HSBC Platinum Qantas Visa

Review: HSBC Platinum Qantas Visa

What's Hot

  • Earn up to 1 Qantas Point per $1 of everyday Visa spend
  • Bonus points on Qantas flights, Qantas Club membership

What's Not

  • Low points tiering threshold of $2,500/month plus a monthly cap of 7,500 Qantas Points from November 1 2017
  • No points are earned on any government transactions

X-Factor

  • 60,000 bonus Qantas Points for eligible new cardholders

Introduction

Offering up to one Qantas Point per dollar spent where Visa is accepted, double points on purchases with Qantas, 60,000 bonus Qantas Points for eligible new customers and Apple Pay support, the HSBC Platinum Qantas Visa credit card represents an affordable way to earn points on your everyday purchases, particularly when used in tandem with a higher-earning American Express card.

International travel insurance is also included and there's no extra fee to add an additional cardholder to the account (such as your partner or spouse) to maximise your points, although a low monthly tiering threshold of $2,500 may prove an issue for higher spenders, with no points at all awarded on payments to local, state and federal government bodies.

Here's how HSBC's card stacks up in the post-RBA era.

HSBC Platinum Qantas Visa: fast facts

  • Grade/tier: Platinum
  • Card type: Visa
  • Loyalty program: Qantas Frequent Flyer
  • Qantas Points earned per dollar:
         Everyday spend up to and including $2,500 per month:  1.0
         Everyday spend >$2,500 per month:  0.5
         Selected Qantas products and services:
      1 bonus point in addition to the above
         Payments to government bodies:  No points
  • Points capping: Earn up to 300,000 Qantas Points in any 12-month period until October 31 2017. From November 1 2017, earn up to 7,500 Qantas Points per month (excludes bonus points).
  • Supported mobile wallets: Apple Pay

Fees, charges and interest: 4/5

  • Annual fee: $199
  • 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: $40,000 p.a.
  • Minimum credit limit: $6,000

Earning points for free flights: 3.5/5

New cardholders who apply by October 31 2017 and spend $3,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months can earn a cool 60,000 bonus Qantas Points: enough for a one-way business class flight from Australia's east coast to destinations like Hong Kong and Singapore when you pay the associated taxes and fees with money on the side.

An earning rate of one Qantas Point per dollar on a Visa also isn't to be sniffed at these days, although the $2,500 tiering threshold is lower than many comparable cards including NAB Qantas Rewards Visa Signature ($5,000), ANZ Frequent Flyer Black Visa ($7,500) and the Qantas Premier Mastercard ($10,000) – although with HSBC's card having a lower annual fee than these products, the lower tiering threshold is an understandable compromise and one that positions the card as a good pairing to a higher-earning American Express card.

For example, you might choose to use the Qantas AMEX Ultimate Card wherever American Express is accepted to earn 1.5 Qantas Points per dollar spent, or the lower-priced Qantas AMEX Premium Card to earn 1.25 Qantas Points per dollar spent, reverting to the HSBC Platinum Qantas Visa everywhere else to earn up to 1 Qantas Point.

(From November 1 2017, there's a new monthly cap of 7,500 Qantas Points, although the earning rate is unchanged: so provided you spend $12,500 or less on the HSBC card each month, the number of points you can earn remains the same.)

Assuming you remain within the $2,500/month ceiling (earning one point per dollar spent), you'd earn enough points for a near-free Sydney-Melbourne flight after spending $8,000 on everyday purchases (spread across several months), or if you exceed the tiering threshold, spending $13,500 in a single month until October 31 2017 ($12.500 in one month and then $500 in the second month as of November 1) would deliver the same number of points.

You'll also earn one bonus Qantas Point per dollar spent in addition to the applicable everyday earning rate when using your card to book Qantas flights directly with Qantas in Australian dollars and when paying for Qantas Club membership, although no points are awarded on any government transactions, including paying your car registration, council rates, parking costs at street meters, fines, infringements, or payments to the ATO.

Airport lounge access: 0.5/5

Complimentary airport lounge access is no longer offered to HSBC credit card holders, although using your HSBC card to purchase Qantas Club membership does deliver bonus points, as above.

Included international travel insurance: 4/5

International travel insurance can be unlocked on a trip-by-trip basis when charging at least 90% of the cost of your return ticket to the card prior to leaving Australia, when you'll be out of the country for four consecutive months or less.

That 90% rule makes allowances for any arrival or departure taxes and fees which can only be paid in cash at the airport – such as in Brunei – as opposed to some other policies which require your entire return travel costs be charged to the card even though this may not always be possible.

However, there's no cover if you booked your international flights using frequent flyer points, including points earned via this credit card, nor are you covered by using the card towards other pre-paid travel costs such as hotel stays or tours prior to leaving Australia, as some other credit card policies allow.

HSBC's coverage line-up does also include purchase protection insurance, extended warranty insurance on selected new appliances, access to the guaranteed pricing scheme and transit accident insurance, and from November 1 2017, will include some cover for domestic trips and domestic rental car insurance as well.

HSBC Platinum Qantas Visa: the verdict

HSBC's Qantas credit card may not have all the features of years past, but when it comes to earning points in the current post-RBA climate, this is a reasonable contender for your wallet – especially if your monthly spends are quite low, or when pairing this card with a higher-earning American Express or Diners Club product to keep as your back-up plan.

iPhone and Apple Watch users will also appreciate having Apple Pay available, allowing cardholders to use their iDevice to make purchases wherever contactless credit cards are accepted, without needing to carry their physical HSBC card.

A low minimum income requirement of just $40,000 p.a. also makes this card accessible to most full-time workers: so unlike some high-end rewards cards which require a salary of $65,000-$150,000 to apply, you don't need to be earning the big bucks to qualify and earn big points.

However, make sure you read and understand the Terms and Conditions of the included insurance covers (which you'll receive in the mail along with your credit card) before relying on that insurance, to make sure you qualify and that the coverage meets your needs.

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!
 

-2 Comment

  • PERflyer

    PERflyer

    6 Oct, 2017 10:29 am

    Very surprised this isn’t mentioned in the “what’s not” category but needs to mentioned. Beware with this card your are going back 20 years in the online experience. It’s like a work experience kid has done the electronic side of this card. A very awkward and tedious experience with many strange combinations of passwords needed to access as well as many pop up windows opening to jut see your transactions. There’s better out there imo.
    Member who gave thanks

    RSD

  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    6 Oct, 2017 12:05 pm

    Hi PERflyer, we don't include online banking facilities as part of credit card reviews because most of our readers would apply for a card based on what it costs and how many points they can earn, rather than how 'pretty' the bank's website is or whether they have to open a separate window to download a card statement.

    Granted, some banks are better than others in the IT department, although HSBC's site still allows you to see both pending and processed transactions, view PDF card statements, see a live tally of how many points have been earned that month based on spend (before they're converted over to Qantas), change the primary card PIN and other basic functions, which would satisfy the regular needs of most people: and of course, people with different needs can choose to bank elsewhere.

    (In saying that, we do remember a couple of years back when HSBC's cards still didn't have Visa Paywave support: that was most definitely a "What's not" at the time, particularly when most other banks had already adopted contactless payments, although these days HSBC's cards support Paywave, along with Apple Pay which several major banks don't offer, so you win some, you lose some.)
    No member give thanks

  • PERflyer

    PERflyer

    6 Oct, 2017 01:13 pm

    It effects the experience of living with the card day to day so I think it’s part of the relevant information. Not a bad all rounder but I canned it because of the online banking.
    Member who gave thanks

    AT

  • asw

    asw

    6 Oct, 2017 03:45 pm

    I have the Premier version of this card, and HSBC online card banking is certainly not at the bottom of the functional list. For example, ANZ banking doesnt show pending transactions, and rewards redemption is via a separate online portal. BTW: The interface is the same across the HSBC group if you bank in other countries.

    No member give thanks

  • Adam T

    AT

    7 Oct, 2017 11:19 am

    Yep that $2500 cap for 1:1 is absolutely terrible.
    Member who gave thanks

    RSD

Guest

24 Oct, 2017 01:05 pm

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