Some time ago, we delved into the various American Express cards available, and the American Express Platinum and Edge cards came out as clear winners offering the highest earning rate in terms of points. As some merchants add substantial surcharges for transactions in American Express while some decline to accept it altogether, having a Visa or Mastercard is essential to ensure every dollar you spend leverages the points you earn.
Today, we will compare several Visa and Mastercard to determine the highest-performing cards to help supercharge your points-earning potential. So, stay with us and let’s uncover the best Visa/Mastercard that offers the best earn-rate and benefits together—your wallet will thank you.
To get things started, we have included the best-performing Visa and Mastercard in the table below.
within 90 days of approval
|Qantas Premier Titanium (Annual Fee $1200)
|Up to 150,000 Qantas Points after spending $5,000
|1.25 pts/$ domestic spending
3.25 pts/$ on Qantas products
|Bonus Status credit on Qantas marketed flights, Base fare discount for passengers, 4 lounge passes.
(Annual Fee $700)
|275,000 Citi points After spending $10,000
Can be converted to other Airlines at a reduced rate.
|1 pt/dollar(Within Australia)
4th night free at selected hotels, Priority pass membership, Citi PayAll 0% fee offer and others.
|NAB Rewards Signature Card
|Up to 100,000 NAB Rewards bonus points when you spend $4,000 on everyday business purchases within 60 days of your account opening.
|Earn up to 3.75 Points for every $1 spent with points booster (1.25 standard points + 2.5 bonus points)
|Earn triple points on Webjet when travelling overseas or on overseas purchases made here in Australia.
|ANZ Business Black
|Up to 100,000 Reward Points after spending $6,000 on eligible purchases in the first 3 months from card approval
|Earn 1.0 Reward Point for every $1 over $10,000 uncapped.
|Save at least $375 on fees in your first year by waiving the $300 Annual Fee and $75 Rewards Fee per card in your first year.
Complimentary domestic and international travel insurance.
|Westpac Altitude Black (Annual Fee $295)
|Up to 120,000 Qantas/Velocity points after spending $6,000
|0.75 Qantas/Velocity pts/$
Capped at $250,000 P.A
0.41 pts /$ for other Airlines
|2 priority pass lounge access passes, Part pay flexible payment options.
|Coles Mastercard (Annual Fee $99)
|Up to 100,000 Flybuys points after spending $4,000
|2 Flybuys pts/$ for first $3000, 1 Flybuys pts/$ thereafter.
Flybuys converts on a 2:1 basis to Velocity
|Great low annual fee of $99 P.A
International transaction fee waiver for purchases.
|HSBC Star Alliance (Annual Fee $450)
|Star Alliance Gold Status after spending $4,000
Star Alliance Gold status on airline of choice after spending $60,000 in subsequent years.
Most Star Alliance Airlines.
|0.8 pts/$ for first $3000 in monthly statement
0.4 pts/$ thereafter
|Fast track to gold status which offers a range of benefits with Star Alliance marketed flights.
A card tailored to your needs
Every card has unique advantages and drawbacks depending on your circumstances and spending habits; one card will likely outshine the rest. For this reason, it’s essential to thoroughly review the rewards and benefits each card offers to ensure the option you choose aligns with your financial situation.
By carefully analysing each card’s overall earning rates, we have concluded certain cards outperform others depending on which network you frequently fly. Let’s take a closer look at the findings.
For those who frequently fly on the Qantas network, the Qantas Premier Titanium is the highest-earning credit card offering an earning rate of between 1.25 points per dollar for domestic spending and up to 3.25 points per dollar for spending at Qantas. This feature-packed card comes with a massive $1200 annual fee, with benefits far outweighing costs for avid Qantas fliers.
Every year, this card comes with perks such as two 10% base fare discounts for up to two passengers, a 20% status credit bonus for Qantas-marketed flights purchased with this card, two passes to the Qantas First Class lounge and finally, two additional passes to the Qantas Business Class lounge.
With a high spending habit and good use of the discounts, you can easily offset the annual fee while enjoying other great benefits free of charge!
If you have a lower spending habit, you can get the Qantas Premier Platinum; it has a modest annual fee of $395 but a high 1-point accrual rate of Qantas points for every dollar spent. The drawback with this option is you will be missing out on the fare discount, status boost, and First Class lounge passes.
For travellers who regularly fly on the Virgin Australia network, the Coles Mastercard is the winner, trailing ahead with an earning rate of 1 Velocity point per dollar spent by converting the Flybuys points earned. Note: This card has a $3000 earning cap at which the earn rate depreciates to 0.5 Velocity points per dollar spent. Alternatively, if you have a higher monthly spend on the card, the Westpac Altitude Black card might be a better option as it has a higher earning cap of $250,000 P.A.
For frequent flyers on the Star Alliance network, the HSBC Star Alliance credit card would be the card of choice as it earns 0.8 points per dollar spent for the first $3000 dollars in the month. The bonus Star Alliance Gold status is worthy of mention as it gives you a range of benefits across all Star Alliance Airlines, including Lounge Access, Extra Baggage Allowances, Priority Check-in/Boarding and many others.
Although with a modest earning rate, the Citibank Prestige card gets an honourable mention for being a feature-packed card for the frequent traveller. It comes with a range of unique hotels, lounges and other perks that can be useful when you are out and about. The card also includes higher bonus earning rates that exceed other cards if used overseas or at selected merchants. Based on your spending rate, you will need to weigh whether these perks are worth the $700 annual fee.
To sum things up
We’ve come to understand that these cards aren’t one-size-fits-all. Depending on your unique spending habits and favourite carrier networks, some will play to your strengths more than others. But here’s a pro tip: remember your Amex card generally has a superior earning rate and perks and is often a high scorer in the points game.
So, give your Amex card a starting role in your lineup, let it be your go-to points powerhouse and your chosen Visa or Mastercard as your alternate card—after all, every penny counts when it’s about racking up those sweet, sweet reward points.