Best Rewards Credit Cards

Getting rewarded for spending money sounds like an ideal scenario. But will a rewards card really give you bang for your buck? We'll take you through the things you need to think about before signing up for a new rewards credit card. Continue Reading...

Brand
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Rating
Card Type
Purchase Rate
12.99% p.a.
Annual Fee
$1,750 p.a.
Interest Free Period
Benefits
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Minimum Credit Limit
$500
Rewards Program
Show more
Points Earn Rate
0.5 points per $1
Sign-Up Bonus Points
8,000
Reduced First Year Annual Fee
$0
Contactless Payments

Based on 2,514 reviews
Qantas American Express Discovery

Qantas American Express Discovery

4.1  (57)
 Summary
  • Purchase Rate20.74% p.a.
  • Annual Fee$0 p.a.
  • Interest Free Period 44 days
WalterWhite
WalterWhite
 
Commonwealth Bank Awards

Commonwealth Bank Awards

3.5  (88)
 Summary
  • Purchase Rate20.24% p.a.
  • Annual Fee$59 p.a.
  • Interest Free Period 55 days
Stu R.
Stu R.2 posts
 
Max freeIve Maxed out my limit. Soo paying the upmost in interest possible and they have the audacity to let me spend past the limit and then charge me per transaction there past a further $10 for no apparent reason. No extra workload on their behalf but considerably more detriment just for me (like it was a punishment). Far king are souls. Lone sharcs Show details
Stu R.
Stu R.  
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Qantas American Express Ultimate

Qantas American Express Ultimate

3.4  (85)
 Summary
  • Purchase Rate20.74% p.a.
  • Annual Fee$450 p.a.
  • Interest Free Period 44 days
  • Sign-Up Bonus Points100,000
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Dan
DanCaulfield31 posts
 
Coles No Annual Fee MasterCard

Coles No Annual Fee MasterCard

3.1  (181)
 Summary
  • Purchase Rate19.99% p.a.
  • Annual Fee$0 p.a.
  • Interest Free Period 55 days
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N G.
N G.NSW2 posts
 
What a mistake this was signing up to a coles MastercardDo not get this product. How hard can it be to close and pay an account? Thrash app, thrash customer service. All round just terrible Show details
Commonwealth Bank Diamond Awards

Commonwealth Bank Diamond Awards

3.4  (43)
 Summary
  • Purchase Rate20.24% p.a.
  • Annual Fee$349 p.a.
  • Interest Free Period 55 days
  • Sign-Up Bonus Points100,000
SmallBusinessOwner
SmallBusinessOwner
 
Westpac Altitude Platinum

Westpac Altitude Platinum

3.0  (46)
 Summary
  • Purchase Rate20.24 to 20.49% p.a.
  • Annual Fee$49 p.a., $150 p.a. and $200 p.a.
  • Sign-Up Bonus Points15,000 to 80,000
WillSydney
WillSydneyNSW2 posts
  Altitude Platinum - Altitude Rewards Mastercard
American Express Explorer

American Express Explorer

3.5  (20)
 Summary
  • Purchase Rate20.74% p.a.
  • Annual Fee$395 p.a.
  • Interest Free Period 55 days
  • Sign-Up Bonus Points50,000
Cassandra
CassandraNSW28 posts
 
Dreadful application process and third party referral for credit scoreRefers you to third party credit agent then you have to apply to getvyour credit score also then offers to subscribe at your own. Avoid Show details
St. George Amplify Signature

St. George Amplify Signature

3.4  (22)
 Summary
  • Purchase Rate19.49% p.a.
  • Annual Fee$279 p.a.
  • Sign-Up Bonus Points90,000 to 200,000
Anti Amplify Customer
Anti Amplify Customer
  Amplify Rewards
Terrible program - inept bankHave wasted countless hours dealing with St George over the years, not sure why I expected the Amplify Rewards program to be any different. Avoid this bank and this card. Not worth your time. Show details
Westpac Altitude Black

Westpac Altitude Black

2.6  (95)
 Summary
  • Purchase Rate20.24 to 20.49% p.a.
  • Annual Fee$199 p.a. and $250 p.a.
  • Sign-Up Bonus Points90,000 to 150,000
AD S.
AD S.NSW17 posts
  Altitude Black - Velocity Frequent Flyer Mastercard
American Express Platinum Edge

American Express Platinum Edge

2.6  (66)
 Summary
  • Purchase Rate20.74% p.a.
  • Annual Fee$195 p.a.
  • Interest Free Period 55 days
Wally
Wally14 posts
 
Commonwealth Bank Platinum Awards

Commonwealth Bank Platinum Awards

2.8  (37)
 Summary
  • Purchase Rate20.24% p.a.
  • Annual Fee$249 p.a.
  • Interest Free Period 55 days
  • Sign-Up Bonus Points80,000
Modasser
ModasserNSW9 posts
 
CBA made me pay ATO my due amount which i was planning to pay after 6 months. And then declined my credit applicationCBA made me pay ATO my due amount which i was planning to pay after 6 months. And then declined my credit application. Show details
David Jones American Express

David Jones American Express

2.5  (79)
 Summary
  • Purchase Rate20.74% p.a.
  • Annual Fee$99 p.a.
  • Interest Free Period 44 days
  • Sign-Up Bonus Points15,000
Shaju
ShajuNew South Wales3 posts
 
Coles Rewards Mastercard

Coles Rewards Mastercard

2.3  (222)
 Summary
  • Purchase Rate19.99% p.a.
  • Annual Fee$99 p.a.
  • Interest Free Period 55 days
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Kim
Kim3 posts
 
UnprofessionalSubpar fraud service. They have no fraud team. My card was scammed for $500 worth of gaming products sent to a foreign country. Annnd -THEY BLAMED ME. Yeah.
Customer service is a joke.
Do yourself a favour and use a real bank Show details
American Express Platinum

American Express Platinum

2.5  (69)
 Summary
  • Annual Fee$1,450 p.a.
  • Interest Free Period 44 days
  • Sign-Up Bonus Points200,000
Marco L.
Marco L.3 posts
 
Kogan Money Black Card

Kogan Money Black Card

2.3  (133)
 Summary
  • Purchase Rate20.99% p.a.
  • Annual Fee$0 p.a.
  • Interest Free Period 55 days
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WestyGardener
WestyGardener3 posts
 
reward points are a scamKogan points are useless. I have been back and forth with Kogan support for a few days. it wont let me purchase a single item on kogan.com with my reward points. They told me I can only purchase items with a tile for reward points purchase. the only problem is there isn't a single item I have seen on the site with this tile. What a scam. Show details
American Express Essential

American Express Essential

2.2  (141)
 Summary
  • Purchase Rate14.99% p.a.
  • Annual Fee$0 p.a.
  • Interest Free Period 55 days
Kumar
KumarNSW
 
Amex supporting fraud company kiwi.com who cheats lot of customersI booked flight ticket with kiwi.com, it cancelled flight with out giving any refund. When I contacted amex as I have buyer protection policy. I didn't get any response from amex. Show details
HSBC Platinum

HSBC Platinum

2.4  (45)
 Summary
  • Purchase Rate19.99% p.a.
  • Annual Fee$129 p.a.
  • Interest Free Period 55 days
Lisa
LisaBrisbane15 posts
 
BankWest More Platinum MasterCard

BankWest More Platinum MasterCard

3.6  (9)
 Summary
  • Purchase Rate19.99% p.a.
  • Annual Fee$160 p.a.
  • Interest Free Period 44 days
Sue
SueVIC19 posts
  Verified
Myer Visa Card

Myer Visa Card

2.0  (77)
 Summary
  • Purchase Rate20.69% p.a.
  • Annual Fee$69 p.a.
  • Interest Free Period 55 days
Mrs S
Mrs SWA5 posts
 
Excellent customer service thank you AizaFantastic is all I can say and I wish that all my attempted experiences were like this. After months of battling with call centres, including my current (soon to be not) financial institution, I make one call and this young lady went above and beyond. It is hard enough in these difficult times and this lady made my day. She is an asset. Show details
Bank of Queensland Blue Visa

Bank of Queensland Blue Visa

4.3  (6)
 Summary
  • Purchase Rate20.74% p.a.
  • Annual Fee$60 p.a.
  • Interest Free Period 44 days
ross2011
ross2011401946 posts
 
Qantas Premier Everyday

Qantas Premier Everyday

2.5  (22)
 Summary
  • Purchase Rate19.99% p.a.
  • Annual Fee$49 p.a.
  • Interest Free Period 55 days
  • Sign-Up Bonus Points8,000
Anthony
Anthony5 posts
 
ANZ Rewards Black

ANZ Rewards Black

2.7  (15)
 Summary
  • Purchase Rate20.24% p.a.
  • Annual Fee$375 p.a.
  • Interest Free Period 55 days
  • Sign-Up Bonus Points130,000
Angie L.
Angie L.2 posts
 
Bankwest Qantas Platinum Mastercard

Bankwest Qantas Platinum Mastercard

3.6  (7)
 Summary
  • Purchase Rate20.49% p.a.
  • Annual Fee$160 p.a.
  • Interest Free Period 44 days
Martin T
Martin TSA14 posts
  Verified
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer

Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer

1.8  (85)
 Summary
  • Purchase Rate20.74% p.a.
  • Annual Fee$129 p.a.
  • Interest Free Period 44 days
  • Sign-Up Bonus Points100,000
Kieran
KieranNT4 posts
 
Macquarie Bank Platinum

Macquarie Bank Platinum

2.4  (16)
 Summary
  • Purchase Rate20.70% p.a.
  • Annual Fee$99 p.a. and $249 p.a.
  • Sign-Up Bonus Points20,000
Steven
Steven4 posts
  Macquarie Rewards
Great Debit Card to use for Overseas and localRecent trip for 6 weeks to EU used the Macquarie Bank Platinum debit card every were, no problems withdrawing cash but ended up using it direct payment most of the time. Very good exchange rates better than local and no hidden fees. Show details
Coles Low Rate MasterCard

Coles Low Rate MasterCard

1.6  (553)
 Summary
  • Purchase Rate12.99% p.a.
  • Annual Fee$58 p.a.
  • Interest Free Period 55 days
Ronnie
RonnieNSW36 posts
 
NAB Qantas Rewards Premium

NAB Qantas Rewards Premium

2.1  (21)
 Summary
  • Purchase Rate19.99% p.a.
  • Annual Fee$250 p.a.
  • Interest Free Period 44 days
  • Sign-Up Bonus Points65,000
Adam
AdamQLD2 posts
  Verified
NAB Rewards Platinum

NAB Rewards Platinum

2.2  (19)
 Summary
  • Purchase Rate19.99% p.a.
  • Annual Fee$195 p.a.
  • Interest Free Period 44 days
  • Sign-Up Bonus Points80,000
Chris W.
Chris W.3 posts
 
Qantas Premier Platinum

Qantas Premier Platinum

1.6  (102)
 Summary
  • Purchase Rate19.99% p.a.
  • Annual Fee$299 p.a.
  • Interest Free Period 55 days
  • Sign-Up Bonus Points80,000
Daniel c
Daniel cVIC
 
Really bad service, also had issues with additional card holders cardI needed to escalate a complaint as the qantas call centre staff could not answer my initial query. I did not get call backs and what makes it even worse, I received a txt message from them stating they tried to call and to call them back. (Waited another 20 minutes to get through.) This happened a few times. I ended up closing the account. Show details
ING Orange One Platinum

ING Orange One Platinum

2.5  (11)
 Summary
  • Purchase Rate16.99% p.a.
  • Annual Fee$149 p.a.
  • Interest Free Period 45 days
Geo B
Geo BNSW2 posts
 

Woman shopping using a rewards card

What is a rewards credit card?

Rewards credit cards are like loyalty programs attached to credit card. When you use your credit card, you’re rewarded with a certain point value per dollar spent, for example, you can earn 1 point per dollar. You then redeem points for rewards, which can span everything from travel rewards, supermarket rewards, cash rewards, store rewards and gift cards.

Should I get a rewards card?

If you're unsure of whether you should sign up for a rewards card, consider the following questions.

Can you pay off your monthly balance on time?

Paying off credit card

This is the most important question of all. Rewards credit cards will only be worth it if you are disciplined, and religiously pay off your balance by the due date every month.

If not, you’ll be charged high interest in the form of your credit card's purchase rate. Since this purchase rate is typically higher for a rewards card than any other card type - around 20% or more - this could have you paying through the nose.

Along with annual fees and late fees, paying interest will make your rewards card more expensive than it's worth. What’s more, if you don’t pay off your balance on time, the bank will probably block you from earning points as a penalty, making this type of card, well… pointless.

An example of what happens when you don't pay your balance on time

Using the moneysmart.gov.au credit card calculator, here is how much you’d end up paying with an outstanding $2000 balance at a 20% interest rate.

If making the minimum repayments (starting at $41 for the first month then decreasing as you slowly pay the debt off), you’d pay $7, 709 over 24 years and 9 months.

If you opted for higher repayments and paid $100 a month, you’d pay $2403 in total over 2 years.

While this is considerably less than the previous figure, you’re still paying $403 for no reason, whereas if you pay on time, the amount you pay will only be $2000, plus any fees.

Does the type of reward offered match your interests?

Make sure to check out what kind of rewards are on offer to get the best rewards credit card for you. Opt for rewards you would normally use in everyday life, so you can enjoy perks that are practical. Here are common types of rewards offered:

  • Travel rewards could come in handy if you jet set a lot. You can use points to purchase flights, upgrades (for example upgrading premium economy to business class), accommodation, complimentary travel insurance and concierge services.* Check out a frequent flyer credit card like the top-rated Qantas American Express Discovery card, or one linked to the popular Velocity frequent flyer program with Virgin Australia.
  • Supermarket rewards offer you a discount on your grocery bill when you spend enough, such as the $10 discount you get per 2,000 flybuys points with the Coles Rewards Mastercard.
  • Cashback is an attractive option, as it supplies you with cash rewards once you’ve spent enough on your card.
  • Gift cards are available for redemption from selected retail partners.
  • Store rewards let you redeem a variety of items, from beauty products to personal electronics. Examples include the Qantas Store and GO Rewards online store.

*Using a frequent flyer card, you'll get the best value for your points by redeeming them for: upgrades starting from Premium Economy, followed by airfares. Store purchases offer the least value. As an example, the iPhone 11 Pro 64GB, which retails for $1749, will cost you 304,180 points in the Qantas store. Compare this to a one-way business class trip to LA, which can cost upwards of $3000, but only 108,400 frequent flyer points – offering much better value.

Are you going to spend enough to qualify for the rewards?

Credit card spending

Choose a credit card that matches your spending habits. Rewards cards usually have a higher credit limit than other types like low rate credit cards.

Credit card providers will market this as a way for you to maximise points, but be wary of overspending just to earn rewards. It won’t be financially viable, as you’ll end up spending more than you normally would, negating the value of any rewards.

Rewards cards will also have a minimum credit limit. This is the minimum amount you need to spend each month to qualify for the card. An entry-level credit limit is around $500, exemplified by the Commonwealth Bank Awards card. However minimum credit limits can be significantly higher, for example you need to spend at least $3000 a month on the Qantas American Express Ultimate Card or the American Express Explorer.

To make sure you can meet the minimum spend amont required from a prospective rewards card, draw up a budget of how much you already spend each month.

Consider everyday expenses like groceries, petrol and restaurant bills – these can be paid with your rewards card to bump up your points. If you pay rent, does your real estate agent allow you to pay with a credit card? Sometimes you can even pay mortgage repayments with a credit card, although these will likely incur a fee. You can also usually add additional cards and link them to the same rewards program, so multiple family members can contribute to the minimum spend amount with their regular spending.

However, keep in mind that not all purchases made with a rewards card will earn points. For example, water and electricity bills are usually exempt.

Do credit card fees and rates cost more than the rewards are worth?

While the idea of working towards a free flight or a fatter wallet by earning rewards is appealing, if you end up forking out more in credit card fees each year than the value of rewards you get back, you're probably better off without the card.

Here's a list of the main rates, fees and 'limited time' offers associated with a rewards card:

  • Interest-free period: If offered, this is short, usually 44 days or 55 days.
  • Introductory interest rate: A discounted purchase rate the bank offers for a limited period of time. Make sure to check the ongoing purchase rate for the interest charges you'll pay thereafter.
  • Purchase rate: The interest rate you’re charged if you have a balance owing at the end of the month. Look for a low ongoing rate that you can afford alongside the minimum repayment amount, if you do miss a payment.
  • Annual fee: Not all cards have this, and the fee will generally increase depending on: the minimum income requirement for the card, and the level of premium perks offered, like travel insurance. As an example, the ANZ Rewards credit card, requires you to earn $15,000 a year, and has a relatively low annual fee of $80. Other annual fees can range up to $700. Some cards also have a reduced annual fee for the first year.
  • Cash advance fees: These are charged if you transfer funds or withdraw money at an ATM or bank teller, and attract a cash advance interest rate.
  • Late payment fee: If you don’t pay your bill on time, this is charged along with the purchase rate.

Other fees include rewards program fees, international transaction fees, and penalty fees if you exceed your credit limit.

What are the points really worth?

  • Are there bonus points for signing up? This offers a nice little lump sum of points to get you started, but check the terms and conditions to make sure you don't need to spend an unreasonable amount on the card in a short period of time to qualify.
  • What’s the points currency? How many points do you get for every $1 that you spend? Some cards may have a lower point value, like 0.75 points per $1, but offset this in the form of lower, or zero, annual fees or other perks.
  • What is the points value? Do some research to find out. For example, if you’re interested in Qantas Frequent Flyer points, consult the Qantas Classic Flight Rewards Tables online to see how many points you need for your planned trip. You might find out it will take you years to save up the number of points you need, potentially leading to points fatigue. You can then make an informed decision to choose a card with a different reward.
  • Is there a points cap? This can stop you from earning any more points after you hit a certain limit (a ‘hard cap’). For example, points earned on the GO MasterCard are capped at 100, 000 a year. Sometimes points are ‘soft capped,’ meaning your points rate is reduced after you spend a certain amount.
  • Do points expire? If you’re saving up for a major points redemption like a flight, make sure to triple check the expiry date – it would be tear-worthy to have points expire before you’re all set to book.
  • How easy is it to redeem points? Make sure that your points balance is easily accessible for checking so you don’t stockpile points without realising. Check whether the redemption process happens online, over the phone, or automatically – for example, when you get offered a discount on your next grocery shop after spending a certain amount. You can also read reviews to find out firsthand how other credit card users found the redemption process.

As a catch-all, always remember to read the Product Disclosure Statement so you’re aware of any fine print that may preclude you from redeeming points.

The bottom line

Overall, if you're interested in getting a rewards card, you should be certain you can pay it off on time every month, to avoid getting hit with a high purchase rate. If you can do this, and you're not overspending in order to reach the minimum credit limit or to earn extra points, a rewards credit card might be something you want to put on the table.

Also make sure to pick a card type that offers the kind of rewards you want, so you can more easily book that trip or have that extra cash sitting flush in your pocket, just like you deserve.

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