Point Hacks Credit Card Guide

Qantas Ultimate American Express: 50,000 bonus Qantas Points plus free Qantas domestic economy return flight

Qantas American Express Ultimate - 52,500 Qantas Points

The Qantas American Express Ultimate has 50,000 bonus Qantas Points on offer plus another 2,500 after spending with Qantas. It's one of the highest earning Qantas Point cards with bonus points in specific spend categories, and offers a free Qantas domestic flight each year.

  • 50,000 Qantas Points for new applicants, plus 2,500 bonus Qantas Points on first spend with Qantas
  • Free domestic flight with Qantas each cardholder year
  • Travel and purchase protection insurances
  • 3 Qantas points earned per $ spent at restaurants and with Qantas, 2 points earned per $ on travel and overseas spend, and 1 point per $ everywhere else except for utilities and the ATO
  • 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
  • 5,000 bonus points after first purchase, 45,000 bonus points after $1,500 minimum spend in 3 months, additional bonus of 2,500 points after first spend with Qantas
  • Card Members who currently hold or who have previously held any other Consumer Credit Card product issued by American Express Australia Limited in the preceding 18 month period are ineligible for this offer

Find out more or apply →

I earn a maximum of $250 per applicant for this card. More about this →

American Express’ Qantas Ultimate card offer is back to 50,000 bonus Qantas Points, with an additional 2,500 after you first spend with Qantas – this is back to American Express’ standard offer for this card.

The first 5,000 Qantas Point bonus comes after your first transaction on the card, with another 45,000 Qantas Points after spending $1,500 within the first 3 months of being approved for the card, and finally, another 2,500 Qantas Points after your first spend with Qantas for a total of 52,500 bonus Qantas Points.

Beyond just offering a bonus for new cardholders, the American Express Qantas Ultimate is one of the only Qantas Point credit cards on the market that offer category specific bonuses on spend – with 3 points per dollar on offer at restaurants, 2 on overseas and travel transactions.

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.

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 spend3 Qantas Points per $ spent at restaurants and with Qantas
2 Qantas Points per $ with airlines, accommodation and travel agencies
2 Qantas Points per $ on non-AUD transactions
1 Qantas Point per $ spent everywhere else, except for Utilities and the ATO
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. These earn rates mirror the high-end American Express Platinum Charge card for Membership Rewards points, but at 1/3 of the annual fee for that card.

The category bonuses on offer don’t work for everyone’s personal spend patterns, but if they work for yours and you’re looking for Qantas Points, then this card may be a good earner.

A small number of other American Express cards on the market (such as Westpac Altitude Black at 1.5 Qantas Points per $ spent) manage to beat Qantas Ultimate in terms of the points earn rate outside of the category bonuses – but if you spend frequently within these categories that could quickly make up for the difference.

If you find yourself booking several thousands of dollars in Qantas flights on a regular basis, the 3 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.

If you do already hold an American Express-issued card, then the type you hold impacts whether you’re eligible for a new cardholder bonus. American Express offer consumer (or personal) credit cards, consumer Charge cards, and business credit cards. If you hold a card in one of these categories and apply for a card in the same category, then you won’t be eligible for a bonus.

However if you hold a card in one category and apply for a new card in a different category, then you are eligible for the signup bonus. We’ve explained this in more detail here.

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 bonus points on spend categories can be a fairly lucrative way to boost your points balances if they match your spending habits.

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Point Hacks Credit Card Information

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We have not taken into consideration your circumstances or financial situation when providing the information on this website. It is important you read the relevant PDS from the product issuer and seek the independent advice of an appropriately qualified professional before making a decision on a product.

Comments Expand Comments

  1. 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.

  2. 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…

  3. 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…!

  4. 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?

  5. 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.

  6. 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?

    • 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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,

  9. 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?

  10. 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

Links to this article

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

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