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March credit card bonus points roundup

March credit card bonus points roundup

Attention points chasers! If you’re thinking about taking out a new credit card, there are a range of credit card sign-up bonuses on the table if you know where to look.

Latest credit card news

The latest credit card figures from the RBA (December 2019) showed that while millions of Australians have moved away from credit cards, the Christmas shopping period saw those who still use them go to town with them. The average account holder used their plastic 19.8 times in December, the highest number on record.

This month, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) cut the cash rate to a record low of 0.50 per cent. What does this mean for credit cards? Typically, absolutely nothing. Credit card rates generally don’t move with the cash rate, with the average purchase rate at 17 per cent. This is why it’s up to you to get the best bang for your buck when it comes to credit cards.

From the RateCity database

According to the RateCity database (accurate as at 4 March):

  • The average purchase rate is 17.07%
  • The average annual fee is $118.74
  • The number of credit cards without annual fees is 31, 14.69% of the credit card market.

It’s important to remember that annual fees typically help to pay for rewards programs. But if paying for annual fees and purchase rates doesn’t suit your budget, you can keep the above figures in mind. This way you know where your options fit on a scale of high to low fees and rates in the market.

Here are the latest credit card deals on offer:

1.Highest sign-up bonus for rewards programs

The highest sign-up points bonus for March was a whopping 200,000 points to be earned over two years for customers signing up to the Amplify Signature (Amplify Rewards) credit card (if conditions are met). This comes from credit card provider family BankSA, Bank of Melbourne and St. George Bank.

If you’re not a fan of the slow burn and want to earn a sign-up bonus sooner than two years, Westpac’s Altitude Black Bundle (Altitude Rewards) credit card offers 190,000 points in the first 90 days (if its conditions are met).

Top 5 highest sign-up bonuses for rewards programs

Credit cards with the highest sign-up bonuses for rewards programs

ProviderCard namePurchase rateAnnual feeBonus pointsConditions
BankSA, Bank of Melbourne & St.George BankAmplify Signature (Amplify Rewards)19.74%$279200,000if you spend $12,000 on eligible purchases in the first year and another $12,000 on eligible purchases in the second year.
WestpacAltitude Black Bundle (Altitude Rewards)20.49%$449190,000if you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases on your Mastercard in the first 90 days and if you spend $3,000 on eligible purchases on your Amex in the first 90 days.
CitiPrestige (Citi Rewards Program)21.49%$700150,000when you spend $5,000 in the first 90 days from approval.
ANZRewards Black20.24%$375150,000when you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases within the first 3 months from approval.
WestpacAltitude Black (Altitude Rewards)20.49%$250150,000if you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days from approval.

Source: RateCity.com.au

Note: Data accurate as at 1st March 2020.

2.Biggest sign-up bonus for frequent flyer programs

The credit card with the highest frequent flyer sign-up bonus comes from the Qantas Premier Titanium credit card from Qantas Money, with 150,000 points available within 90 days from approval (if conditions are met). Keep in mind that this card is geared towards high earners, with the highest annual fee on the market at $1,200.

This is followed by NAB’s Qantas Rewards Signature Card, with a sign-up bonus of 130,000 frequent flyer points. These points can be earned by spending $3,000 on eligible purchases within 60 days of approval, and when then card is kept open for over 12 months.

Top 5 highest sign-up bonuses for frequent flyer points

Credit cards with the highest sign-up bonuses for frequent flyer points

ProviderCard namePurchase rateAnnual feeBonus pointsConditions
Qantas MoneyQantas Premier Titanium19.99%$1,200150,000spend $5,000 within 90 days from approval.
NABQantas Rewards Signature Card19.99%$395130,000if you spend $3000 on eligible purchases within 60 days of approval and when you keep your card open for over 12 months.
ANZFrequent Flyer Black20.24%$425120,000when you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases in the first 3 months from approval.
Qantas MoneyQantas Premier Platinum19.99%$299100,00080,000 bonus points when you spend $5,000 or more on eligible purchases within 90 days of approval. Plus, an additional 20,000 bonus points after your first anniversary of approval.
WestpacAltitude Black Bundle (Qantas Rewards)20.49%$499100,000if you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases on your Mastercard in the first 90 days and if you spend $3,000 on eligible purchases on your Amex in the first 90 days.

Source: RateCity.com.au

Note: Data accurate as at 1st March 2020.

3.Biggest cashback offers

There are only two credit cards offering cashback as a sign-up bonus in March. These are from Commbank and Virgin Money.

Commbank’s Low Rate Mastercard offers customers 5 per cent cashback on eligible purchases, up to $100 per month for the first three months. And Virgin Money’s Low Rate Card offers customers 10 per cent cashback to spend on the first 3 months, capped at $100.

Cashback offers on credit cards

Credit cards with cashback offers

ProviderCard nameOffer detailsConditionsOffer end date
CBACBA Low Rate MastercardEnjoy 5% cashback on eligible purchases, up to $100 per month, for the first three months. Apply by 30 April 2020.The 5% cashback is based on eligible purchases made on your card in the first three months from activation up to the value of $100 per month (excludes balance transfers, cash advances and any purchase that is reversed or refunded), each month is calculated as a 30-day period. For more conditions, please visit provider website.30/4/20
Virgin MoneyVirgin Money Low Rate Card0% p.a. for 14 months on balance transfers plus receive 10% cashback on spend in the first 3 months (capped at $100 total).Balance transfer rate reverts to cash advance rate thereafter. Enjoy an ongoing half annual fee ‚ saving you $50 each year. T&Cs apply.10/3/20

Source: RateCity.com.au

Note: Data accurate as at 1st March 2020.

Compare credit cards today

Regardless of the sort of bonus and points you’re trying to score, your best bet for making the most out of any credit card choice is to compare your options.

Whether it’s for a new card or one you’re thinking of upgrading to, comparing what’s out there gives you the an understanding of the best cards to score those point hacks and credit card bonus offers you’re looking for, and could keep you flush with frequent flyer points or something else lucrative for time to come.

Did you find this helpful? Why not share this news?

This article was reviewed by Personal Finance Editor Mark Bristow before it was published as part of RateCity's Fact Check process.

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Learn more about credit cards

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. 

Can I get a credit card on part-time/casual work?

Yes, as credit card providers look at your annual income amount as well as your occupation. Minimum income requirements tend to be between $30,000 – $40,000 for standard and rewards credit cards, however low income credit cards can have minimum income requirements as low as $15,000 per year.

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.

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 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.

What should I do if my ANZ credit card has expired?

Your ANZ credit card is considered expired only after the last day of the month and year marked on your card. For instance, if your card’s expiry date reads 03/22, it is valid until 31 March 2022 and expires on 1 April 2022. Typically, you should have received a new credit card by that date, and you won’t have to request a new card. 

Once you get the new card, you should remember to switch any automatic payments you have - such as a utility or mobile phone bill - from your expired credit card to your new credit card. Equally, if you are using CardPay Direct to repay your ANZ credit card debt, you may need to update the credit card account details for that service as well. 

In case the new card doesn’t arrive by the expiry date of your current credit card, you can call ANZ on 13 22 73 to find out the reason and if you need to request an expedited card. Please note that if you were planning to close your credit card account or request a credit card upgrade, you may need to call ANZ at least before the 25th of the month your current credit card expires in, as that’s when they may send you the new credit card.

Does ING increase credit card limits?

You may want to increase your credit card limit for many reasons, such as having access to more spending money. However, if you are using the Orange One credit card issued by ING, you may not be able to do so. 

ING customers can choose a credit limit of their preference when applying for the Orange One credit card. Depending on your financial situation, this limit can be anywhere between $1,000 and $30,000. If you qualify for a Rewards Platinum card, the minimum credit card limit will likely be $6,000. 

Ideally, you should set your credit card limit knowing how much you can afford to repay each month and keep your expenses lower than this level. With most credit cards, you should have the option of requesting a credit card limit increase at a later time, although you will need to qualify for any increase. With an ING credit card, limit increases are out of the question (at the time this was published), which means you may want to apply for a higher credit card limit from the beginning. Remember that you have the option of decreasing your ING credit card limit at a later time.

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.

Can I transfer money from my American Express credit card to my bank account?

If you’re an American Express credit card customer, you may not be able to transfer money from your credit card to your bank account. However, you may be eligible for cash advances, which involves withdrawing money through an ATM. 

To qualify for a cash advance, you’ll likely have to enrol for American Express Membership Rewards. Consider checking your online credit card account to see if you can withdraw a cash advance and, if so, the fees and charges you’ll incur for this transaction. 

You should remember that cash advances are different from balance transfers, which were available with some American Express credit cards earlier. Balance transfers allow customers to consolidate debt from high-interest credit cards to a credit card offering a lower interest rate. If you only recently applied for an American Express credit card, balance transfers may not be available irrespective of the card you own. 

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.

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.

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 I apply for a BOQ credit card limit increase?

If you’re an existing BOQ customer, you can request a BOQ credit card limit increase over a phone call. However, you should remember that owning and using a credit card is a matter of financial responsibility, so it might be worth thinking this decision through. 

When requesting a credit card limit increase, you’ll need to be just as responsible in terms of how much you earn and can set aside to repay the outstanding card balance. A credit card company may approve a credit limit increase only if you can show that you have either the income or the disposable income, which is the amount you have left after all expenses have been paid out.

For this purpose, you may need to submit your latest income documents and bank statements for an increase. You may want to estimate how much you usually have left after deducting your expenses, and then use this amount to try and convince the credit card company. Also, you may prefer to pay off the card balance in full each month and thus avoid paying interest on the card, helping you back up any claims of financial responsibility, as well. 

Remember that you may not be able to apply for a credit card limit increase beyond any limitations on the type of card you own. For instance, if you own a card whose ceiling is $10,000, and your current limit is $5,000, you won't likely be able to apply for a $10,000 credit card limit increase.

Does Woolworths Qantas offer any credit card insurance?

Credit cards can be useful for managing your expenses, but they also come with other advantages like credit card insurance. Your Woolworths Qantas Platinum Credit Card may offer a host of complimentary insurance options, which include: 

  • Travel insurance: Cover for your whole family when they travel with you, with unlimited overseas medical emergency cover and $500,000 accident insurance for accidental loss of life.  
  • Purchase security insurance: If you purchase an eligible product with your Woolworths Qantas Platinum Credit Card, the cost of theft or damage that occurred within 90 days of the purchase will be covered, provided the amount doesn’t exceed the purchase price of the item or up to $2500 per event. 
  • Extended warranty insurance: If you purchase eligible goods with your Woolworths Qantas Platinum Credit Card, this complimentary insurance will extend the manufacturer’s Australian warranty by up to 12 months. 
  • Global hire car excess waiver: If you’re legally liable to pay an excess or deductible in the event of loss or damage to a rental vehicle that was booked using your Woolworths Qantas Platinum Credit Card, the costs will be covered. 

To find out more about Woolworths Qantas credit card insurance, you can call them on 1300 10 1234.