Point Hacks Credit Card Guide

Guide to Westpac’s Altitude Rewards credit cards and the Altitude Rewards program

Westpac Altitude Black - 100,000 Qantas or Altitude Rewards Points

Westpac's Altitude Black card has 100,000 bonus Qantas or Altitude points plus $145 off the 1st year annual fee. There are many ongoing card benefits, including Qantas or Priority Pass lounge invites and World Mastercard benefits.

  • 100,000 Qantas Points or Altitude Rewards points when you spend $5,000 within the first 90 days from card approval
  • $145 off the first year annual fee, making it $250 (usually $395)
  • 0.625 Qantas Points or 1.25 Altitude Points for every $1 spent on the MasterCard
  • 2 x Qantas Club or Priority Pass invitations per cardholder year
  • Access to World MasterCard benefits
  • Overseas Travel Insurance, Purchase Protection and other insurances(PDS)
  • $250 annual fee for the first year (usually $395 p.a.)
  • $5,000 minimum spend in 90 days required to earn 100,000 bonus points
  • Bonus points offer not available with switches, upgrades, customers accessing employee benefits or packages.
  • Offer ends: 31st January 2018

Find out more or apply →

Point Hacks earns a range of commissions per applicant for this card. More about this →

Westpac’s Altitude Rewards program is a flexible points program which should be considered if you’re looking for a rewards-based credit card. You can also link the account to Qantas Frequent Flyer and earn Qantas Points.


Westpac’s American Express changes planned for 2018

In early November 2017, Westpac and American Express announced some limited details of changes to their ongoing partnership which allows Westpac to issue American Express cards. This is changing in 2018, with some impacts to a number of joint American Express & Mastercard credit card accounts issued by Westpac.

Customers who apply and are approved for Westpac Altitude card until January 31st 2018 will receive both a Mastercard and American Express. This American Express card, issued by Westpac, can be used until 4th April 2018. Customers who apply from February 1st 2018 will not receive a companion card with their account.

We have focused our guides to the Altitude range as a result, removing the info about benefits that come with the American Express cards for clarity – as they won’t be around for long.

Westpac haven’t yet outlined what will happen to the Altitude card range after April 4th, so we’ll share any confirmed information when we can.


Guide to Westpac’s Altitude Rewards credit cards and the Altitude Rewards program was last modified: January 5th, 2018 by Keith

Westpac Altitude Rewards program guide

Westpac Altitude Rewards is Westpac’s loyalty program for credit card points earn from your day-to-day spend. It’s similar to the other major programs out there in that there are a range of cards in which you can earn Altitude Rewards points, and a number of frequent flyer transfer partners you can use them with.

Altitude Rewards is a versatile program, and partners with Qantas Frequent Flyer, Velocity, Malaysia Airlines Enrich, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, Singapore Airlines Krisflyer and Air NZ Airpoints.

This guide attempts to cover off the ins and outs of Altitude Rewards, the card range and the best partners to transfer your points to.

Note: Westpac also owns St. George Bank, Bank of Melbourne and Bank SA. These three other banks all share a common program which is very similar to Altitude Rewards – Amplify Rewards. The affiliate partners aren’t quite the same though.

Using Points – Program Partners and Transfer Rates

Let’s get into the points first – the range of frequent flyer program partners that Altitude Rewards have available to cardholders.

In short, Westpac has a wide range of airline partners, with:

Until recently, all (except Air NZ) transfer points over to the airline programs at 2 Altitude Rewards points to 1 frequent flyer point. Starting November 9 2016 though, the transfer rate to Krisflyer and Asia Miles will be reduced to 0.4 Krisflyer or Asia Miles.

If these changes at any time, this Altitude Rewards page should highlight this.

Note also that the Westpac Altitude Reward Business Cards have Qantas Frequent Flyer as a transfer partner, meaning you don’t have to direct sweep your points over to Qantas. There are very few cards on the market that offer Qantas transfers, and it’s a win for the flexibility of your points.

These programs are good options for competitive frequent flyer point redemptions in the region, and Westpac aren’t missing any key airline partners, which is great.

Earning points – the Altitude Credit Card range

If you want to maximise the number of flexible points you can earn, the ability to transfer points earned from a MasterCard or Visa to Malaysia Airlines Enrich, Asia Miles or Krisflyer is fairly valuable, and as a result is well worth considering..

Altitude Black – World MasterCard

The Altitude Black is Westpac’s premium card, with an accompanying high annual fee. It’s geared towards those who spend the most on their card, want a higher earn rate, are happy to pay the larger annual fee and will get value from the ongoing benefits

Westpac Altitude Black - 100,000 Qantas or Altitude Rewards Points

Westpac's Altitude Black card has 100,000 bonus Qantas or Altitude points plus $145 off the 1st year annual fee. There are many ongoing card benefits, including Qantas or Priority Pass lounge invites and World Mastercard benefits.

  • 100,000 Qantas Points or Altitude Rewards points when you spend $5,000 within the first 90 days from card approval
  • $145 off the first year annual fee, making it $250 (usually $395)
  • 0.625 Qantas Points or 1.25 Altitude Points for every $1 spent on the MasterCard
  • 2 x Qantas Club or Priority Pass invitations per cardholder year
  • Access to World MasterCard benefits
  • Overseas Travel Insurance, Purchase Protection and other insurances(PDS)
  • $250 annual fee for the first year (usually $395 p.a.)
  • $5,000 minimum spend in 90 days required to earn 100,000 bonus points
  • Bonus points offer not available with switches, upgrades, customers accessing employee benefits or packages.
  • Offer ends: 31st January 2018

Find out more or apply →

Point Hacks earns a range of commissions per applicant for this card. More about this →

Card Details

CardWestpac Altitude Black Mastercard
Loyalty programQantas Frequent Flyer or Westpac Altitude Rewards
Points earned from spend0.625 Qantas Points or 1.25 Altitude Points for every $ spent on the MasterCard
Travel benefitsPer year: 2 x Qantas Club or Priority Pass invitations
World MasterCard benefits
Minimum income $75,000 p.a.
Included insurancesExtended Warranty & International Travel Insurance (PDS)
Overseas transaction feeVisa/MasterCard: 3.0% of the converted amount
Annual fee$395

Effective Frequent Flyer Program Point Earn Rates

Frequent Flyer ProgramMasterCard
Domestic spend
Qantas Points*0.625 points / $
Velocity Points0.625 points / $
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Miles0.5 Mile / $
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles0.5 Mile / $
*Qantas Points are only earned if linked to Altitude Qantas Rewards

Given the number of benefits that come with Altitude Black, there’s a full standalone guide to the Altitude Black and Altitude Qantas cards here.

In brief, the benefits are:

  • Airport lounge access with Priority Pass membership and 2 included lounge visits – or if opted into Altitude Qantas, 2 x Qantas Club passes
  • Broader insurance coverage, including travel and extended warranty (See PDS here)
  • Access to Westpac concierge and their Black concierge App

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 Platinum – Visa

The Altitude Platinum is the mid-range card in the Altitude range with an annual fee of $150.

Westpac Altitude Platinum - 60,000 Qantas or Altitude Rewards Points

The Westpac Altitude Platinum card has 60,000 bonus Qantas or Altitude points on offer with a $150 annual fee, includes access to Platinum concierge and a range of complimentary insurances.

  • 60,000 Qantas Points or Altitude Rewards points
  • 1 Qantas Points or 2 Altitude Points for every $1 spent on the American Express
  • 0.5 Qantas Points or 1 Altitude Point for every $1 spent on the Visa
  • Points cap per statement period of 7,500 Altitude points or 3,750 Qantas Points
  • Overseas Travel Insurance, Purchase Protection etc. (PDS)
  • Annual Fee: $150 p.a.
  • $3,000 minimum spend in 3 months required to earn bonus
  • Offer ends: 31st January 2018

Find out more or apply →

Point Hacks earns a range of commissions per applicant for this card. More about this →

Card Details

CardWestpac Altitude Platinum Visa
Loyalty programAltitude Rewards or Qantas Frequent Flyer
Points earned from spend0.5 Qantas Points or 1 Altitude Points for every $ spent on the Visa
Minimum income $30,000 p.a.
Included insurancesExtended Warranty & International Travel Insurance (PDS)
Points Cap7,500 Altitude points or 3,750 Qantas Points per statement period
Overseas transaction feeVisa/MasterCard: 3.0% of the converted amount
Annual fee$150

Effective Frequent Flyer Program Point Earn Rates

Frequent Flyer Program
Visa
Qantas Points*0.5 point / $
Velocity Points0.5 point / $
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Miles0.4 Mile / $
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles0.4 Mile / $
*Qantas Points are only earned if linked to Altitude Qantas Rewards.

It comes with fewer benefits than the Altitude Black, but gives access to the Altitude Rewards program with a more friendly annual fee.

With the Altitude Platinum card, you’ll get 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.

In comparison to the Altitude Black there’s a points cap of 7,500 Altitude Rewards points or 3,750 Qantas Points per statement period.

Altitude Visa

The entry-level Altitude Rewards card comes in with a $100 annual fee, and few extra benefits.

Card Details

CardWestpac Altitude Visa
Loyalty programAltitude Rewards or Qantas Frequent Flyer
Points earned from spend0.5 Qantas Points or 1 Altitude Points for every $ spent on the Visa
Points Cap5,000 Altitude points or 2,500 Qantas Points per statement period
Overseas transaction fee3.0% of the converted amount
Annual fee$100

Effective Frequent Flyer Program Point Earn Rates

Frequent Flyer Program
Visa
Qantas Points*0.5 point / $
Velocity Points0.5 point / $
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Miles0.4 Mile / $
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles0.4 Mile / $
*Qantas Points are only earned if linked to Altitude Qantas Rewards.

The earn rates are the same as the Altitude Platinum card, but there’s a reduced points cap of 5,000 Altitude Rewards points or 2,500 Qantas Points per statement period.

Personal Cards: Altitude Qantas vs Altitude Rewards

Westpac make it relatively easy to swap between Altitude Qantas and Altitude Rewards:

If you have an Altitude Visa card, Altitude Platinum Visa card, or Altitude Black card, you may switch all cards linked to the card account between Altitude Rewards and Altitude Qantas programs at any time and any number of times, subject to the time it takes us to process each request. You should allow at least 10 business days for a request to switch to be processed or as advised at the time of your request.

Note that, from 4 April 2018, there will be a new annual $50 Qantas Rewards fee if you have selected to earn Qantas points (rather than Altitude Rewards).

This makes it possible to take a signup bonus in one currency (e.g. Altitude Qantas), and then earn points ongoing in another (e.g. Altitude Rewards), if there is value in doing so.

When choosing Altitude Qantas over Altitude Rewards cards, you’ll need to factor in the different earn rates of each currency and transfer rates to partner programs.

With Qantas Points, you will earn an additional bonus point per dollar when spending with Qantas.

All up, the choice between Altitude Qantas or Altitude Rewards is primarily up to your personal points-earning preference – you might find a signup bonus from a card to be more valuable in raw Qantas points, but in the long-run when using the card ongoing, there may be more value in taking advantage of Altitude Rewards’ flexibility from having a wide range of transfer options.

Note: Westpac have discontinued the Altitude Bonus Partner program starting in May 2017, which means cardholders will no longer have the ability to earn bonus points on spend at a range of retailers and partners.

Altitude Rewards and Velocity Auto-Redemption

Westpac Altitude Rewards added new feature in early 2016 for Altitude Rewards cardholders – ‘Velocity Auto-Redemption‘.

In a nutshell, this will allow you to automatically convert your Altitude Points to Velocity Points on a monthly basis. The transfer rate is the same as if you initiated the transfer on demand.

Depending on your circumstances, I think that using Auto-Redemption may be a bad idea.

  • By enabling Auto-Redemption your full balance of hard-earned Altitude Rewards points is going to be moved over to Velocity, losing the benefit of Altitude Rewards as a flexible points program – but with no benefit other than convenience (once the 15% transfer bonus promo is over)
  • You’ll also lose the ability to take advantage of the 15% bonus on Velocity transfers that usually comes up twice per year, if Westpac keep participating in those promotions in future.
  • You’ll lose the ability to transfer to Velocity as soon as you’ve earned the points from your spend – you’ll need to wait until your statement date each month before the transfer kicks in

All up, the main benefit for using Velocity Auto-Redemption on a long-term basis is convenience.

The full set of terms are here.

Unless more promotions keep on coming through for using the service, I feel it is probably one to avoid.

My take – Who is Westpac Altitude Rewards and the Altitude Card range for?

Westpac Altitude Rewards is a pretty versatile program with a range of points transfer partners, making it suitable for those looking for flexibility in how they can use their points.

This is a key benefit for when your ‘go-to’ airline or frequent flyer program isn’t offering points redemption seats for your chosen routes or dates, and may make it easier for you to use more of your hard earned points in the long run.

Guide to Westpac’s Altitude Rewards credit cards and the Altitude Rewards program was last modified: January 5th, 2018 by Keith

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Point Hacks Credit Card Information

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Comments Expand Comments

  1. Hi, I have been an Altitude Rewards Black member for a while. As I would like to earn some Qantas points (foot in both Qantas and Star Alliance), I have changed to Qantas Rewards part of Altitude Rewards. I was told by Westpac staff that I have to use the Altitude Rewards points within 90 days. Is this correct

  2. Wahyu

    It appears that to opt-out of “Velocity Auto-Redemption”, you need to call their customer service centre. I guess I will be making the call at the end of March….

    Thanks

  3. Dave

    Hi Keith,

    What other Business Credit Cards (Mastercard/Visa) have a better earn rate than the Westpac Altitude Business?

    Cheers

  4. Eugene

    FYI, just noted this on the Altitude travel site:

    Effective 08 February 2015, Altitude Black cardholders will receive 0.33 Altitude Points per $1 spent on the Altitude Travel Service. Click here for terms and conditions.

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