Qantas Cash will soon slash the amount of points earned on domestic transactions in half. But it’s not all bad news, as cardholders will earn 50% more points when using their card for overseas transactions made in a foreign currency.

Qantas Cash is the debit card found on the back of most Qantas Frequent Flyer membership cards. It’s touted as a prepaid travel money card, although it can be used to earn points on spend within Australia. There are no fees for using the card, so it can be a handy point earner.

Currently, Qantas Cash customers can earn 1 Qantas point for every $2 spent within Australia, or 1 point per $1 spent overseas. From 1 May, transactions in foreign currency will earn at an increased rate of 1.5 Qantas points per $1. But from 1 July, the domestic earn rate will decrease to 1 point per $4 spent, or a measly 0.25 points per dollar.

With a comparable earn rate for domestic transactions to many credit cards, Qantas Cash has been a good point-earning payment method for those whom are unable to, or do not wish to apply for a credit card. However, the card will almost certainly lose its competitive position following this reduction in earning rates.

Life has just got a whole lot harder for many Australian consumers who either can’t afford a credit card or who may not qualify for a credit card, who just want to save up enough QFF points for a domestic classic award flight once per year.

I only ever used mine overseas though it is disappointing that they cut the earn rate for spend in AUD. $0.25 per dollar is very poor when you can get over 1 point per dollar with some Credit Cards.

The increase in points for international transactions is good news for cardholders using their Qantas Cash card overseas. However, our members warn that these extra points come at the cost of relatively uncompetitive Forex rates. Qantas Cash is a competitive product in comparison to other travel money cards. The card has no fees, and the exchange rates are generally the same as or better than comparable cards offered by the major banks (whose travel money cards do not earn points).

On a more positive note, the increase announced on Earn rates from Overseas spend is certainly welcomed, and this card may be quite a nice little earner considering the earn rates on other bank issued credit cards are about to be slashed. Lets hope the Forex rates don’t worsen anymore.

However, our members suggest that the 28 Degrees MasterCard, Citibank Visa Debit card and some Bankwest cards offer considerably better exchange rates on overseas purchases.

Virgin Australia offers a competing “Global Wallet” card, which earns 0.5 Virgin Velocity points per dollar on domestic transactions and 1 Velocity point per dollar spent overseas. Provided the earning rates on this card are not adjusted, this card may prove a good alternative to the Qantas Cash card for domestic transactions from 1 July.

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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]