What kind of payments constitute as 'government charges' on the Westpac Altitude card?

Hi All,

I’m currently researching a new Visa/Mastercard for those times when AMEX is not accepted. I’m coming up to 12 months on my ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures card and am looking for a different card issuer so that I am eligible for a sign-up bonus.

For expenses with ‘semi-government’ bodies such as council rates, car registration, water bills etc., the ANZ card earns points on these transactions. These expenses can run up to $5,000+ per year, which is not insignificant and I’d like to earn points on them if possible.

I know that with any of the Citibank issued cards these transactions aren’t eligible for points.

I’m looking at the Westpac Altitude Platinum and the T&Cs state:

“Velocity Points are not earned in respect of the following amounts that may be charged to the Card Account:
• government charges (other than GST payable in connection with the purchase of goods or services on which you earn Velocity Points);”

Any idea what exactly constitutes ‘government changes’ (ATO obviously) and whether these transactions would earn points with Westpac?

All the bodies you already mentioned are considered to be government and are therefore not ‘eligible transactions’ with Westpac so you’ll not earn points for water and shire rates, vehicle rego, parking, traffic infringements etc. I believe this also extends to utilities so gas and power too.

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I have the Altitude Qantas Amex/MasterCard combo and definitely earn points when paying rates and car rego. Can’t say about water as my supplier accepts post billpay so I can use Amex.

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So it seems like there are not too many options when it comes to earning points through government with Visa/Mastercard (as far as I’m aware).

I wasn’t aware of using Post Billpay as a way around it to potentially use AMEX.

I went on and tried my water supplier; accepts Paypal, so AMEX.
For gas and electricity I’m with Powershop and they accept AMEX.
Council rates - Paypal again.
Vicroads seems to be the only one that will only accept Visa/MC or BPay.

So all up, not too bad! I think I can probably live without earning points on car registration.