With attention-grabbing perks such as a free return flight every year with Virgin Australia plus two yearly airport lounge visits, the ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures Cards provide tangible benefits that don't require any frequent flyer points.
You'll also pay no foreign transaction fees when you use either the American Express or Visa card abroad, shaving 3% from your final bill and delivering cash savings of $30 in fees for every $1,000 you spend on foreign soil.
Of course, frequent flyer points are still part of the parcel – without any capping or tiering, either – and can be transferred to four different airline programs including Virgin Australia Velocity.
ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures Cards: fast facts
- Grade/tier: Platinum
- Card type: American Express + Visa
- Loyalty program: ANZ Rewards
- ANZ Rewards airline partners: Virgin Australia, Air New Zealand, Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines
- ANZ Rewards points earned per $1 (AMEX): 2
- 2 ANZ Rewards points = 1 Velocity point, $0.01 in Airpoints value, 0.66 Asia Miles, 0.66 KrisFlyer miles
- ANZ Rewards points earned per $1 (Visa): 1
- 1 ANZ Rewards point = 0.5 Velocity points, $0.005 in Airpoints credit, 0.33 Asia Miles, 0.33 KrisFlyer miles
- Points capping: Uncapped
Fees, charges and interest: 4/5
- Total annual fee: $225
- Supplementary cardholder fee: $65 with rewards
- Interest rate on purchases: 20.24% p.a.
- Interest-free days on purchases: Up to 55
- Interest rate on cash advances: 21.74% p.a.
- International transaction fee: None
- Minimum income requirement: $35,000 p.a.
- Minimum credit limit: $6,000
Earning points for free flights: 4.5/5
With most credit cards you'll need to first earn frequent flyer points before you can take a 'free' trip, but the ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures Cards break the mould by offering you a free economy class domestic return flight each year with Virgin Australia.
New cardholders need only spend $500 on eligible purchases within the first three months to unlock that complimentary journey, which can be booked for almost any flight on Virgin Australia's domestic network including the longer treks between Australia's east coast and Perth.
But there's a catch: you'll need to book your flights at least 60 days before departure, and they don't accrue Virgin Australia Velocity points or status credits.
Further flights or upgrades to business class can also be unlocked as you earn points on your cards with every $7,800 spent on the AMEX or $15,600 spent on the Visa earning enough points for a one-way hop from Sydney to Melbourne, provided you convert your ANZ Rewards points across to Virgin Australia Velocity.
Free insurance coverage: 4.5/5
ANZ's free international travel insurance kicks in after spending just $250 on flights or your overseas accommodation using either of your ANZ Rewards cards before leaving Australia, and provided you also hold a return ticket prior to travel.
That gives you the flexibility to redeem your ANZ Rewards or airline frequent flyer points for the journey itself while spending at least $250 on something else, such as a hotel night or two, while still being covered.
Also thrown in: purchase security insurance, extended warranty cover, a 'best price guarantee' scheme, interstate flight inconvenience insurance and rental vehicle excess cover in Australia.
Airport lounge access: 3/5
Two complimentary visits to Virgin Australia's domestic lounges are yours after spending at least $500 on eligible purchases within the first three months – and then again each year you retain the card – which can be used when travelling onwards with Virgin Australia that day.
Those passes will be mailed to your billing address rather than electronically loaded onto your Velocity account, which means you're free to use them yourself or gift them to a colleague, friend or family member who doesn't have lounge access in their own right.
With an American Express card part of this duo, you can also stop by the American Express Centurion Lounges in the United States at a cost of US$50 per visit, although there's no access to the American Express Lounge at Sydney Airport, paid or otherwise.
ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures Cards: the verdict
Although some other credit cards offer more frequent flyer points per dollar spent, it's rarer to find one that includes a return flight every year as part of the package – particularly on routes such as Sydney-Perth-Sydney where the cash fare can well exceed what you're paying in annual fees.
Virgin Australia also values your two free lounge visits at $65 a pop or $130 all up, and when combined with the included travel insurance, extended warranty cover and other protections offered by these cards, they can easily pay for themselves, and then some.