Westpac are now offering revised American Express companion cards on cards in the Altitude card range, with a total of up to 75,000 bonus Qantas or Altitude Points and $0 first year annual card fee on the Visa for new cardholders of the Altitude Platinum two-card bundle until 2 April 2019.
The Altitude Platinum is the mid-range card in the Altitude range with an ongoing annual card fee of $150 p.a. (plus $50 annual Qantas Rewards fee) with the Visa and $49 with the higher-earn-rate American Express companion card.
The bonus points for new cardholders are split into two, with 60,000 points coming from the Altitude Platinum Visa and an additional 15,000 points from the American Express.
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 you could use the bonus points from this card
All redemption figures shown are examples only and exclude accompanying taxes and fees. Points redemption price data is provided by a third-party, so inaccuracies may be present. Please check with the airline directly for a complete and accurate total redemption cost.
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 Qantas Frequent Flyer account 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/Visa 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 Westpac Altitude Platinum
Note that from 9 November 2018, Westpac reduced transfer rates to all important frequent flyer partners. Further information can be found here.
|Card||Westpac Altitude Platinum|
|Loyalty program||Altitude Rewards or Qantas Frequent Flyer|
|Points earned from spend with the Visa||0.5 Qantas Points or 1 Altitude Points per $ of eligible spend on the Visa|
|Points earned from spend with the American Express||1.5 Qantas or 3 Altitude Points per $ on eligible foreign currency spend|
1 Qantas or 2 Altitude Points per $ on eligible domestic spend
0.5 Qantas or Altitude Points on eligible government spend
|Minimum income||$30,000 p.a.|
|Included insurances||Extended Warranty & International Travel Insurance (PDS)|
|Overseas transaction fee||Visa/MasterCard: 3.0% of the converted amount|
|Visa Annual card fee||$150 p.a. ongoing + ($50 annual Qantas Rewards fee if you choose to earn Qantas Points)|
|Amex Annual card fee||$49 p.a. ongoing|
Effective Frequent Flyer Program Point Earn Rates
|Frequent Flyer Program||Visa||American Express|
|Domestic Spend||Overseas Spend|
|Qantas Points*||0.5 point / $||1 point / $||1.5 point / $|
|0.5 point / $||1 point / $||1.5 point / $|
|Velocity Points||0.33 point / $||0.67 point / $||1 point / $|
|Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Miles||0.33 Mile / $||0.67 Mile / $||1 Mile / $|
|Cathay Pacific Asia Miles||0.33 Mile / $||0.67 Mile / $||1 Mile / $|
|*Qantas Points are only earned if linked to Altitude Qantas Rewards.|
The American Express companion card (not the Mastercard) can be used for payments to the Australian Taxation Office, earning 1 Altitude Rewards point or 0.5 Qantas Points per $ spent, as ATO payments are classified as ‘government spend’ in the terms and conditions on the application page.
While the Altitude Platinum comes with fewer benefits than the top-end Altitude Black, it also has a more pocket-friendly annual card fee that gives you access to the Altitude Rewards program with uncapped earn rates.
Included insurances and other benefits
The Altitude Platinum card 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 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 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.
Note that there is an annual $50 Qantas Rewards fee on the Westpac Altitude Platinum Visa if you have selected to earn Qantas Points (rather than Altitude Rewards).
When choosing Altitude 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, 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. However, for those who are looking to transfer to Velocity, a better transfer rate of 2 Altitude Rewards Points to 1 Velocity Point is available if you set up auto-redemption.
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’ flexibility from having a wide range of transfer options.
Summing up: the Westpac Altitude Platinum and Westpac Altitude Qantas Platinum credit cards
With the launch of the new American Express companion card, the Westpac Altitude Platinum is a 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, especially if you’re able to put most of your spend on the American Express companion card. As a bonus, the points earn is uncapped too, which is no longer the norm these days.
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