Points Credit Card Comparison Table August 2021

Hi All,
I've spent some time this last month looking at what credit cards give me the most benefit in points rewards / offers.
I have done up this table which I thought might be useful to others.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/13ZssGvYKcQBixVjA_RPQ...

I calculated the $ value (give or take a few dollars) in bonus sign up points, and placed that in a column. I then listed the first year fee (after any cashback offers) and the 2nd year fee, so that I could do a calculation of how much the card actually cost after 2 years. In some cases it costs money, in other cases it gains money (green shaded).

I know this won't apply to all as some people like to churn a new card every year to maximise deals, but I think it's fair to say that most of us will hold the card for at least 2 years which is where my 'cost after 2 years' column comes in, which helped me pick my card whilst looking also at the points per $ earn.

Also note that some cards give you additional card holder for free (if you're sharing the card with a partner) and some (just ANZ really) charge for this.

Some more personal findings;
- ANZ made it extremely difficult to get their Black card and I gave up after a month or two trying. I spent countless hours trying to get the info out of them on what they actually needed as we had provided them everything they asked for. Their call centre is horrific and if you miss their call, you have to wait so so long for a call back.
-The Qantas point earning cards are not necessarily better than the 'bank rewards points' cards, in terms of return. For example, putting ANZ to the side for a moment, the 'St George Amplify Rewards Signature' card which is what my partner ended up going with (instant approval as she was with St George for her bank account) earns you $319.19 after 2 years without counting any points per $ spend. Westpac is similar but earns a lower point per $.
- The Qantas American Express is what I personally went with and it was on this list originally as the best option, but the great introductory points offer and first year fee discount has now expired so I have removed it.

The google sheet has commenting allowed. If people have things they feel should be added / changed, make a comment and i'll try to add it if valid.

Comments

  • +2 votes

    Nice table but that’s risky allowing anyone to edit.

    • +2 votes

      As a Nigerian prince, I feel this is a unique opportunity to update these links to earnbigcashdollarsnotascam.com. And remind everyone to never blindly click links you find on the internet without looking at them first, because rickrolling is the best result.

    • +3 votes

      You're right. Someone already messed it up and hid a bunch of rows. I've restored back a few versions and allowed commenting only now. If people have things they feel should be added / changed, make a comment and i'll do it.

  • +4 votes

    Yeah, no more credit cards for me, cancelled my CBA credit card and paying cash/eftpos moving forward.

    I don’t know why, but I feel so much more in control.

    It’s probably a crime on Ozbargain but I feel I will spend less this way too. Apparently paying cash triggers more “pain” than paying via CC.

    • +2 votes

      There is the psychological aspect of distancing yourself from the actual value by paying by card. But agreed, this is what the credit card companies want to happen. Afterpay is probably one of the worst at this.

      Even eftpos has the same effect, the only way would be to carry cash all the time.

      IMHO if you're paying by eftpos you may as well take out a credit card and churn points through it.

    •  

      That's fair. I think it's definitely a risk for some. I have mine setup to pay the balance in full so I am never getting into credit so in that regard it makes no difference if it were a credit/debit card i was entering for a purchase, but I will admit having 'digital' currency makes it easier to pull the trigger on purchases online without really thinking about it. But I blame Ozb more for than than having a credit card…

    •  

      Yeah, no more credit cards for me, cancelled my CBA credit card and paying cash/eftpos moving forward.

      Very wise.

  •  

    Nice one.
    Didn't look to cover AMEX?

    *cough… * don't blame you.

    •  

      See the last bullet point in my original post. The best AMEX deal in recent times expired recently.
      I know there are other AMEX cards out there but given they aren't for everyone (not widely accepted) I didn't include them on this list.

      •  

        Yep, I was being supportive that Amex wasn't included.
        Your summary was a good one. Once again, 'nice one'!

        Considering dumping my Amex in the coming year. Paid the annual fee, so may as well hold on to it until the year is up.

        Not that 1 member really matters, but they have lost me! Don't see the value in their Amex anymore, despite having a premium card. It's just not worth it anymore. Kinda like Diners (ok not really… but)… Once a great card, now, not so much… Don't even know of anyone that uses Diners nowadays. Is Citi even taking new members? ahahahahah!!!!

        •  

          With Amex premium cards you are better off cancelling, but there is anoher option, change your AMEX card to a fee free version, e.g. change from Amex Qantas Ultimate to the Amex Qantas Discovery. Within 3-6 months you usually get an offer to upgrade with a bonus points deal. Not as good as a new sign up but handy if you like to keep an Amex for the Amex deals and higher Qantas points earn on general spending.

  •  

    Very nice comparison & very helpful. Thankyou OP.

  •  

    hmm weird, I didnt have any issues with ANZ black, but good to know to cancel after 1 year!

  •  

    interesting. Good effort for doing this.

    couple of points.

    1. your value of points seems very low at less than half a cent per point. Whilst the value of QF points may have dropped during border closures I suspect airline capacity will take a while to come back when borders open, meaning a pent up demand for international travel and expensive air fares. I suspect the value of points will rise to at least pre pandemic levels when that happens. They were sold on here for 1c per point?

    2. I don't agree with your point on most people holding a card for 2 years. If someone is interested in collecting points from credit cards there is very little value (if any) in outlaying an annual fee in year 2 for zero or minimal bonus points. Far better to cancel and get a better deal elsewhere.

    •  

      Thanks for the feedback. Given no one is really able to fly much in Australia right now my valuation is what you can return instantly in gift card value.

      I also already explained the part about two years. Some of these cards return most value after two years, so that was the best way of fairly comparing them all.

      I would do different calculations if I was only going to hold it for one year, but I hazard a guess many people including myself would forget to move to a different card every single 12 months, particularly if there is value still to be had in sticking around for another 12.

      As mentioned in the OP, this table does not suit someone planning to churn cards every 12 months.

      •  

        Fair enough but i'm yet to see any CC deal where it's worth sticking around for the 2nd year to get the extra bonus points. e.g. NAB's current signature 110K deal where you get 20K points in year 2. To get that you need to outlay $395 in annual fees which makes it a shockingly bad proposition. Better to cancel before the end of year 1 and get the westpac card for example where you can earn 60K points for $150 (just an example, I know there are probably even better deals than that).

        •  

          Well said @poolprouk! This table just show me how important is to keep cards for just one year!

  •  

    HSBC Platinum?

    •  

      That one doesn't seem to offer any up front bonus points at the moment?

  •  

    CBA low fee gold, 200 cashback 1000 spend. No fee first year.

    •  

      Also has a handy 0% international transaction fee feature with it too

  •  

    This is a great table! But I definitely can't see a single case in which staying an additional year is useful. Perhaps the St George Amplifiy Qantas Platinum, as it has same fees/point in the second year.. Otherwise your just burning money

    •  

      How about the St George Amplifiy Rewards Signature where you get 100,000 points in the 2nd year?

      •  

        Yes, St George's are the only ones. Anyways, thanks for the table! I'll keep waiting for deals on each of them :)

  •  

    thanks for all the hard work, great table

  •  

    Update as of today: Qantas Premier Platinum is now $225 first year annual fee. Also I would add a "CON" of $50 per additional card holder for this card.

    In my case the fee for additional card holders makes or breaks the deal as I need two additional cards, which can add up depending of the card.

    Great table! I do also agree however that keeping cards for two years (if you are strictly doing it to earn points) is not worth it.
    Would be great if you could do a 1 year comparison! Keep up the great work

    • +1 vote

      Thanks, I added your comments. I also added a column for cost after 1 year (sum of first year fee -bonus points value if I'm not mistaken) for those that would remember to cancel before the annual fee came along. I was not one of those people who will churn every year hence why I didn't bother to put it in initially.

  •  

    With St George cards, if you hold any accounts with them (i made a useless never-going-to-use transaction account in a few minutes) a reduced first annual fee apply:

    St George Amplify Rewards/Qantas Signature - $279 to $139 first year
    St George Amplify Rewards/Qantas Platinum - $99 to $0 first year

    Next best card after the ANZ Reward imo.

    •  

      Interesting. We do already have another transaction account with them, do I need to do anything special to get the fee reduction?

      •  

        Some users have reported they only see the reduction on the app.

  •  

    I see all these comments about people struggling with ANZ. I guess I’m lucky because I’ve never had a single issue with them whatsoever.

    Have switched between the rewards black and frequent flyer black every year for 4-5 years now. Even had the ANZ rewards travel adventures twice during that time and an ANZ rewards platinum once as well. Approval has always been super quick and I’d get the card shortly after.

    Citi on the other hand has rejected every single one of my card applications I’ve ever made, with the exception of the Kogan black card. I’ve given up on applying for Citi for good. Probably won’t make much of a difference since NAB will be buying their credit card book anyway, provided it gets approved by the ACCC.

    Funnily enough I maintain a similar spreadsheet to yours. The ANZ FF Black comes with 2 lounge passes so I’d update it to include that. The NAB annual fees are prorated so worthwhile including a comment in there that if you cancel immediately after getting the points you’ll get a refund on your remaining months’ fees. You can also get 120k points in the first year if you apply through here. Both St. George and Westpac Platinum cards are fee-free if you hold a transaction account, though Westpac will charge you a $50 fee if you opt in for qantas points.

    Also, are you valuing the points solely based on what gift card you can purchase using points? E.g. ANZ 120k QFF points valued at $579 whereas you could probably sell it on OzB for $1,020 at 0.85c/point. Alternatively, if you’re like me and save the points for classic reward flights they are worth so so much more. E.g. 120k points would get you business class flight to Hong Kong and a return premium economy flight which is worth more than 1k. Obviously this depends on people’s intentions - a suggestion could be to have 3 different columns so people can choose how to value them?

    I took advantage of all this last week and went on an application spree: got the ANZ rewards black (180k reward points which equates to 90k velocity points for $0), St. George Amplify Qantas Platinum (60k QFF points for $0), Westpac Altitude Qantas Platinum (60k QFF points for $50), and the NAB Qantas Signature Card (120k QFF for $49 assuming it takes 2 months to get my points and close the card). All up, 240k QFF points and 90k velocity points for a grand total of $99.

    •  

      Thanks for the insights. You must really know how to sweet talk the applications teams with all those cards active! I'm aware points are more valuable with flights / reselling etc, but I had to find a way to put a reliable consistent dollar value on it, and gift cards was the way I chose.

      Now that I have my card it will probably be a year or two before I update this table. But if you or anyone else who can be trusted to add (and not screw up the existing formulas) wants to be added as a co-editor, feel free to PM me your google email.

    •  

      Regarding approval, I think anyone who has a standard job with regular income probably has less issues. I operate as a sole trader and my work is seasonal, so the banks frown on that sometimes even though my income is still as solid as someone with a full time regular hours job. Not everyones income is black and white and with ANZ I've hear and now found first hand that if you don't fit into the perfect model that the oversees call centre staff understand, you end up going back and forth for months.