NAB's entry-level Qantas Rewards Visa credit card may be easy to qualify for with a minimum credit limit of only $500, but when it comes to earning frequent flyer points, a low earning rate combined with a monthly points cap leaves a lot to be desired.
We put NAB's 'beginner' Qantas Points-earning credit card under the microscope to see how it stacks up.
NAB Qantas Rewards Visa credit card: fast facts
- Grade/tier: Standard
- Card type: Visa
- Loyalty program: Qantas Frequent Flyer (direct earn)
- Qantas Points earned per dollar spent: 0.5 up to $3,000 per month; no points thereafter on everyday purchases.
- Bonus Qantas Points: Earn one extra Qantas Point per dollar spent on Qantas flights and Qantas Club lounge memberships purchased directly from Qantas in Australia, over and above the applicable 'everyday' earn rate above.
- Points capping: Once the card's $3,000 ceiling is reached in each statement period, no further points are earned until the next statement period begins, except where bonus Qantas Points apply. Payments to the ATO do not attract Qantas Points at any time.
Fees, charges and interest: 4/5
- Annual fee: $95
- Additional 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%
- Minimum income requirement: None defined
- Minimum credit limit: $500
Earning points for free flights: 1/5
With no offer of bonus points for new customers and a monthly points cap providing no more than 1,500 Qantas Points every statement period, the most you'll get out of this card over the course of a year from your everyday spending is 18,000 Qantas Points, and that's if you push things to the max.
As a return economy flight between Sydney and Melbourne can be nabbed for 16,000 Qantas Points plus taxes, fees and charges, you'd need to spend $32,000 on everyday purchases using this card to earn that reward: and with no more than $3,000 of that spent in any one statement period.
Given a $95 annual fee applies, unless you're spending that $32,000 every single year, you could end up paying a second annual fee before you've earned enough points to take a trip: by which time, it may have been better value to simply purchase an airfare at retail prices than to collect and strategically redeem points through this NAB card.
In the same price range, the St. George Amplify Platinum card with Qantas Points costs only $4 extra per year ($99 vs. $95 in annual fees) but awards 0.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent without any monthly or yearly capping, and comes with a bonus 50,000 bonus Qantas Points when you apply by January 23 2019 and spend $2,000 on purchases within 90 days of card approval.
To put that into perspective, spending $32,000 on a NAB Qantas Rewards Visa in the first year unlocks 16,000 Qantas Points, enough for a return economy flight between Sydney and Melbourne, as above.
Making the same $32,000 first-year spend on the St. George Amplify Platinum Visa with Qantas Points would instead provide 66,000 Qantas Points, including the sign-up bonus for those who meet the spend criteria, being more than enough for a return economy flight from Sydney to Singapore or Hong Kong, or a one-way jaunt in business class on the same routes, for an annual fee only $4 more than NAB's.
Airport lounge access: 0/5
As is to be expected of an entry-level credit card, airport lounge access is not included here.
Inclusive travel insurance, purchase protection: 1/5
We'd not normally expect to find any insurance coverage available on an entry-level card, although NAB's Qantas Rewards Visa does offer purchase protection insurance against the loss or theft of, or accidental damage to, new personal items anywhere in the world for three months from the date of purchase.
(As always, refer to the PDS and policy documents for full details and to confirm your eligibility for cover, and direct any questions on this to NAB.)
But despite this, the St. George Amplify Platinum card with Qantas Points mentioned above also includes complimentary international travel insurance, extended warranty cover and transit accident insurance, which may prove more useful, for a comparable annual fee.
NAB Qantas Rewards Visa credit card: the verdict
All things considered, it's hard to get excited about NAB's Qantas Rewards Visa when cards from other banks offer more points and better features for practically the same price.
However, as NAB's card is an entry-level product as opposed to Platinum plastic, its one advantage is its $500 minimum credit limit, versus $6,000 on most Platinum credit cards, including St. George Amplify Platinum.
While St. George also has no defined minimum income requirement for its comparable card, individuals with lower incomes, higher monthly expenses or a spotty credit history could potentially find it easier to qualify for a smaller credit limit, and given the opportunity to earn some points versus no points at all if declined for a better card, this could be NAB's saving grace.