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

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 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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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. 

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.