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CommBank Frequent Flyer Cards Comparison

Easily compare and contrast the frequent flyer offers by CommBank. Commonwealth frequent flyer credit cards let you earn Awards points that can be redeemed for flights by turning them into Qantas Frequent Flyer, Velocity Rewards or Air New Zealand Airpoints.

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Commonwealth Bank Gold Awards Credit Card

Access to rewards as part of the Commonwealth Bank Awards program. Enjoy an ongoing interest rate of 20.24% p.a. on purchases.

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Commonwealth Bank Platinum Awards Credit Card

Earn rewards with the Commonwealth Bank Awards program. Enjoy an ongoing interest rate of 20.24% p.a. on purchases.

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The Lowdown on CBA’s Credit Cards for Frequent Flyers

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (more commonly referred to as Commonwealth Bank or Commbank) is one of the oldest and the largest banks in Australia. This multinational bank operates mainly in the Asian-Pacific region, especially in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Vietnam and Indonesia, but also in the United Kingdom and the United States.

As one of the major Australian banks, the Commbank has linked several of its credit cards with large airlines who operate in the Australian and Asian-Pacific region, offering their clients a possibility to earn and redeem their frequent flyer points through Commbank’s credit cards.

Linked Programs

This bank has its own rewards program called Commonwealth Bank’s Awards program. It allows you to earn and collect points with each dollar you spend using their American Express and MasterCard credit cards. Those points can easily be redeemed with many of the program’s partners in the form of discounts, vouchers and gift certificates.

When it comes to flying, the Commonwealth Bank’s Awards program is linked to Qantas Frequent Flyer, Velocity Rewards and Air New Zealand Airpoints programs (which means you can use your points for reward flights, flight upgrades and insurance, with Qantas, Virgin Australia and Air New Zealand). This makes the program a good choice for Australian frequent flyers who do most of their travel with domestic airlines.

Non-Airline Partners

Commonwealth Bank’s major airline partner is Qantas, but the bank also has a wide range of non-airline partners who offer great benefits, discounts and rewards for the Commbank’s cardholders. When shopping with selected Bonus partners, you can earn points for every dollar spent using your Commbank’s Awards card. Some of the partners even offer two or three points per dollar spent (Jupiter’s Hotel and Casino, Rendezvous Hotels and Resorts International, Thrifty).

It is important to remember that point-to-dollar ratio is not the same for all cards.

Earning and Redeeming Points

Commonwealth Bank’s Awards program seems to be more oriented towards rewards with non-airline partners. However, if you choose to focus on your frequent flyer points, and if you do most of your traveling with Qantas, you can direct your points straight to the Qantas Frequent Flyer program.

In order to earn and collect Awards points through Qantas, you will need to enroll to its loyalty program, Qantas Frequent Flyer. In this case, QFF terms and conditions will apply, including all potential fees.

As for the redemption of the points, the best way to do it is to use them through an airline’s frequent flyer program, for example QFF, Velocity or Air New Zealand Airpoints programs.

The points can be used to claim reward flights and flight upgrades but they also offer much more. For example, if you have Commonwealth Bank Gold or Platinum American Express credit card, you will also be able to use emergency travel assistance, shop at Globaleshop (which is convenient for Australians as this shop normally does not accept Australian credit cards nor does it deliver to Australia), while with Commonwealth Bank Gold MasterCard you will have access to MasterCard Applause service, as well as MasterCard Global Service.

On the other hand, the Awards program offers other things not necessarily related to air travel. For example, it offers regular, double or even triple points when using your Awards credit card with one of the partners (Bonus partners), which include major hotel and resort chains, retail stores, restaurants, spas, services like gas fuel, car hire, insurance and many more. Some of the Bonus partners in the Commonwealth Bank’s Awards program include Adairs, Hoyts, Sanity, The Marque, Prouds, MagShop, Cellar Masters and many more.

Redemption of the points can also be done through most of these non-airline partners, consisting of discounts, vouchers, gift certificates, actual products, promotions and such.

Things to be Aware Of

One of the major drawbacks of Commonwealth Bank’s Awards program is that its primary focus is not on air travel (especially when it comes to earning the points). Points can be both earned and redeemed through air travel, but it seems that other, non-airline benefits are much better.

Another significant drawback is the fact that American Express is not accepted everywhere, so it might take some time to collect a significant amount of points. On the other hand, MasterCard is accepted almost everywhere, but it has lower points-to-dollars ratio than American Express, which is something you should definitely keep in mind.