Best plas­tic for more fre­quent flyer points

Mercury (Hobart) - - MONEY SAVERHQ - AN­THONY KEANE

COL­LECT­ING fre­quent flyer points is a lu­cra­tive game for mil­lions of trav­ellers, and credit cards of­fer the biggest pointsearn­ing po­ten­tial.

A re­wards card with a signon bonus can eas­ily de­liver a dozen flights be­tween cap­i­tal ci­ties in the first year or an in­ter­na­tional trip any­where.

But find­ing the right card for you is tricky be­cause of each prod­uct’s fees, points-earn­ing power and sign-on bonuses, and your own air­line pref­er­ences.

There is one golden rule: If you’re not go­ing to re­pay the card debt within its in­ter­est-free pe­riod, don’t get a card be­cause in­ter­est costs and fees out­weigh the ben­e­fits. If you can con­trol your debt, the sky’s the limit.

FEES

Re­ward card fees are of­ten hun­dreds of dol­lars a year.

Adele Eliseo, the founder of thecham­pag­ne­mile.com.au, said people should as­sess whether mem­ber­ship perks jus­ti­fied the an­nual fee.

Some cards off­set the cost of the fee with an­nual ben­e­fits.

“As an ex­am­ple, the Qan­tas Amer­i­can Express Ul­ti­mate card comes with a $450 an­nual

Moneysaver­HQ editorial

fee,” Ms Eliseo said. “How­ever, it delivers a $450 Qan­tas travel credit and two Qan­tas Club lounge en­tries each mem­ber­ship year.

“So, by us­ing the in­cluded ben­e­fits, card­hold­ers can off­set the cost of hold­ing the card each year.”

SIGN-ON BONUSES

Ms Eliseo said a good card for sign-on bonuses was the Qan­tas Premier Plat­inum Card, of­fer­ing 120,000 points.

“A min­i­mum spend of $1500 is re­quired each month for six months to ob­tain the sign-on bonus,” she said.

Point Hacks spokesman Daniel Sciber­ras said sign-on bonuses changed fre­quently and sev­eral providers now of­fered 100,000 points.

“Also, fi­nan­cial providers are be­gin­ning to stag­ger bonus points so that you earn a large chunk in the first year, and the re­main­ing por­tion af­ter the first year, to en­cour­age card mem­bers to hold on to their cards longer,” he said.

RateCity re­search di­rec­tor Sally Tin­dall said chas­ing signon bonuses with dif­fer­ent cards might seem ap­peal­ing but could tar­nish your credit history.

“Ev­ery time you ap­ply for credit it’s recorded on your credit file and can lead to a re­duc­tion in your credit score,” she said.

EARN­ING POINTS

Make sure your card provider isn’t stingy when de­liv­er­ing points, and check terms and con­di­tions. “Some cards have a cap on how many points you can earn, while oth­ers give you less points for shop­ping at cer­tain stores,” Ms Tin­dall said.

Mr Sciber­ras said choose a card linked to an air­line you used reg­u­larly “with a high earn rate, as some cards will ... earn in ex­cess of 1 point per dol­lar”.

For points and perks

Qan­tas Amer­i­can Express Ul­ti­mate Card

Amer­i­can Express Ve­loc­ity Plat­inum Card

ANZ Re­wards Travel Ad­ven­ture Card

For sign-on bonuses

Qan­tas Money Premier Plat­inum Card

ANZ Fre­quent Flyer Black Card

Amer­i­can Express West­pac Al­ti­tude Black bun­dle

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.