How to take advantage of Credit Card Sign-up Bonuses
Credit cards are one of the easiest ways to earn frequent flyer points on the ground. You can earn points when buying almost anything by paying with a points-earning credit card! But the real value is found in credit card sign-up bonus points…
Credit Card Sign-up Bonuses
Credit card sign-up bonuses make it so easy to earn tens – even hundreds – of thousands of frequent flyer points, for minimal outlay. By simply applying for a credit card and paying the annual fee, you can earn up to 100,000 frequent flyer points. That’s enough points to fly to Los Angeles in Business class, and almost enough for a round-the-world trip! By taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonus offers, you may never pay full price for a flight again.
The Australian credit card market is a competitive space. So banks regularly offer incentives in the form sign-up bonus points when taking out a credit card. To receive the bonus points, some banks require you to spend a minimum amount on the card within the first 3 months. Other banks have no minimum spend requirements, and some will even waive the credit card’s annual fee in the first year!
Once the bonus points have credited to your frequent flyer account, you can choose to cancel the card to avoid paying any more annual fees. (Some banks may offer to waive your credit card’s annual fee if you threaten to cancel.)
Current Sign-up Bonus Offers
Most of the current Australian credit card sign-up bonus point offers are discussed on the Australian Frequent Flyer (AFF) forum. On AFF, you can also benefit from the community by using and posting referral offers.
To help you get started, here are some of this month’s top credit card sign-up bonus offers. This list was last updated on 2 May 2018:
- NAB Qantas Rewards Signature – 100,000 Qantas points ($395 annual fee, expires 17 June 2018)
- St George Amplify Signature – 90,000 Qantas or Amplify points ($299 annual fee, expires 26 September 2018)
- Westpac Altitude Black – 80,000 Qantas points ($300 annual fee, expires 11 June 2018)
- Virgin Velocity High Flyer – up to 80,000 Velocity points ($289 annual fee, expires 30 June 2018)
- Qantas Premier – 80,000 Qantas points ($299 annual fee, expires 30 June 2018)
- ANZ Frequent Flyer Black – 75,000 Qantas points ($425 annual fee waived in first year)
- HSBC Platinum Qantas – 60,000 Qantas points ($199 annual fee, expires 30 June 2018)
- Qantas Premier Everyday – 40,000 Qantas points ($49 annual fee waived in first year, expires 30 June 2018)
Credit card churning
If you really want to maximise the bonus point offers, you can apply for multiple credit cards. This strategy is sometimes known as “churning” credit cards. But there are some risks involved.
Applying for too many cards in a short time could negatively impact your credit rating. It’s also important to always pay off your credit card bills in full every month. Accumulating credit card debt can result in high interest repayments and can significantly damage your credit score. This can make it difficult to obtain finance (or even a mortgage) in the future. If you’re unsure about your credit rating, you can apply for a free credit check report from Equifax.
Some banks will only award credit card sign-up bonus points to new customers. This generally means customers that have not had a credit card with that bank for the past 12-18 months.
Be sure to seek professional advice before applying for credit cards, or any kind of credit for that matter.