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Travel is back for Australians: which credit card is best for your travel plans?

Travel is back for Australians: which credit card is best for your travel plans?

Travel is back on the cards for many Australians, according to the latest spending patterns from Citi Australia’s Credit Card Index. And there are a range of credit cards offering travel rewards and frequent flyer perks for those willing to compare their options.

Citi Australia data shows that for February, spending on airlines was up by almost 70%. Further, cruiseline spending was also up over 30% from January 2022.

With COVID-19 restrictions easing across the globe, it’s understandable that Australians that have been locked down for two years are looking to get overseas again, whether to reunite with family or for a holiday.

Citi Australia’s Head of Cards and Loans, Choong-Yu Lum, said: “It’s been a tough start to 2022, with unprecedented floods, escalating geopolitical tensions, and the continual impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“Despite these pressures, Citi cardholders are indicating there is demand to get life back on track and return to a pre-pandemic normal,” he said.

“It’s pleasing to see strong spend in travel and leisure categories, including airlines, cruiselines, hotels and resorts, dining, and retail, with February seeing significant spend increase in the travel category, with flights up by 69% and travel more broadly up by 34% compared to the previous month,” Mr Lum said.

Finding your best frequent flyer credit card

Credit cards designed with travel in mind may help some cardholders get the best bang for their buck with generous rewards and perks.

This can include frequent flyer points on sign up and earning points through spending that may be exchanged for flights, seat upgrades and accommodation. As well as complimentary travel insurance, rental car insurance, concierge services and more.

If you’re considering booking a trip and wondering which credit cards could help you achieve your goals, it’s important to understand which card features best suit your needs:

Card featureAbout
Affiliated airlineAre you a Qantas Member or a Virgin frequent flyer? The airline affiliated with your credit card matters, as you want to choose an option that suits your travel routine and preferences.
Frequent flyer points earntWhat is the earn rate per dollar spent for the credit card? The higher the points earned per dollar spent, such as 1 point per $1 spent, the faster you can accumulate points.
Perks and rewardsCompare the rewards and perks offered with the credit card to ensure they tick all your boxes. These can include discounted flights, domestic and international travel insurance, hotel bookings, concierge services, airport lounge access and lounge passes, flight upgrades, baggage priority delivery and more.
Points on sign upSome credit cards may offer a generous bulk sum of frequent flyer points on sign up with said card, which, in some instances, may cover the cost of a return trip to Europe.
Card typeIs the credit card a Visa, Mastercard or American Express? This may impact the type or level of rewards and perks you receive, particularly for global airport lounge access.
Purchase rateThe rate of interest charged on your outstanding balance if you do not pay it in full by the end of your statement period or payment window. The higher the interest charges, the greater your interest payments.
FeesYou may be charged fees with your credit card, with higher-than-average annual fees commonplace for frequent flyer credit cards with generous rewards and perks. Some frequent flyer cards may also waive foreign transaction fees for your convenience.

Frequent flyer credit cards

Product Name Card

American Express David Jones Card (Membership Rewards)

Purchase Rate

Purchase Rate

0.00

% p.a

for up to 12 months, then 20.74%

Interest Free Days

Interest Free Days

44

Card limit

$25k

Late Payment Fee

$30

Go to site

Cashback

Receive $200 cashback on your new card
Product Name Card

American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card

Purchase Rate

Purchase Rate

20.74

% p.a

Interest Free Days

Interest Free Days

55

Card limit

$50k

Late Payment Fee

$30

Go to site
Product Name Card

American Express David Jones Platinum Card (Membership Rewards)

Purchase Rate

Purchase Rate

0.00

% p.a

for up to 12 months, then 20.74%

Interest Free Days

Interest Free Days

44

Card limit

$50k

Late Payment Fee

$30

Go to site
Product Name Card

American Express Essential Credit Card

Purchase Rate

Purchase Rate

14.99

% p.a

Interest Free Days

Interest Free Days

55

Card limit

$25k

Late Payment Fee

$30

Go to site

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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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