The top Qantas frequent flyer credit card sign-up deals for March

The top Qantas frequent flyer credit card sign-up deals for March

Even though summer is now over, Australia's latest Qantas credit card sign-up deals are starting to really heat up, with up to 150,000 bonus Qantas Points now up for grabs from a single card application: enough for a return business class flight to the likes of Tokyo, Shanghai or Beijing.

That doesn't even take into account the points that credit card holders can earn on their regular everyday spends – combine the two and it's possible to fly even further.

Here's what makes the ranks for March 2019, including top credit card sign-up offers from the likes of American Express, ANZ, Bank of Melbourne, BankSA, Citibank, NAB, St.George and Westpac.

1. Qantas Premier Titanium Mastercard

Topping the charts this autumn with an offer of 150,000 bonus Qantas Points is the new Qantas Premier Titanium Mastercard from Qantas Money, when you apply by April 30 2019 and spend $5,000 on purchases within 90 days from card approval.

There's a hefty $1,200 annual fee to pay and a minimum income requirement of $200,000, but in return, cardholders can also collect 1.25 Qantas Points per $1 spent in Australia up to $12,500 per month – reverting to 0.5/$1 thereafter – with an extra two Qantas Points per $1 spent awarded on eligible Qantas spend, such as flight bookings and so on.

Overseas, the earn rate is 2/$1 without points tiering, albeit with a 3% international transaction fee to pay, with the card offering two yearly Qantas First Lounge invitations, 20% bonus status credits for cardholders on Qantas flights booked using the card, discounts on eligible Qantas flight bookings, and more.

AusBT review: Qantas Money's new Qantas Premier Titanium Mastercard

2. American Express Westpac Altitude Black Bundle

Next, with an offer of up to 120,000 bonus Qantas Points, the American Express Westpac Altitude Black Bundle – comprised of a Westpac Altitude Black Mastercard with an American Express Westpac Altitude Black Card.

Those bonus points are offered in two parts: one being 80,000 bonus Qantas Points when you apply for the Black bundle by June 2 2019 and spend $3,000 on eligible purchases within 90 days of card approval using the Altitude Black Mastercard (issued and serviced by Westpac).

You could also take home 40,000 bonus Qantas Points when spending $3,000 on eligible purchases within the same 90-day period using the American Express Westpac Altitude Black Card (issued and serviced by American Express), which also generates 1.25 Qantas Points per $1 spent on most everyday purchases in Australia, uncapped.

Combined, that's up to 120,000 bonus Qantas Points on offer. The Altitude Black Mastercard carries a $250 annual fee; the AMEX, a $199 annual fee; and there's also a $50/year Qantas Rewards fee levied for earning Qantas Points.

3. Qantas Premier Platinum Mastercard, Qantas AMEX Ultimate Card, ANZ Frequent Flyer Black Visa

In third place, Qantas Money's mid-tier card – the Qantas Premier Platinum Mastercard – the Qantas American Express Ultimate Card, and the ANZ Frequent Flyer Black Visa all come with a sweetener of up to 100,000 bonus Qantas Points.

With Qantas Money, eligible new cardholders could first earn 70,000 bonus Qantas Points plus a reduced annual fee of $149 in the first year when applying by April 30 2019 and spending $3,500 within 90 days of card approval.

Completing the offer, a further 30,000 bonus Qantas Points will be awarded in the second year, within 12 weeks of paying the card's full annual fee ($299) on the anniversary of card approval, representing a wait time of about 15 months from the initial application until the full bonus of 100,000 points is delivered.

Over at American Express, the offer is a little more straightforward on its Qantas AMEX Ultimate Card: simply apply by April 14 2019 as a new AMEX card member, pay the card's $450 annual fee and spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months.

The card also provides a $450 Qantas Travel Credit each year – a voucher that can be used towards a Qantas flight booking via the AMEX website – which offsets the cost of the annual fee for those who'd use it, along with AMEX and Qantas lounge passes, and more.

Or, consider ANZ's Frequent Flyer Black Visa with 100,000 bonus Qantas Points and $200 back on your card, when you apply and spend $4,000 on eligible purchases in the first three months from approval.

Spending on ANZ's Visa provides one Qantas Point per $1 spent on everyday purchases up to and including $7,500 per month – 0.5/$1 thereafter – with a total annual fee of $425, reduced in 'cost' in the first year to $225, thanks to the $200 statement credit for those who've spent $4,000 on eligible purchases in the first three months.

4. NAB Qantas Rewards Signature Card

Close behind with an offer of 90,000 bonus Qantas Points is the NAB Qantas Rewards Signature Card, with a reduced annual fee of $295 in the first year ($395 ongoing).

Spending $4,000 on eligible purchases within 60 days of account opening sees those bonus points land directly into your Qantas Frequent Flyer account, but be aware that this offer has no published 'end date', so can be withdrawn at any time.

Everyday purchases provide one Qantas Point per $1 spent up to $5,000 per month; then 0.5/$1 on spends of $5,001-$20,000, and no points thereafter until the next monthly statement period. This excludes ATO payments, which don't earn points at any time.

5. St.George Amplify Signature, Westpac Altitude Black Mastercard, AMEX Platinum

With separate offers of 80,000 bonus Qantas Points right now, the St.George Amplify Signature Visa with Qantas Points, the standalone Westpac's Altitude Black Mastercard, and the AMEX Platinum Charge Card – here's what you need to know about each deal.

St.George: apply online for the Amplify Signature with Qantas Points card by May 22 2019, pay a reduced annual fee of $179 in the first year (normally $279) and spend $4,000 on purchases within 90 days of card approval, while also earning 0.75 Qantas Points per $1 spent on everyday purchases, plus a 10% 'birthday bonus' awarded in the month of your special day: taking that to 0.825 Qantas Points per $1 spent.

Read: How St.George's annual 'birthday bonus' boosts your points by 10%

You'll also find this bonus offer on the near-identical Bank of Melbourne Amplify Signature Visa with Qantas Points and the BankSA Amplify Signature Visa with Qantas Points credit cards when applying online – which, like St.George, are backed by Westpac Group.

Westpac: Separate to the Black bundle offer above, Westpac's Altitude Black Mastercard is also available as a standalone product (without the AMEX), and right now, comes with up to 80,000 bonus Qantas Points for eligible new customers who apply by June 2 2019 and spend $3,000 on purchases within 90 days of card approval, while paying a $250 annual card fee plus the bank's $50/year Qantas Rewards fee to earn Qantas Points.

Eligible purchases generate 0.75 Qantas Points per $1 spent, excluding ATO payments.

American Express: Apply for the AMEX Platinum Charge Card, pay a $1,450 annual fee and spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months to earn 80,000 bonus Membership Rewards Ascent Premium points, and between 0.5 and 3 points per $1 spent on the card depending on each transaction, all of which can currently be converted into Qantas Points at a 1:1 rate.

However, from April 15 2019, the Platinum Charge Card's earning rate is changing to be the equivalent of 1.125 Qantas Points per $1 spent on all purchases, except for government charges which continue to receive 0.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent.

From the same date, the conversion rate from Membership Rewards to Qantas Frequent Flyer is also changing from 1:1 to 2:1, so while the 1.125/$1 earning rate we've indicated takes the card's new earning and conversion rates into account, any existing points in your account on that date will lose 50% of their value if not converted prior, or if you're not offered 'double points' from AMEX to offset the conversion rate change.

Read more: American Express overhauls credit card frequent flyer points

Also read: Why American Express is doubling the points of some cardholders...

A close 6th: American Express Westpac Altitude Platinum Bundle

Only 5,000 points shy of that final ranking, the American Express Westpac Altitude Platinum Bundle comes with an offer of up to 75,000 bonus Qantas Points.

With Westpac, its Platinum-grade bundle mirrors the Altitude Black Bundle by splitting your bonus points into two distinct servings: firstly, with 60,000 bonus Qantas Points for new customers who apply for the American Express Westpac Altitude Platinum Bundle by June 2 2019, and spend $3,000 on eligible purchases within 90 days of card approval using the Altitude Platinum Mastercard (issued and serviced by Westpac).

In addition, you could earn 15,000 bonus Qantas Points after spending $3,000 on eligible purchases within 90 days of card approval using the using the American Express Westpac Altitude Platinum Card (issued and serviced by American Express), for a grand total of up to 75,000 bonus Qantas Points, as one card application (lodged by June 2 2019) can cover both the American Express card and the Mastercard.

Also as with Westpac's Black-level cards, there's a $50/year Qantas Rewards fee to be paid when earning Qantas Points, although the usual $150 annual fee on the Altitude Platinum Mastercard is currently waived in the first year (a $49 annual fee applies on the American Express card from the first year).

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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