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The new premium credit cards packing a travel rewards punch

Thursday, 01 September 2016

Posted by Kelly Emmerton

<p>The new premium credit cards packing a travel rewards punch</p>

Here’s a recap of the rewards credit card world so far in 2016:

  • a Mozo study found over half of rewards cardholders aren’t satisfied with their card
  • the RBA capped interchange fees
  • as a result the value of rewards programs has more or less tanked

In other words, it hasn’t been a great year for Aussies who like to get more out of the plastic in their pocket.

So in light of all that, the launch of two new premium credit cards - the AMEX Explorer Credit Card and the ANZ Travel Adventures Card, each of which are packing some pretty serious travel rewards - is a pleasant surprise for Aussie spenders.

But should you fly for free with ANZ, or join the ranks of American Express customers, who turned out to be the most satisfied with their rewards credit card this year? To help you decide, we’ve rounded up the details of the two newest players on the rewards scene.

American Express Explorer Credit CardANZ Rewards Travel Adventures Card
What you get... - Eight airline programs to redeem points with including Velocity, Singapore, Etihad and Emirates
 - 100,000 Membership Rewards Bonus Points when you sign up before 30 November and spend $1500 in the first 2 months
 - $400 annual travel credit
 - Complimentary international travel insurance
 - 2 entires to the AMEX lounge at Sydney Int. Airport per year
 - A Visa and AMEX card in one
 - A free domestic return flight each year
 - Two complimentary Virgin Australia lounge passes
 - No overseas transaction fees
- Complimentary international travel insurance
Points per $1 spent...22 on AMEX, 1 on Visa
Points cap?NoNo
Points expire...Never36 months
Annual fee...$395$225
Interest rate...20.74%20.24%

What does that mean for your holiday plans?

It’s all well and good to know the specs, but what’s more important is how that translates to you getting a travel freebie, right? Here’s how they stack up:

A flight from Sydney to Melbourne will generally set you back 7,800 Velocity Points. That’s a spend of:

  • $5,200 on the American Express Explorer
  • $15,600 on the ANZ Travel Adventures Card if you spent through the Visa network, or $7,800 with AMEX.

We don’t want to play favourites, but those numbers don’t lie. Of course, once you factor in the free annual flight from ANZ, the fact that its annual fee is lower and it comes with no overseas purchase fee, the Travel Adventures card becomes a close contender once more.

If you’re still on the fence, check out our rewards revealer, to see which credit cards are packing the rewards you’re looking for. Or have a scan of some of the other premium cards currently on offer with travel perks below...

Virgin Money Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card

  • Automatically linked to the Velocity Frequent Flyer Rewards program
  • Earn 10,000 bonus points each month when you spend $1,500 in the first 3 months
  • $129 gift voucher to use on any flight or holiday package each year

Points per $1 spent: 0.66 on Visa, up to $1,500 per month, after that, 0.5 uncapped
Points cap: None.
Points expiry: Never.

American Express Velocity Platinum Card

  • 50,000 bonus points when you spend $1,500 on your card in the first 3 months
  • Book flights with Virgin, Air New Zealand, Etihad Airways, Singapore Airlines and more.
  • A free Virgin domestic return flight each year
  • Two complimentary Virgin Australia lounge passes
  • Complimentary international travel insurance

Points per $1 spent: 1 (Up to 3 for eligible Virgin Australia purchases)
Points cap: None
Points expiry: Never

American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card

  • Book flights with Virgin, Air New Zealand, Etihad Airways, Singapore Airlines and more
  • A free Virgin domestic return flight each year
  • 10,000 bonus points if you spend $750 within the first three months
  • Complimentary international travel insurance

Points per $1 spent: 1 (Up to 3 at major supermarkets)
Points cap: None.
Points expiry: Never.

Which piece of plastic will be sending you around the world this year?

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