Westpac is offering up to 80,000 Velocity or Qantas Points, or 120,000 Altitude Points for new cardholders of the American Express Westpac Altitude Blended Bundle until 31 March 2020 – a hybrid combo of the Westpac Altitude Platinum and American Express Westpac Altitude Black cards.
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The Altitude Platinum Mastercard is the mid-tier card in the Altitude cards range with an ongoing annual card fee of $150 p.a. (plus $50 annual Rewards fee if opting to earn Velocity Points or Qantas Points directly). In this bundle, it is paired with the higher-tier, higher-earn-rate American Express Westpac Altitude Black card which has a separate $199 p.a. ongoing annual fee.
The bonus points for new cardholders, regardless of which program you choose to earn your bonus points, are split into two. With 60,000 Velocity or Qantas Points or 80,000 Altitude Points coming from the Altitude Platinum Mastercard and an additional 20,000 Velocity or Qantas Points or 40,000 Altitude Points from the bundled American Express Westpac Altitude Black.
Both cards require a minimum spend of $3,000 each within the first 90 days of approval. In short, you need to be able to spend $6,000 in total within the first three months to get all the bonus points.
How the bundled American Express cards from Westpac work
This is a bit technical but American Express is now issuing cards for Westpac directly, instead of being issued by Westpac (as previously used to be the case). However, for bonus points eligibility, this card is considered to be a bank-issued card, so won’t affect your eligibility for bonus points on American Express-issued cards. You can read more about bank-issued vs American Express-issued cards here.
What does this mean? You essentially have two credit card accounts, one from each provider, which are linked for the purpose of earning points. You can also only apply for the companion Westpac American Express card once you’re an existing Westpac credit card cardholder of an Altitude Platinum or Altitude Black Mastercard, or at the time of making an application for Westpac’s own card.
When it comes to earning points, you’ll earn your points from each card into either your Velocity, Qantas Frequent Flyer accounts or your Westpac Altitude Rewards account. We understand that points from either card will be credited to your rewards account separately.
The American Express Westpac Altitude card is 100% issued and serviced by American Express. This means you’ll be able to use their digital portal, including their dedicated website and the American Express app.
For existing American Express cardholders of other cards issued by Amex such as the American Express Explorer or Qantas Ultimate American Express, the Westpac card isn’t considered for bonus points eligibility purposes—we have been informed by Westpac that holding an American Express-issued card would not preclude you from earning the bonus points on a Westpac American Express card.
Finally, because the two cards are issued by two separate credit providers, it is likely that both will check your credit record.
The terms and conditions for earning points from Westpac’s American Express Altitude cards are here, while a number of terms documents for the Westpac Altitude Mastercard and associate rewards program and insurance policies are linked to from Westpac’s page, after clicking through from the link above.
Points earn rates from the American Express Westpac Altitude Blended Bundle
|Card||American Express Westpac Blended Bundle|
|Loyalty program||Altitude Rewards,|
Velocity Frequent Flyer,
Qantas Frequent Flyer
|Points earned from spend with the Visa||0.5 Velocity or Qantas Points or 1 Altitude Points per $ of eligible spend on the Altitude Platinum Mastercard|
|Points earned from spend with the American Express||2 Velocity or Qantas Points or 5 Altitude Points for every $1 spent overseas, |
1.25 Velocity or Qantas Points or 3 Altitude Points for every $1 spent locally with the American Express Westpac Altitude Black
|Minimum income requirement||$65,000 p.a.|
|Included insurances||Extended Warranty & International Travel Insurance (PDS)|
|Overseas transaction fee||3.0% of the converted amount|
|Mastercard Annual card fee||$150 p.a. ongoing + ($50 annual Rewards fee if you choose to earn Velocity or Qantas Points)|
|Amex Annual card fee||$199 p.a. ongoing|
Effective Frequent Flyer Program Point Earn Rates
|Frequent Flyer Program||Mastercard Platinum||American Express Altitude Black|
|Domestic Spend||Overseas Spend|
|Qantas Points*||0.5 point / $||1.25 point / $||2 point / $|
|Velocity Points*||0.5 point / $||1.25 point / $||2 point / $|
(transferred from Altitude Rewards)
|0.33 point / $||1 point / $||1.67 point / $|
|Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Miles||0.33 Mile / $||1 Mile / $||1.67 Mile / $|
|Cathay Pacific Asia Miles||0.33 Mile / $||1 Mile / $||1.67 Mile / $|
|*Points earn rate only if linked directly to Altitude Velocity or Qantas|
The American Express Westpac Altitude Black (not the Mastercard) can be used for payments to the Australian Taxation Office, earning 1 Altitude Rewards point or 0.5 Velocity/Qantas Points per $ spent, as ATO payments are classified as ‘government spend’ in the terms and conditions on the application page.
Airport lounge access benefits
Since the companion card of this bundle is the American Express Altitude Black card, you also get access to the Sydney or Melbourne American Express Lounge twice per year.
Included insurances and other benefits
The American Express Westpac Altitude Platinum + American Express Altitude Black Credit Card Bundle comes with a range of insurances, including overseas travel insurance for trips of up to three months, transit accident insurance and extended warranty. You should check the descriptions for each policy if you plan to rely on them. Read the PDS for the Westpac Altitude Platinum here and for the American Express Westpac Altitude Black here.
This guide references some of the benefits of insurance policies provided with this card. You should read the PDS and obtain independent professional advice before obtaining this product.
Altitude Velocity vs Altitude Qantas vs Altitude Rewards
The Altitude Card range offers a choice of which points program you want to direct your points into: either Velocity or Qantas Frequent Flyer or Westpac’s own loyalty program Altitude Rewards.
Note that there is an annual $50 Rewards fee on the Westpac Altitude Platinum Mastercard if you have selected to earn Velocity or Qantas Points (rather than Altitude Rewards).
When choosing Altitude Velocity or Qantas Platinum over Altitude Rewards Platinum, you’ll also need to factor in the different earn rates of each currency and transfer rates to partner programs. Our full guide to Altitude Rewards offers more detail about the program’s benefits.
To sum up, points can be transferred into Velocity (at a lower rate than earning direct with Altitude Velocity), Singapore Airlines Krisflyer, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles and Malaysia Airlines Enrich at a rate of 3 Altitude Rewards points to 1 frequent flyer program point/mile.
The choice between Altitude Velocity, 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 Velocity or Qantas Points but then using the card ongoing, there may be more value for you in taking advantage of Altitude Rewards’ flexibility from having a wide range of transfer options.
Summing up: the American Express Westpac Altitude Blended Bundle
With the launch of this hybrid bundle, the Westpac Altitude Platinum is now an even more viable mid-range annual fee card for the savvy points collector who wants to have options about which points programs they can earn in or transfer points to.
The card has competitive earn rates compared to similar cards in the market, and pairing it with the American Express Altitude Black card makes it even more appealing specially if you’re able to put most of your spend through it.
As a bonus, the points earn is uncapped too, which is no longer the norm these days.