Citibank's Citi Qantas Visa Signature credit card

Review: Citibank's Citi Qantas Visa Signature credit card

What's Hot

  • Earn extra points on travel, dining, supermarket, service station and overseas spend
  • Free Priority Pass membership with two yearly lounge visits
  • Travel insurance covers bookings made using Qantas Points

What's Not

  • Low 'everyday' earn rate on domestic spend with a high annual fee after the first year

X-Factor

  • Free wine whenever you dine at participating restaurants

Introduction

Offering 50,000 bonus Qantas Points to eligible new cardholders, up to one Qantas Point per dollar spent on selected transactions and travel perks like airport lounge access and international travel insurance, Citibank's Citi Qantas Visa Signature credit card is dressed to impress frequent travellers.

It also has appeal to regular diners with a free bottle of wine every time you dine at a range of participating restaurants, but isn't so exciting when it comes to earning frequent flyer points on most other purchases within Australia.

Citi Qantas Visa Signature credit card: fast facts

  • Grade/tier: Above-Platinum
  • Card type: Visa Signature
  • Loyalty program: Qantas Frequent Flyer
  • Qantas Points earned per $1 spent with:
         Major restaurants, hotels and airlines in Australia, plus all international spend:
    1.0 (uncapped)
         Major supermarkets, petrol stations and Australian national retailers: 0.75 (uncapped)
         Everywhere else: 0.5 (up to $20,000 per statement period)
  • Supported tech: Samsung Pay (Apple Pay not offered)

Fees, charges and interest: 3/5

  • Total annual fee: $248 in the first year, $444 thereafter (including an annual charge of $49 to earn Qantas Points)
  • Supplementary cardholder fee: $0 (up to 4)
  • Interest rate on purchases: 20.99% p.a.
  • Interest-free days on purchases: Up to 55
  • Interest rate on cash advances: 21.74% p.a.
  • International transaction fee: 3.4%
  • Minimum income requirement: $75,000 p.a.
  • Minimum credit limit: $15,000

Earning points for free flights: 3/5

New cardholders who apply, are approved and spend at least $2,000 within the first 90 days can pocket 50,000 bonus Qantas Points: enough for a one-way upgrade from flexible business class to first class on Qantas flights to Los Angeles, Dallas/Fort Worth and Dubai.

Based on the card's everyday earning rates, you could also pocket enough points to book a one-way Sydney-Melbourne flight in economy after spending $8,000 overseas, on dining or on travel-related charges; $10,667 at supermarkets, petrol stations and major retailers; and $16,000 everywhere else.

However, we're less impressed that an additional $49/year charge applies to earn Qantas Points, over and above the 'regular' annual fee.

When you're already paying $199/$399 each year in basic card fees, especially on a 'Qantas Signature' product, frequent flyer points really aren't an optional extra: if you weren't earning them, you wouldn't have this card to begin with.

Inclusive travel insurance: 4/5

Charge the cost of a return overseas flight to your Citi Qantas Signature card before leaving Australia and you may be covered by the bank's complimentary international travel insurance if your trip is of six months or less.

You may also be covered when using Qantas Points to book your journey abroad if you've earned at least 15,000 Qantas Points via your Citi Qantas Signature card in the 12 months prior to the date your flights were booked: a great feature to have as not all credit cards cover you when spending points on flights.

Also thrown in: interstate flight inconvenience insurance, transit accident insurance, purchase cover, extended warranty protection and access to the guaranteed pricing scheme.

Airport lounge access: 2/5

Although this card doesn't offer any Qantas Club lounge perks, customers instead receive a complimentary Priority Pass airport lounge membership with two lounge visits included each year and further visits charged at US$27 each.

Priority Pass doesn't grant access to any Australian domestic airport lounges but does provide options when flying internationally from Brisbane, Cairns and Darwin: and at most major airports overseas including in Hong Kong, Singapore, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, London, New York, Los Angeles and more.

Citi Qantas Visa Signature credit card: the verdict

All things considered, the Citi Qantas Visa Signature credit card proves a good fit for regular jetsetters who are poised to take advantage of the card's travel insurance and airport lounge access perks, along with the higher uncapped earn rate on overseas, hotel and airline spend.

It also suits cardholders who regularly venture out for lunch or dinner, delivering twice as many points per dollar spent as other transactions plus that free bottle of wine with every meal enjoyed at participating restaurants.

However, with a total annual fee of $444 after the first year and an earn rate of just 0.5 Qantas Points per dollar on most transactions within Australia, you'd want to make sure you're getting your money's worth from the card's other features, or regularly spending in the categories that deliver extra points, else another card might be a better fit.

For instance, the ANZ Qantas Frequent Flyer Black Visa has a lower annual fee of $425 (waived in the first year) and a higher 'everyday' earn rate of one Qantas Point per dollar spent up to $7,500 per month, reduced to 0.5 Qantas Points per dollar spent thereafter – not to mention an offer of 75,000 bonus Qantas Points plus 75 bonus status credits for eligible new customers.

Similarly, the HSBC Platinum Qantas Visa delivers one Qantas Point per dollar spent up to $2,500 per month and 0.5 Qantas Points per dolalr spent beyond that threshold (up to 7,500 points per month), with a $199 annual fee and a sign-up offer of 60,000 bonus Qantas Points when you meet the spend criteria.

Chris Chamberlin
Australian Business Traveller journalist Chris Chamberlin 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!
 

1 Comment

  • Howardh

    Howardh

    14 May, 2017 10:29 pm

    It should be pointed out that the 'everything else' earn rate excludes 'government charges' and there is a very broad definition as to what the 'government charges' are. 
    No member give thanks

Guest

22 Nov, 2017 08:07 pm

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