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Compare rewards credit cards

Learn how to find the best credit card rewards option for your needs. Compare Australian credit cards and points bonuses up to 200,000+. There is no single best credit card as everyone’s needs are different.

60+ credit card providers in RateCity’s database

180+ credit card products in RateCity’s database

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What are credit card rewards?

Some credit card providers allow cardholders to earn ‘points’ on eligible purchases that can be spent through ‘rewards programs’. These rewards can range from electronics, gift cards and home appliances to frequent flyer rewards, such as flight upgrades and complimentary insurances. A provider may also offer credit card rewards in the form of cash back offers. 

Credit card rewards are both a means to entice new customers to join with a credit card provider and a way to ‘give back’ to customers for making purchases with said provider’s credit card. 

What is a credit card rewards program?

As the name suggests, a credit card rewards program is a type of customer-beneficial system in which the money you spend on eligible purchases earns points that can be spent in said program.  

The points you earn can be exchanged in the rewards program for perks, rewards and gifts. These can include flight upgrades, hotel accommodation, complimentary insurances, electronics, appliances, white goods, gift cards and even cashback. Typically, a credit card rewards program platform can be accessed online or via phone with your card provider.

How do rewards credit card programs work?

Rewards credit cards let you earn rewards points for every dollar (or more) you spend. When you rack up enough points, you can exchange these points for rewards.

The rewards you can redeem will depend on your credit card provider, but may include:

  • Flight rewards where you can build up frequent flyer points with an airline or group of airlines frequent flyer programs, and may even have your travel insurance and concierge services covered.
  • Retail rewards allow you to build up points that you can redeem at particular stores in the form of discounts or gift cards. You might even get bonus points for shopping at particular retailers or buying specific products.
  • Cash back rewards which refund you a small part of what you've spent.
  • Supermarket rewards where using your credit card for everyday spending at a particular supermarket can earn you free extras.

Some other perks and rewards that still offer major bang for your buck to consider are:

  • Card type rewards that involve rewards points and perks tied to a specific credit card type, such as Visa, Mastercard or American Express (AMEX). 
  • Introductory rewards such as waived fees and zero per cent interest rates in the first year of your credit card.

How to earn points in a rewards program

There are three main ways to earn rewards credit card points, regardless of the rewards program type:

  • Sign up bonus points. These can range from a few thousand to hundreds of thousands of points on application approval. Keep in mind that earning these rewards points may require meeting conditions such as spending a minimum amount each month.
  • Earn rates. Each rewards credit card will have its own set earn rate. This is the amount of dollars spent per point earned, such as 1 dollar per point. This can be as low as 50c per point or as high as $2-3 per point.
  • Transferral. Some credit cards, such as Qantas frequent flyer cards, may allow you to transfer your existing points balance onto a new card with a similar rewards program. 

When it comes to earning points it’s important to remember that some credit cards may cap the amount you can earn each statement period, and some may even set points expiry dates. Check a credit card’s terms and conditions for more information on these points regulations before applying.

Amy the frequent flyer

Amy loves to travel and has family all across Australia. She’s in the market for a new credit card but knows that Qantas travel perks, such as flight rewards and complimentary insurances are valuable to her. But she doesn’t have years to spent saving up her rewards points so is looking for a card with a healthy sign-up bonus. 

She hops on the RateCity rewards credit card comparison page to find her best option. Using the filters on the comparison table and enters the Qantas frequent flyer program under ‘partner program’. She then selects yes on ‘include all products’ to get a bigger comparison of the market.

Amy then uses the table to view which cards offer high bonus points on sign up, as well as which ones charge a moderate purchase rate and annual fee. She is able to apply for ideal travel credit card that day. 

​Which credit cards offer the best rewards?

Finding right card for you will depend on exactly what type of rewards you want, your spending habits and your specific financial situation. 

Here are some of the most popular credit cards that offer different types of rewards and perks:

  1. Platinum credit cards - a more premium card type that typically comes with higher annual fees and ongoing costs, as well as harder eligibility criteria to meet. This is typically suited for high income earners. Platinum cards may be connected to standard rewards programs or frequent flyer programs, but may offer the greatest number of extras, such as complimentary insurances, high earn rates on reward points, and higher credit limits.
  2. Rewards credit cards - your standard rewards credit card will be linked to the credit providers rewards program. There you can exchange rewards points for goods and merchandise, as well as gift cards and event tickets. It will generally incur an annual fee, which may be anywhere between $35 and $1,200.
  3. Frequent flyer credit cards - these are rewards credit cards geared towards regular flyers. They are most commonly linked to Qantas Rewards or Velocity Frequent Flyer Rewards in Australia, but may also be linked to Emirates, British Airways and more. For example, Qantas frequent flyers may link their credit card spending to their account, and earn bonus qantas points on eligible purchases.
  4. Travel credit cards - similar to frequent flyer cards, travel cards are made with adventurers in mind. This means anything from earning points towards frequent flyer programs, to waived foreign transaction fees and other overseas costs. Travel cards may also come with complimentary insurances, such travel insurance and rental car insurance.
  5. Store credit cards - these are rewards cards specifically linked to your favourite supermarkets and retailers, such as Coles, Woolworths, David Jones, Myer and more. As mentioned above, these rewards can involve discounts and gift cards with said retailers. Your spending may also earn you additional rewards, such as flybuys rewards.
  6. Balance transfer credit cards - Some balance transfer cards are also linked to rewards programs. Ideally, this would be used after you pay off your outstanding balance or any new purchases will immediately be charged a purchase rate. Always keep an eye out for any potential balance transfer fees when choosing this type of card.

How do I get the best rewards card for my needs?

There is no one best rewards credit card. If there were, the job of a comparison website would be a lot easier! To find your best rewards card you'll need to take a look at a few key factors, including:

  • The type of credit card rewards you want
  • Your income
  • Your spending habits
  • Your ability to budget for credit card repayments
  • Your preferred credit card issuer, if you have one.

It's also worth remembering that any other existing debts you may have could hinder your ability to get your best rewards card. Firstly, this is relevant if you're looking for a balance transfer option instead of a standard rewards card. Also, card issuers take into consideration your outstanding debts and its relationship to your credit score. A poor credit score may hinder your ability to get your best rewards card.

Supermarket credit card rewards explained

The major supermarkets in Australia have stepped into the ring when it comes to the battle of the rewards credit cards.

Both Woolworths and Coles offer rewards credit cards, in which the points you earn can be exchanged within their own customer rewards program, for frequent flyer points or even for discounted groceries and gift cards.

    • Coles rewards

Coles Mastercard rewards credit cards are linked to their flybuys program. Coles shoppers can earn flybuys points on eligible spending in stores like Coles, Target, Kmart and more.

CardEarn rate
Coles Mastercard & Coles Platinum Mastercard2 flybuys points for each whole Australian dollar spent on flybuys participating retailers spend, rounded down per transaction.
Coles Rewards Mastercard & Coles Rewards Platinum Mastercard2 flybuys points for each whole Australian dollar spent on each eligible transaction, rounded down per transaction.
Coles No Annual Fee Mastercard & Coles No Annual Fee Platinum Mastercard1 flybuys point for every 2 whole Australian dollars spent on each eligible transaction, rounded down per transaction.
Coles Low Rate Mastercard & Coles Low Rate Platinum Mastercard1 flybuys point for every 2 whole Australian dollars spent on each Coles spend, rounded down per transaction.

Source: Coles Mastercard terms and conditions.

  • Woolworths rewards

Woolworths rewards credit cards may be linked to either the Qantas frequent flyer program or the Everyday Rewards loyalty program. Shoppers can earn points on eligible spending in stores like Woolworths, BWS, Big W, Caltex and more. 

There are two Woolworths credit cards, with different earn rates depending on what you purchase. For example, the same card may earn 1 point at one store, and 3 at another.

CardEarn rate
Woolworths Everyday Platinum Credit Card3Woolworths Select and Woolworths brand products.
2Woolworths Supermarkets, Dan Murphy's, Cellarmasters, BWS, BIG W, Caltex Woolworths.
1All other eligible purchases.
Woolworths Qantas Platinum Credit Card1Woolworths, BIG W, Caltex Woolworths, BSW, Dan Murphy's and Cellarmasters.
0.5All other eligible purchases.

Source: Woolworths credit card terms and conditions.

What are the benefits and drawbacks of reward credit cards?

Reward programs are meant to encourage bigger spending. Simply spending for the sake of earning points can be risky. But if cardholders use their rewards credit card responsibly, you could enjoy significant benefits.

Big spenders who like to flash their plastic could also benefit from a rewards credit card. In this case, you're not altering your behaviour in any way. Instead, you're simply capitalising on your regular spending by earning rewards. 

If you regularly shop at certain outlets or supermarkets, you may want to consider a store credit card. If you were going to spend the same amount of money there anyway, then a rewards credit card could also earn you free extras, provided you pay the balance off in full and on time. You may also enjoy membership rewards, such as flybuys rewards in Coles Group retailers.

Finally, overseas adventurers can benefit from frequent flyer credit cards or travel credit cards. Maybe you frequently hop on planes for business trips, or just have the travel itch. These cards may let you use points for plane tickets, airport lounge access/lounge passes, and offer overseas travel insurance.

Rewards credit cards may not be suitable for everyone. Maybe you’re on a budget and don’t always pay off your credit card in full or on time. Maybe you aren't a big traveller. Maybe you prefer to pay for your shopping through other means. In cases like these, a reward credit card may not be ideal for you. 

Rewards credit cards typically don't come with low fees or low rates, as these costs help to pay for these programs. You may end up paying fees, getting hit with high interest charges and getting into debt for a rewards program you don't really need.

Ben the online shopper

It’s almost the holidays and Ben has left all his gift shopping to the last minute again. Thankfully, Ben remembers last year he joined up with a rewards credit card program that does not have an expiry on points.

He logs onto his credit card providers rewards program platform and notices he’s earned a significant amount of points thanks to the regular eligible purchases he makes, such as his weekly grocery bill.

He is able to easily exchange his rewards points for a great new appliance to gift his partner with. He also nabs a couple gift cards for his family members from some of their favourite retailers. Ben does all of this without ever leaving his living room thanks to his rewards credit card.

Get the most out of your rewards credit card

Racking up points while you spend is just one side of the equation. How do you maximise the points?

Fees and costs of a rewards credit card

There are a range of common fees, costs and factors to consider when comparing rewards credit cards. These are typically outlined in the card's Product Disclosure Statement, which can be viewed on the card provider's website. 

Purchase rateThe interest rate at which any purchases are charged if not paid in full during a statement period.
Cash advance rateThe interest rate charged on any money withdrawn from outlets like an ATM.
Annual feesAn ongoing cost that can range from $35-$1,200 a year.
Balance transfer fee Also called a balance transfer rate, a fee charged by the new card provider for you to transfer your balance to them. Typically, around 3-5% of the balance.
Minimum repayment amountThe minimum amount you need to pay on your outstanding balance each statement period. Typically, around 2% or $20, whichever is higher.
Earn rateThe rate at which you can earn points on eligible purchases. Usually 1 point per dollar spent.

You can view the terms and conditions on a card provider's website to see any eligibility criteria and spend criteria before you apply.

How do I carry out a rewards credit card comparison?

To start a rewards credit card comparison, look at the freebies it offers. Are you interested in these products and services? There may not be much point spending big with a rewards credit card if you're not going to make use of its bonuses.

Also, check the card’s fine print:

  • How easy are the points to redeem?
  • Is there a limit on how many you can earn?
  • Will you be able to earn the points required through everyday purchases?
  • Do the points expire at any point?
  • What is the dollar-to-point ratio?

To get a better idea of the value of credit card rewards, don't just look at how many points you earn per dollar on each card. To find the best rewards credit card for you, look at how many points you’d need to earn to redeem a particular reward on one card, then compare this to other rewards cards. The easier it is to earn the rewards you want, the more value a card may offer you. 

Also, keep the fees and charges in mind. Some rewards credit cards charge high fees, which can offset the free extras in some cases. If you’d pay more in fees for a credit card than you’d earn in rewards, it may not provide enough value to be worthwhile for you. 

Hopefully, once you've looked at all these factors, you’ll feel more secure finding a rewards card that suits your spending and lifestyle.

How to find rewards cards for my airline?

Plane-flying-take-off-750x420.jpg

One of the easiest ways to find a competitive credit card for the airline you are a member of is to use comparison tables, such as the one on this page. This allows you to compare apples with apples by entering your details and filtering down your options to a shortlist of competitive card options to choose from. 

Simply use the search features to enter in your details, such as how much you spend each month, or your current interest rate to view. Then, click on the ‘Filters’ button and choose the credit card rewards partner program you prefer, such as Qantas frequent flyer or Amplify rewards.

You’ll then be able to easily compare card options side by side, and even sort your results by purchase rate or annual fee, to help try and keep costs down. Once you’ve made a short list, you can click on the ‘Go to site’ button to be redirected to that credit card providers’ page.

How do credit card rewards points work?

Credit card points are earned typically on a point-per-dollar spent basis (but sometimes more or less) only on eligible purchases. For example, spending $500 in an affiliated retailer to your credit card provider may earn you 500 rewards points. 

These points can then be exchanged through the providers rewards program (typically online) for a range of goods and services, such as appliances and electronics. Credit card rewards points may also be capped at a certain limit each month, and can expire if not spent, depending on the card issuer. 

How do I apply for a rewards credit card?

You can apply for a rewards credit card online, over the phone or in branch, as you would any other standard credit card. 

  1. Eligibility: Ensure you meet the credit card’s eligibility criteria, such as being an Australian citizen over the age of 18, or meeting the minimum income requirements. These requirements should be listed on the provider’s website. 
  2. Paperwork: Gather your personal documents, such as proof of ID, payslips, bank statements, proof of employment, details of assets or liabilities.
  3. Credit history: Triple check that you have a healthy credit score, as a poor credit history may lead to a higher chance of credit card rejection, which will further hurt your credit score. If you struggle with bad credit, consider looking at card providers who work with applicants with lower credit scores. 
  4. Application: Fill out the application online, over the phone or in branch and, if your application is approved, you may receive your new credit card within 10-15 days. 
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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^Words such as "top", "best", "cheapest" or "lowest" are not a recommendation or rating of products. This page compares a range of products from selected providers and not all products or providers are included in the comparison. There is no such thing as a 'one- size-fits-all' financial product. The best loan, credit card, superannuation account or bank account for you might not be the best choice for someone else. Before selecting any financial product you should read the fine print carefully, including the product disclosure statement, target market determination fact sheet or terms and conditions document and obtain professional financial advice on whether a product is right for you and your finances.