Aussies love rewards, with around half of us carrying at least one rewards credit card in our wallet according to a recent survey by Mozo, but many rewards lovers have seen the value of their rewards program drop in 2017.
Points earn rates on popular rewards cards have been slashed, higher earning Amex companion cards have been given the heave ho and in some cases stingier limits on monthly points earnings have been introduced.
If your rewards card is no longer as rewarding as it used to be, it’s time to consider getting a better value card. Whether you’re after frequent flyer points or shopping rewards, the Mozo editors have put together a short list of some of the best rewards credit cards on the market, just in time for the holiday shopping season.
BEST CARDS FOR FREQUENT FLYER POINTS
ANZ Frequent Flyer Black
75,000 bonus Qantas points when you spend $2,500 on eligible purchases in the first 3 months
2 Qantas Club Lounge visits each year
Earn up to 1 Qantas point per $1 spent on Visa up to $,500 a month (0.5 points per $1 after)
Annual fee waived in the first year
With a tasty pile of bonus Qantas points on offer, Qantas lovers can rack up serious rewards value fast with this card. You'll also enjoy two complimentary Qantas Club Lounge visits a year. Points earn rates are decent, with the first $7,500 of spend on the Visa card each month earning 1 Qantas point per dollar. Big spenders will need to bear in mind that the earn rate drops to 0.5 Qantas points per dollar for spend above $7,500. And remember that while the annual fee is waived in the first year, this premium plastic will set you back $425 each year after that. You'll need to earn $75,000 or more to apply and there's a $15,000 minimum credit limit.
American Express Qantas Ultimate Card
55,000 bonus Qantas points when you apply online and spend $3,000 in the first 3 months
$450 annual Qantas travel credit
Earn up to 1.5 Qantas points per $1 spent – uncapped
Complimentary domestic and international travel insurance
Qantas lovers will get great value from this card, with 55,000 bonus Qantas Frequent Flyer points on offer to kickstart your rewards pile, plus a $450 Qantas travel credit every year you hold the card. The standard earnings rate of 1.5 Qantas points per dollar spent is hard to beat and there are no stingy caps on monthly spending. You'll also get two entries each year to the American Express Airport Lounge at Sydney International Airport. Just make sure you get good use from the rewards on offer and other complimentary features like travel insurance to justify the $450 annual fee.
BEST CARDS FOR BONUS POINTS OFFERS
American Express Explorer® Credit Card
50,000 bonus Membership Rewards points when you apply online and spend $3,000 in the first 3 months
$400 travel credit annually
Earn up to 2 points per $1 spent - uncapped
Points can be transferred to 8 partner airline programs (Qantas not included)
With 50,000 bonus points to get you started and an earnings rate of up to two membership rewards points per $1 spent, this card packs a punch. What’s more, the $400 annual travel credit cancels out the $395 annual fee, as long as you take advantage of it each year. Airline partners include Virgin, Etihad, Air New Zealand and Singapore. With additional benefits like two American Express Airport lounge entries each year and 0% on balance transfers for the first 12 months (1% BT fee applies), it's not hard to see why the Explorer is such a popular addition to the American Express stable.
NAB Qantas Rewards Signature Card
100,000 bonus Qantas Points ($4,000 spent in the first 60 days)
Free Qantas Frequent Flyer membership
$395 annual fee
1 point for each $1 spent up to $5,000 per month (0.5 points per $1 up to $20,000)
Looking for a stack of bonus points to help you score those freebies? Look no further. The NAB Qantas Rewards Signature comes with a bumper 100,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $4,000 in the first 60 days of having the card. Along with that, it offers a solid regular earn rate, a free membership to the Qantas Frequent Flyer Program and a bunch of free insurance covers, including overseas travel insurance, plus a concierge service. There is a 19.99% interest rate to keep your eye on, and a $395 fee to budget for, so make sure you get the most out of all the perks on offer to justify this price tag.
BEST REWARDS CARD FOR CASHBACK
Woolworths Everyday Platinum Credit Card
$50 Woolworths eGift card after an eligible purchase
$0 first year annual fee ($49 thereafter)
3 rewards points for every $1 spent on Woolworths branded 'Select' products
10% off your first shop at Woolworths on a selected weekend each month
If you’re a regular Woolies shopper and want to use your plastic to put some cash back in your pocket, the take a look at the Woolworths Everyday Platinum. Not only can you earn up to 3 points per $1 you spend, but you can also score a $50 Woolworths eGift card when you apply by 31 March and make an eligible purchase by 30 April 2018. There’s no annual fee to worry about in the first year, but keep an eye on the 19.99% interest rate. And if you’re looking to blast away existing debt, you can do so with the 0% balance transfer period for 14 months.