Our comparison table is designed to help you easily compare the latest rewards card offers and find the right card to match your spending habits and rewards preferences. Simply enter your typical monthly credit card spend below, and we’ll estimate how many rewards points you could earn each year with each of the cards in our table.
What to look for when comparing rewards credit cards
To ensure you choose the right rewards card for your needs, there are some important features you'll want to pay attention to. These include the type of rewards offered, the earn rate per dollar spent on the card and the annual fee. Keep an eye out also for any bonus points offers, as these can really kickstart your rewards.
Page last updated January 20, 2020
Rewards credit card comparisons on Mozo - rates updated daily Mozo has robust processes to ensure our site is updated to reflect the latest information from providers. There may be the odd occasion where updates are delayed, so please confirm information before purchasing.
Receive up to 1.75 Qantas Points for every $1 spent on Card purchases (T&Cs apply). No annual fee for the life of the card. Credit Card Provider of the Year in the Mozo Experts Choice Awards 2019.^ T&C’s apply
Earn up to 1.75 Velocity Points. Have limited stress with the Velocity Escape with no annual fees and receive 0% p.a. on balance transfers for the first 12 months. Credit Card Provider of the Year in the Mozo Experts Choice Awards 2019.^ T&C’s apply
Receive 100,000 bonus Velocity Points when you apply online by 12 February 2020, are approved and spend $3,000 on your new Card within the first 3 months. Enjoy a complimentary domestic return flight with Virgin Australia to selected cities, each year after your first card spend. Credit Card Provider of the Year in the Mozo Experts Choice Awards 2019.^
Virgin Money Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
Get in the air with a $129 Virgin Australia Gift Voucher each year, plus a discounted annual fee in the first year of having your new card. As if that wasn't enough, you'll also earn 3 extra Velocity points per $1 spent on top of the standard earn rate for the first 3 months.
Not just a one off, you can earn 75,000 bonus point every single year with this card in your pocket, just by meeting an annual minimum spend. Plus, bag 2 points per $1 on regular spending (T&Cs apply).
As you spend on a rewards credit card, you’ll earn points, which can be redeemed for rewards like flights, travel packages, cashback, gift cards, retail products and more. After all, why not be rewarded for your spending?
Different rewards cards offer different types of rewards - some are focussed on travel and offer complimentary flights, airport lounge access or even travel credits to be spent on your next getaway. Others are more down to earth, and offer perks like cashback on your grocery shop, or points that you can cash in for a gift card, or that new toaster you’ve been eyeing off.
No matter what kind of credit card reward you’re after, there are a few important steps to getting there, including choosing the right rewards card, understanding how to earn points, knowing the best value rewards point redemption options and being aware of the pitfalls of a rewards card. That’s where we come in.
The theory behind rewards credit cards is simple enough: spend money on your card to earn points that you can redeem for things you want, like retail therapy, the big one, travel and of course plenty of other premium perks. But how do you decide which rewards card is right for you?
We’re here to help. A great way to start off with a good stash of points, is to take advantage of a bonus points offer. Just be sure to check if there’s a minimum spend and that you’re comfortable managing it if so. You should know how many points you get for every dollar you spend on your card. This is called the points earn rate.
It’s also important to go for a rewards program that suits you. There’s no point in accumulating frequent flyer points if you suffer aviophobia (fear of flying).
The Mozo Rewards Credit Card Comparison Table is a great tool that you can use to sift through the sometimes complicated info around rewards cards and get a real apples for apples comparison.
Whatever your motivation, whether it’s seeing the world or bagging a bargain on the world’s greatest toaster, a rewards card can help you get there.
Head to Mozo.com.au to find out how you can get the best deal on your rewards credit card.
How do rewards credit cards work?
Rewards credit cards work just like any other credit card - you spend using the card, either in-store on online, then pay off your purchases later on when the bill comes - except that you’ll earn points on your shopping.
What happens to those points and what you can redeem them on depends on which card you choose and which rewards program its attached to. So it’s also important to understand the different types of rewards credit cards and what they offer.
What types of credit card rewards are there?
There are heaps of different types of rewards credit cards, and picking the best one can be tricky. The main categories rewards fall into are:
Airline frequent flyer rewards. Many banks and rewards card providers have credit cards that are directly linked to airline frequent flyer programs. This means that when you make purchases on your credit card, all points you accrue for those purchases will be turned into airline frequent flyer miles. Some airlines offering direct earn programs include Qantas, Virgin, Singapore Airlines and Emirates.
General rewards. With a general rewards program, you’ll accrue rewards points which you can use to buy a range of products and services ranging from cashback, shopping and travel rewards including flights or accommodation. Popular rewards programs that fall under this category include Westpac Altitude Rewards Program, American Express Membership Rewards, NAB Flybuys, CommBank Awards, Citi Rewards and ANZ Rewards.
Supermarket rewards. Woolworths and Coles have rewards credit cards that give you cashback in the form of shopping cards which you can use at the till to reduce the cost of your groceries.
If you’re still not sure how to pick the best rewards card for you, why not start with our Mozo Experts Choice Awards page. Each year, the Mozo money experts review all rewards credit cards in our database and award those cards that offer the best value to customers based on their spending habits.
How do I choose a rewards program?
It is a common assumption with rewards credit cards that the more money you spend, the better the rewards. This is only partly true. To get the most value from a rewards program you will need to choose a card that delivers you value for your spending habits AND offers you the greatest benefit for the rewards you are interested in. What's the point in having a card with the highest-earning rate for Qantas Frequent Flyer miles when you don't travel often?
Each rewards program is a little bit different, because credit card providers have different partners and agreements, and they focus on different things - for example, some are all about travel perks, while others have a tonne of retail options to choose from.
Here’s a quick breakdown of some of the big rewards programs you’ll come across:
ANZ Rewards Program.Big bank ANZ offers rewards spanning travel, entertainment, retail products and gift vouchers. Points can be redeemed by logging into your ANZ Rewards account for retail shopping, or by being transferred to the Velocity, Air New Zealand or KrisFlyer programs.
NAB Rewards Program.With NAB, you can get your hands on all the classic rewards like flights, retail buys, cash back and gift cards, along with event tickets and experiences like shark swimming! You can redeem points through your NAB Rewards account, or directly through Webjet if you’re after travel rewards.
Westpac Altitude Rewards Program.Along with options like cashback, travel perks and Pay with points, Westpac gives you the opportunity to use your points for a discount or rebate on your credit card or home loan annual fee. You can redeem via your Westpac Altitude account, which includes the Altitude Travel online booking platform.
CommBank Awards Program.From booking your next holiday through Flight Centre, to shopping with points at Myer, there’s plenty of options with the CommBank Awards program. You can redeem points via NetBank or the Mozo Experts Choice Award winning CommBank app.
American Express Membership Rewards Program.Amex is well-known for all the rewards and perks on offer with its Membership Rewards Program. From shopping, entertainment and tonnes of once-in-a-lifetime experiences, there’s plenty of opportunities to use your Amex points, either through the Amex website, or in-store.
Citi Rewards Program.There are a tonne of ways to use your rewards points with Citi, from merchandise, to eVouchers, charitable donations to cashing them in for airline miles. This program also gives you access to CitiBank Dining Program and Citi World Privileges which will snag you perks like exclusive event access and hotel discounts around the world.
HSBC Rewards Plus Program. Whether you’re after some retail therapy or flights and accommodation for your next big trip, there are plenty of ways the HSBC Rewards Plus Programme can help. You can redeem your points through your HSBC online banking, or over the phone.
Bankwest More Rewards Program.Whale watching, movie tickets, three course dinners - there are plenty of awesome experiences to use your Bankwest More Rewards points on, plus all the usual options of retail products, gift cards or travel perks. You can redeem points through the Bankwest More Rewards website, or directly through Webjet for travel options.
St.George Amplify Rewards Program.You can choose a St.George credit card that will earn points you can redeem through the Amplify Rewards program or a card that funnels your points directly in your Qantas Frequent Flyer account. If you’re picking the Amplify Rewards Program, you’ll have gift cards, retail buys and entertainment options galore!
Bank of Melbourne Amplify Rewards Program.Manage your points through your Amplify Rewards account via the Bank of Melbourne website to cash in on rewards including cashback, travel perks like flights and accessories, electronics or gift cards.
Too much information to wade through? No worries - we can take a lot of the work out of it for you. Mozo's Rewards Revealer tool is the only calculator in the market that will give you a ranking of rewards cards based on your spending level and rewards you're interested in. A quick search with the tool will reveal just how different the rankings are for someone who spends $18,000 a year on their card and someone who spends over $60,000 annually.
But before you start reviewing cards for flight or shopping offers, first ask yourself: will I pay my credit card balance off in full each month? If you answered no, a rewards card may not be for you. Rewards credit cards have higher interest rates and annual fees than standard credit cards so if you have an ongoing balance, the amount of money you will pay in interest and fees will almost certainly outweigh the value you will get from any rewards. Instead, compare low-interest cards and choose a piece of plastic that fits your style.
What type of credit card features should I look for?
It’s not all about choosing the right rewards program! Rewards cards also offer other features, perks and bonuses, like:
Interest-free days. If you pay your balance off in full each month you will get a set number of interest-free days. On rewards cards, this will range from 44 to 62 days.
Worldwide access. Your card will come connected to either the MasterCard, Visa or American Express scheme and you’ll be able to use your card in Australia and overseas wherever these cards are accepted.
PayPass or PayWave. All credit cards these days come chip-enabled which means that you can use contactless payments in Australia for purchases under $100.
Fraud protection. Rewards cards will have fraud protection where you won't be held responsible for any unauthorised charges online as long as you notify the card providers immediately upon discovery of any fraudulent transactions.
Other features you may get with your card:
Complimentary travel insurance. Many rewards cards come with inbuilt overseas travel insurance when you pay for some of your pre-travel expenses on the card. Every card has different eligibility criteria so you will need to review this carefully. Some will require you to book your flight with your card others will only require you to have spent up to a set amount.
Extended warranty and purchase protection. If you lose or damage goods bought with the card in a set period you may be able to claim them on your card’s insurance.
Price protection. With this insurance, you will never miss out on a sale. If you purchase an item with your card and you see it cheaper within a set period you can claim back the difference. For this insurance, generally, the difference in price needs to be $50 or more.
Concierge. Many rewards cards come with a concierge service that you’ll be able to tap into for restaurant and entertainment booking or recommendations for when you’re out shopping or visiting new cities.
On the flip side of all those perks and freebies, rewards cards can also come with some killer fees. It’s important to be aware of them, so you can make sure they don’t eat into your budget. Common fees include:
Annual fee. Rewards credit cards usually have higher annual fees than credit cards without rewards programs. If you will only be using your card occasionally look for a low annual fee rewards card, otherwise you could find that you will pay more in the annual fee than you receive in rewards value.
Cash advance fee. Using your card for cash advances is one of the biggest credit card no-no's as you'll pay interest immediately. But you will also have to pay a fee which will be a percentage of the withdrawal amount or a flat fee depending on which is higher.
Foreign transaction fee. When you use your credit card overseas or when you shop at international online stores your credit card company will charge you a fee. This fee will be a percentage of the foreign transaction amount converted into Australian dollars. It is usually around 3%.
Late payment fee. If you fail to pay your credit card on the due date you could be charged a late payment fee. These can be as high as $30 so it is best to automate your payments through online banking or direct debit.
Frequent Flyer Program Fee. If you opt for a credit card that is directly linked to an airline's frequent flyer program you may have to pay an annual program fee on top of the card's annual fee.
Frequent Flyer Membership Fee. If you are not already a member of a frequent flyer program like the Qantas Frequent Flyer Program you may have to pay a fee to join. Look to see if the credit card comes with a complimentary membership.
How to earn points on a rewards credit card
There are two main ways to earn rewards points with your plastic:
Spend on your card. Most rewards cards come with a regular earn rate on eligible purchases - for example, 1 point for every $1 you spend - and some also have different earning tiers, where you can nab more points when you spend with particular businesses (usually major supermarkets or petrol stations) or when you spend internationally.
Meet bonus point conditions. The best way to plump up your points balance fast is to qualify for a bonus point offer when you first sign up. To do this, you’ll usually have to spend a certain amount within a few months of being approved. As long as you’re not overspending just to get the points this is a great strategy. TOP TIP: plan to get your card just before you make a big spend, like a new phone or laptop, so you can score bonus points. Just make sure you can pay off that big purchase in full before the due date!
In general, credit card rewards are offered as an extra incentive for you to spend using your credit card - it’s important to avoid overspending, but as long as you were already going to spend the money anyway, scoring some rewards while you’re at it is not a bad deal.
How can I use credit card rewards?
There are heaps of different redemption options for when it comes time to use your rewards points, from travel to gift cards, cashback to retail buys. Exactly what redemption options you have will depend on which rewards program you pick, but most programs have options including:
Retail products - whether you shop through the rewards program online store or use points + pay at the counter, most programs give you the chance to use your points on retail products like technology, clothes, beauty buys, or home and garden purchases.
Travel - some programs allow you to book flights, holiday accommodation, rental cars or tour packages directly through the online store or with the airline. Others allow you to purchase travel vouchers, or book holidays with your points through agents like Webjet.
Gift cards - one of the most versatile redemption options, you can’t go wrong with a gift card! Many programs have extensive lists of gift cards you can redeem points for, letting you cash those points in at your favourite retailers.
Cashback - another flexible option is to cash in your rewards points for a credit on your account. This can either mean you’re in credit for extra spending, or in some cases, you can have rewards points go directly to paying your cards annual fee.
Charity donations - if you’d like to give something back, some programs also allow you to use your points to donate to a list of charities
How to compare rewards credit cards
So how exactly do you find the best rewards credit card for you, when there are so many options out there? When comparing rewards cards, it’s vital to make sure you’re comparing them on an even footing, which can be tricky when each one has different perks and bonuses available.
Some of the things you need to consider include:
The usefulness of the rewards - is a free flight each year useful to you? What about the option to use points on your weekly grocery bill? Working out how you’ll really use your points it key to finding the right card.
The cost of the card - all those rewards aren’t much good if you can’t really afford the annual fee, and keep getting stung by sky-high interest. It’s best to find a card that fits in your budget then consider the rewards a bonus on top.
The criteria for having the card - some premium rewards options come with minimum income requirements to be eligible. If you don’t fall into the right income bracket, not only will your application be rejected, but you probably don’t want that card anyway, because it wouldn’t suit your lifestyle and budget.
That depends on how you use your plastic. A rewards card generally has a higher annual fee and interest rate than other credit cards, so you have to make sure that you will get enough value out of the rewards and perks on offer to justify those extra costs.
If you’re a big spender who loves to cash in on freebies and will use all the extras offered by a rewards card, then yes, the annual fee and higher interest rate could be worth it. On the other hand, if you only occasionally use your plastic and wouldn’t get much value out of freebies and points, then a rewards credit card might be a drain on your budget. You might be better off with a low rate credit card instead.
What is an eligible transaction on a rewards credit card?
If you check the fine print, you’ll often find that you only earn rewards points on “eligible transactions” or “eligible spends”. But what does that mean? And the eligible transaction is usually any regular purchase, which excludes things like:
Cash advances - in fact, not only will you not earn points, but you’ll pay interest immediately on a cash advance with your credit card, so steer clear of the ATM!
Government charges - aside from GST on your purchases, most government charges don’t earn rewards points, although some cards do offer a very minimal point earn these days.
Interest, bank fees and charges - think the silver lining of your credit card annual fee or those late fees is that you’re earning rewards points? Think again.
BPAY payments - if you’re paying bills via BPAY, you usually won’t score any rewards points.
No, you will not earn any rewards points on a balance transfer. That means that if you’re applying for a balance transfer card, you won’t earn points on the balance you’re moving over, as if it were a spend on the new card.
Ideally, you shouldn’t really be doing any new spending on a balance transfer card either, but you will save on interest if the card has a low balance transfer rate.
Last but certainly not least, here are some quick tips to put you on the right path when it comes to choosing, earning, redeeming and using a rewards card and rewards points.
Not all points are created equal. The standard points per dollar spent equation is 1 point per $1 spent but some cards will have higher or lower points earnings per dollar amounts. And to make matters even more complex, when it comes time to redeem, 1 Amex point might be more valuable than 3 points earnt on Visa. It’s best to compare programs on what those points will actually buy you. Check the redemption rates before you sign up because you could find that there is a big difference between what 50,000 points will get you on Card A and what you can get with 50,000 points on Card B. To help cut out some of the confusion Mozo has a “spend required” column in the table above which helps you to compare the difference between points values. American Express cards have on average higher points earning rates than Visa or MasterCard rewards cards.
Points capping. Some rewards cards will have a cap on the amount of points you can earn in a month or over a year period. If you’re a big spender look for a program that does not have any points caps. Click on the ‘more info’ link in our tables to see if a cap applies.
Points expiry. If it’s going to take you a while to build up enough points for a reward, you’ll want a program where your points don’t expire.
Bonus points. With some rewards cards, you will get the opportunity to earn bonus points. You might get them as a lump sum when you sign up for the card, or when you spend a set amount on the card in a specific timeframe. Other rewards cards will give you bonus points when you spend money with specific retailers or stores. When weighing up bonus points offers, it is important to ensure you review the ongoing interest rate and any fees attached to the card, especially if there are spending limits to earn the bonus points. You don’t want to overspend and get into debt just to earn $50 cashback, for instance.
Your lifestyle. Do you only ever travel with Virgin Australia? Then choose a program that’s linked with the Velocity Frequent Flyer program. If you want the flexibility to choose between travel or shopping rewards then go for a general rewards program that will allow you to redeem points for more than one type of reward.
Easy points redemption. Some programs will automatically send you a reward once you have reached a set number of points or in the case of airline frequent flyer programs, automatically transfer points earned each month to your frequent flyer account. With other cards, you may have to wait for vouchers to be sent or products to be shipped.
Kelly Emmerton is the Money Editor at Mozo, and has over 4 years experience writing exclusively in the Australian finance space. Her in-depth knowledge spans all areas of personal finance, from home loans to travel money, and she leads our team of money writers in helping to demystify personal finance for everyday Australians. Kelly has a background in communications and when she’s not delving into finance industry stats and product disclosure statements, you’ll find her on the beach reading classic sci-fi.