase, especially a big one, it can be a pretty daunting thing. While a retailer might provide a warranty to protect your purchase if something breaks or goes wrong within a limited period of time, your credit card may also carry an extended warranty on purchases you make with it. That means that your purchases can stay protected for longer in case of emergency, and your credit card will keep you covered - just check the terms and conditions.

Shopping discounts and credits

lady using credit card rewards for shopping

These include discounts for Visa cards, Amex offers, and Mastercard Priceless rewards for the major credit card providers.

Individual cards and banks may also come with their own little perks, and it’s well worth digging into them. 

Flip through your wallet, and then take a look at the benefits program that applies to you. From 15% off to paying via points, you’ll be able to find something that suits your shopping spree in no time. Some major bonus places to find shopping rewards on brands like Myer, Kogan, Luxury Escapes and more include:

You might also want to look into credit cards offering cashback rewards, as these can ease the sting of spending.

Airport lounge access

We all love to live the high life every once in a while. For some, that means skipping out on pre-flight stress and kicking back in an airport lounge – and your credit card can be the magic key that gains you access.

Plenty of cards offer airport lounge access as a perk, but you may want to check which lounges you’re able to shimmy your way into.

Instead of flying business or first class, many Qantas credit cards and Virgin Velocity credit cards will offer a number of lounge entries per year as a perk to card holders. Likewise, American Express powers nearly 30 Centurion Lounges around the world, so you may want to check if your American Express credit card grants you access to an airport lounge.

Fast-tracked airline Gold Status

If you’re a frequent traveller, there are quite a lot of benefits to look out for in the world of credit cards. The HSBC Star Alliance Credit Card, for example, could let you take the fast lane into gold status with the member airline of your choosing (terms and conditions apply).

Spending $4,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days of approval on your Star Alliance credit card will earn you gold status on your choice of 7 membership airlines – Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines, Air Canada, United Airlines, Thai Airways, EVA Air, and South African Airways. Gold status means lounge access, sure, but it also means things like priority check in, extra baggage allowance, priority baggage handling, priority boarding, and more.

This card isn’t for the faint of heart, though. It comes with a $450 annual fee (currently waived for the first year for new HSBC customers), and the purchase rate of 19.99% p.a. are both things to consider. Along with this, maintaining gold status the following year will require you to spend $60,000 on eligible purchases (terms and conditions apply).

Annual travel credits

woman using annual credit card travel credits to head overseas

While we’re talking travel, one of the many perks you may actually be sitting on (and hopefully ready to take advantage of!) is an annual travel credit.

It may not be enough to book yourself a free trip to Hawaii, but many cards – especially those with higher annual fees and rewards geared towards frequent flyers – will compensate for some of those annual fees by providing you with credit towards your travel plans.

The American Express Explorer Credit Card, for example, has an annual fee of $395 but each year you’ll receive up to $400 of travel credit booked with the credit card through American Express travel. The Platinum Edge Credit Card also scores you a $200 travel credit each year (just over its annual fee of $195). Another Amex offering, the Qantas Ultimate Credit Card, costs $450 per year – but you’ll also net an annual $450 to spend on Qantas travel.

Don’t write this off as American Express territory, because there are plenty of cards on the travel credit scene. If you hold a Virgin Money Velocity Flyer ($129 annual fee) or High Flyer ($289 annual fee) credit card, you’ll receive $129 to spend on travel with Virgin Australia each year.

Free hotel nights

Sometimes it’s not just about getting there, but staying somewhere wonderful. While a lot of the above travel credits can be redeemed for hotel stays, many of the credit cards in the Mozo database also give you access to hotel membership programs and additional bonus nights at some seriously nice hotels.

The Citi Prestige Credit Card, for instance, rewards you with a 4th night free when you book consecutive nights at a wide range of hotels, paid for on your Prestige card (terms and conditions apply).

Other rewards cards will let you transfer points directly to use as payment or gift vouchers at certain retailers to book accommodation. Check to see if your credit card rewards system can be used either directly, or redeemed for gift cards to spend at certain retailers including Luxury Escapes, Webjet, Airbnb, Helloworld, Flight Centre, TripADeal, and more.

Concierge assistance

If you hate organising things, or think a lot of these credit card bonuses sound a little daunting to arrange, rest assured because a lot of credit cards also have dedicated concierge services!

Instead of giving you recommendations on sights to see nearby, these concierge services are useful for helping you to book that weekend hotel stay or round-the-world trip you’ve been thinking about – and to do it using the benefits your card entitles you to.

If you’re stressed about how to book a holiday while applying the travel credit on your card, a credit card concierge service is a great way to smooth out all of the creases.

credit card concierge bell and magnifying glass

Of course, for all of the little perks you might have found, credit cards aren’t necessarily all sunshine and daffodils. A lot of credit cards with major rewards also come at the cost of high annual fees, high purchase rates, and it’s very easy to pay for rewards that you don’t end up using.

Before you commit to a credit card, it’s important to weigh up the pros and cons and to make sure you choose the right credit card for you.

You know about the perks, and now it’s time to find out the favourites! Read up on Mozo’s best credit cards.

Start exploring rewards credit cards - last updated 1 March 2024

Search promoted rewards credit cards below or do a full Mozo database search. Advertiser disclosure
  • Apply By 2 Apr 2024
    American Express Qantas Ultimate Card

    Qantas Frequent Flyer

    $450

    100,000

    1.25 points up to 100,000 points/year, then
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    Receive 100,000 bonus Qantas Points when you apply online by 2 April 2024 , are approved, and spend $3,000 on eligible purchases on your new Qantas American Express Ultimate Card within the first 3 months. T&Cs apply. Available to new American Express Card Members only.

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  • NAB Qantas Rewards Premium Card

    Qantas Frequent Flyer

    $250 $150 in the first year

    70,000

    0.66 points up to $3,000/month, then
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  • American Express Qantas Premium Card

    Qantas Frequent Flyer

    $249

    20,000

    1 point uncapped

    Receive 20,000 bonus Qantas Points when you apply, are approved, and spend $3,000 on eligible purchases on your new Qantas American Express Premium Card within 3 months of Card Membership. T&C’s apply. Available to new American Express Card Members only.

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  • NAB Rewards Signature Card

    NAB Rewards

    $295 $145 in the first year

    160,000

    1.25 points uncapped

    Earn 100,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 on everyday purchases within the first 60 days of account opening and 40,000 bonus points when you keep your card for over 12 months (T&Cs apply). Enjoy a reduced annual card fee (from $295 to $195) for the first year. Up to 44 Interest free days on purchases (T&Cs apply). $15,000 minimum credit limit. 0% p.a. on standard balance transfer (BT) rate for 12 months (3% BT fee applies).

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  • American Express Qantas Discovery Card

    Qantas Frequent Flyer

    $0

    No current offer

    0.75 points uncapped

    Earn 1.75 Qantas Points on eligible Qantas products and services per $1 spent (T&Cs apply). Enjoy $0 Annual Card Fee. Get the security of Card Refund and Purchase Cover. Up to four additional Cards at no extra fee. Redeem your points for Classic Flight Rewards (T&Cs apply).

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