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 has its eye on 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)
         Government and government-related transactions: No points
         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 before June 30 2018, are approved and spend at least $2,000 within 90 days of card approval 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 and Dallas/Fort Worth.

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 'Signature Qantas' 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 Signature Qantas 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 Signature Qantas 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.

That covers you before many domestic and international flights from Australia, with Priority Pass now offering a domestic lounge at Sydney Airport (Rex Lounge), a range of dining options at Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane Airport, and at many major airports overseas including in Auckland, Hong Kong, Singapore, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, London, New York, Los Angeles and more.

Citi Signature Qantas credit card: the verdict

All things considered, the Citi Signature Qantas credit card could prove 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 may also suit 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, otherwise another card might be a better fit.

For instance, the ANZ Frequent Flyer Black Visa has a lower overall 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 for eligible new customers.

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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25 Apr, 2018 07:08 am

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