Bendigo Bank Qantas Platinum Mastercard

Review: Bendigo Bank Qantas Platinum Mastercard

What's Hot

  • No points tiering, but there is a monthly points cap

What's Not

  • Restrictive travel insurance
  • No sign-up bonus

X-Factor

  • Affordable $149 annual fee

Introduction

Bendigo Bank's Qantas Platinum Mastercard keeps things simple with a flat frequent flyer earning rate of 0.6 Qantas Points per $1 spent up to 20,000 points per month – that is, unless you reach that ceiling, which means you'll stop being rewarded entirely until the next statement period begins.

Travel insurance also comes as standard, as you'd expect of any Platinum-grade credit card, but attracts some notable exclusions that could make the cover unsuitable: particularly for those who book their flights using frequent flyer points, such as those earned from their credit card.

Australian Business Traveller puts Bendigo Bank's Qantas Platinum Mastercard under the microscope to see how its value stacks up.

Bendigo Bank Qantas Platinum Mastercard: fast facts

  • Grade/tier: Platinum
  • Card type: Mastercard
  • Loyalty program: Qantas Frequent Flyer
  • Qantas Points earned per dollar spent: 0.6 (excludes ATO payments)
  • Points capping: Earn a maximum of 20,000 Qantas Points per statement period: no points thereafter.

Fees, charges and interest: 3.5/5

  • Annual fee: $149
  • Supplementary cardholder fee: $0
  • Interest rate on purchases: 19.99% p.a.
  • Interest-free days on purchases: Up to 55
  • Interest rate on cash advances: 21.99% p.a.
  • International transaction fee: 3%
  • Minimum income requirement: None defined
  • Minimum credit limit: $3,000

Earning frequent flyer points to unlock free flights: 2.5/5

As this card currently has no sign-up bonus, flight vouchers or travel credits attached to help offset the annual fee, the focus here is squarely on how many Qantas Points you can earn per dollar spent, and that's 0.6/$1.

With a monthly cap of 20,000 points, that means you'll earn points at this rate on spends of up to $33,333 per month, with no points thereafter, but depending on how much you charge, this may not be as competitive as some other banks.

For example, ANZ's Frequent Flyer Platinum Visa provides 0.75 Qantas Points per $1 spent up to $3,000 per month and 0.5/$1 thereafter, while Bendigo Bank sits in between at a flat 0.6 Qantas Points per month.

Spend $3,000 per month, for example, and ANZ's card would give 2,250 Qantas Points, and Bendigo's card 1,800 Qantas Points - but spend $10,000/month and Bendigo edges ahead with 6,000 Qantas Points, versus 5,750 from ANZ.

While ANZ's annual fee is double that of Bendigo ($295 vs. $149), ANZ's card also offers 75,000 bonus Qantas Points plus $75 back on the card for eligible new customers who apply and spend $5,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months: the former being more than enough for a business class flight to Asia, and the latter reducing the sting of the annual fee to $220.

It goes without saying that high spenders could also consider the merits of an even more rewarding card, such as the ANZ Frequent Flyer Black (one Qantas Point per $1 spent up to $7,500/month, 0.5/$1 thereafter), and savvy shoppers might also pair this with an even higher-earning AMEX or Diners Club card, to maximise their points by using the highest-earning card as accepted for each transaction.

Airport lounge access: 0/5

Qantas Club or other lounge access isn't a benefit Bendigo Bank offers with this card.

Unlike many other Qantas-earning cards which provide an extra Qantas Point per dollar spent on purchases directly with Qantas (such as on flight bookings and Qantas Club membership payments), Bendigo Bank doesn't offer this, so purchasing lounge access comes with no extra reward, either.

Inclusive insurance coverage: 3/5

Use the Bendigo Bank Qantas Platinum Mastercard to pay for the total value of your return overseas travel ticket and you may be covered by complimentary international travel insurance on trips of 90 consecutive days or less.

But as with any insurance cover, it's important to read the policy documents carefully to decide whether the cover is right for you and adequately meets your needs.

Among other things, this policy notes that "the use of frequent flyer or reward type points does not activate cover", so if you use Qantas Points to book your trip rather than buying a ticket and charging the fare to your credit card – even if those points were earned through your Bendigo Bank credit card – you wouldn't be covered.

Unlike many other policies, this one also provides no cover for "financial default" of any travel provider, such as airlines, hotels, tour companies and so on, and does not accept any claims relating to terrorism, including for a change of travel plans after an incident or because of Smartraveller changing its advice to "do not travel" for your destination.

On the brighter side, the card does include transit accident insurance, purchase protection insurance, extended warranty cover, a 'best price guarantee', domestic flight inconvenience insurance and global hire care excess waiver cover: refer to the policy documents provided by Bendigo Bank for the full details.

Bendigo Bank Qantas Platinum Mastercard: the verdict

With an affordable annual fee of $149 and the ability to earn Qantas Points on eligible spends of up to $33,000 per month (20,000 Qantas Points), this card could be a good fit for those seeking points-earning plastic without all the extra trimmings like free flights, travel credits or bonus points on sign-up.

However, with a points earning rate that's not as high as other Visa and Mastercard credit cards available in the market – many of which offer up to one Qantas Point per $1 spent, with a tiered earning rate – it'd be wise to consider how much you plan to spend every month and how that translates into the number of Qantas Points earned through various credit cards, such as the ANZ Frequent Flyer Platinum Visa and the ANZ Frequent Flyer Black Visa, mentioned above.

Beyond points alone, Bendigo Bank's inclusive suite of insurance covers could save you money by not having to purchase separate insurance or extended warranty policies, but that'd only be true if those policies adequately meet your needs, and given how many exclusions apply, that may not be the case: so do your own research or speak to a professional before relying on the card's included cover.

Chris Chamberlin
Chris Chamberlin is a senior journalist with Australian Business Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!
 

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20 Jul, 2019 01:41 pm

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