Westpac have a full range of cards under the Altitude banner. These can be setup to post points directly to Qantas, or alternatively points may be earned in Westpac’s own Altitude program. From the Altitude programs, there are various options available for redemptions.
At present there are bonus offers available on the Black and Platinum versions of the card. that can be setup to post points directly to your Qantas Frequent Flyer account, or kept in the Altitude program. These include:
- 60,000 Qantas or Altitude points after your first spend on an Altitude Black Card
- 30,000 Qantas or Altitude points after your first spend on an Altitude Platinum Card
While the bonus points for the Altitude program are numerically the same, there is some loss on the way to the frequent flyer program. For example, when transferring to Virgin Australia’s Velocity program, the transfer rate is 2:1, resulting in 30,000 Velocity points.
Both the platinum and black card options come with two cards – a Visa card and an American Express card. These are both linked to the same account, so there is only one account to manage.
The American Express card will typically gove the better earn rate, however, that does come at the expense of lower levels of acceptance. The American Express card also has, in many cases, a higher credit card surcharge that what may be applied to a Visa card transaction.
The Alititude Program
Points earned into the Altitude RewardsÂ can be transferred to the Frequent Flyer programs of various airlines, including Malaysia Airlines Enrich, Singapore Airlines Krisflyer, Velocity, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles and Air New Zealand Airpoints.
Aside from the Air New Zealand program, points transfer at a rate of 2:1, which needs to be taken into account when comparing the relative benefits of the cards. Air New Zealand is at a rate of 6:1, due to a different structure for that program.
Altitude Creadit Cards
AltitudeÂ Black Card
The Westpac Altitude Black American Express and Visa combination has an offer of 60,000 Qantas (or Altitude Rewards) Points. This is pretty much the highest sign up bonus that has been on offer since the card was released.
The card does come with a hefty $395 annual fee. Having said that, there is a promotion on at the moment, where the first years fees are waived for phone or in branch applications. If you apply online, there is not presently a waiver available.
The Black card is a premium offering, targetted at the customers with a typically higher income that will tend to put a fairly high volume of transactions through the card. Being a premium card, it comes with a range of additional benefits over other cards, typically targetted at providing travel benefits.
The basic features of the Altitude Black Card are:
- 60,000 Qantas Frequent Flyer points (or Altitude points)
- $395 annual fee
- 2 x Qantas Club invitations (for the Qantas version) or a Priority Pass holding two free visitis per cardholder year
- Access to World MasterCard benefits. One useful benefit of this is the granting of Starwood Preferred Guest Gold status after one paid stay
- 1.5 Qantas Points or 3 Altitude Points for every $1 spent on the American Express
- 0.625 Qantas Points or 1.25 Altitude Points for every $1 spent on the MasterCard
- 1.5 Qantas Points or 3 Altitude Points for every $1 spent overseas on the MasterCard
Altitude Platinum Card
A little down the scale is the Altitude Platinum Card – this currently has 30,000 points on offer, although the annual fee is lower at just $150. With the lower fee comes somewhat lowere inclusions.
The basic features of the Altitude Platinum Card are:
- 30,000 Qantas Frequent Flyer points (or Altitude points)
- $150 annual fee
- 1 Qantas Point or 2 Altitude Points for every $1 spent on the American Express
- 0.5 Qantas Points or 1 Altitude Points for every $1 spent on the MasterCard
- 1 Qantas Point or 2 Altitude Points for every $1 spent overseas on the MasterCard
- Points cap per statement period of 3,750 Qantas Points or 7,500 Altitude points
The current signup offers are available until 19 April, 2015. The each require an eligible spend by the end of May 2015 in order to receive the bonus points.
For further information, refer to the Westpac website.