NAB Rewards Signature Visa credit card

Review: NAB Rewards Signature Visa credit card

What's Hot

  • Multiple insurance options
  • No points capping

What's Not

  • Low ongoing earning rates in Australia
  • No lounge access

X-Factor

  • Triple points on all overseas spend

Introduction

The NAB Rewards Signature Visa credit card is the bank's highest-earning plastic for Virgin Australia Velocity frequent flyer points, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles and Air New Zealand Airpoints Dollars, with triple points on all overseas spend and a sign-up bonus worth up to 45,000 Velocity points.

However, the number of points you can collect on everyday purchases in Australia still isn't that great, so while the card offers more points than NAB's lower-tiered NAB Rewards Platinum Visa, you can still find higher-earning cards elsewhere, at lower annual fees.

Here's how the NAB Rewards Signature Visa stacks up to the competition.

NAB Rewards Signature Visa credit card: fast facts

  • Grade/tier: Black
  • Card type: Visa
  • Loyalty program: NAB Rewards
  • NAB Rewards points earned per $1 spent:
         All international transactions and with Webjet in Australia: 3.75
         Hardware and department store purchases: 2.5
         Everywhere else (excluding ATO payments): 1.25
  • NAB Rewards frequent flyer transfer partners: Virgin Australia Velocity (2:1), Cathay Pacific Asia Miles (3:1), Air New Zealand Airpoints (200:1 Airpoints Dollar)
  • 1.25 NAB Rewards points ($1 spent on everyday purchases) = 0.625 Velocity points, 0.416 Asia Miles, $0.00625 Airpoints Dollars (double points at department/hardware stores and triple points with Webjet and abroad)
  • Points capping/tiering: None

Fees, charges and interest: 3/5

  • Annual fee: $295
  • 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: $15,000

Earning points for free flights: 2.5/5

Eligible new customers can kick things off with 90,000 bonus NAB Rewards points – equal to 45,000 Velocity points or 30,000 Asia Miles – after applying and spending at least $4,000 on everyday purchases within 90 days of account opening.

Beyond that though, an everyday earning rate equal to 0.625 Velocity points or around 0.4 Asia Miles is less attractive, as are NAB's bonus partners of department and hardware stores: because realistically, these are places where American Express cards are widely accepted, allowing shoppers to earn even more points than NAB is providing.

Offering bonus points on Webjet purchases is also moot, because Webjet often adds extra fees and charges onto its bookings over and above what you'd pay if making your reservation directly with the airline or hotel, so you'll be paying more than you otherwise would just to earn your extra points, which will likely negate the value.

Compared to other Black-level cards, NAB's card also falls short on earning points on your everyday spend. For example, the $289/year Virgin Money Velocity High Flyer Visa Signature card costs less than NAB's card but provides a much higher one Velocity point per $1 spent on everyday purchases up to $8,000 per month, and then 0.5 Velocity points thereafter, giving most people more points overall than via NAB.

The cheaper-again St. George Amplify Signature Visa clocks in at $279 but offers the equivalent of 0.825 Velocity points (or 0.825 KrisFlyer or Enrich miles) per $1 spent, uncapped on all eligible purchases – so if you were drawn to NAB because of the absence of a points cap, St. George would again cost you less and prove more rewarding on most purchases.

Airport lounge access: 0/5

Noticeably absent from NAB's Black-level card is airport lounge access, a feature the two Signature cards mentioned above, and many others, also include.

Complimentary insurance benefits: 4.5/5

Like NAB's Platinum-grade cards, its Signature card includes interstate flight inconvenience insurance, transport accident insurance, extended warranty cover, purchase protection and price protection all as standard.

You may also be covered by overseas travel insurance after charging at least $500 of pre-paid travel costs to your NAB credit card before commencing your journey, but check the policy wording to make sure you qualify and that the cover meets your needs.

Some cards require that you book your return overseas flight using the card to be covered, but as NAB's policy is a little different, it could give you the freedom to book your flights using airline frequent flyer points and then use the card to pre-pay some of your hotel expenses while still being covered (again, refer to the policy).

NAB includes domestic hotel burglary insurance as well: again, subject to terms, conditions and eligibility criteria.

NAB Rewards Signature Visa credit card: the verdict

For international travellers in particular, the NAB Rewards Signature Visa could stack up on value, taking into account the boosted earn rate when using the card overseas, along with the package of insurance benefits that could avoid the added cost of purchasing travel insurance with every trip.

However, the earning rates on most other purchases are nowhere near as strong, and the other places that NAB offers bonus points are mostly those that already accept American Express cards, and often Diners Club cards too, which could be giving you even more points than by using your NAB card.

Given that smaller businesses are generally less likely to accept AMEX and Diners than the larger chains, offering bonus points when transacting with smaller businesses would make the card a much more attractive option for points aficionados, as would giving bonus points at restaurants and cafes, where premium card acceptance also varies.

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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22 Sep, 2018 11:52 pm

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