Frequent Flyer points have been a feature of many credit card schemes for a long time. Lucrative sign-on bonuses, points per dollar spent and bonus points at certain partners have all been used as marketing tools to help the schemes gain traction. With the market saturated with products, it was only going to be a matter of time before this activity spilled over into other card products. And it took a subsidiary of the Commonwealth Bank, Bankwest, to make the bold move.

Bankwest are offering 10,000 Qantas Frequent Flyer points if you sign up to their Qantas transaction account product by the end of May. You need to be a new transaction account customer and deposit at least $2,000 dollars per month for three months. Along with the bonus, you will also receive an ongoing 5 Qantas points per transaction, regardless of the size. Those keep a balance also get 12 points per $100 a month. Our members were quick to latch on to the opportunity.

Excellent offer. Considering the account offers no fee for overseas ATM withdrawal’s this is a particularly strong selling point. As a new Bankwest customer the bonus points are particularly attractive.

With so many points on offer, it does pay to read the fine print carefully. Our members were keen to discuss what a transaction was? While others were looking at overseas use, the offer of free ATM withdrawals is attractive but as pointed out, there is a catch.

Not really … may be no ATM fee, but you still get FX fees , Foreign Transaction 2.95%.

Another catch is the interest rate – it’s negligible. So you do need to consider the cost of the points versus some of the other products on the market. Is that 5 points for a transaction worth the loss of cash back for sub $100 Paypass transactions on offer elsewhere?

So how does it compare with some of the other options on the market? The closest products would be the prepaid travel cards on offer from both Qantas and Virgin. These products earn points per $ spent, versus per transaction for the Bankwest product. All offer fee-free accounts, however Bankwest does require a minimum deposit per month for the fee to be waived. In terms of overseas travel, the Bankwest card would appear to have its nose in front with a lack of ATM fees. The foreign transaction fee however, puts the Bankwest card up with the travel cards as expensive for travel use.

Clearly the Bankwest product is setting a new standard for frequent flyers wanting to use their own money and get points. It’s not a great travel product, and you need to look at the costs of use versus other products. However if you’re a new customer, 10,000 points for hardly any work is very attractive.

Is this a product you are interested in? Do you feel there are more traps or have you thought of a way to maximise the points on offer, join the conversation HERE.

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