Point Hacks Credit Card Guide

Qantas Ultimate American Express offering 55,000 bonus Qantas Points and complimentary domestic flight

Qantas American Express Ultimate - 55,000 Qantas Points

The Qantas American Express Ultimate has 55,000 bonus Qantas Points on offer. It's one of the highest earning Qantas Point cards and offers a free Qantas domestic flight each year.

  • 55,000 Qantas Points for new applicants
  • Free domestic flight with Qantas each cardholder year
  • Travel and purchase protection insurances
  • 1.5 Qantas points earned per $ on eligible purchases including utilities and 0.5 points per $ on government spend
  • 0% p.a. on balance transfers for the first 12 months, with a 1% establishment fee - maximum balance transfer is $10,000 or 70% of your approved credit limit, whichever is less
  • $450 p.a. annual fee
  • Minimum income requirement of $65,000
  • Spend $1,500 on eligible purchases within 3 months of approval to trigger bonus Qantas points
  • Card Members who currently hold or who have previously held any Card product issued by American Express Australia Limited in the preceding 18 month period are ineligible for this offer. Previous and existing bank-issued American Express companion cardholders are eligible for this offer

Find out more or apply →

I earn a maximum of $200 per applicant for this card. More about this →

The bonus Status Credits offer with the American Express’ Qantas Ultimate has ended and the bonus Qantas points is now reduced to 55,000 points. The bonus points will be triggered after spending $1,500 within the first 3 months of being approved for the card.

The American Express Qantas Ultimate had some recent changes with the revised points earn rates as part of the range of Qantas American Express cards. While the category bonuses have been removed, it is still one of the best Qantas Points-earning credit card on the market with the overall earn rate increased to 1.5 Qantas point per $1.

The card also offers a free Qantas domestic flight each year. The Qantas Ultimate is targeted at cardholders who want to maximise the Qantas Points earned from an American Express card.

Digging into the benefits of the American Express Qantas Ultimate credit card

The American Express Qantas Ultimate has increasing competition in the premium credit card market, but still holds it’s own when it comes to the points and benefits on offer.

Card Details

CardQantas Ultimate American Express
Loyalty programQantas Frequent Flyer
Points earned from spend2.5 Qantas Points per $ spent on selected Qantas products and services
1.5 Qantas Points per $ spent everywhere else
0.5 Qantas points per $ on Government spend
Points capNone
Travel benefitsFree Qantas domestic flight each year
Included insurancesMedical emergency expense cover, travel cancellation cover, baggage/money/documentation cover, transport accident cover and inconvenience insurance (if your flight is delayed) when you pay for travel with the card
Overseas transaction fee3% of the converted amount
Annual fee$450

Earning Qantas Points from spend

With the American Express Qantas Ultimate there is no points cap on what you can earn, and the card will sweep over your points to your Qantas Frequent Flyer account on a monthly basis, as you’d expect.

If you find yourself booking several thousands of dollars in Qantas flights on a regular basis, the 2.5 points per $ on Qantas spend will quickly rack up to boost your Qantas Frequent Flyer balance.

This card is also enabled for American Express ‘Local Champion’ program which allows you to nominate up to 10 specific local retailers at which you earn an extra bonus point per dollar spent. More on this in our guide linked below.

The free Qantas domestic return flight each year

As an Amex Qantas Ultimate cardholder, you are eligible to claim a free Qantas domestic return flight in Economy Class between a range of Australian capital cities for each year you have the card.

The best-value uses of this benefit come from using it on routes which are relatively more expensive, or you may be able to book a flight for someone else and pocket the cash yourself!

Insurances and other benefits

In the travel insurance bucket you’ll get medical emergency expense cover, travel cancellation cover, baggage/money/documentation cover, transport accident cover and inconvenience insurance (if your flight is delayed) when you pay for travel with the card.

You’ll need to dig into the various PDS of these policies if you intend on relying on this cover to make sure they work for you.

This guide references some of the benefits of insurance policies provided with this credit card.

You should read the PDS and obtain independent professional advice before obtaining this product.

Lounge Access

Another benefit of the American Express Qantas Ultimate Card card is access to the Sydney American Express airport lounge, including additional guests.

Eligibility criteria for bonus points for existing American Express cardholders

American Express are quite specific about whether existing cardholders will be eligible for bonus points if they apply for a card, are approved, and meet the minimum spend criteria.

Firstly, if you hold a bank-issued American Express – e.g. from Westpac or from ANZ – that alone won’t affect whether you’re eligible for bonus points with an American Express branded card offer. There’s more in our guide to this here.

Previously American Express allowed cardholders of different family types (e.g. Charge, Credit or Business) to be eligible for bonus points offers for cards in a different family. This is now not the case, with this eligibility criteria being redefined to all previous cardholders of any ‘card products’ now being ineligible for bonuses.

Summary – American Express Qantas Ultimate

The Qantas Ultimate Card has a high annual fee, but offers a high points earn opportunity for the die-hard Qantas Point collector.

The free flight each year is a useful bonus to offset the annual fee, while the overall high earn rate is a fairly lucrative way to quickly rack up your Qantas points.

Jump back up to offer ↑

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Comments Expand Comments

  1. David

    Keith,

    Further to my previous comment, I can confirm I received the 75,000 bonus points on the Amex Ultimate card despite holding a David Jones Amex within the preceding 18 months.

  2. David

    Hi Keith

    I’ve previous held a David Jones Express card within the last 18 months. I called Amex to ask if this would make me ineligible for the 75,000 bonus points offer and was told that David Jones cards are exempt (in the same way as bank-issued cards are exempt), therefore making me eligible for the bonus points. I queried the wording of ‘any Card product’ and was assured that DJ’s cards are not treated as ‘Amex issued’ for this bonus offer. Further, the person I spoke to offered to record notes on my account confirming same. I will let you know how it plays out!

  3. David

    Hi Keith,

    I hold an American Express Velocity Platinum card.

    I read your rundown on whether or not I am eligible for bonus points + status credits, but I am still confused.

    Would I be eligible?

  4. Ben

    Definitely keen to take up this offer (or the Explorer card) as the Amex on my ANZ card is about to go soon.

    This might be a stupid question but do you have to have a qualifying Qantas spend every single year to get the free annual flight or is it just a one-off once you first get the card?

    Looking at the comments above there is still some uncertainty over the options available to activate the free flight as well.

    Any advice on all this is greatly appreciated.

    • Keith Author

      The spend is required annually. In terms of options, a Qantas flight is outlined in the terms and conditions. Other options might work, but no guarantees – they could stop working at any time. Qantas Gift Vouchers are another easy one, along with Qantas Carbon Offsets, that we have heard may work.

  5. Con

    Hello again Keith,
    Another related question concerning the free flight trigger – can you confirm that purchase of a Qantas Gift Certificate would qualify?

    Cheers, Con

  6. Con

    Hi Keith,
    You mentioned a while back that you believe that a Qantas points top-up purchase qualifies as the free flight trigger.
    Can you confirm this?

  7. Hi Laura and others, just to confirm, by using the ‘Carbon Off-set’ method as described above, my free flight and the bonus 2,500 became available to me with this method.
    I did this on the most recent Saturday and the statement on my account showed up on the Monday:
    QANTAS AUSTRALIA AUSTRALIA $11.21 22 2,511 2,533
    – Qantas First Spend Bonus 0 2,500
    – Qantas Airlines 0 11
    – Call 1800507104 to redeem your QF flight

    As you can see, my offset was $11, which was for a planned flight im taking to Tokyo (with points naturally), it is more than I probably needed to spend, but I genuinely am interested in offsetting my carbon footprint…

    So, from my single example, this appears to work nicely.

    All the best,
    Dave

  8. Keith Author

    Hey Laura – usually the points will show up in your Amex points statement online immediately after the transaction that takes you over the $1500 clears, and then will hit your FF account in the next monthly sweep. Are you an existing cardholder of another card? You probably wouldn’t get the bonus if so.

  9. Tom

    Any updates on this Keith for what will trigger it?

    Qantas Flights
    Qantas Gift Vouchers ($50 minimum)
    Qantas Epiqure purchases
    Qantas Carbon Offsets (make sure you do $1 or more) – http://www.qantasfutureplanet.com.au
    But no guarantees on any of the above, that’s all from anecdotal reports – any of those might trigger the Qantas-related component of the signup bonus / the flight.

    If the Carbon off is correct this may be the cheapest work around if it works?

    • Keith Author

      I don’t have the card so can’t personally test it, but have heard from others who have used the Qantas Future Planet option – and which has worked for them to trigger the bonus. Carbon offsets can be done for less than $1, but would suggest a transaction with more than that to ensure it credits as a points earning transaction.

    • Keith Author

      In short, we believe the list is…

      But no guarantees on any of the above, that’s all from anecdotal reports – any of those might trigger the Qantas-related component of the signup bonus / the flight.

  10. Beerad

    One aspect that has not been mentioned, and that I cannot find on the terms and conditions is regarding a cancellation fee. If, after say, 11 months, I decide that I do not want to use the card anymore, is there a cancellation fee? Does anyone know the answer?

  11. I’m still a little confused about the sign up eligibility.
    I hold an Commonwealth Platinum Awards American Express card.
    Does this mean I am eligible for the American Express Qantas ultimate?

    • Keith Author

      Yes, you’d be eligible for the bonus points – have to be specific about that, Amex still have to assess your credit-worthiness for the card when you apply, but if you don’t hold another personal Amex-issued American Express then you’ll be eligible for the bonus that comes with it if you are approved.

  12. Mark

    Good point – what exactly is spend at ‘Qantas
    Travel shops’ – and what is the minimum spend to get the flights? Anyone know this one?

  13. Matthew

    The T&C’s for a free flight state that you must purchase selected Qantas products to qualify:

    “Selected Qantas products and services are: (a) Qantas passenger flights
    with a QF flight number purchased on the Qantas merchant account i.e.
    directly with Qantas or some travel agents or (b) purchases from Qantas
    Travel shops. Excludes: Qantas Holidays, Qantas Freight, Jetstar and
    Qantas branded non-airfare products operated by third parties e.g. Qantas
    Box Office.”

    Not sure a key ring will cut it…!

  14. Matt

    Looking at the fine print you need to spend with Qantas to get the free flight. It seems like buying from qantasshop.com.au would qualify from the T&C’s – can anyone confirm? Far cheaper to buy a keyring than a flight…

  15. Michael

    Hi Keith,

    You are now also entitled to two entries into The American Express Sydney Airport Lounge per calendar year with this card. The entries may be used by the basic Card Member, Supplementary Card Member or a guest travelling with a Card Member. Complimentary access is available for the Card Member’s children between the ages of 2-17. Not bad.

    • Indeed – I’m visiting the lounge in a couple of weeks with a review in mind. Once thats up, I’ll update all the guides to cards which get complimentary access with some pictures. It’s a decent benefit – kudos to Amex.

Links to this article

  1. American Express Sydney Lounge review & the eligible cards
  2. American Express Velocity Platinum & Velocity Escape Guide

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