What is the best credit card for a beginner who wants to use points for New Zealand/domestic travel?

I’m a bit overwhemled by all the options. Im assuming QANTAS cards arent the best (or most popular) as they are restrictive with how you can spend your points (must be QANTAS flights)?
I’m ok with spending an annual fee of a few hundred bucks but only if the perks are worth it. Like the AMEX ones that is $400p.a and gives $450 travel credit? But is that the best one for me?
I should be able to meet the spending requirements.

I want a combo of good sign up bonus + ongoing points earning because I really cant be bothering getting into churning cards.

Any help is greatly appreciated. If you need more info to determine what the best card for me is just let me know :slight_smile:

Hi and welcome.

Firstly, as PointHacks does not hold a financial advisor type license, we legally aren’t allowed to provide (personal/specific) financial advice. General advice is fine. So unfortunately, we can’t advise on the “best” card. As even for myself, there is no one best card, which stands the test of time.

Qantas pts can be used on nearly all of its partner airlines, this includes all Oneworld airlines too. Some examples are Cathay Pacific, Qatar Airways, Japan Airlines, American Airlines, British Airways. However, for your use case, it would likely only be Qantas flying those routes. However, don’t despair. As Qantas fly so many domestic routes multiple times a day, award space is generally fairly easy to find especially if you plan ahead.

You will have to look at the current credit card promotions and offerings page to weigh up signup bonus value vs earn rate if you want a keeper card.

I usually like to have at least 100,000 airline points as a signup bonus but in recent years I may be swayed by a low first year annual fee.

If you have more general questions, we can address those more specifically.

Good luck.

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Thanks for your reply.
Do you have any advice on good cards to look for that have good value points redeeming on airlines that fly to NZ? I think ANZ rewards black is a good card for it but looking at all the numbers I’m a bit confused if its worth it compared to something like Westpac Altitude or AMEX explorer.
From what I can tell, a flexible points card would be better for me, otherwise ill be locked into a group of airlines and might suffer when it comes to book flights.
Basically all i want to spend points on is 1 flight to QLD and 1 flight to NZ each year.

You really have to look at how many points you are earning in effect per dollar spent. For instance, with the AMEX explorer, you earn 2 AMEX points per dollar which translates to 1 frequent flyer point in most programs (Except for KrisFlyer which is a lower 0.66 points). With the ANZ rewards black, you also earn 2 ANZ points per dollar up to 5K spend, but the transfer rate from ANZ points to frequent flyer points is a bit more confusing. ANZ points transfer 2:1 to velocity but 3:1 to Asia Miles or KrisFlyer programmes. So if you are planning to earn Velocity Points, you are effectively getting 1 point per dollar spent, while if you were going for the other programmes, you would earn 0.66 points per dollar.

Looking at your goals of going to QLD and NZ, there’s actually very few options so it narrows your choices quite a bit. Flying domestically means either Qantas or Virgin. Going to NZ, you have Qantas and Air New Zealand (Yes virgin flies to Queenstown, but otherwise, options are really limited). Air New Zealand basically NEVER has any award flights available even during the low season and their program is terrible value, so you are basically stuck with Qantas. In that case, it might actually make sense to go all in on Qantas and Virgin and just earn points in either programs. We generally advocate for diversifying your points because you never know what airlines might have Award seats to get you to Europe this summer and then South America the next, etc, but if you are a purely domestic/short-haul traveller, it can make sense to only earn in a particular program straight away.

The upside of focusing on one program is that the earn rates are generally higher than for a flexible program. Looking at the Qantas version of the ANZ black card, you earn 1 point per dollar up to a higher cap of 7.5K spent. With the AMEX Qantas or Velocity cards, you can even get up to 1.25 points per dollar spent. That’s as good as it gets.


Thats so helpful, thank you so much for the great response.
I think I’ll start off with just a Qantas card and look into getting a Velocity card once I have gathered enough QFF points for a few flights.
I can see the AMEX Qantas has a great earning rate, but to be honest I’m mostly looking for high sign up bonus + low annual fee. I dont particularly think I will benefit much from the 1.25points per dollar spent in the long run, given how expensive the annual fee is for that one ($450). I might be wrong here in my assumptions, I spend about $1500 per month pretty comfortably and could increase that if I took on some expenses from my family and housemates.
Anyway, do you have any suggestions for cards that have good sign up bonus for Qantas and a low annual fee? My friend has found a Westpac Business Choice Rewards Platinum MasterCard which has an annual fee of $99 and rewards 120k points for sign up. I cant see this card on Pointhacks though, maybe its new? Do you know of any cards that could beat this?

Sorry, its actually $149pa for 120k points. Here is the card:

It looks like the best one I cant find but maybe not?

Point Hacks doesn’t always have all the sign up bonus offers out there so you do have to find and compare yourself. If you have a business then business credit cards like that are another option as well!

Also keep in mind that high annual fees generally come with additional benefits that might offset the fee depending on your spending patterns. For instance, the AMEX Qantas Ultimate card charges a $450 annual fee but also comes with lounge passes and a $450 travel credit.

Oh dear, so this card can only be used for businesses? Not individuals? Is that why the bonuses seem so high?

And yeah I was wondering about that AMEX card… It seems like an amazing deal. Assuming you use the $450 travel credit then its essentially a $0 annual fee? Is there some catch with using the travel credit or something? It almost feels too good to be true. I can see its a very popular card though so maybe it is worth it…

Yes so the card you linked to is meant for businesses. Usually there is a minimum revenue requirement for your business similar to how there is a minimum income requirement for a lot of personal credit cards.

The AMEX is effectively ‘free’ but keep in mind that 1) you might not have chosen Qantas without the credit and 2) the price on AMEX’s platform to use the credit might not give you the lowest price for plane tickets, 3) You need to use the credit in one go so there are restrictions there as well.