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There are a number of credit cards you can sign up for that will allow you to collect Etihad points for their frequent flyer program, Etihad guest.

There are plenty of pros and cons when it comes to credit cards linked to frequent flyer accounts, so it is always important to make sure you’ve done your research and got your head around the ins and outs.

What are credit card rewards?

Credit card rewards are benefits you get from being a cardholder of a specific credit card. Both banks and financial institutions offer up credit cards linked to rewards programs.

The big four Australian banks (Commonwealth Bank, ANZ, Westpac and NAB) have different rewards programs, and credit card companies like American Express, VISA and MasterCard all have reward cards of some sorts.

Credit card rewards can include a whole range of benefits for users, including credit card points that can be redeemed for travel, good, services or holidays. There are other benefits like extended warranties, cash vouchers and special rates for credit card members.

Some credit card rewards programs even give exclusive access to concert tickets during special pre-sale events, meaning you can get your hands on the hottest tickets before they sell out.

Some credit card rewards programs have high fees associated with them so it is best to weigh up the full cost of your rewards program.

What credit card rewards are there for travellers?

There are a number of thrifty and exclusive benefits and rewards available for travellers who use or spend with credit cards. Some of those benefits can include international travel insurance, lower rates of currency exchange and special hotel or flight booking reservations.

Credit card rewards can also include points for different airline frequent flyer programs, like Etihad points and their Etihad Guest program.

What are Etihad points?

Etihad points is the currency of the Etihad frequent flyer program, Etihad Guest, one of the many frequent flyer programs on the market.

It is similar to many other frequent flyer programs around the world, including the Qantas Frequent Flyer program, Emirate skymiles, Virgin’s Velocity program or Krisflyer from Singapore Airlines.

They are aimed at rewarding travellers, shoppers and frequent flyers with benefits and other perks for their loyalty.

What are the benefits of Etihad points?

This frequent flyer program offers lots of benefits to people who sign up to Etihad Guest, no matter if they are frequent flyers or casual travellers.

You can spend your Etihad points in the air on flights around the world, upgraded seats on Etihad or upgrades on partnered airlines.

You can also use them on the ground in the online Etihad Guest store or use them to book hotels.

How do I earn Etihad points?

There are a range of different ways to collect Etihad points. Even people who are not frequent flyers or regular air travellers can collect Etihad points. Signing up to a credit card rewards program that allows you to collect points is one of the most popular ways to accumulate Etihad points.

You can also collect points through travel. You can book flights through Etihad and earn points as you fly. You can also earn points on selected partner airliners.

Globe-trotters and frequent travellers will be able to earn points on hotel bookings, restaurant reservations or international car rental as well.

What are the pros and cons of credit card reward points?

There are both pros and cons associated with credit card rewards programs and points.

With credit card rewards points, it isn’t a one size fits all because each person may want different rewards for different reasons. Also, it is important to consider the financial responsibilities that come with credit cards.

Pros

  • You can earn rewards points on everyday purchases
  • For travellers, some credit cards include free flights, free travel insurance, free hotel bookings and exclusive invites
  • If you are a big spender on your credit card, you can unlock some perks that can lead to noticeable savings on a number of different purchases
  • You can often share your credit card reward points around to other members of your family, so they can receive bonus perks as well.

Cons

  • Often credit cards with rewards attached to them can include high annual fees ranging from $0 to $500
  • There are often terms and conditions attached to credit card reward points. Sometimes you’ll have to spend a certain amount of money on your credit card before you can earn points
  • The monetary value of reward points often doesn’t match dollar for dollar. This means you might spend $1 to get 1 point, but that 1 point is worth less than $1
  • Points can be capped on some cards meaning you might have restrictions on how many points you can earn

Each credit card rewards program has individual pros and cons, so it is always best to understand all the ins and outs of the credit cards.

Where does Etihad fly to?

Etihad, based out of Abu Dhabi, and their partner airlines fly all over the world to many exciting and exotic locations.

They fly out of Australian capital cities into the deserts of Africa, the bustling steamy cities of Asia, the cosmopolitan cities of continental

Europe, colourful South America and the wilds of North America.

What other frequent flyer programs are there?

The Etihad Guest program is but one of the many frequent flyer programs out there. They all have different benefits, perks and fees associated with them so it is always important to consider the program that suits you needs best.

One of the most popular frequent flyer programs in Australia is the Qantas Frequent Flyer program. It allows members to book flights, go shopping and purchase holidays with points.

Dubai’s Emirate Skymiles program works similarly to the Etihad Guest program in that frequent flyers are rewarded with points that can go towards different travelling and shopping experiences.

The Virgin Velocity program has many partnerships across the world and Australia, meaning you can spend your cash and earn Velocity points at the same time. The operate with the Virgin line of airliners, including Virgin Australia and Virgin Atlantic.

These are but some of the many frequent flyer programs around the world. You should consider your personal spending and travelling needs before joining a frequent flyer program.

Are there any other frequent flyer programs linked with credit cards?

Almost all airlines offer up or are partnered with a frequent flyer program.

In Australia you can find many credit cards and banks linked to the Qantas Frequent Flyer program. You have many other cards linked to Velocity, which is Virgin’s frequent flyer program, and Jetstar’s own program. You can also use your cards linked to other frequent flyer programs in Australia at a number of different retailers.

It is important to consider what frequent flyer program and credit card rewards program suits your lifestyle, as not all credit card programs are suitable for everyone.

^Depending on your personal financial goals, the best credit card for you may not be the same as the best card for somebody else. compare the features, benefits, fees and charges before making any decisions. For help working out option may be the best credit card for you, consider contacting a qualified financial adviser.

Frequently asked questions

What's the best credit card for rewards?

There is no one-size-fits-all best rewards credit card. It's best you research what type of rewards program you'd like, as well as the fees, interest rate and conditions associated with those types of cards before making a choice. 

Rewards credit cards can also come with high annual fees that may end up nullifying the rewards, so think how often you use the card to decide whether the benefits outweigh the extra cost for you. A card with a lower annual fee might require a lot of spending to get any useful rewards, while another card with a higher annual fee might need fewer purchases to get a reward. 

How easy is it to get a credit card?

For most Australians, there are no great barriers to applying for and getting approved for a credit card. Here are some points that a lender will consider when assessing your credit card application.

Credit score: A bad credit score is not the be all and end all of your application, but it may stop you being approved for a higher credit limit. If your credit score is less than perfect, apply for the credit limit that you need, rather than the one you want.

Annual income: Most credit cards have minimum annual income requirements. Make sure you’re applying for a card where you meet the minimum.

Age & residency: You need to be at least 18 years old to apply for a credit card in Australia, and most require that you are an Australian citizen or permanent resident. However, there are some credit cards available to temporary residents.

Can a pensioner get a credit card?

It is possible to get a credit card as a pensioner. There are some factors to keep in mind, including:

  • Annual income. Look for credit cards with minimum annual income requirements you can meet. 
  • Annual fees. If high fees are a concern for you, opt for a card with a low or $0 annual fee. 
  • Interest rate. Make sure you won’t have any nasty surprises on your credit card bill. Compare cards with a low interest rates to minimise risk.

What should you do if your credit card is compromised?

Credit card fraud is a serious problem. If your credit card is compromised and you’re wondering what to do, here are a few precautionary steps to take.

Contact you credit provider – Get in touch will your credit card provider. If you feel your card has been compromised, you should be able to lock or block it.

Monitor your accounts – Keep an eye on your credit card accounts. Any unauthorised transactions could be a sign your credit card has been compromised.

Check your credit rating – It’s also important to check your credit rating, to ensure you’re not a victim of identity theft or some other financial mischief.

What should you do when you lose your credit card?

Losing your credit card is a serious situation, and could land you in financial trouble. Here is a simple guide detailing what to do when you lose your credit card.

Lock you card – Contact your provider and inform them about your lost credit card. From here lock, block or cancel your card.

Keep track of transactions – Look out for unauthorised credit card transactions. Most banks protect against fraudulent transactions.

Address recurring charges – If your card is linked to recurring charges (gym membership, rent, utilities), contact those businesses.

Check credit rate – To ensure you’re not the victim of identity theft, check your credit rating a month or two after you lose your credit card.

How do you use credit cards?

A credit card can be an easy way to make purchases online, in person or over the phone. When used properly, a credit card can even help you manage your cash flow. But before applying for a credit card, it’s good to know how they work. A credit card is essentially a personal line of credit which lets you buy things and pay for them later. As a card holder, you’ll be given a credit limit and (potentially) charged interest on the money the bank lends you. At the end of each billing period, the bank will send you a statement which shows your outstanding balance and the minimum amount you need to pay back. If you don’t pay back the full balance amount, the bank will begin charging you interest.

How do you cancel a credit card?

It’s important to cancel your old cards to avoid any additional fees. Unless you’re doing a balance transfer, you’ll need to pay the outstanding balance before you cancel your credit card. If you’ve opted for a card with reward points, make sure you redeem or transfer the points before you close your account. To avoid any bounced payments and save yourself an admin headache, redirect all your direct debits to a new card or account. Once you’ve done all the preparation, call your bank or credit card provider to get the cancellation underway. Once you receive a confirmation letter, destroy your card and make sure the numbers aren’t legible.

How do you apply for a credit card?

You can apply for a credit card online, over the phone or in person at the bank. Once you’ve compared the current credit card offers, the application process is quick and easy. Before you get your application started, you’ll need to gather your personal information like proof of ID, payslips and bank statements, proof of employment and details of your income, assets and liabilities. To be eligible for a credit card, you’ll need to be an Australian citizen over 18 and earn a minimum of $15,000 each year. Once you’ve applied for a credit card, you should get a response fairly instantly. If your credit card application has been approved, you should receive a welcome pack with your new credit card within 10-15 days.

How do you use a credit card?

Credit cards are a quick and convenient way to pay for items in store, online or over the phone. You can use a credit card as a cashless way to pay for goods or services, both locally and overseas. You can also use a credit card to make a cash advance, which gives you the flexibility to withdraw cash from your credit card account. Because a credit card uses the bank’s funds instead of your own, you will be charged interest on the money you spend – unless you pay off the entire debt within the interest-free period. If you pay the minimum monthly repayment, you will be charged interest. There are many different credit card options on the market, all offering different interest rates and reward options.

How to get a credit card for the first time

A credit card can be a useful financial tool, provided you understand the risks and can meet repayment obligations.

If you’re a credit card first-timer, review your options. Think about what kind of credit card would suit your lifestyle, and compare providers by fees, perks and repayments.

Once you’ve selected a card, it’s time to apply. Credit card applications can generally be completed in store, online or over the phone.

When you apply for a credit card for the first time, you must meet age, residency and income requirements. As proof, you must also provide documentation such as bank account statements.

Should I get a credit card?

Once you've compared credit card interest rates and deals and found the right card for you, the actual process of getting a credit card is quite straightforward. You can apply for a credit card online, over the phone or in person at a bank branch. 

How to pay a credit card

There are a few ways to pay a credit card bill. These include:

  • BPAY - allows you to safely make credit card payments online.
  • Direct debits - set up an automatic payment from your bank account to pay your credit card bill each month. You can choose how much you want to pay of your credit card bill when you set up the auto payments.
  • In a branch.
  • Via your credit card provider's app.

How many numbers are on a credit card?

The numbers on your credit card actually follow a universal standard which is used to identify specific functions. Each credit card has a different amount of numbers. Visa and Mastercard have 16, American Express has 15 and Diner’s Club has 14. 

The first number on a credit card always identifies what type of credit card it is. Visa cards start with a 4, whereas Mastercard starts with a 5 and American Express with a 3. The remainder of the digits represent the account number, including the last number which is used to verify that your credit card is actually valid. 

Credit cards also have additional verification numbers, which are mainly used when the card isn’t present for phone and online purchases. These are the three-digit numbers on the back of Visa and MasterCard or the four-digit numbers on the front of an American Express card.

How to make a credit card online

If you’re wondering about how to make a credit card online application, here are some steps to follow:

  • Test the market. Many credit card options are available online. Compare providers by fees, interest and perks to ensure you’re getting the best deal.
  • Complete the application. Once you’ve selected a card, head to the provider’s website and complete the online credit card application form. Forms vary by providers.
  • Provide details. Most cards require you to meet age, residency, income and credit status condition, and you need to provide details like a bank account statement to prove this.
  • Review details. Ensure the information you’ve entered is correct.

Where can I get a credit card?

Looking to get your first credit card? You might be confused as to exactly where to go to apply for one. Here’s where to go when you are ready to put in that application.

The bank: Your bank is a great place to start, provided that you have a good banking history. Since you already have a financial history, you have more chance of your application being approved.

Credit card provider: Another option is to apply for a credit card directly from the issuer, such as Visa, Mastercard or Amex. This will most likely be an online application, so do your research and apply for a suitable card for your circumstances.

Major retailers: Coles, Woolworths, Myer and David Jones all have credit cards available. But watch out for the interest rate and annual fees – these cards are designed to help you spend more in store.

Do you need a credit card to get a loan?

You do not need a credit card to get a loan, but you usually need to have a credit history. Without a credit history, a financial institution cannot assess your ‘credit worthiness’, or your capacity to pay off the loan.

If you don’t have a credit card, your credit history can reflect any record of paying off an asset. Without any credit credit history, you’re limited in the type of loans you can apply for. But you may be able to obtain a secured loan against an asset. For more information on improving your credit score, go here

How do I apply for a credit card online?

What is a balance transfer credit card?

A balance transfer credit card lets you transfer your debt balance from one credit card to another. A balance transfer credit card generally has a 0 per cent interest rate for a set period of time. When you roll your debt balance over to a new credit card, you’ll be able to take advantage of the interest-free period to pay your credit card debt off faster without accruing additional interest charges. If your application is approved, the provider will pay out your old credit card and transfer your debt balance over to the new card. 

Which credit card has the highest annual percentage rate?

The credit card market changes all the time, so the credit card with the highest annual percentage rate is also liable to change.

Keep in mind that credit card interest rates are expressed as a yearly rate, or annual percentage rate (APR). A low APR is generally good but also consider:

  • There can be different APR's for each feature of the card (e.g. purchases may have an APR of 14 per cent, while cash advances on same card could have an APR of 17 per cent.
  • Credit cards with a variable rate can change throughout the year, affecting your APR, so check the full details.
  • If you pay your balance in full every month, having the lowest APR is not as important as the other fees associated with the card. However, if you carry a balance from month to month, then you want the lowest APR possible.

How do credit cards work?

Think of credit cards as a short-term loan where you use the bank’s money to buy something up front and then pay for it later. Unlike a debit card which uses your own money to pay, a credit card essentially borrows the bank’s money to fund the purchase. When you apply for a credit card, the bank assesses your income and assigns you a credit limit based on what you can afford to pay back. At the end of each billing cycle, which is usually monthly, the bank will send you a statement showing the minimum amount you have to pay back, including any interest payable on the balance.