Woolworths Money Qantas Platinum Visa (issued by Macquarie Bank)

Review: Woolworths Money Qantas Platinum Visa (issued by Macquarie Bank)

What's Hot

  • Bonus points on Qantas flight bookings, lounge membership

What's Not

  • Low points earning rate
  • Uncompetitive annual fee

X-Factor

  • 10% discount on your first Woolworths shop every month

Introduction

When it first hit the shelves a few years ago, the Woolworths Money Qantas Platinum Visa credit card (issued by Macquarie Bank, and formerly by HSBC) was a favourite of savvy flyers due to its high points earning rates and low annual fee – but more recently, those points have been slashed, and the card's annual fee hikes up after the first year.

Here's how Woolies' card fares in 2018 following these changes.

Woolworths Money Qantas Platinum Visa: fast facts

  • Grade/tier: Platinum
  • Card type: Visa
  • Loyalty program: Qantas Frequent Flyer
  • Qantas Points earned per $1 – eligible Qantas spend: 1.5
  • Qantas Points earned per $1 – at own-brand retailers*: 1.0
  • Qantas Points earned per $1 – government payments (including with the ATO): No points
  • Qantas Points earned per $1 – everywhere else: 0.5
  • Points capping: No capping or tiering applies within the earn rates above.

*These include Woolworths, Big W, Caltex Woolworths, BWS, Dan Murphy's and Cellarmasters.

Fees, charges and interest: 3/5

  • Annual fee: $169 ($99 first year)
  • Additional/supplementary cardholder fee: $29
  • Interest rate on purchases: 20.49% p.a.
  • Interest-free days on purchases: Up to 55
  • Interest rate on cash advances: 21.99% p.a.
  • International transaction fee: 3.0%
  • Minimum income requirement: $30,000 p.a.
  • Minimum credit limit: $6,000

Earning points for free flights: 2/5

With no bonus points on offer for new customers, cardholders would need to spend a whopping $16,000 on everyday purchases to earn the 8,000 Qantas Points needed to take a one-way Sydney-Melbourne flight in economy, with taxes and fees to be paid on top.

Transactions made in-store at Woolworths and with the company's other brands do get an increased earn rate of one Qantas Point per $1 spent, but that's no better than you could already be earning for free on the AMEX Qantas Discovery card in the same places, while cards like the AMEX Platinum Edge offer up to three frequent flyer points per dollar spent on the same purchases at a comparable annual fee.

For clarity, these earning rates are separate to the Woolworths Rewards program, so regardless of which card you use for your payment, you can also earn one Woolworths Rewards point (0.435 Qantas Points) per $1 spent in-store at Woolies, allowing you to double-dip.

While it's good that there's no points cap – so as long as you continue spending, you'll keep earning Qantas Points – this card carries an ongoing annual fee of $169, plus an extra $29 with an additional cardholder ($198 in total), which is more expensive than other comparable cards in the market.

For example, the St. George Amplify Platinum Visa costs just $99/year, also with an uncapped earning rate of 0.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent on everyday purchases (when choosing Amplify Qantas rewards), has no additional cardholder fee, and is offering 50,000 bonus Qantas Points when you apply by September 26 2018 and spend $2,000 on eligible purchases within 90 days of card approval.

Airport lounge access: 0.5/5

The Woolworths Qantas Platinum Visa provides no airport lounge access privileges, although you can earn 1.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent on paid Qantas Club lounge memberships using this card.

Instead, the key perk is much more supermarket-centric: you can save 10% on your first Woolworths shop every month up to a value of $500 in a single transaction, excluding things like smoking and tobacco products, newspapers, vouchers and gift cards (including mobile recharge).

To offset the card's ongoing total annual fee of $198 (assuming you have an additional cardholder), your first Woolworths spend every month would need to be $165 or more, to qualify for a monthly discount of $16.50, totalling $198 after 12 months.

International travel insurance: 3.5/5

You may be eligible for complimentary international travel insurance on trips of 30 days or less after charging your return overseas travel ticket to the Woolworths Qantas credit card, whether that's a flight, cruise or other means of transport.

Coverage may also provided when redeeming Qantas Points earned on the card for international journeys of the same duration, but given the number of points needed for most international flights, it's likely you'll have earned those from a variety of sources – not just from the Woolworths credit card – so as always, read the policy documents to ensure the cover is adequate and meets your needs.

Purchase security, extended warranty and transit accident cover are included as well, along with interstate flight inconvenience insurance and global hire car excess waiver cover (eligibility criteria apply).

Woolworths Money Qantas Platinum card: verdict

With a relatively low frequent flyer earning rate on everyday spend and a total annual fee literally double that of some competing cards (assuming you have an additional cardholder, as many people do), it's hard to get excited about Woolworths' Qantas plastic.

Certainly, there's the 10% saving on your first Woolworths shop every month – and for big families or those who use that first monthly shop to stock-up on non-perishable items, the savings could outweigh the ongoing annual fee – but many individuals will instead prefer to earn a higher number of points on their everyday spends, or pay a lower annual fee for the same thing.

Qantas-earning credit cards are a dime a dozen in Australia, and beyond these unique shopping savings, Woolworths' Qantas credit card doesn't really separate itself from the pack.

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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20 Jun, 2018 07:56 am

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