Delivering up to 0.825 Qantas, Virgin Australia Velocity, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer or Malaysia Airlines Enrich frequent flyer points per dollar spent without caps or limits is the little-known Bank of Melbourne Amplify Signature Visa credit card, but which comes with the backing of Westpac behind the scenes to keep the gears running smoothly.
There's a choice of two main rewards options – Amplify Qantas for those who prefer to automatically earn Qantas Points every month, and Amplify Rewards where cardholders can instead convert points to Velocity, KrisFlyer and Enrich when it suits them best – with 90,000 bonus Qantas Points or 90,000 bonus Amplify points on offer to eligible new customers.
Bank of Melbourne Amplify Signature card: fast facts
- Grade/tier: Black
- Card type: Visa Signature
- Loyalty program: Amplify Qantas or Amplify Rewards
- Qantas Points earned per A$1 spent: 0.75 (0.825 including a 10% 'birthday bonus')
- Amplify Rewards points earned per A$1 spent: 1.5 (1.65 with 'birthday bonus')
- 1.65 Amplify Rewards points = 0.825 Velocity Points, 0.825 Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles or 0.825 Malaysia Airlines Enrich miles
- Points capping/tiering: None
Amplify Signature: fees, charges and interest
- Annual fee: $279
- Additional/supplementary cardholder fee: $0
- Interest rate on purchases: 19.49% p.a.
- Interest-free days on purchases: Up to 55
- Interest rate on cash advances: 20.24% p.a.
- International transaction fee: 3.0%
- Minimum income requirement: No defined minimum
- Minimum credit limit: $15,000
Earning points for free flights: 4/5
The first thing high spenders will notice of this card is that there's no points capping or tiering to restrict your points haul – so however much you spend every month or year, you'll earn points on the lot.
On top of that, every time your birthday comes around you'll pick up a 10% 'birthday bonus' on the number of points you earned over the previous 12 months (or part-year if you're a new cardholder), excluding on any bonus points earned such as sign-up offers.
Including that birthday boost, customers using Amplify Rewards and converting their points over to Virgin Australia Velocity would earn enough points to book a one-way Sydney-Melbourne economy flight in return for every $9,455 spent.
Or, when choosing Amplify Qantas and again with that birthday bonus included, a comparable Sydney-Melbourne flight with Qantas can be yours after spending $9,697, as Qantas requires slightly more points than Velocity (8,000 vs. 7,800) to book the same journey.
Also on the table when you apply by September 26 2018 and spend at least $4,000 on the card within 90 days of approval: a bonus 90,000 Qantas Points or 90,000 Amplify points (the latter equal to 45,000 Velocity points, 45,000 KrisFlyer miles or 45,000 Enrich miles).
Given that Amplify points convert into airline frequent flyer points at a 2:1 rate, you'd earn the most frequent flyer points in number by choosing Amplify Qantas as your rewards option.
Airport lounge access: 2.5/5
As we'd expect of a high-end credit card, Amplify Signature cardholders can enjoy two complimentary airport lounge visits each year, which vary based on the reward program chosen.
Choose Amplify Qantas to earn Qantas Points and you'll receive two free Qantas lounge passes each year after registering on the Bank of Melbourne website, which can be used in domestic Qantas Club lounges and international Qantas business class lounges (Los Angeles excluded)...
... or choose Amplify Rewards and gain a free Priority Pass membership with two lounge visits attached (valued at US$153 or A$202), which can also be used for further lounge visits at a cost of US$27 (A$35.70) per entry.
Free insurance coverage: 4.5/5
International travel insurance comes as standard, activated on a per-trip basis by charging at least $500 worth of travel costs to the card before leaving Australia and when holding a return ticket for trips of six months or less.
Included in that spend can be your return airfares, airport/departure taxes, pre-paid hotel stays during the trip or pre-paid 'overseas itinerary items', which gives you the flexibility to book your flights using frequent flyer points and still be covered, provided you use money for something else as part of the trip.
Extended warranty cover, purchase protection, pricing guarantees, interstate flight inconvenience insurance, transit accident insurance and rental vehicle excess insurance in Australia are also included.
Bank of Melbourne Amplify Signature: how it compares
Given all the recent changes to frequent flyer credit cards in Australia, the Bank of Melbourne Amplify Signature card remains a competitive product, with no limit to the number of points you can earn and a choice between four major airlines with which you can earn frequent flyer points.
Virgin Australia Velocity members could stretch their points even further by converting them during one of Velocity's regular 15% bonus transfer offers, which essentially lifts the earning rate from 0.825 to just shy of 0.95 Velocity points per dollar spent, including the birthday bonus.
(You start by earning 1.5 Amplify points per dollar spent, which becomes 1.65 Amplify points after your birthday bonus arrives. Convert that to Velocity at a 2:1 rate and that's equal to 0.825 Velocity points – or a higher 0.94875 Velocity points if you complete your conversion during one of Velocity's 15% bonus points offers.)
The worldwide acceptance of Visa also means you can use this card in more places than American Express or Diners Club: although points-savvy spenders could pair this with the Qantas AMEX Ultimate Card (for Qantas Points), the AMEX Velocity Platinum Card (for Velocity points) or the AMEX Explorer Card (for KrisFlyer and Enrich miles, or Velocity points also).
Under that strategy, you'd use your AMEX card wherever it's accepted to earn the most frequent flyer points per dollar spent, and your Bank of Melbourne Amplify Signature Visa everywhere else to continue scooping up points at a reasonable rate.