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Where can I discuss pros and cons of the Qantas Travel Money card?

JennyMG

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Hi there,
I'm interested in comparing the details of Qantas Money card and it's benefits and pitfalls against other credit cards that earn QFF and can do overseas purchases with not too much hassle. Which part of the forum can I do this? and ask my questions?
 

MEL_Traveller

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This is the right place - and there are several ongoing threads about this dotted over AFF.

To cut a long story short, the benefit of the Qantas money card is that you will earn points. But these come at a hefty cost.

If you want to shop or withdraw cash overseas, you should apply for a Citi Debit card. This is fee free and has rates that match inter-bank rates you see on xe(.com) There are a couple of other cards that will do the same thing. This uses your own money. No points, but big $$ savings (up to 4% or more compared to using Qantas cash).

If you want a credit card for overseas transactions, you could use 28 Degrees (or similar). Again, no fees or foreign currency charges. Rates virtually identical to xe(.com). No QF points, but you'll save $$ over Qantas cash. Up to 55 days interest free.
 

JennyMG

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This is the right place - and there are several ongoing threads about this dotted over AFF.

To cut a long story short, the benefit of the Qantas money card is that you will earn points. But these come at a hefty cost.

If you want to shop or withdraw cash overseas, you should apply for a Citi Debit card. This is fee free and has rates that match inter-bank rates you see on xe(.com) There are a couple of other cards that will do the same thing. This uses your own money. No points, but big $$ savings (up to 4% or more compared to using Qantas cash).

If you want a credit card for overseas transactions, you could use 28 Degrees (or similar). Again, no fees or foreign currency charges. Rates virtually identical to xe(.com). No QF points, but you'll save $$ over Qantas cash. Up to 55 days interest free.
Hi Mel, thanks for that great reply.
I'm really interested in it.
Actually we have a 28 degree mastercard. We've used it often for all our overseas purchases when we don't use cash. I guess it makes no difference to us whether it's a credit or debit card, we're not IN any debt, so easy to pay off either way.
What I'm trying to grasp is the final cost of having the QFF points benefit.
We like having the 28 degree Mc for backup, but lots of places...smaller places, don't want a MC payment, and actually I like to pay as I go, and if there's the chance to get QFF points, well....good.
Does the Citi bank debit card have an annual fee? I couldn't see one. And you say that these debit cards have very competitive conversion rates? So you load them up with your own money, or use your own bank account that it's attached to. You pay in AUD?? and the bank just converts it at the (almost) XE rate? But no points. Is that right?
- so how did you get the up to 4% or more compared to using QC. (sorry if I'm being a bit dense about it.) Are you saying the XC rate is up to 4% higher on the QTMC v say, XE?
BTW, I'd never do the 'instant' load, on theQC as that costs a bomb. I'm happy to preload, and keep an eye on it over time. I guess I'm looking for the impossible. Virtually free QFFP. That's not going to happen on OS transactions I suppose, with exch rates. That only works on Au purchases that were always going to be made, so might as well earn QFF on them!
Thanks again for your response, it's really helping.
 

MEL_Traveller

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Yes - you have it all correct! With Citi, you simply transfer AUD into your account and use it for cash withdrawals overseas. It's also a mastercard, but of course if they don't accept card you can pay with cash.

As you're getting the xe rate for both 28 degrees and Citi debit (and there are a couple of other cards that are similar, I think ING and bankwest? - other AFFers will have more info on those) you don't have any foreign exchange rate fees (or they are negligible). With Qantas cash you have to convert AUD into your chosen currency, and QF rates are some of the worst going - you're losing about 4% of your cash as soon as you load. Then there are ATM fees, per withdrawal, and whatever other fees.

Points earn rate is 1.5 points for every dollar spent in foreign currency.

If we take a MEL-SYD economy award, that's 8000 points. To earn these you'd need to spend $5333 (equivalent AUD in foreign currency). On each of those dollars you're losing 4% (the actual difference on today's USD->AUD is 4.36%). So that's 5333x.0436 = ~$232 'lost' in order to pay for those 8000 points (plus of course the cash component for the MEL-SYD award which is about $35)

You're better off buying your MEL-SYD for $135 cash and pocketing the other $132 for a nice meal (or hotel).

If you want to use the card just in Australia - loading AUD and spending AUD, you earn .25 of a point per dollar. Much better card earn rates out there.

Unless you can't get credit (bad history or under 18) - the QF cash card (in fact just about any travel money card) is going to be relatively poor value.

Even iff the Aussie dollar was forecast to plunge - you could simply take some cash out of the bank, go to a major exchange place like UAE exchange (I think they have branches in most major capitals in Australia) and convert to USD there. They offer rates about a cent out from xe. Then when it comes time to travel just convert those dollars back to AUD. You're still ahead!

Other rates are even worse - on the Yen you lose about 5.8%, on the Baht 6%, on the Pound 5.15% (compared to 28 degrees/citi based on xe rates)
 
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JennyMG

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Yes - you have it all correct! With Citi, you simply transfer AUD into your account and use it for cash withdrawals overseas. It's also a mastercard, but of course if they don't accept card you can pay with cash.

As you're getting the xe rate for both 28 degrees and Citi debit (and there are a couple of other cards that are similar, I think ING and bankwest? - other AFFers will have more info on those) you don't have any foreign exchange rate fees (or they are negligible). With Qantas cash you have to convert AUD into your chosen currency, and QF rates are some of the worst going - you're losing about 4% of your cash as soon as you load. Then there are ATM fees, per withdrawal, and whatever other fees.

Points earn rate is 1.5 points for every dollar spent in foreign currency.

If we take a MEL-SYD economy award, that's 8000 points. To earn these you'd need to spend $5333 (equivalent AUD in foreign currency). On each of those dollars you're losing 4% (the actual difference on today's USD->AUD is 4.36%). So that's 5333x.0436 = ~$232 'lost' in order to pay for those 8000 points (plus of course the cash component for the MEL-SYD award which is about $35)

You're better off buying your MEL-SYD for $135 cash and pocketing the other $132 for a nice meal (or hotel).

If you want to use the card just in Australia - loading AUD and spending AUD, you earn .25 of a point per dollar. Much better card earn rates out there.

Unless you can't get credit (bad history or under 18) - the QF cash card (in fact just about any travel money card) is going to be relatively poor value.

Even iff the Aussie dollar was forecast to plunge - you could simply take some cash out of the bank, go to a major exchange place like UAE exchange (I think they have branches in most major capitals in Australia) and convert to USD there. They offer rates about a cent out from xe. Then when it comes time to travel just convert those dollars back to AUD. You're still ahead!

Other rates are even worse - on the Yen you lose about 5.8%, on the Baht 6%, on the Pound 5.15% (compared to 28 degrees/citi based on xe rates)
Im really grateful for your insight. I'm getting excellent advice on here, backed up with sensible facts. Thanks Mel, I'm going to actually printout your response, because I need to nut it out to completely 'get it'.
No, I'm not <18 and have an excellent credit rating. The only one problem I can foresee is that I have a lot of(useless) creditcards, none of which I use, all of which have $0 owing on them.

The only part of your explanation I didnt' understand at all was the Mel-Syd flight bit....why would I be paying in USD?
My goal is to find a card that earns QF pts that I can use ONLY on overseas purchases, either from Australia when buying something OS, like pre paying for a hotel booking in other currency, OR when i'm actually os.
So, perhaps a better scenario would be exactly that - I want to pay say 100 Euros to a hotel.
I wonder how much it would cost to do so with QC, v one of the other types of ccards.
Because, as you point out, the ultimate resulting 'cost' difference is actually the 'cost' of the QF points earned.
Otherwise I always use my Visa amplify forall dom. purchases.
 

MEL_Traveller

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Im really grateful for your insight. I'm getting excellent advice on here, backed up with sensible facts. Thanks Mel, I'm going to actually printout your response, because I need to nut it out to completely 'get it'.
No, I'm not <18 and have an excellent credit rating. The only one problem I can foresee is that I have a lot of(useless) creditcards, none of which I use, all of which have $0 owing on them.

The only part of your explanation I didnt' understand at all was the Mel-Syd flight bit....why would I be paying in USD?
My goal is to find a card that earns QF pts that I can use ONLY on overseas purchases, either from Australia when buying something OS, like pre paying for a hotel booking in other currency, OR when i'm actually os.
So, perhaps a better scenario would be exactly that - I want to pay say 100 Euros to a hotel.
I wonder how much it would cost to do so with QC, v one of the other types of ccards.
Because, as you point out, the ultimate resulting 'cost' difference is actually the 'cost' of the QF points earned.
Otherwise I always use my Visa amplify forall dom. purchases.
You're not paying for the MEL-SYD in USD - the 'cost' in the example was how much you'd need to spend in USD to earn enough points for a MEL-SYD award (if the whole point is using the qantas cash card to earn points). The bottom line is that intead of earning points through Qantas cash you'd be better off buying the MEL-SYD in AUD on a normal credit card in AUD than trying to earn it though Qantas cash points.

Let's look at your 100 Euro hotel.

Using 28 degrees or Citi your 100 euro hotel bill would be billed to your statement as AUD159.19

Through Qantas cash you'd need to load, at today's rates AUD168.

A difference of almost $9.

With the Qantas cash card you'd also earn 168 x 1.5 Qantas points, which would be 252 Qantas points.

Now let's say you want to redeem a Qantas award MEL-SYD. That's 8000 points. 8000 points divided by 252 = roughly 31.74 nights (based on the 100 Euro a night rate).

But... as we worked out, on each of those 31.74 nights, you're 'losing' $9 because of Qantas cash's exchange rates. So, 31.74 x $9 = $285 'lost' to earn your 8000 points for a MEL-SYD award. Add in the award taxes and fees of $35 and the total is now $320.

Better off to not use the points at all (and not need to earn them in the first place), and just buy the MEL-SYD from the Qantas website for $150. ($320-$150 = $170 in your pocket for a nice meal or hotel :))
 

albatross710

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JennyMG the reality is that the QFF moneycard is not a good way to earn QFF points.

These frequent flyer and other points programs are designed to influence your behaviour to the benefit of the program operator. You owe them zero loyalty.

The other 'costs' that you could consider

Opportunity cost. The cost of having less flexibility with your own money because it is tied into the card and needing to make currency choices
Lost time. Having to think continuously about optimising for QFF.

On the home front this year I have actively been disengaging from the Woolworths and Flybuy 'systems' as the reward is not worth the effort. more gain being a free agent.

Now with that in mind, I'm about to head off on a 4 leg asian journey and will use two different FF systems on the one booking, because it can be done easily and provides a significant reward.

Happy travels

Alby
 

serfty

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- so how did you get the up to 4% or more compared to using QC. (sorry if I'm being a bit dense about it.) Are you saying the XC rate is up to 4% higher on the QTMC v say, XE?
You & I combined to make a sample of that on your other thread:
The exchange rate online for Aud to Euro is .62 with XE, which doesn't include any fees or charges of course, and the one on Qantas Money is 0.594 - a difference of 2.6 (or something cents) per Euro.
Of course, in banking terms, that does not represent an arbitrage of 2.6% - you need to divide one into the other to get the correct ratio: 1 - (0.594 ÷ 0.62) = 4.19
FWIW, your euro example represents an arbitrage of nearly 4.2% which make a points earn cost of 2.1¢ each.
 

BriarFlyer

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Jenny, there are credit cards on which you can earn Qantas points and without fees for international use. They might also offer a sign-on bonus. Have a look for threads in the Current Credit Card Offers forum for the Macquarie Bank Black Visa and the Bankwest Qantas World MasterCard. I don't hold either but put them on a list to investigate for future applications.

I do use the Citi Debit card for cash withdrawals overseas. I've used it successfully in loads of places and give it a hearty thumbs-up. It is linked to a Citi Plus account; opening one of those is the first step to getting the card I believe. My current o/s card is a Coles MasterCard but this earns to Velocity via Flybuys so probably not for you.
 

Flying mermaid

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I agree with the usefulness of the Citibank card - I used it to withdraw cash in the local currency in places as remote as Rwanda and a small town in the Laikipia Plateau in Kenya. Never had a problem. The best thing to me apart from the lack of currency fees, is that the money is just sitting in Aus$ in the account and I don’t have to worry about “loading” it or having money left on the card. I just use what I need when I need it.
 

JennyMG

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What a fantastic thread - I've learned so much. (a bit boggled by the maths but having done my own calc. I heartily agree that the Qantas TMC is not for me. The points earned cost too much and are not worth either the constant effort of worrying about loading, trying to think if I'm buying overseas products from Australia, or in Australia paying AUD for an overseas hotel... or what the hell I'm doing, or the reports of problems people seem to have with it.

I did a simple scenario
If I used the QTMC overseas paying a E500for a hotel bill. (Obviously I'd never use this card in Australia for anything.)
It would earn 1260 points, Cost 0 in fees (because I wouldn't instant load) but the 500 euros would cost $839.77.
Compared to the XE rate today, that's $40.22 more than it should be. (and that's the cost of those 1260 QFFP).

Compared to the 28 degree Mastercard which we have, which admittedly earns no QFFP, it has $0 fees, and the E500 would cost me $801.45 using mastercards online converter,
so that 500 euro transaction only cost me $1.90 in relation to today's XE rate. A fair call. But no QFFP.

I'm looking for the perfect card. And there isn't one.
So next best is whatever card earns QFF points, (may as well as long as it's NOT COSTING ME EXTRA MONEY to do so.) As long as the exchange rate is decent, the annual fee is decent, and there are no currency charges....I'm in.

So I'm looking at the other two options that YOU people keep mentioning, which sound wonderful. I'm going to do the same calculation for them. But I have to take into account the annual fee, which is tricky.
a) the Bankwest mastercard - they're paying for those QFF points with their annual fee.
b) the Citi debit card.- same I suspect.

Mel, Briar, Serfty, everyone...thankyou for your insights.
 

Flying mermaid

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The way we have gone is ANZ FF Black, which is a fee CC, but the travel insurance that comes with it generally covers the fee. That earns points and we use that for all purchases in Australia and as a back up for overseas.

We then have fee free and currency free cards for overseas purchases and cash (28 degrees and Citibank plus). No points earn on these. I guess I look on points as a nice bonus, but not too fussed on maximising them, so I would rather save the money on fees to hold the card and currency fees. If you are really focused on earning points then it changes the point of view, but you still need to look at it carefully to make sure the points are worth what you are paying to get them.
 

BriarFlyer

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<b) the Citi debit card.- same I suspect.>

Citibank Plus "Pay no account or Citi transaction fees and get a free Citibank Debit Card, with contactless payment, so you can shop online, in-store or overseas using your own funds."
 

JennyMG

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JennyMG the reality is that the QFF moneycard is not a good way to earn QFF points.

These frequent flyer and other points programs are designed to influence your behaviour to the benefit of the program operator. You owe them zero loyalty.

The other 'costs' that you could consider

Opportunity cost. The cost of having less flexibility with your own money because it is tied into the card and needing to make currency choices
Lost time. Having to think continuously about optimising for QFF.

On the home front this year I have actively been disengaging from the Woolworths and Flybuy 'systems' as the reward is not worth the effort. more gain being a free agent.

Now with that in mind, I'm about to head off on a 4 leg asian journey and will use two different FF systems on the one booking, because it can be done easily and provides a significant reward.

Happy travels

Alby
You're right Albatross, I've nutted it out (the person who needs to see to believe)
and the Qantas travelmc. costs about $10au for every $100 Euros. Compared to other card where the rewards aren't great, or nonexistant, where I pay nothing. Nothinglost, nothing gained.
I agree also on the opportunity, it's a lot of thinking!!!! that's wasted time I could be eating croissants.
I am a member of Woolworths, and am the household shopper, so fine to do the woollies shopping, when convenient, on the computer even and pay with my regular visa card.
I get points for the woollies, points for going through the Qantas mall, and points for the visa card amplify. Triple dip. BUT.....if I want to go to coles, I do. If I want to go toAldi I do. I'm not a slave to the QFF, as you said it can be very limiting. If it's something I do anyway, ...well all good.

I'm delighted you're heading off on an Asian adventure using your 2 x FFs. Good on YOU! Me too. I'm flying home from Rome, thanks to good ol'woollies and visa. (took 15 years but who cares, it's business class for FREE!)
 

MEL_Traveller

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Compared to the XE rate today, that's $40.22 more than it should be. (and that's the cost of those 1260 QFFP).
Take that $40.22, and over a few more similar transactions, use the money saved to buy yourself a case of Qantas wine. You'll swag a bag of points. Problem solved. Spend away fee free, Use savings for wine. Fly free.
 
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JennyMG

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<b) the Citi debit card.- same I suspect.>

Citibank Plus "Pay no account or Citi transaction fees and get a free Citibank Debit Card, with contactless payment, so you can shop online, in-store or overseas using your own funds."
Not fussed about Maximising QFFP, and that's the reason for all the questions.
I don't want to be lured into a seemingly good deal, when it's not. I'm not a mathematical person, but can nut it out if given the right info.
Also, I'm very happy to earn QFFP on stuff I 'have to buy anyway' like Woollies groceries, stuff I pay with my visa amplify....and since I'm not in a business that requires flying, it's all up to me. I plodded along for 10 years or more, just doing my thing, not taking much notice of QFF but using those things, and voila! two business class tickets from Rome to Sydney on Classic rewards. Couldnt' be happier.
I guess it spurred me on to look at other ways I could be spending 'what I would always be going to spend' AND get FF too, but not if it costs much more than I was going to pay.
Bringing us around full circle.
I've been totally cured of my desire for the QTMC, and am arming myself for our overseas Europe trip with
The 28 degree mastercard as the backup.
probably the Bankwest Qantas World card for most overseas transactions.(the bonus points take care of the annual fee, at least for 2-3 years.)
And quite possibly 'your' Citibank Plus card to do the nitty gritty cash stuff.
Sounds like a plan.
I'm absolutely delighted with the information I've received from everyone on this thread, and the forum in general. Fantastic.
 

JennyMG

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Take that $40.22, and over a few more similar transactions, use the money saved to buy yourself a case of Qantas wine. You'll swag a bag of points. Problem solved. Spend away fee free, Use savings for wine. Fly free.
That's the best idea you've had ALL DAY!!!!!!!
 

JennyMG

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<b) the Citi debit card.- same I suspect.>

Citibank Plus "Pay no account or Citi transaction fees and get a free Citibank Debit Card, with contactless payment, so you can shop online, in-store or overseas using your own funds."
so let me get this right Briar,
Citibank Plus - if I'm overseas and I go to an ATM, to withdraw cash...
A) does it HAVE to be a citibank atm? that could be awkward.
B) if it's not a citibank atm, then have you been charged 3rd party fees?
c) and although my citibank plus is in AUD, I can withdraw Euros?
d) I couldn'twork out exactly which was the exchange rate, on thecitibank site, buy sell...no idea. I'd like to compare it to the mastercard or the XE exchange rates.
e) and I can just put money in the Transaction account (don't need a savings linked account) when i want to go overseas, use it, and then withdraw it on returning if I want to?giving it a zero balance, without any problems? Have you done that?

These are things I couldn't quite work out, in black and white' from their website.
Thanks, J.
 

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