With attention-grabbing perks such as a free domestic return flight every year with Virgin Australia plus two yearly airport lounge visits, the ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures Card provides tangible benefits that don't require any frequent flyer points.
You'll also pay no foreign transaction fees when you spend abroad or shop online with overseas-based websites, 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 and can be transferred to four different airline programs including Virgin Australia Velocity, with 40,000 bonus Velocity Points on offer when you spend $500 on eligible purchases within the first three months of approval.
ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures Card: fast facts
- Grade/tier: Platinum
- Card type: Visa
- Loyalty program: ANZ Rewards
- ANZ Rewards airline partners: Virgin Australia, Air New Zealand, Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines
- ANZ reward points earned per $1: Earn 1.5 points per dollar uncapped until August 5 2017, after which, earn 1.5 points per dollar up to $2,000 per statement period, and 0.5 points per dollar thereafter
- 1.5 ANZ reward points = 0.75 Velocity points, $0.0075 in Airpoints credit, 0.5 Asia Miles, 0.5 KrisFlyer miles
- 0.5 ANZ reward points = 0.25 Velocity points, $0.0025 in Airpoints credit, 0.16 Asia Miles, 0.16 KrisFlyer miles
- Points capping: Uncapped but tiered
Fees, charges and interest: 3/5
- 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: 3.5/5
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 Card breaks the mould by offering you a free economy class domestic return flight each year with Virgin Australia, until the card is cancelled.
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 card with every $10,400 spent earning enough points for a one-way hop from Sydney to Melbourne, provided you convert your ANZ reward points across to Virgin Australia Velocity and are earning 1.5 points per dollar.
You can also earn 40,000 bonus Velocity Points when you spend $500 on eligible purchases within the first three months of approval – more than enough for a return economy flight from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane to Perth, or a one-way flight on those same routes in business class, plus a small payment to cover taxes and fees when making those bookings.
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 your ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures card 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: 2/5
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.
ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures Card: 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, this can easily pay for itself, and then some.
Plus, with 40,000 bonus Velocity Points under your belt – along with the points you’d normally earn from your everyday spends on eligible purchases – you’re sure to be flying in no time.
Also read: ANZ Rewards Black Visa credit card review