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

Provider Card name Purchase rate Annual fee Bonus points Conditions
BankSA, Bank of Melbourne & St.George Bank Amplify Signature (Amplify Rewards) 19.74% $279 200,000 if you spend $12,000 on eligible purchases in the first year and another $12,000 on eligible purchases in the second year.
Westpac Altitude Black Bundle (Altitude Rewards) 20.49% $449 190,000 if 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.
Citi Prestige (Citi Rewards Program) 21.49% $700 150,000 when you spend $5,000 in the first 90 days from approval.
ANZ Rewards Black 20.24% $375 150,000 when you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases within the first 3 months from approval.
Westpac Altitude Black (Altitude Rewards) 20.49% $250 150,000 if 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

Provider Card name Purchase rate Annual fee Bonus points Conditions
Qantas Money Qantas Premier Titanium 19.99% $1,200 150,000 spend $5,000 within 90 days from approval.
NAB Qantas Rewards Signature Card 19.99% $395 130,000 if you spend $3000 on eligible purchases within 60 days of approval and when you keep your card open for over 12 months.
ANZ Frequent Flyer Black 20.24% $425 120,000 when you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases in the first 3 months from approval.
Qantas Money Qantas Premier Platinum 19.99% $299 100,000 80,000 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.
Westpac Altitude Black Bundle (Qantas Rewards) 20.49% $499 100,000 if 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

Provider Card name Offer details Conditions Offer end date
CBA CBA Low Rate Mastercard Enjoy 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 Money Virgin Money Low Rate Card 0% 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.

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Learn more about credit cards

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 to increase your Bendigo Bank credit card limit?

As a Bendigo Bank credit cardholder, you can avail a minimum limit of $500, but if you use your card regularly, you may want to consider increasing it. To increase your Bendigo Bank credit card limit, you can contact the bank’s credit card team on 1300 236 344 and talk to the bank directly.

You can also apply for a credit card limit increase through online banking, by logging into Bendigo Bank web portal or through the app on your phone or tablet. Once you’ve successfully logged in, you'll want  to send a secure message to Bendigo Bank asking them to increase your credit card limit. 

If you cannot access the online portal or the app, you can also apply to increase your credit card limit through the online enquiry form. Simply add relevant information in the required fields and click ‘Submit’. Once you have completed the application, Bendigo Bank should verify your details and analyse your current financial standing. Based on this assessment, the bank will either accept your application to increase your credit card limit or deny it. 

How to increase your Qantas Premier credit card limit

When your income or spending habits change, you might wish to increase your credit card limit. The Qantas Premier credit card allows you to do this over the phone. You can contact Qantas Premier Card Support by calling on 1300 992 700. Unlike some other credit providers, Qantas doesn’t give you the option to increase your limit online.

Qantas will only accept your application if you have a good history of repayment and have not increased your credit or bought another credit product from Qantas in the past six months.

Before approving your Qantas Premier credit card limit increase, Qantas will perform a credit assessment on your current financial circumstances and ask why you would like to increase your credit limit.

To ensure that there are no bumps in your application process, you must provide accurate and recent information about your financial situation. You should also account for any future changes you’re anticipating which could hinder your ability to repay the loan.

Once the assessment is complete, Qantas will either approve or deny your application. If they approve it, you will need to sign a credit limit increase agreement - and you can request a written copy of the credit assessment. However, if your application is rejected, Qantas can opt not to provide a copy of the assessment.

Do I get HSBC credit card insurance on purchases I make?

As an HSBC credit card (HSBC Platinum, HSBC Platinum Qantas and HSBC Premier World) cardholder, you may be entitled to complimentary international and domestic travel insurance. This HSBC credit card insurance covers you for hospital stays and medical expenses, flight cancellations or delays, as well as lost luggage or personal items.

To be eligible for the insurance, you should have paid for at least 90 per cent of your overseas return travel ticket with your HSBC credit card. The cover is automatically activated without a need to contact HSBC. However, it’s always best to let your card issuer know when you travel overseas. If you have pre-existing medical conditions, you’ll need to contact Allianz directly to organise cover for these as they aren’t covered by the insurance. You can call Allianz on 1800 648 093.

The complimentary international travel insurance that comes with your HSBC Platinum credit card is valid for up to four months from the date of your departure from Australia. Your HSBC credit card insurance cover also covers your spouse and dependent children if 90 per cent of their travel ticket is purchased using your HSBC card.

 

How does the ANZ credit card instalment plan work?

While you usually need to settle all or part of your credit card dues at the end of your statement period, some credit cards afford you the option of setting up instalment plans. This allows you to settle your credit card debt at a pace that's more convenient for you, paying a fixed amount over a fixed period, thus making it easier to budget your repayments every month.

With the ANZ credit card instalment plan, you can set up a structured repayment schedule for part or all of your balance, or even for specific purchases over a certain value.

Some of the benefits of instalment repayment include: 

  • Structured repayments: You’ll have a fixed sum to pay each month.
  • Easier to budget: A fixed repayment sum makes it easier to make your monthly budget.
  • Account benefits: You might also get benefits such as discounted interest rates or debt-tracking tools.

There are disadvantages of opting for instalment repayment, however, and they include:

  • Less flexibility: You will not be able to pay a smaller amount once you set an instalment plan.
  • Different interest charges: In case the instalment plan only covers part of the balance, different interest charges could apply, making it challenging to budget.
  • Additional fees: You might have to pay fees or penalty charges in case of missed payments.

What does Westpac credit card insurance cover?

If you own a Westpac credit card, one of the perks may be  free travel insurance. If you’re eligible, you may be covered if you get sick while travelling, have lost your luggage, have to cancel a trip or have an accident while you’re on the move.

Besides these standard inclusions, the Westpac credit card insurance policy may also cover you for hospital essentials, emergency dental treatment and alternative transport if your original plans go awry. It may also cover loss of income when you get back home after being sick  overseas and your pets’ boarding costs too.

If you have any queries, the Westpac credit card insurance contact number is 1800 091 710. You can submit a claim online.

 

How to increase your HSBC credit card limit

You can opt to increase your HSBC credit card limit in multiple ways. 

The easiest way to change your HSBC credit card limit is through online banking. Log on to your account and click on ‘Manage your account’. Then, click on ‘My Cards’ and choose to change your credit card limit. Simply complete the HSBC credit card limit increase form and click on ‘Submit’. 

You can also request to increase your credit card limit by calling HSBC’s customer service hotline on 1300 303 168. 

Lastly, you can visit any HSBC branch to apply to lift your card limit. 

If you are facing challenges while trying to complete an HSBC credit card credit limit increase online, you can chat with a representative using internet banking. Click on the ‘Need Help’ button on the right of the dashboard and open the chat window to speak with the customer service officer. 

How to apply for an HSBC credit card instalment plan?

HSBC provides a host of different features and benefits to its customers, including interest-free finance options for purchases made at select retailers.

Using this feature, you can make a purchase in-store or online through your credit card, and spread your repayments for up to 60 months. Opting for a credit card instalment plan may be an ideal option as you can make big purchases without worrying about making immediate payments. 

The interest-free instalment plan is valid for all HSBC credit cards, so you shouldn't need to fill out separate forms or apply for a particular plan. Rather, all you should need to do is use your HSBC credit card at any of the participating retailers and inform the vendor that you want to pay using HSBC interest-free. 

As HSBC has partnered with over 1,000 retailers for its interest-free credit card instalment plan, you get the flexibility to purchase a host of different products. Some of the popular retailers that HSBC allows instalments for are: 

  • Webjet 
  • King Furniture 
  • Betta Home Living
  • Stratco 
  • Video Pro 
  • Bing Lee

Once you have provided approval to the vendor, HSBC will send you an SMS asking you to confirm the purchase, following which the payment will go through, and you can select your preferred instalment plan. 

While you may be inclined to choose the most prolonged duration for repayment considering there are no interest charges, it’s important to know that minimum monthly repayments will still apply (3%, or $30, whichever is higher), making it important to choose the right HSBC credit card instalment plan that suits your requirements. 

What coverage does Coles credit card insurance offer?

Most customers who own a Coles credit card may be eligible for complimentary purchase protection insurance, but low rate card owners won’t receive this benefit. 

Some premium credit cards issued by Coles include transit accident insurance and extended warranty cover in addition to purchase protection insurance. Covered items paid for at least partially with your Coles credit card usually qualify for purchase protection insurance.

However, you may only be eligible for transit accident and extended warranty coverage if the entire travel cost or purchase price is billed to the eligible card. Additionally, the extended warranty coverage matches the manufacturer’s warranty up to a maximum of five years. If your credit card offers extended warranty, but the covered item comes with a six-year warranty, you're unlikely to receive the benefit.

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.

How to increase your Heritage credit card limit?

Heritage credit card holders can increase their card limits, and typically without any hassles. There are two limits applied to your credit card: your account transfer limit and your credit card limit, each of which has a separate limit.

To increase your Heritage credit card limit, you can contact Heritage on 13 14 22. Unfortunately, you cannot opt to increase your credit card limit online due to security reasons. 

You can, however, request to increase your daily account transfer limit and BPAY® to up to $40,000 per day easily through Heritage Online. To do this,  you'll need to first ensure that your credit card limit is more than $40,000. If it is lower, you’ll need to first ask Heritage for an increase in your credit card limit. 

  • It’s important to note that once you change your credit limit, the daily periodic rate and corresponding annual percentage rate will change as well. This is likely to come into effect on the first day of each billing cycle that begins in March, June, September, and December. The effect of an increase in the annual percentage rate and the daily periodic rate will lead to an increased amount of interest you will have to cover in your monthly payment. 

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.

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.