Qantas Premier Mastercard (Qantas Money, issued by Citibank)

Review: Qantas Premier Mastercard (Qantas Money, issued by Citibank)

What's Hot

  • Earn up to 1 Qantas Point per $1 spend on everyday transactions in Australia
  • Companion airfare discounts, two yearly lounge passes
  • Bonus points when booking Qantas flights, buying epiQure wine, travelling abroad

What's Not

  • 3% international transaction fee, $50/year charge per additional cardholder
  • No points earned on any government spend
  • Limited insurance coverage compared to other Platinum-level cards

X-Factor

  • 60,000 bonus Qantas Points for eligible new cardholders

Introduction

The new Qantas Premier Mastercard – issued by Citibank on behalf of Qantas Money – packs in 60,000 bonus Qantas Points for eligible new cardholders and a solid 'everyday' earning rate of one Qantas Point per dollar spent on most Mastercard transactions in Australia, with up to 1.5 Qantas Points per dollar spent overseas.

There's also a reduced annual fee in the first year and familiar favourites like two yearly Qantas Club lounge visits and no limit to the number of points you can earn, but when you examine the card more closely, some of its other benefits like companion fare discounts on Qantas flights and international travel insurance do come with some important restrictions, while you'll also pay more to use your card overseas to earn those higher points.

Australian Business Traveller puts the new Qantas credit card under the microscope: revealing where this card excels, and where it doesn't.

Qantas Premier Mastercard: fast facts

  • Grade/tier: Platinum
  • Card type: Mastercard
  • Loyalty program: Qantas Frequent Flyer
  • Qantas Points earned per dollar spent:

         Foreign currency transactions (most overseas spend): 1.5

         All payments in Australian dollars (including any international charges), up to $10,000 per month: 1.0
         Exceeding $10,000 per month:
    0.5

        
    Bonus points on selected Qantas products and services*: 1.0

         All government transactions (such as ATO payments, rates, car registration and more): No points

  • Points capping: No cap, although tiered earn rates apply as above for heavy spenders

* Selected Qantas products and services include Qantas flight bookings direct with Qantas or selected travel agents, payments for Qantas Club or Qantas Frequent Flyer membership, Qantas flight vouchers, purchases from the Qantas epiQure wine store and the monetary component of transactions made at the Qantas Store.

Bonus points are awarded in addition to the applicable Australian dollar earn rate, being 2.0 Qantas Points per dollar spent in total where $10,000 or less has been spent that month, or 1.5 Qantas Points per dollar spent where >$10,000 has been spent in the same statement period.

Fees, charges and interest: 4/5

  • Total annual fee: $299 (currently $149 in the first year)
  • Supplementary cardholder fee: $50 (per card)
  • 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 credit limit: $6,000

Earning points for free flights: 4/5

New cardholders who apply by October 31 2017, are approved and spend at least $3,000 within 90 days of card approval can pocket 60,000 bonus Qantas Points: enough for a one-way Qantas business class flight from Sydney or Melbourne to Singapore or Hong Kong.

As you continue to use the card, every $5,334 spent on foreign currency transactions or every $8,000 spent in Australian dollars nets enough points for a one-way Qantas flight from Sydney to Melbourne in economy, plus a payment to cover taxes and other fees of around $35 per flight.

That assumes you're spending $10,000 per month or less within Australia or on Aussie dollar transactions abroad – but if you exceed that threshold, you'd continue earning enough points for that same flight after every $16,000 spent.

We're pleased the Qantas Premier Mastercard offers an additional Qantas Point per dollar spent on things like Qantas flights and Qantas Club memberships, as found with many other Qantas-earning credit cards, but that this bonus also applies to Qantas epiQure wine purchases too, which is less-standard.

However, it's unfortunate that the higher earn rate on international transactions only applies when paying in a foreign currency, with Australian dollar payments processed overseas earning points at the card's lower, tiered rates, even if the cardholder has been slugged an international transaction fee.

(It's never a great idea to pay in Australian dollars overseas when you can simply pay in a business' local currency, as doing so attracts a padded exchange rate that provides a commission to the business accepting your card, known as Dynamic Currency Conversion: so falling for that trap not only costs you more, but rewards you with fewer points.)

Back in Australia, it's also pleasing that cardholders can earn up to one Qantas Point per dollar spent when using their card for everyday purchases, although it's important to highlight that no points at all are awarded on government or government-related transactions, including but not limited to "transactions made at Australia Post, payments to the Australian Taxation Office, council rates, motor registries, tolls, parking stations and meters, fares on public transport, fines and court related costs".

Also excluded from earning points: "transactions made in operating a business" – so don't be tempted to use this card to pay your business' suppliers, else you may find no points awarded on those payments.

Inclusive travel insurance: 3/5

Charge the full cost of your return international flight to your Qantas Premier Mastercard – or at least $500 of fares where the ticket price exceeds that amount – and you may be covered by international travel insurance on trips of up to 30 days, with a $500 excess payable on most approved claims.

You may also be covered when using Qantas Points to book your overseas flights, provided all of those points were earned via the Qantas Premier credit card. If, like most people, you earned some of your points by flying, some by shopping and some from your credit card, you may not be covered unless you've earned at least as many points via Qantas Premier as you spent on the ticket.

Full travel insurance isn't available on domestic trips – instead with more limited interstate flight inconvenience insurance provided, activated by using your Qantas Premier card to either book a return domestic holiday of 14 days or less, or using your Qantas Points to book the same where those points were earned via your Qantas Premier card.

Global car hire excess cover of up to $3,000 is also provided, as is 'golfer's insurance', covering theft or accidental damage to your golf clubs, although exclusions apply including when left "unattended in a public place", the definition of which includes airports and golf courses.

On the downside, this card doesn't provide purchase protection (cover for loss/damage to items purchased with the card), free extended warranty cover (when buying selected new appliances), a guaranteed pricing scheme (when you buy something with the card which is later advertised at a lower price), or domestic transit accident insurance: all of which are standard of most Platinum-grade cards in Australia.

Most other cards also provide international travel insurance on trips of 3-6 months – some even on trips of up to 12 months – although the cover you'll get via this card is only valid for return trips of 30 days or less, doesn't cover you on one-way bookings (even if planning to later buy a flight home) and can't be activated by pre-paying other travel charges like overseas hotel stays or tours, which are also common features of other Australian cards.

Airport lounge access, Qantas flight benefits: 3/5

As is standard of many Qantas-earning credit cards, the Qantas Premier Mastercard provides two complimentary Qantas airport lounge visits per year: usable either in domestic Qantas Club or Qantas Regional Lounges, or in Qantas international business class lounges with the exception of Los Angeles.

When travelling domestically with a partner, cardholders may also save 10-20% on selected domestic companion airfares once per year when booking via the card's concierge service.

At the top end, those 20% savings apply to domestic 'flexible business class' airfares (J, C); 15% savings apply to all 'flexible economy' fares (Y, B, H, K and M types); and 10% savings apply to most Red eDeal fares (L, V, S, N and Q tickets).

However, companion discounts are not available on the lowest-cost economy fares (O, E) or on Business Sale and Business Saver fares (D, I) – which means that booking and paying for flights at full price may actually be less-expensive than by using the companion fare discount during sale periods or when low-end fares are still available.

As a welcome offer for new cardholders, no interest is payable on the first eligible Qantas purchase for up to six months should you choose to carry a balance rather than pay your statement in full every month.

Qantas Premier Mastercard credit card: the verdict

All things considered, the Qantas Premier Mastercard is a solid choice for earning points on most spends within Australia, with one Qantas Point earned per dollar spent up to $10,000 per month, and 0.5 Qantas Points per dollar spent thereafter.

It's unfortunate that those reasonable earn rates don't apply to any government-related transactions – on which no points are earned at all, rather than attracting points at a reduced rate as with American Express – and that other perks like bonus status credits and Qantas Club membership discounts aren't included either, as you'd find with ANZ's top-tier Frequent Flyer Black Visa.

International spend does fetch a higher earn rate of 1.5 Qantas Points per dollar spent overseas (uncapped), but which is only achievable when paying a 3% international transaction fee – a charge that many other banks including ANZ, Bankwest, Commonwealth Bank, Coles Financial Services and Latitude have now removed from a number of their own travel-themed cards.

Unlike most Australian frequent flyer credit cards, you'll also pay an extra $50/year to have an additional cardholder on the account (such as your husband, wife or child), and while the card offers the usual platinum-grade telephone concierge services, only primary cardholders are allowed to use the service: not their additional cardholders.

It's for these reasons we'd suggest the Qantas Premier Mastercard is a great fit for people who want to maximise their points on spends within Australia at places where American Express isn't accepted, or who simply want one decent 'everyday' card to earn points wherever they shop: but may not be the right choice for people focussed on the other aspects of a premium card like insurance cover, fees, or getting the highest sign-up bonus.

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!
 

15 Comments

  • gumshoe

    gumshoe

    6 Jun, 2017 08:03 am

    No spend on business like suppliers and PO etc. its so restrictive, really only for personal use, will not be going anywhere near this card.
    No member give thanks

  • Chris McKellar

    krisdude

    6 Jun, 2017 09:08 am

    Its similar to Westpac New Zealand Airpoints Platinum Mastercard card issued in New Zealand except for additional points earning on QF related products and services.

    At least in NZ, there is Westpac New Zealand Airpoints Business Mastercard card where a business owner can earn Air NZ Airpoints for business related purchases at the same earning rate as the Airpoints Platinum Mastercard card.

    As Chris said, the Qantas Premier Card is great to earn FF points personal purchases and Qantas products and services with Australia and Overseas.
    No member give thanks

  • Matthew Liu

    gapmatt

    6 Jun, 2017 09:10 am

    Not very enticing for those who have QFF Gold or higher status. I was hoping for some additional perks. 

     
    Probably won't be signing up to this.
    No member give thanks

  • Dean

    deanr

    6 Jun, 2017 09:36 am

    I normally use AMEX where I can and have a Visa for everything else, but at these earn rates, the new Qantas card is no better than what I already have in my wallet, so there's no point at all in switching... but then again, Qantas probably doesn't want to kill its income stream of banks buying points, so maybe that's the idea!

    Even so, they could do so much better with the other card features. The half-baked travel insurance policy just doesn't cut it at that annual fee, and that companion fare discount looks like a real muckaround to waste time on the phone and save a very small amount, if there's any real saving to be had at all versus just buying a cheaper fare. Qantas lounge passes also serve zero purpose to Gold/Platinum FFs who already have lounge access, and you can earn more points when booking Qantas flights by using other cards at the same fee. Would have been nice to see the credit card surcharge waived when using this to book with Qantas... even Jetstar does that for its own card!
    Member who gave thanks

    Jflyer

  • John Phelan

    John Phelan

    6 Jun, 2017 09:59 am

    I put most spending on my Amex Ultimate card, but will be getting this one to replace my existing Mastercard. The 1:1 ceiling of $10,000 per month is FAR better than my existing card.
    No member give thanks

  • RTWFF

    RTWFF

    6 Jun, 2017 10:37 am

    This summary should emphasise the cost to card holders of the poor interest-free period. Describing it simply as "up to 55 days" doesn't really cut it, as a significant number of users won't qualify for any interest free period at all (see T&C 13)
    No member give thanks

  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    6 Jun, 2017 10:51 am

    RTWFF: Interest-free days only ever apply to those who pay their credit card off in full every month. The T&Cs merely specify how interest is calculated should a cardholder not have done so.

    (If you paid last month's debt off in full but didn't pay this month's debt, you pay interest as you're now carrying a balance. If you didn't pay last month's debt in full but did pay off this month's debt, you're charged interest for that month as you were still carrying a balance until the point the card was repaid in full - after which, no interest applies on subsequent statements for regular purchases, as interest is calculated based on the closing balance each day. These are standard terms for most credit cards.)

    Interest charges always apply to other transactions like cash advances: so as with other credit cards, you'll get those interest-free days every month by only making purchases (not cash advances etc.), and paying the closing balance in full each and every month.

    This post does not constitute 'financial advice' and should not be taken as such.

    No member give thanks

  • melbcollege

    melbcollege

    6 Jun, 2017 12:46 pm

    It is a terrible start for Qantas credit card! qantasmoney.com website is not working for application. I tried last night and today multiple times, NOT WORKING! I called Qantas Premier, staff are overseas and have no idea what I am talking about. I called Qantas membership service, staff told me there is an issue. It seems nobody know whats going on with credit card staff overseas. What a terrible start!
    Member who gave thanks

    FlyingRat

  • John Phelan

    John Phelan

    6 Jun, 2017 07:55 pm

    Go to the QF website, go into QFF, and then credit cards and get into it from there. It works if you do it that way.

    No member give thanks

  • GregXL

    GregXL

    6 Jun, 2017 01:28 pm

    60000 points for $149 is not the best sign up deal around, but at 0.25 c per point, it is still good value for those wanting to buy points.
    No member give thanks

  • Matt behrmann

    Matt B.

    6 Jun, 2017 03:25 pm

    As a novice  I need all the help I can get!  I have had an ANZ  Frequent Flyer Black Visa and AMEX card but the Bank has recently informed me that they are about to drop their AMEX card completely. I really  ONLY use them to accrue Qantas Points. No International trips and I always pay them out on time.  What are my alternatives - the new Qantas Premier or ??
    No member give thanks

  • John Phelan

    John Phelan

    6 Jun, 2017 07:56 pm

    Other choice would be Amex Qantas Ultimate.

    No member give thanks

  • Jo Furbank

    Jo145

    7 Jun, 2017 06:44 pm

    Anyone have an idea how long approval takes after applying?  28Degrees was instant ... I applied last night and still haven't heard anything.  Clicked on the "track my application status" link in the email I was sent and it only sent me to the app, no update.
    No member give thanks

  • Jo Furbank

    Jo145

    8 Jun, 2017 06:16 pm

    Can answer my own question - just over 24 hours.  Very efficient.
    No member give thanks

  • FlyingRat

    FlyingRat

    14 Jul, 2017 08:15 pm

    Good luck with any customer service needs. Submitted an application for the card, but it got 'stuck' in their system (actually could not complete the application process). After numerous calls to overseas support staff to correct and constant  promises to be called back to follow up (and never received a single call back), after a week application is still pending. Took business elsewhere and had approval within 24 hours with one of their competitors. Not indicative that they will be able to cope or service their customers.
    No member give thanks

  • Adam T

    AT

    29 Aug, 2017 07:27 pm

    So that's the outsourced Citibank call centre, god knows where it is. Just plain terrible. I had the Virgin Money card way back when and cancelled it with worst online banking site all by Citibank. Just awful. 
    No member give thanks

  • Angelo Zanatta

    zanaange

    3 Aug, 2017 12:31 am

    If you're replacing an existing credit card and you use scheduling and periodical payments. Like for organisations that don't use direct debit. eg council rates. 

    Then do not apply for this card. This card does not have this functionality.

    Today I decide to BPAY a council bill due for Sept 1. The Qantas Money Premier card only allows you to pay today and nothing else.

    There is no pay on this date. What's worst is I can't even setup quarterly payments.

    Also, there isn't any downloading of transactions over a statement period or fiscal year or two.

    Frankly, Qantas has rushed into this deal with CITI Bank to provide a substandard product.

    Why am I paying an annual fee for a dumb card and useless web and app? 

     I'm committed now but I will looking else where when my year is up.

    No member give thanks

  • brettepi

    brettepi

    29 Aug, 2017 08:54 am

    what other visa/mastercards offer one point per dollar with a higher spend cap than 10k? does anyone know?
    No member give thanks

  • John Phelan

    John Phelan

    29 Aug, 2017 11:21 am

    I don't think you'll find one with a higher cap.
    No member give thanks

  • MEL737

    btaus

    31 Aug, 2017 12:06 am

    Platinum MasterCard seems pretty weak for a $299 annual fee cards - Even Citibank (Qantas Premier's issuer) has Emirates Skywards World MasterCard available at $299.
    No member give thanks

  • babushka27

    babushka27

    8 Sep, 2017 11:20 am

    Today I learnt a hard way that they do not give you points for the government bills such as council rates etc. 60K points for $149 was OK to start with but this card is definitely not a keeper any longer than this year. It has to go.
    No member give thanks

  • OzDino

    OzDino

    8 Sep, 2017 04:27 pm

    Chris, do government bills count towards the first $3k spend? I have a nice tax bill that needs to be paid that could be softened by an additional 60k points. 
    No member give thanks

  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    8 Sep, 2017 04:37 pm

    Hi OzDino, we can't provide readers with personal financial advice, so for a definitive answer you would need to contact Qantas Money: but as these transactions don't ordinarlly earn points (on a per-dollar-spent basis), we wouldn't expect that they would count as qualifying spend towards the bonus points offer.
    No member give thanks

Guest

18 Oct, 2017 11:15 am

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