ANZ Rewards Black American Express, Visa credit cards

Credit Card Review: ANZ Rewards Black American Express, Visa credit cards

What's Hot

  • Earn points with four different airlines (VA, SQ, NZ, CX)
  • 75,000 bonus ANZ Rewards points for new customers
  • Free international travel insurance

What's Not

  • $65 additional cardholder fee

X-Factor

  • Solid international lounge access options via Velocé, American Express

Introduction

Boasting the bank's highest earning rates for frequent flyer points and top-shelf benefits like unlimited airport lounge access, ANZ Rewards Black pairs an American Express credit card and a Visa to maximise your points and perks.

Naturally, you'd take advantage of the AMEX's higher earning rate wherever it's accepted while relying on the Visa everywhere else, and can also unlock optional extras such as discounts on dining and accommodation through ANZ's $35/year eDine program.

Both cards are also compatible with Apple Pay, allowing you to use your iPhone or Apple Watch to make payments wherever contactless cards are accepted.

Whichever card you use, you'll first accrue points in the ANZ Rewards scheme before later converting them into airline frequent flyer points or miles with either Virgin Australia, Air New Zealand, Cathay Pacific or Singapore Airlines, or for a raft of other goodies and gift cards.

Rounding out the deal is a bonus of 75,000 ANZ Rewards points for new customers who apply and meet ANZ's spend criteria, detailed below.

ANZ Rewards Black credit cards: fast facts

  • Grade/tier: Above-platinum
  • Card type: American Express + Visa
  • Loyalty program: ANZ Rewards
  • ANZ Rewards airline partners: Virgin Australia, Air New Zealand, Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines
  • Velocity Points earned per dollar spent* (AMEX/Visa): 1.5/0.625
  • Air NZ Airpoints Dollars earned per dollar spent*: 1.5c/0.625c
  • Cathay Pacific Asia Miles earned per dollar spent*: 1.0/0.416
  • SQ KrisFlyer miles earned per dollar spent*: 1.0/0.416
  • Points capping/tiering: None

* Customers first earn ANZ Rewards points and convert these manually into airline frequent flyer points. Figures shown are based on the current ANZ Rewards earning, redemption and conversion rates.

Fees, charges and interest: 4/5

  • Total annual fee: $375
  • Additional/supplementary cardholder fee: $65 (with rewards)
  • Interest rate on purchases: 18.79% p.a.
  • Interest-free days on purchases: Up to 55
  • Interest rate on cash advances: 20.99% p.a.
  • International transaction fee: 3.0%
  • Minimum income requirement: $75,000
  • Minimum credit limit: $15,000

Earning points for free flights: 4/5

Apply for the ANZ Rewards Black duo and make an eligible purchase within the first three months to pocket a cool bonus of 75,000 ANZ Rewards points – equal to 37,500 Velocity Points; 25,000 miles with Singapore Airlines or Cathay Pacific; or $375 in AirNZ Airpoints Dollars

Join that bonus with the regular points you'd earn on a modest $2,500 of everyday transactions and you'd have enough for two return business class upgrades between Perth and either Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane when travelling on a Virgin Australia flexible economy fare.

Use your new Velocity points to upgrade to 'The Business' on Virgin Australia

As you continue to use your ANZ Rewards Black credit cards, every $5,200 spent on the American Express earns enough points for another one-way Sydney-Melbourne flight in Virgin Australia economy while $12,480 spent on the attached Visa achieves the same.

Airport lounge access: 4.5/5

ANZ has teamed up with Velocé – that's Velocé with an acute 'e', not Virgin Australia Velocity – to provide cardholders with access to over 70 airport lounges across the globe, including in cities like Auckland, Singapore, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and London.

Use your ANZ Rewards Black cards to visit the Al Reem lounge in Abu Dhabi's T1

Velocé's coverage, however, excludes Australia, the United States and also some important markets for business travellers in Asia such as China and Malaysia, and given how far you have to fly to make use of this perk, is likely more of a convenience every now and again rather than a selling point of its own.

To counter the Australian gap in lounge access, ANZ also provides Rewards Black cardholders with two free visits each year to the American Express Sydney Airport Lounge, after which additional visits can be purchased for $55 at the door.

Finally, ANZ Rewards Black customers – and indeed, anybody with an American Express credit card from any country – can also pay US$50 per visit to access American Express Centurion Lounges in the United States, including in San Francisco, Dallas/Fort Worth, New York (LaGuardia), Las Vegas and Miami.

Free insurance coverage: 4/5

International travel insurance is provided at no extra cost for trips of up to six months, is underwritten by QBE Insurance and is automatically activated when holding a return international travel ticket and charging at least $250 of pre-booked travel costs (such as flights and hotels) to your ANZ Rewards Black credit card before starting the journey.

You're also protected against loss, theft or accidental damage on selected goods for up to 90 days from the date of purchase, can enjoy up to 12 months of free extended warranty cover and have other protections including interstate flight inconvenience insurance and a 'best price guarantee'.

ANZ Rewards Black: our verdict

With no points capping and a solid earning rate of up to 1.5 airline frequent flyer points per dollar spent, the ANZ Rewards Black combo stacks up nicely.

Having two cards allows you to whip out the AMEX wherever it's accepted to collect the most points while still earning some points on the Visa wherever it's not, and if your choice of airline frequent flyer program changes, so to can the destiny of your credit card reward points.

On the downside, inclusive airport lounge access only kicks in when flying internationally – as opposed to other credit cards that offer domestic Qantas or Virgin Australia lounge passes – and the additional cardholder fee is higher than that of most other banks.

Also, if your travel patterns change and you begin to seek Qantas Points from your everyday spend, you'll also need to do a full product swap to ANZ's Qantas Frequent Flyer Black cards and pay a higher annual fee, rather than simply changing your earning preference as you can with Westpac's competing Altitude Black line.

All in all though, if you meet ANZ's lending criteria and make an eligible purchase in the first three months – especially on something you'd have bought anyway – it's an easy way of giving your frequent flyer balance a good boost.

Also read: ANZ Qantas Frequent Flyer Black credit card review

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1 Comment

  • Dale

    Dale

    28 Jan, 2016 07:07 pm

    The Lounges are a problem, as they are dropping off the list like fly's. Also some on the list of Veloce lounges are refusing entry and not accepting the cards.

    Member who gave thanks

    1 guest

Guest

18 Jan, 2017 04:09 am

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