Rewards credit cards in 2021: Are they worth it without overseas travel?

couple high-fiving about their rewards credit card

Used to consider yourself a bit of a credit card rewards points guru? Dedicated your time to gathering up points with every purchase and then spending them on overseas holidays and flight upgrades?  

Boy, doesn’t that seem like a thing of the past. 

The truth is, when it comes to travel there are a lot of unanswered questions. While vaccines have just hit Aussie shores, it seems like we are still a fair way away from international travel being an option for a trip away. 

So the question is: are rewards credit cards really worth it in 2021 without overseas travel? 

Our answer - they can be. 

How to get the most out of your rewards credit card 

Let’s get one thing straight, it’s a big no-no to spend on your credit card just for the sake of earning points. This could actually end up costing you more in interest and see you spiral into more debt than you can handle. 

So if this was your plan, opting for a rewards credit card right now may not be suitable for you and your financial situation. 

On the other hand, if you already use a rewards credit card responsibly or are looking to make the switch from your current card - there are some ways you can be sure to get the most out of your plastic this year.  

Here are a few handy tips: 

  • Take advantage of bonus points: Currently on the Mozo database there are over 60 credit cards with bonus points offers attached to them. These offers go up to a whopping 150,000 points, as long as you meet the right requirements (such as spending a certain amount within a given timeframe). Bonus points offers can be a great way to bulk up your points stash when you first start using the card. 
  • Shop at your rewards program’s partner stores: With most reward programs, if you shop at a partner store (usually online) you may be able to increase the amount of points you earn for each $1 you spend. Find out which retailers offer this boost and shop there when you can.  
  • Watch out for points expiration: If you already have a whole bunch of points gathering dust, it’s important to find out if and when these points might expire. For example, you may be saving them for when international travel returns, but it’s clearly better to take advantage of them before expiry! On the other hand, you may have to meet certain spending requirements to keep old points alive - so familiarise yourself with what these are and make the call as to whether it’s realistic within your current budget. If not - try and use the points you have.  
  • Turn your attention to domestic trips: Since going overseas right now isn’t an option for holidayers, why not explore your own backyard? And you can use your points to do it! With some rewards programs it’s still possible to use your rewards points on things like flights, hotels and car hire within Australia. 
  • Shop online with your rewards provider: While using points at your rewards program’s online store may not be the best value-for-points option, it’s still an option. There are all sorts of things like retail items, gift vouchers, food and wine discounts etc. But just be careful not to waste your points on items you don’t particularly need - if you can save them for travel (and they won’t expire) it may be the better option to wait it out.  

Looking to make the switch to a more competitive rewards credit card option? Check out these hot offers below or jump over to our rewards credit card hub for even more …

Compare Rewards Credit Cards - last updated 17 January 2022

Search promoted rewards credit cards below or do a full Mozo database search. Advertiser disclosure
  • Platinum Rewards Credit Card
    Rewards program
    Annual fee
    Bonus points
    Earn rate per $1
    Bendigo Rewards
    $89
    No current offer
    1.5 points uncapped

    Earn 1.5 Bendigo Rewards points for every dollar spent (T&Cs apply). Up to 55 days interest free, comprehensive travel insurance, purchase protection and extended warranty.

    Details
  • Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Bonus Points Offer
    Rewards program
    Annual fee
    Bonus points
    Earn rate per $1
    Velocity Frequent Flyer
    $129 $64 in the first year
    100,000
    0.66 points up to $1,500/month, then
    0.5 points uncapped

    Earn up to 100,000 bonus points in the first 4 months (conditions apply) and 0% Balance transfer for 18 months

    Details
  • Rewards Signature Card
    Rewards program
    Annual fee
    Bonus points
    Earn rate per $1
    NAB Rewards
    $295
    120,000
    1.25 points uncapped

    Earn 90,000 Bonus Points then an additional 30,000 when you keep your card open for 1 year (Minimum $3,000 spend in first 60 days). Up to 44 days interest free on purchases (see T&Cs).

    Details
  • Apply By 24 Feb 2022
    Altitude Black
    Rewards program
    Annual fee
    Bonus points
    Earn rate per $1
    Altitude Rewards
    $250 $99 in the first year
    180,000
    1.25 points uncapped

    Earn up to 180,000 bonus Altitude Points ($6k min. spend in the first 120 days on eligible purchases). 0% balance transfer for 24 months. 1% BT fee. Discounted Annual Fee of $99 for the first year. New cards only. Offer ends February 24th 2022. T&C's and exclusions apply.

    Details
  • Velocity Platinum Card
    Rewards program
    Annual fee
    Bonus points
    Earn rate per $1
    Velocity Frequent Flyer
    $375
    100,000
    1.25 points uncapped

    Receive 100,000 bonus Velocity Points when you apply online, are approved, and spend $3,000 on your new Card within the first 3 months. Available to new Card Members only. Enjoy a complimentary domestic return flight with Virgin Australia to selected cities, each year after your first card spend.

    Details
  • Qantas Rewards Signature Card
    Rewards program
    Annual fee
    Bonus points
    Earn rate per $1
    Qantas Frequent Flyer
    $395 $295 in the first year
    110,000
    1 point up to $5,000/month, then
    0.5 points up to $20,000/month

    NABs fastest way to earn Qantas Points. 110,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $3,000 on everyday purchases within 60 days of account opening and keep the card open for 12 months. Access to 6 complimentary insurances when you make eligible purchases.

    Details

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