Point Hacks Credit Card Guide

Westpac Altitude Black card is back to 50,000 bonus Qantas or Altitude Rewards points

Westpac Altitude Black Amex & MasterCard - 50,000 Qantas or Altitude Rewards Points

Westpac's top-end Altitude Black card has a 50,000 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.

  • 50,000 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: 20th April 2017

Find out more or apply →

Point Hacks earn up to $300 per applicant for this card. More about this →

Westpac has ended its huge 100,000 bonus point offer on the Altitude Black premium Amex and MasterCard account. Bonus is now back to 50,000 Qantas or Altitude Rewards points.

This product is geared towards those who can spend a decent amount on their card, want a high earn rate, are happy to pay the larger annual fee and will get value from airport lounges and elite hotel perks.

The annual fee is $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 $75,000 p.a.

Best uses of the 50,000 Qantas or Altitude Rewards point sign-up bonus

The current bonus for new, approved customers is 50,000 Qantas Points or Altitude Rewards points. 50,000 Altitude Rewards points is equivalent to 25,000 Velocity Points, or 20,000 KrisFlyer or Asia Miles.

A great feature is that Westpac also allows 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 our Altitude Rewards guide.

We’ve written up our take on the best uses of Qantas Points before and the current bonus offer goes a long way to achieving them.

You could also try and build your balance and aim for one of the ultimate (and best value) redemptions that Qantas offers: a round-the-world trip in Business or First Class.

You can also check out our Best Uses of Points guides for Velocity, KrisFlyer and Asia Miles.

Earn rates

The earn rate from spend on the Altitude Rewards Black cards is one of the best that Westpac offers. Basically, you’ll get the best earn rate by using the American Express card within Australia and either card overseas.

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.

Points can be earned as either Altitude Rewards – which partners with Singapore Airlines Krisflyer, Velocity, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, Malaysia Airlines Enrich 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 Details

CardWestpac Altitude Black &
Westpac Altitude Qantas Black American Express/Mastercard
Loyalty programQantas Frequent Flyer or Westpac Altitude Rewards
Points earned from spend1.5 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 benefitsPer 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 insurancesExtended Warranty & International Travel Insurance (PDS)
Overseas transaction feeVisa/MasterCard: 3.0% of the converted amount
American Express: 3.5% of the converted amount
Annual fee$395

Effective Frequent Flyer Program Point Earn Rates

Frequent Flyer ProgramAmerican ExpressMasterCard
Domestic and overseas spendDomestic spendOverseas spend
Qantas Points*1.5 points / $0.625 points / $1.5 points / $
Velocity Points1.5 points / $0.625 points / $1.5 points / $
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Miles1.2 Miles / $0.5 Miles / $1.2 Miles / $
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles1.2 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 transactions, 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, which are valid at the new Catalina Lounge at Darwin Airport. Additional visits are charged at 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. The passes are sent after your first Altitude Black Card spend ‘on selected Qantas products and services’, defined as Qantas flights or Qantas Frequent Flyer or Qantas Club joining and membership fees.

Westpac Altitude Black Qantas Club Pass

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.

29671-AMEX-Airport Lounge

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.

SPG 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.

Skywards Your World Starwood Gold confirmation

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.

Westpac Black Concierge App

Altitude Qantas vs Altitude Rewards

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 sign-up 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 sign-up 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.

In November 2016, Westpac made some changes to Altitude Rewards transfer rates to KrisFlyer or Asia Miles, however, all examples and transfer rates in this guide reflect the new rates.

Altitude Rewards: a quick overview

In short, points can be transferred into Velocity and Malaysia Airlines Enrich 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: the 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 sign-up 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-Marriott 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 Velocity, KrisFlyer, Asia Miles and Enrich 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.

Jump back up to offer ↑

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 Kao

    Another unique feature about Altitude Reward, is that the point earn is credited as soon as the transaction is through, rather than at the end of the statement period. This means that you will get the points within 48-72 hours. This is very useful if you need to book an award quickly and just a few hundred miles short, you can quickly pay some outstanding bills and you have your points in 2 days.

  2. James A

    Note that the T&Cs state that you have to register your card, then spend on Qantas flights or Club before you can claim the lounge passes.

  3. Jamie

    Does anyone have any experience as to what will trigger the qantas lounge passes ?

    Would booking and award flight with points and paying the taxes with your black card qualify ?

      • James A

        So I tried this last week, booking an award flight and paying the taxes, and the lounge passes showed up yesterday 😀 I did of course register my card on the website beforehand, and actually paid with the linked Amex.

  4. Keith Author

    As far as I know, all Qantas lounge passes are created equally, and the terms on them state they are valid for Domestic Qantas Club and International Business Lounge access. That might be where the confusion lies – they are not valid for Domestic Business Lounges, just Qantas Clubs.

  5. “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”

    You do not need to pick Altitude Rewards Black to sign up for free Priority Pass membership. I picked Altitude Qantas Black and have just received my free Priority Pass membership, just follow the link on the Altitude Black page.

    • B

      Thanks for the tips! I got this card for more than a year and didn’t know until I read your comment! It would have been great if I knew during my Christmas trip…I was in the airport for 5 hours!

  6. JY

    Hi Keith,

    Do you know if the 100,000 point promotion is eligible for the ‘special Westpac customer offer’ which states : ” Special Offer for Existing Westpac Customers
    $0 annual fee in the first year when you apply via the Westpac customers ‘Apply now’ button.”?

    Or is that special $0 offer only availible for the 50,000 qantas point offer?

    • Keith Author

      The 100,000 point offer isn’t available in conjunction with any other offer according to the offer page, so no, pretty sure you can’t double up there.

    • Keith Author

      We are working with Westpac to ensure they tell us before the 5,000 applicant quota is up, and will do our best to update and remove this offer before that happens.

  7. Berin

    Do you know who is offering this deal? It isn’t mentioned on the main Westpac site, so I called Westpac and after speaking to several of their departments (new card applications… card services… altitude rewards… even Qantas themselves, before finally being transferred back to new card applications), they told me that they didn’t know about the offer and concluded that it must be being made by a third party.

    I’ve just applied and been approved, but I’d love to have the 100,000 points confirmed before activating the card and starting to use it.

    • Keith Author

      Point Hacks works with Westpac and their advertising agency. Occasionally Westpac (like other banks) run different offers in different marketing channels – e.g. one offer showing on Qantas.com, another through publisher advertising partners (like us), and in-store. In this case we have a semi-exclusive offer going with Westpac via their agency, which is only available through Point Hacks and other similar advertising partners. Hope that helps clarify it a little.

  8. Steve

    Hi Keith,

    so since you work with Westpac how about the inside word on what is happening with Krysflyer redemptions. I note this change in redemption points has not actually occurred and now the page which notifies of the change has also disappeared.

    Surely this is a bit misleading for new customers as the only way to find the redemption rate is to actually try it and currently its still at the old (1.5) rate. For new customers how are they being “notified” of a change if Westpac has removed the page that provides that notification?

    • Keith Author

      I have nothing on this unfortunately – I wish I did, as a cardholder too. I don’t understand why this change hasn’t been rolled out yet, or why it was pulled in the first place. I didn’t realise the page that articulated the changes had also disappeared too, that’s news to me.

      PH + Westpac work together through their agency, so like most other banks, I only generally get updates and comms on offer details – like this offer. IMO a transfer rate change like that to KF and AM is a core product change and part of the offer, but this is generally handled by different parts of these very big organisations.

      I will keep digging to see what I can find out though.

  9. Oliver

    What if I am an additional (supplemetary) cardholder of an existing Altitude Black card? Am I not eligible to apply for my own card? What if I cancel as an supplementary cardholder and apply on my own?

    • Keith Author

      Generally supplementary cards are tied to the account-holder (in terms of responsibility for transactions and balances). They don’t usually make a different to applications for cards in your own name.

  10. Phil

    Hi Keith. I have signed up to the AMEX Explorer (thanks for the guide), and looking at Westpac Altitude Black for my partner so she too can take on the sign up bonus with 100,000 Qantas points.
    Assuming we like to travel on the same flights, do you see problems with us using two different rewards programs when booking travel? I see the Gateway program has access to Emirates, and Qantas also partner with Emirates which might be our only option (apart from using Amplify rewards which devalue but give more options)
    Fairly new to this…Am I on the right track here??

    • Keith Author

      Assuming we like to travel on the same flights, do you see problems with us using two different rewards programs when booking travel?

      Not usually. You’ll need to earn enough points individually in each program to be able to book independently but can then link the bookings once they’ve been made. It depends how specifically you want to redeem your points. If you’d like to get more specific, do ask a Question over here and we’ll help you out some more.

  11. Paul

    Hi Keith,

    I just got the Westpac Altitude Rewards basic CC which has a 50k points offer. Will I also be eligible for the Westpac Altitude Black 100k offer if I apply for this card as well?

    The terms state:
    “The bonus points promotion is available to customers who apply and are approved for a new Westpac Altitude Black card between 17 October 2016 and 5 January 2017, pay the $395 annual fee and spend the minimum amount of $5000 on eligible purchases within 90 days from card approval on one or more transactions”

    This sounds like if you don’t have a Altitude Black you can apply and be eligible?


  12. Caitlin

    Hi there,

    I’ve just applied and activated my Westpac card, but I can’t seem to find any details on receiving the 100,000 qantas points. The westpac website is also saying it’s 50,000 points. How do I go about confirming the point allocation and proving I applied via the points hack offer? Thanks

  13. Hi Keith,
    I called Westpac to see if they could tell me if the Westpac Altitude Platinum Visa I cancelled in Feb 2016 would disqualify me from this promotion. They were unable to tell me. Can you point me to which cards you refer to when you mention the relaxing of the T&C’s?

    • Keith Author

      The terms previously stated: Existing Westpac customers who currently hold an Altitude Platinum or Altitude Black credit card, or who have held one in the last 12 months, are not eligible for this offer.
      That is now no longer present, along with the 5,000 applicant limit being removed.

  14. Jeremy

    Wondering if there’s more details on what’s considered “Switches, upgrades” (as per the T&Cs)? I’ve got a really old Westpac credit card sitting around, would this preclude me?



    • Keith Author

      As far as I know if you’re an existing cardholder you’re eligible for the bonus, as long as you don’t request to switch your existing product or upgrade it as part of applying for Altitude Black under this offer. But do double check with Westpac on this.

  15. George

    Hi Keith,

    One of the conditions is that you “pay the $395 annual fee”. I actually have a home loan with Westpac and subscribe to their Premier Advantage Package (costing me $395 per year). The package allows me to obtain this credit card at no additional cost (i.e. the annual fee is waived). What’s your take as to whether I’m still eligible for the 100,000 bonus points? Thanks.

  16. Stephen

    Hi Keith

    You mentioned above saying if you hold some westpac cards it will be excluded ? Do you know which cards ? There’s no terms suggesting if you are a current card holder you can’t apply for another one to get he points ?

    • Keith Author

      There were terms to this effect when the offer originally launched – current Westpac Black and Platinum cardholders were excluded, as well as holders of the same from the last 12 months. That term was removed.

  17. Wei

    Hi Keith,

    Is this offer still valid? I click and apply through the link but after completing the form it’s telling me,

    We are sorry

    We seem to be experiencing problems. Please try later again
    The credit card application form is currently unavailable. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

    Looks like the offer is ending on the 5th of Jan 17, really don’t want to miss out on the deal 🙁

  18. Sam

    Hi Keith.

    Love the site and your help throughout this thread.

    Just a quick question that may help others too;
    Fine print outlines the criteria of $5000 spend in 90 days for the 100,000 bonus points as;

    “Eligible purchases do not include fees, cash, cash equivalent transactions, BPAY, refunds and balance transfers debited from the card account”

    Does this mean upcoming ATO payments through the ATO website are eligible?

    TIA for the help!

  19. Andy

    Hi Keith,

    I had a quick question regarding this sign-up offer. Been a long-time reader of your time 🙂 Anyways, I signed up for the Westpac Black card last year through your link – currently, I have only received 50k bonus points. A Westpac adviser indicated that 50k points will be transferred 12 weeks from spending $2,500, and the second allocation of 50k points will be transferred 12 weeks after spending $5,000. Can you confirm if this is what should be happening in terms of the bonus points transfer? Thanks again, and keep up the good work!


    • Keith Author

      Hey Andy – the offer terms do state that the bonus points will drop in two lots of 50,000 points. In practice we are only just starting to see how this is happening in reality with folks meeting the min spend criteria now – and it seems that while some people are getting the full 100k, most are getting them split.

      This is the first I’d heard of the $2,500 = 50k and then again for the next $2,500, but that could well make sense.

      If you have any problems with the bonus crediting after meeting the full minimum spend and waiting periods, let us know.

  20. beau

    Hi Keith, just applied it via PH link. It only mentions Altitude black qantas world master card is approved, not amex mentioned anywhere… Dual card no longer available?

  21. George

    Hey Keith, I’m an existing Altitude Black CC holder which feeds into my Velocity (Virgin) FF and a good customer of Westpac. I’d like to take advantage of this offer and beef up my Qantas points – I fly both carriers.
    I gave Westpac a call this morning and was declined because of my existing card – so it seems their relaxed conditions aren’t extended to current Black Card members. What gives with this? Have I been given incorrect information?
    I’m otherwise ready to close my Westpac CC and move to another banks bonus offer.

    • Keith Author

      Hey George – I believe that would be the case. I don’t think Westpac could / would issue you two of the same cards to the same person – it’s a ‘new accounts only’ offer. If you were going from Platinum to Black though, it would be a new account so the bonus would apply.

  22. Michael Vikatos

    Hi Keith

    I received the below email from Uber, do you know if it is available with the above current offer?

    Hi Michael,

    Get every second Uber ride free (up to $20) when you get a new Westpac Altitude credit card. Use your Westpac Altitude credit card to pay for your Uber rides and every second ride will be covered until 30 September 2017.

    More rides, more affordable.

    Apply online or on mobile by
    31 March 2017.


  23. Ken

    Hi Keith,
    I cancelled my Westpac black cards in December 2016. According to what you have written, I should be able to apply for the card (since 12 months exclusion clause have been removed) and get the 100k bonus points?

  24. @PerthFlyer

    Hey Keith

    Looking at the ‘cards and banking’ section of the Qantas site this offer looks like it has been extended to 31 March 2017. Can you confirm this please?


    • Keith Author

      It looks like the variant of the offer Qantas is promoting is very similar to this one, but does have a different end date. I’ll see if I can get ours extended, thanks for letting me know 🙂

  25. @PerthFlyer

    Cheers Keith

    Would rather get the card using your referral but I space my cc sign-ups 3 months apart and feb 28th is 1 month too early and don’t want the credit score to take a dive! If I did have to go the Qantas route, would I then be able to revert to Altitude Rewards after meeting minimum spend and getting the Qantas signup points?


  26. Steven

    Awesome Keith…

    Loving your articles and the in-depth details is certainly invaluable in the complexity of options available.

    Want to take advantage of this offer, but I currently have Altitude Platinum CC’s with Westpac currently. I know that the clause has been removed, but does this mean that I can take advantage of this offer whilst still retaining my Platinum CC’s? Or would I need to cancel them first?


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