NAB Flybuys Rewards Visa Platinum (Virgin Australia, Etihad)

Credit Card Review: NAB Flybuys Rewards Visa Platinum (Virgin Australia, Etihad)

What's Hot

  • Complimentary travel and other insurances
  • Convert your points to Virgin Australia or Etihad

What's Not

  • Low frequent flyer earn rates
  • Monthly points capping

X-Factor

  • One of the few cards in Australia that can earn Etihad Guest miles

Introduction

Top-up your Flybuys points with a new NAB Flybuys Rewards Visa Platinum credit card and you could turn those points into free flights and more with Virgin Australia, Etihad Airways and their various alliance partners including Alitalia, Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines and more.

Savvy spenders could boost their points further by shopping at Coles and Co. to earn Flybuys points twice: once with the store direct, and again by paying the bill using their Flybuys-earning credit card.

But with Coles also offering its own line of Flybuys-earning credit cards, how does NAB's Flybuys card stack up?

NAB Flybuys Rewards Visa: fast facts

  • Grade/tier: Platinum
  • Card type: Visa
  • Loyalty program: Flybuys
  • Flybuys points earned per $1 spent: 1.0
  • Flybuys frequent flyer partners: Virgin Australia Velocity, Etihad Guest
  • 1 Flybuys point ($1 spent) = 0.435 Velocity points, 0.4 Etihad Guest miles
  • Points transfers: Convert to Velocity in increments of 2,000 Flybuys points (870 Velocity points) and to Etihad in increments of 10,000 Flybuys points (4,000 Etihad Guest miles)
  • Points capping (earning): Earn a maximum of 20,000 Flybuys points per monthly statement period, equal to $20,000 of spend
  • Points capping (conversion): Convert a maximum of 138,000 Flybuys points to Virgin Australia Velocity per calendar year (equal to 60,030 Velocity points). No cap on transfers to Etihad Guest.

Fees, charges and interest: 3/5

  • Annual fee: $95
  • Additional/supplementary cardholder fee: $0
  • Interest rate on purchases: 19.99% p.a.
  • Interest-free days on purchases: Up to 44
  • Interest rate on cash advances: 21.74% p.a.
  • International transaction fee: 3.0%
  • Minimum income requirement: No defined minimum
  • Minimum credit limit: $6,000

Earning points for free flights: 3/5

Convert your Flybuys points to Virgin Australia Velocity and you'd be able to book a one-way Sydney-Melbourne flight in economy after spending $18,000 on your NAB Flybuys credit card – simply convert 18,000 Flybuys points into 7,830 Velocity points and book your journey.

Etihad Guest is also an option with the same Virgin Australia flight bookable for 6,900 Etihad miles, equal to 17,250 Flybuys points. However, as Flybuys points can only be converted to Etihad in batches of 10,000, you'd need to sweep across 20,000 Flybuys points to get across the line.

As you can earn up to 240,000 Flybuys points per year with this card (capped at 20,000 points per month), it's disappointing that you can only convert a maximum of 138,000 points to Velocity each year, restricting how high spenders could redeem the remaining 102,000 Flybuys points.

And, that annual transfer limit applies to your entire Flybuys account – including points earned from shopping at Coles, First Choice Liquor, Kmart, Target and more – so if you regularly visit those stores and earn further Flybuys points there, the number credit card points you can ship across to Velocity is reduced further.

Airport lounge access: 0/5

Airport lounge access isn't offered on the NAB Flybuys Rewards Card.

Complimentary insurance benefits: 4/5

You may be protected by international travel insurance after charging at least $500 of your flights or other pre-paid expenses to your NAB credit card before leaving Australia and when holding a return ticket.

There's also transport accident insurance, interstate flight inconvenience insurance, domestic hotel burglary insurance, purchase and price protection and extended warranty cover for up to 12 bonus months on selected new appliances purchased using your card.

NAB Flybuys Rewards Visa: the verdict

When pitted against the comparable Coles Rewards (Flybuys) Platinum MasterCard, NAB's own Flybuys card isn't particularly competitive with a higher annual fee, a Flybuys earning rate half that of the Coles card, and monthly points capping to boot.

What's more, Coles cardholders pay no international transaction fees when shopping abroad yet can still earn Flybuys points on those purchases, while NAB instead imposes a 3% international transaction fee: adding $30 to your bill for every $1,000 spent overseas.

That said, NAB's suite of insurance protections are far more comprehensive, with the Coles card offering only merchandise protection insurance, and NAB's card featuring a variety of travel and other covers that could well save you more than the cost of the annual fee.

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 Comments

  • Chris_PER

    Chris_PER

    31 Jan, 2017 09:03 am

    I've had this card for nearly 4 years.  It hasn't changed at all, except the cost of the card rising from around $60.  This card is becoming less and less attractive with the other cards around now.

    No member give thanks

  • kimshep

    kimshep

    31 Jan, 2017 11:49 am

    "1 Flybuys point ($1 spent) = 0.435 Velocity points, 0.4 Etihad Guest miles

    Points transfers: Convert to Velocity in increments of 2,000 Flybuys points (870 Velocity points)"

    How surprising! Obviously inspired - and copied - by the recently unveiled Woolworths Rewards / QFF rate.

    No member give thanks

Guest

24 Feb, 2017 07:05 pm

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