Westpac Altitude Platinum Visa credit card

Review: Westpac Altitude Platinum Visa credit card

What's Hot

  • Free overseas travel insurance

What's Not

  • Lower points earning rates


  • Earn 60,000 bonus points


Westpac's Altitude Platinum Visa credit card gives you the flexibility to earn frequent flyer points with Qantas, Virgin Australia and four other major airlines, with points automatically sent to Qantas Frequent Flyer or manually converted to the other partners, as you see fit.

Also thrown in is free international travel insurance and a nice welcome bonus of 60,000 Qantas or Altitude Rewards points for new customers.

Rounding out the deal, Qantas earners pick up an extra Qantas Point per dollar spent directly with Qantas.

Westpac Altitude Platinum card: fast facts

  • Grade/tier: Platinum
  • Card type: Visa
  • Loyalty program: Qantas Frequent Flyer direct or Altitude Rewards
  • Qantas Points earned per dollar (Qantas Frequent Flyer option):
         Spend directly with Qantas, such as booking Qantas flights or buying Qantas Club membership: 1.5
         All other purchases (excluding ATO payments): 0.5
  • Or, Altitude Rewards points earned per dollar (Altitude Rewards option):
         Everyday purchases (excluding ATO payments): 1

  • Altitude Rewards airline partners: Virgin Australia, Air New Zealand, Cathay Pacific, Malaysia Airlines and Singapore Airlines
  • 1 Altitude Rewards point ($1 spent) = 0.5 Virgin Australia Velocity points, 0.5 Malaysia Airlines Enrich miles, 0.4 Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, 0.4 Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles, $0.0055 in Air New Zealand Airpoints Dollars
  • Points capping: Earn up to 3,750 Qantas Points per month or up to 7,500 Altitude Rewards points a month (equal to 3,750 Velocity points). From April 4 2018, no points cap will apply with either rewards option.

Fees, charges and interest: 3/5

  • Annual fee: $150
  • Qantas Rewards fee: $50/year (when earning points in Altitude Qantas from April 4 2018)
  • Additional cardholder fee: $0
  • Interest rate on purchases: 20.24% p.a.
  • Interest-free days on purchases: Up to 45
  • Interest rate on cash advances: 20.74% p.a.
  • International transaction fee: 3.0%
  • 'Recommended' income requirement: $30,000 p.a.
  • Minimum credit limit: $6,000

Earning points for free flights: 3/5

New customers who apply by June 11 2018 can net 60,000 bonus points for a solid boost to their rewards balance: just spend at least $3,000 on eligible purchases within 90 days of card approval.

But choose your rewards option wisely – those points come as either as 60,000 Qantas Points via Qantas direct, or as 60,000 Altitude Rewards points for all other spenders, which are worth between 24,000 and 30,000 frequent flyer points, depending on which airline you choose to convert them to.

Choose Qantas and those points are enough to book a one-way business class flight from Australia's east coast to Singapore or Hong Kong, while choosing Altitude Rewards and converting them to Velocity won't even get you a one-way economy flight to Singapore – but could land you a business class upgrade from a paid economy ticket between the east coast and Perth, including on flights with The Business.

However, a restrictive monthly points cap of just 3,750 Qantas Points or 7,500 Altitude Rewards points (equal to 3,750 Velocity points or 3,000 KrisFlyer/Asia Miles) will find you earning no points at all after spending $7,500 on the attached Platinum Visa every month.

Pleasingly, from April 4 2018, that points cap will be removed for both rewards programs.

Inclusive travel insurance: 4/5

You may qualify for free international travel insurance on trips of three months or less when holding a return ticket before leaving Australia and using your Westpac Altitude Platinum credit card to pre-pay at least A$500 of your costs for that trip.

That can include booking your flights, pre-paying overseas accommodation expenses or charging 'overseas itinerary items' to your card such as tours, but if you use only frequent flyer points to book your trip, you're not necessarily covered.

Fortunately, the $500 count also recognises amounts paid in airport and departure taxes as part of frequent flyer reward bookings, so be sure to use your Westpac card to cover any co-pay amount with your reward flights, or to book a night or two of accommodation with the card for peace of mind.

The card also provides transit accident insurance along with purchase security protection and extended warranty cover, but other benefits like interstate flight inconvenience insurance and rental car excess cover are absent.

Airport lounge access: 0/5

Free airport lounge access isn't a perk offered by this card.

Westpac Altitude Platinum card: the verdict

Priced at $150 per year (or $200/year from April 4 2018 when earning Qantas Points), the Westpac Altitude Platinum card pairs travel insurance with frequent flyer points and provides a choice of airlines with which to convert those points.

Yet, restrictive monthly points capping reduces the appeal of this card to relatively low spenders rather than high flyers, and even if you add an additional cardholder to your account, that cap remains in place for the entire account – not per card or per cardholder.

From April 4 2018, there won't be a points cap to get in your way – but until then, it's something to keep in mind.

It's for this reason you might instead prefer Westpac's Altitude Black Mastercard, delivering uncapped frequent flyer points right now amid extras like airport lounge access, against an annual fee of $250.

Or, to earn a higher number of points per dollar on relatively small spends, take a look at the ANZ Rewards Platinum Visa which delivers the equivalent of up to 0.75 Velocity Points per dollar spent, a further 65,000 bonus points to eligible new cardholders (32,500 Velocity points) and no annual fee in the first year.

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!


22 Mar, 2018 07:25 am


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