What is the best CC to accumulate points purely for travel purposes?

Hi all,

I am debating whether or not I should get a CC to accumulate points for travel.

I travel interstate 4-5x a year and O/S once or twice a year.

My wife and I are not huge spenders but if we were to get a CC we could use it for bills, groceries, petrol etc.

Which CC would be best for someone in my situation? Is it even worth getting a CC just for this purpose?

Thanks!

Comments

  • Depends on which carrier. There are some cards that give 3x Points per dollar on Virgin spend (Amex velocity platinum etc) and some cards that give extra with Qantas
    The main benefit is the sign up bonus (Some as high as 75,000 QF points etc)

    Probably worth checking on the FF sites. One good one is Pointhacks - They have a few guides. http://www.pointhacks.com.au/category/credit-cards/
    AusBT also do monthly roundup of signup bonuses and ways to spend

    There's also fee free cards with earnings but at 1 point per dollar it takes awhile to accumulate but hey, it's free :)

  • Agree with Pilliy. Unlike myself and some people, I don't have a goal per se in regards to earning rewards and redeeming them. However, in your case, I would imagine going with either Qantas or Virgin would be beneficial. Virgin has AMEX as well as their own credit card.

    Virgin High Flyer Credit Card
    Amex Velocity Platinum Card

    Another card you might want to see is the AMEX platinum edge card. They give you 3 points for groceries, 2 points for fuel and 1 point for everything else (0.5 for government charges and utilities). It does come with a free flight (though limited compared to the 2 i linked above). The one advantage is each amex point can be converted to 1 virgin velocity points (no qantas).

    Amex Platinum Edge

    I've got the Amex explorer. It gives you 2 points per dollar (including utilities) spent anywhere (0.5 for government charges), but the transfer rate is 4 amex points to 3 velocity (no qantas). Plus it gives you $400 travel credit.

    Amex Explorer CC

    • Thanks! I am considering the Amex Explorer CC but its so overwhelming with all the choices available!

      • Remember the different cards also have different annual fees.

        I suspect one of the best uses of Amex points is to book hotels directly with Amex travel: https://travel.americanexpress.com.au

        1 Membership Rewards point = 1 cent for spending at Amex Travel

        So with the Platinum Edge card a $150 hotel will be free after spending $5000 at Colsworths. So that's like a 3% cashback, which I believe will be hard to beat compared to most other cards out there.

        This recent deal with ANZ is actually really decent with 75,000 points and no fee for the first year:

        https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/270113

        You can ultimately churn through different cards to get all the various signup bonuses, and that will get you the biggest returns.

      • The only reason I did not choose the Platinum Edge (which seems to be the go to card for most people), is because the flight benefit is somewhat limited (imo only). Which means the argument that the card pays for itself does not apply to me. I could sell it for someone, but that's just a bit more work. Plus the extra 3 points is only for groceries. The trick is to spend your money on gift cards so you effectively gain the max points possible. However, again this is extra work of planning; plus the annoyance of having multiple gift cards in my wallet (some may have 10.95 left, others 4.50, you get the idea). Yes you can part pay and use everything up at safeway, but for me this is just too much work. In saying that, you reach your points sooner and you have pretty much the best return of any rewards out there with this card.

        With the explorer, everything gives you 2 points (except government charges). Mobile phones, utilities, rent=2 points. You don't have to think about anything else. Oh and the bonus point is 100k (which translates to 75k velocity points). Of course the drawback is the fact that the points in the Amex Explorer is transferred at the lower 4:3 compared with the Amex Platinum Edge 1:1 (Gateway vs Ascent). The travel credit effectively covers the annual fee, though you can only use this in one go.

        Each to their own, you have to choose one that you will utilize the most. From the sound of it, I'm sure you'd have a favourite airline that you use a lot, which means going with a card linked to them would be the better choice (think the AMEX velocity Platinum or the AMEX qantas ultimate). However, if you fly budget all the time, then choose something else that suits your needs.

        • I would be looking at using the points on flights as opposed to hotels etc. I fly mostly budget airlines too so I dont really have any preference for airline. Again I'd be looking at whatever allows me to spend the least points for the most benefit!

          And yea that all sounds like too much work! I'd rather just have the one card and accumulate points a little bit slower rather than buying gift cards etc etc.

          Maybe the explorer is the way to go!

        • @Heracles26: You can use the Amex points to book flights with Amex travel.

          A lot of people churn through cards with $0 first year fees and then cancel them after collecting the bonuses.

        • How do you get points for paying rent?

          I'd would like to know:)

          MY rent come of scheduled BPAY from my bank account so no points on that :/

        • @bion83: Best if you ask your agent if they allow credit card payments. I'd imagine if they BPAY (biller code, ref no), you'd be able to do that online. HSBC (i'm sure other cards/banks would be similar) has a BPAY portal on its credit card website.

          Just make sure you're not losing money from the surcharges (if any)

        • @mbck: I checked my internet banking and you are right I can select credit card as source but do not know if my agent accept CC, if not I get charged cash advance fee…

          does anyone know if you can setup BPAY on AMEX issued cards?

        • @bion83: I'd ask the agent about accepting credit cards, they'd know more.

          In terms of cash advance, I think this applies if you are paying a credit card bill with another (paying credit with credit), though some providers simply disallows this transaction. I've had friends paying rent without issues. You can obviously call your bank and confirm this for peace of mind.

          Amex does not provide bpay payments.

      • Don't forget to apply through a referral once you decide which card you want: https://www.ozbargain.com.au/wiki/american_express_referrals

  • What if my preference is for Singapore airlines? Which card would people recommend?

    • All AMEX cards linked to the various 'ascent' MR programs transfer to Krisflyer. Taking into consideration annual fees, sign on bonuses and other benefits, for best 'bang for buck', I'd probably suggest the AMEX Explorer, as you'll get a yield of 75,000 Krisflyer points from the 100,000 sign on bonus points. Worth remembering too that you can convert Velocity points to Krisflyer (but at a rate of 1.35 to 1).

  • Off topic ,Is that a good deal than Woolworths points converted to Qantas points?

  • depending on which flights you looking for, but generally speaking, AMEX Platinum Edge is good rewarding for money, and can sign up with referrals for additional points, see https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/255580

    • Wow! Thank you for the info. I love knowing that I hope one day I can be a high income earner. 😌