Choosing a Reward Credit Card

Choosing a Reward Credit Card

Maximising credit card value is an easy way to earn frequent flyer and other loyalty points. In general, credit card loyalty programs let you earn points in either of the following ways:

  • Flexible points – credit card spend earns points in a bank’s loyalty program and that allows a transfer out to a partner frequent flyer or hotel program.
  • Direct Earn – whereby credit card spend earns points in programs such as Qantas, Virgin or Singapore Airlines and these get transferred to your account after the statement period ends
  • Bank Rewards – credit card spend earns points in a bank’s loyalty program that allows you to purchase gift cards or rebates.

If you want to redeem frequent flyer awards, Flexible Points and Direct Earn are definitely your best options.

Benefits of Flexible Points

Many banks have credit card products that what you spend earns you points in their own loyalty rewards program. Once the points have been accrued in the bank loyalty program, you can then transfer them out to a partner frequent flyer or hotel program.

This is of great benefit as often transferring your points to a particular frequent flyer gives you much better award options than transferring to another. Flexible Points allow you to make a decision before you make an award redemption. You are able to earn many points in one place and then transfer them to other programs as you require them. This also creates protection from frequent flyer program devaluations.

The following is a short list of banks programs that offer flexible reward transfer partners:

  • American Express Membership Rewards
  • ANZ Rewards
  • Bank of Melbourne Amplify Rewards
  • BankSA Amplify Rewards
  • Citibank Rewards
  • CUA Bank Rewards
  • Diners Club Rewards
  • HSBC Rewards
  • St George Amplify Rewards
  • Suncorp Rewards
  • Westpac Altitutde Rewards

Benefits of Direct Earn

Many banks offer card products that your spend earns points directly in a partner frequent flyer or hotel program. At the end of the statement period, the points are automatically transferred into the particular program without any user intervention. For users whose travel plans may require them to be loyal to a single frequent flyer program, this can be a valuable option.

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