HSBC offering 20% bonus points until 31 Dec 2017

HSBC are offering customers a 20% points bonus on their existing credit cards until 31 December 2017.

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HSBC are offering customers a 20% points bonus on their existing credit cards from 17 October 2017 to 31 December 2017.

This means the HSBC Platinum Qantas Credit Card will now earn 1.2 Qantas Points per $2,500 per statement period until the end of the year. This earn rate is hard to beat!

To register for the offer, simply visit the HSBC website and follow the instructions.

American Express supplementary cardholder 5,000 bonus points

American Express are running a promotion for bonus points with each new supplementary cardholder added.

American Express are running a supplementary cardholder promotion for the month of August that rewards members with 5,000 bonus Membership Rewards points for each new supplementary cardholder added.

To participate in the offer, simply call the American Express number on your American Express issued card and ask if it’s available. I was informed when I tried earlier in the week that it is running for all of August. I am not sure if it includes all cards so it is worth asking just to confirm.

A fairly easy way to get 5,000 points and always handy to have extra cards around, especially when they’re free.

15% Velocity Points bonus for American Express transfers

Transfer your Membership Rewards points to Velocity Frequent Flyer between 1 and 10 August 2017 to receive 15% bonus Velocity Points.

American Express are once again offering a 15% bonus on Velocity Points for transfers made between 1 and 10 August 2017.

To be eligible for this offer, simply login to your American Express account and transfer your Membership Rewards points to Velocity Frequent Flyer.

It’s great to see these offers cropping up regularly. Unfortunately I made a transfer just two days ago for a reward booking and missed out on the 900 bonus Velocity Points it would’ve yielded. Don’t make my mistake, transfer now!

 

100,000 Velocity Points with American Express Velocity Platinum Card

American Express are offering 100,000 bonus Velocity Points for new customers who apply online for a Velocity Platinum Card by 31 July 2017.

American Express are offering 100,000 bonus Velocity Points for customers who apply online for a new Velocity Platinum Card by 31 July 2017, are approved and spend $1,500 on their new card within the first 3 months.

 American Express Velocity Platinum Card
American Express Velocity Platinum Card

Regular spend with the card will generate 1.5 Velocity Points per $1 spent, except government bodies in Australia which will only yield 0.5 Velocity Points per $1 spent. A bonus point 1 Velocity Point per $1 spent with Virgin Australia is a nice perk for regular Virgin travellers.

I consider the card to offer fairly good value for its $375 annual fee, with the following additional features included:

  • A complimentary Virgin Australia return domestic flight each anniversary year after your first Card spend in that anniversary year
  • Two complimentary single entry passes to the domestic Virgin Australia lounge each anniversary year
  • Two complimentary single entry passes to the American Express Lounge each anniversary year at Sydney International (Kingsford Smith) Airport
  • Complimentary Domestic and International Travel Insurance

As always, the offer is only available to new card members, which includes customers that only have an existing bank-issued American Express card.

View on the offer on the American Express website.

Qantas launches its own credit card

Today Qantas launched its own credit card offering 1 Qantas Point per dollar on domestic spend, two lounge invitations per year and travel insurance.

As rumoured Qantas launched its own credit card today – the Qantas Premier Mastercard. At first glance the card appears to offer fairly reasonable valve and is similar to the existing HSBC Qantas Platinum Visa Credit Card with 1 Qantas Point per dollar spent on domestic purchases, two lounge invitations per year and travel insurance.

 

 Qantas Premier Mastercard
Qantas Premier Mastercard

 

International spend will yield 1.5 Qantas Points per dollar but unfortunately customers will be slapped with a 3% transaction fee. The full earning table is presented below and is fairly competitive for a Mastercard.

After $10k per statement period, the earn rate will drop to 0.5 Qantas Points per dollar, making this card attractive for all but the most heavy spenders.

A unique benefit of Qantas’ card is up to 20 percent discount on selected domestic companion fares once a year when booking with the Qantas Premier credit card through the Qantas Premier Concierge. In addition, spend on Qantas products and services will generate 2 Qantas Points per dollar but credit card fees will still apply.

The card will cost $299 a year with a reduced annual fee of $149 for the first year.

HSBC Apple Pay review

HSBC has officially added Apple Pay support to its credit cards in Australia.

In early May 2017, HSBC joined the growing number of (mostly smaller) banks in Australia that offer Apple Pay support. As a HSBC customer and iPhone user, I was thrilled to see this announcement and have already taken it for a spin to test out the service.

I currently hold the HSBC Platinum Qantas Credit Card. I signed up to the card earlier this year to take advantage of the 60,000 bonus points on offer after reaching $3000 in spend. The card offers 1 Qantas Point per dollar spent for the first $2,500 per statement period and then 0.5 Qantas Points for each dollar after that.

I was a bit surprised to see HSBC’s announcement for Apple Pay support given that the rest of their technology offering, such as their app and internet banking, is very clunky and dated. Even the simple act of logging in is made overly complex.

Thankfully Apple Pay is very easy to setup. Infact, I was able to complete the setup whilst on holiday in Japan using Wi-Fi. To begin, you simply open the Wallet app and scan your credit card using the camera. The app will prompt you for some additional card details and information about yourself, before sending an SMS code to verify you’ve authorised the change.

That’s it, once you’ve completed the one time setup you can access the card at any time by double pressing the home button. This will pop up the card payment screen where you simply touch your fingerprint on the home button to enable the card. Hold the iPhone near a contactless payment terminal to make a payment.

Australia (along with Singapore and New Zealand) is a world leader in contactless payments, with a survey from May 2015 indicating that 53% of Australian respondents had made a contactless payment compared to just 9% in the United States. Even prior to Apple Pay’s arrival, a huge number of Australian retailers were already accepting credit card contactless payments. The good news is that most contactless payment terminals will also happily accept Apple Pay transactions, which means there is a large number of retailers where you can use your HSBC card with Apple Pay.

In summary, it’s really great to see another bank offering Apple Pay in Australia. The convenience and easy of use of the service is really second to none. We’re slowly moving towards a world where the phone is replacing everything in our pockets. First it was the MP3 player; then it was the digital camera; and now it’s the wallet. And for that I am excited.

Is it worth buying Coles Gift MasterCards to earn more points?

Utilising the Platinum Edge credit card and the bonus flybuys offers, Coles Gift MasterCards allow you to effectively buy extra points at a reasonable rate.

My favourite American Express credit card is the Platinum Edge. For anyone getting serious about collecting points, I really recommend them to start with this card. One of the best aspects of the card is its high earn rate for spend at supermarkets and petrol stations. Each dollar spent at Australian supermarkets yields 3 points per dollar, with petrol stations earning 2 points per dollar.

This excellent earn rate also applies to gift card purchases at Coles and Woolworths, and so can effectively expand the 3 points per dollar to any retailer that you can buy a gift card for.

It’s also possible to buy Coles Gift MasterCards that allow you to shop at any retailer online or in store that accepts MasterCard. The catch with the card is that it costs $5 to purchase. So for a $100 Gift MasterCard, you’re effectively paying $5 to earn 315 American Express Membership Rewards points. That equates to 1.59 cents per point, which is probably more than what I’d be willing to pay to acquire American Express Membership Rewards points.

 

 Coles flybuys bonus points for gift card purchases
Coles flybuys bonus points for gift card purchases

 

The real sweet spot comes from the Coles flybuys bonus offers. If you’re signed up to flybuys, the company runs semi-regular targetted promotions for bonus flybuys points for Coles Gift MasterCard purchases. The latest offer was for 500 flybuys points for a $50 card or 1000 flybuys points for a $100 card, this is in addition to the 1 flybuys point per dollar spent. So for a $105 card, you’ll earn 1105 flybuys points which translates to 480 Velocity Points. If combining the 480 Velocity Points with the 315 American Express Membership Rewards points, this results in a total of 795 points for $5. This equates to 0.63 cents per point, which I consider excellent value. This makes a 139,000 one way European Business Class redemption equal to $795 worth of points plus taxes, which I think is excellent value.

So for me, Coles Gift MasterCards are a valuable part of my points earning strategy, but only when the bonus offers are available, otherwise I don’t think it’s especially good value.