Westpac's top-end Altitude Black card has a huge 100,000 bonus Qantas or Altitude points on offer plus a heap of ongoing card benefits, including Qantas or Priority Pass lounge invites and Starwood Preferred Guest Gold status.
- 100,000 Qantas Points or Altitude Rewards points
- 1.5 Qantas Points or 3 Altitude Points for every $1 spent on the American Express
- 0.625 Qantas Points or 1.25 Altitude Points for every $1 spent on the MasterCard, plus 1.5 Qantas Points or 3 Altitude Points for every $1 spent overseas on the MasterCard
- 2 x Qantas Club or Priority Pass invitations per cardholder year
- Access to World MasterCard benefits, including Starwood Preferred Guest Gold status after one paid stay
- Overseas Travel Insurance, Purchase Protection etc. (PDS)
- $395 annual fee
- $5,000 minimum spend in 90 days required to earn bonus
- Bonus points offer not available with switches, upgrades, customers accessing employee benefits or packages.
- Offer ends: 28th February 2017
Point Hacks earn up to $300 per applicant for this cardMore about this →
Westpac’s Altitude Black premium Amex and MasterCard account is offering a very competitive 100,000 point sign up bonus, with 100,000 Qantas or Altitude Rewards points available after a $5,000 minimum spend in 90 days.
Offer update: Westpac have slightly updated the offer terms, with existing and previous cardholders of some Westpac cards now eligible for the bonus points, and the cap of 5,000 applicants removed.
The account is geared towards those who can spend a decent amount on their card, want a higher earn rate, are happy to pay the larger annual fee and will get value from the range of ongoing benefits.
Best uses of the 100,000 Qantas or Altitude Rewards point signup bonus
The bonus for new, approved customers right now is 100,000 Qantas Points or Altitude Rewards points. 100,000 Altitude Rewards points is equivalent to 50,000 Velocity Points, or 40,000 KrisFlyer or Asia Miles.
Westpac also allow you to switch your Altitude Rewards account between earning points directly into Qantas Frequent Flyer or into Altitude Rewards.
Given the size of the sign up bonus for Qantas Points is higher than for other transfer partners via Altitude Rewards, that could be used as part of a smart strategy to maximise your points. Pick up Qantas Points when you sign up, and then earn more flexible points from spend with Altitude Rewards. There’s more on that in the Altitude Rewards guide here.
We’ve written up our take on the best uses of 100,000 Qantas Points before – there are heap of flight redemption options from this bonus alone.
You could also try and build your balance and aim for one of the ultimate (and best value) redemptions that Qantas offer – an around the world trip in Business or First Class.
Guide to Westpac Altitude Black and Westpac Altitude Qantas Black American Express and World MasterCard
The account comes with an American Express which has higher points earn rates on most spend than the accompanying ‘World’ MasterCard. In the current market, where points caps are becoming common, uncapped points earning is a key benefit of the Altitude Black.
The annual fee is usually $395, which is reasonable given the extensive amount of benefits available and the decent earn rates for ongoing spend with the card. There’s also a recommended minimum income requirement of $75k for applicants.
Points can be earned as either Altitude Rewards (which partner with Malaysia Airlines Enrich, Singapore Airlines Krisflyer, Velocity, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles and Air New Zealand Airpoints), or if you select the Altitude Qantas Black option, to Qantas Frequent Flyer only.
The 1.5 point per $ effective earn rate for Velocity and Enrich is particularly high, while the 1.2 effective points per $ for KrisFlyer and Asia Miles is respectable and still worth considering.
|Card||Westpac Altitude Black &
Westpac Altitude Qantas Black American Express/Mastercard
|Loyalty program||Qantas Frequent Flyer or Westpac Altitude Rewards|
|Points earned from spend||1.5 Qantas Points or 3 Altitude Points for every $ spent on the American Express
0.625 Qantas Points or 1.25 Altitude Points for every $ spent on the MasterCard
1.5 Qantas Points or 3 Altitude Points for every $ spent overseas on the MasterCard
|Travel benefits||Per year: 2 x Qantas Club or Priority Pass invitations
World MasterCard benefits
Starwood Preferred Guest Gold status after one paid stay
|Minimum income||$75,000 p.a.|
|Included insurances||Extended Warranty & International Travel Insurance (PDS)|
|Overseas transaction fee||Visa/MasterCard: 3.0% of the converted amount
American Express: 3.5% of the converted amount
Effective Frequent Flyer Program Point Earn Rates
|Frequent Flyer Program||Domestic Spend||Overseas Spend|
|Qantas Points*||1.5 points / $||0.625 points / $||1.5 points / $|
|Velocity Points||1.5 points / $||0.625 points / $||1.5 points / $|
|Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Miles||1.2 Miles / $||0.5 Miles / $||1.2 Miles / $|
|Cathay Pacific Asia Miles||1.2 Miles / $||0.5 Miles / $||1.2 Miles / $|
|*Qantas Points are only earned if linked to Altitude Qantas Rewards.|
It is worth noting for those who have to pay the Australian Tax Office that Westpac offers the ability to earn points on ATO transactions made for personal purposes on the Altitude Black American Express, unlike many other cards on the market.
The terms of the card don’t permit points to be earned generally for business-related transaction, so bear that in mind.
Airport lounge access benefits
If you opt for the Altitude Rewards Black, you’ll receive airport lounge access with Priority Pass membership and two included lounge visits per year. Additional visits come for a $27 USD fee.
If you opt for Altitude Qantas Black, you’ll be sent two single-entry Qantas Club invitations which can be used at any Qantas Club (domestic) or Qantas International Business Class lounge.
With both Altitude Rewards Black and Altitude Qantas Black, you’ll also receive two lounge visits free of charge to the newly-opened Sydney International American Express lounge too, usually a cost of $55.
All up, it’s a useful range of lounge access for those who aren’t travelling in Business Class all the time.
Starwood Preferred Guest Gold status upgrade with the World MasterCard
The World MasterCard also comes with Starwood Preferred Guest Gold status after a one night stay, alongside the increased points earn on overseas transactions.
World MasterCard products in the Asia-Pacific region are all eligible for an upgrade to Starwood Hotels Gold status after a single paid stay at any Starwood hotel in the region.
Starwood Gold status can be handy, and comes with the following benefits:
- Earn three Starpoints for every U.S. dollar spent on eligible stays — a 50% bonus over the entry-level preferred status
- 4 p.m. late checkout (when available)
- An upgrade to an enhanced room at check-in: corner room, higher floor, or better
- A choice of welcome gift upon arrival: choose from bonus Starpoints, complimentary in-room Internet or a drink
- Earn one Starpoint per dollar spent on most Delta flights, and one Starpoint per dollar on eligible Emirates flights
With the Marriott and Starwood merger now in full swing, Starwood Gold is also matchable to equivalent status with Marriott hotels globally, increasing the value of the benefit.
If you’ve also registered for Emirates ‘Your World’ rewards with Starwood, Emirates will let you know by email when your account has been upgraded.
Included insurances and other benefits
The Westpac Altitude Black comes with travel and extended warranty insurance coverage. As I say with every credit card guide, the value of each card’s insurance can only really be assessed by you looking at the PDS and deciding whether it is a fit for your needs. Read the full PDS here.
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.
You’ll also gain access to Westpac Concierge and their Black Concierge app, which could give some useful restaurant or ticket reservation shortcuts, amongst other potential uses.
Earning Qantas and Altitude Rewards points from spend
The earn rate from spend on the Altitude Rewards Black cards is one of the best that Westpac offer, which for Altitude Rewards points is:
- 3 points per dollar on the American Express
- 1.25 points per dollar on the MasterCard
- 3 points per dollar on the MasterCard for overseas transactions
The Altitude Qantas Black earn rate is:
- 1.5 points per dollar on the American Express
- 0.625 points per dollar on the MasterCard
- 1.5 points per dollar on the MasterCard for overseas transactions
The Qantas earn rate on the American Express compares well with other similar cards, while 0.625 on the MasterCard is not as good as some of the standalone Qantas Visa/MasterCards out there – it’s not totally uncompetitive either.
Altitude Qantas vs Altitude Rewards
Westpac are making some changes to Altitude Rewards transfer rates which affect those looking to transfer Altitude Rewards points to KrisFlyer or Asia Miles – they will now kick in from November 9th, with all examples and transfer rates in this guide reflecting the rates after the changes have been made.
The Altitude Card range offers a choice of which points program you want to direct your points into – either Qantas Frequent Flyer, or Westpac’s own loyalty program, Altitude Rewards.
You’ll earn the signup bonus with the card in one program, but you can later switch to the other option on request – however your points won’t move with the switch.
When choosing Altitude Qantas Black over Altitude Rewards Black, you’ll also need to factor in the different earn rates of each currency and transfer rates to partner programs.
With Qantas Points, you won’t earn bonus points with the Altitude bonus partners, however you will earn an additional bonus point per dollar when spending with Qantas.
The choice between Altitude Qantas or Altitude Rewards is dependent on your personal points earning preference.
You might find the signup bonus from the card to be more valuable to take as Qantas points, but then using the card ongoing, there may be more value for you in taking advantage of Altitude Rewards bonus partners and increased flexibility from having a wide range of transfer options.
Altitude Rewards – a quick overview
We’ve written a full overview to the Altitude Rewards program and the rest of the card range, so check that out for the full detail.
In short, points can be transferred into Malaysia Airlines Enrich and Velocity at a rate of 2 Altitude Rewards points to 1 frequent flyer program point/mile and 2.5 Altitude Rewards points to 1 mile for Cathay Pacific Asia Miles and Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer.
There are also a large range of bonus retailers/merchants where you can earn extra points by shopping with them. They are worth noting in case you can bump up your points earn.
Some of the extra bonus point partners for the Altitude Black cards versus other Altitude Cards are 3 bonus points per $ with Altitude Travel (which could quickly add up to tens of thousands of points with airfare spend), Secure Parking, and Hoyts Cinemas.
Summing Up – Westpac Altitude Black and Westpac Altitude Qantas Black credit cards
This is the kind of card that you need to take a critical look over the ongoing benefits and sign up bonus to assess whether the annual fee is worth it for you. When the signup bonus is large, like now, it’s a compelling offer.
Most infrequent travellers may be able to get some use out of the lounge access and Starwood status, particularly if you educate yourself on how to make the most of both benefits.
You’ll earn more points in some specific categories (e.g. travel or supermarkets) with some American Express Membership Rewards cards, but on the whole, the across-the-board earn rate for Enrich, KrisFlyer, Velocity and Asia Miles can’t be beaten.
All up, it is an appealing product with this large sign up bonus, and assessing value in subsequent years should be based on use of the benefits and the high points earn rate.
Share this article
Point Hacks Credit Card Information
Point Hacks is published by Newformula Media. Newformula PTY LTD (ACN: 609 361 051) is a credit representative (486568) of Eurofinance Corporation Pty Ltd (Australian Credit License: 393845). In some instances, Newformula PTY LTD receives a commission or benefit for referring you to the services of a credit provider. This commission or benefit is disclosed at the point of referral to the credit provider. This website does not provide credit or advise you to apply for credit assistance from any particular provider.
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.