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Finance reporting

Highlights of Chris Chamberlin’s finance reporting and credit card reviews on Australian Business Traveller can be found below.

Finance

How codeshare flights could be costing you thousands…

Airline partnerships such as those of Qantas and Emirates, or Virgin Australia and Singapore Airlines, can see you paying thousands of dollars more to travel on the exact same flight, depending on which airline you book your ticket with.

But what if you could pay up to $3,200 less for the exact same seat on the exact same flight, while still earning frequent flyer points? It’s no gimmick: the magic lies in codeshares – or more accurately, by avoiding them altogether…

How to save hundreds per night at the Park Hyatt Sydney hotel…

Members of Hyatt Gold Passport could save up to $325 per night off the normal room rates at the Park Hyatt Sydney hotel, thanks to a new ‘buying points’ promotion.

Points can then be redeemed for nights at hotels around the globe – including in Sydney, and as it turns out, it’s cheaper to buy points from scratch and redeem them for an award stay than it is to pay for the actual room…

Trim 9% from your business travel budget by booking flights separately

When groups of business travellers fly together with either Qantas or Virgin Australia, all passengers are often booked onto the same reservation to keep things simple.

However, savvy business owners should book journeys for their high flyers as separate tickets, which could slash up to 9% from your business travel budget while still keeping your road warriors happy in business class…


Credit card analysis

The best of black: the top frequent flyer credit cards

Aiming squarely at the premium credit card market, the Commonwealth Bank, Westpac and ANZ have all added black credit cards to their roster of plastic.

No doubt inspired by the exclusive, titanium-made American Express Centurion charge card, these bank-issued cards are at the top of the pile – but how do they compare?

The best credit cards for international travellers

When it comes to spending abroad, not all credit cards are created equal.

Assuming you always pay off the closing balance and avoid those hefty interest charges, here are four of the best Aussie credit cards that are just vying for a place in your passport wallet…

ANZ to axe unlimited Qantas frequent flyer points on credit cards

ANZ will axe unlimited Qantas frequent flyer points on its range of Visa and American Express credit cards from October in a move that severely limits the number of points that cardholders can earn each month.

The new points capping arrangements also encourage spenders to move transactions across from their higher-earning ANZ American Express cards to the companion ANZ Visa card, which can earn as little as half a point per dollar spent


Credit card reviews

The Qantas American Express Ultimate card

Piling up an impressive three points per dollar on eligible spend, the Qantas American Express Ultimate card has the potential to skyrocket your points balance in no time.

When dining at most restaurants in Australia and when booking Qantas flights in Aussie dollars or renewing your Qantas Club membership, you’ll pick up the full three points for every dollar you’ve shelled out…

Emirates Citibank World MasterCard

The new Emirates Citibank World MasterCard takes over from its now-superseded Platinum cousin with the title of the only direct-earning Emirates Skywards credit card in the Australian market.

Other perks such as free access to Emirates’ Australian lounges and the Chauffeur Drive service when flying in economy see this card easily paying for itself…

NAB Velocity Rewards Premium

Reeling in up to 1.5 Virgin Australia Velocity points per dollar and with a generous welcome bonus, the NAB Velocity Rewards Premium cards are a sure contender for Velocity aficionados.

Combining an American Express and a Visa on a single card account, NAB’s Premium cards let travellers pick-up the highest number of points with American Express merchants – which is the card you’ll want to use the most.

Westpac Singapore Airlines Platinum cards

As the only direct-earning KrisFlyer card in the Australian market, the Westpac Singapore Airlines Platinum card comes packed with features for frequent travellers to Asia and beyond.

Customers pick up KrisFlyer miles on their everyday transactions, which can be used to book flights with Singapore Airlines, Virgin Australia and SQ’s Star Alliance partners.

New ANZ Rewards Black cards

Taking on the uber-elite credit cards at the top end of town is ANZ Rewards Black – boasting perks like airport lounge access and the bank’s highest earning rates for frequent flyer points.

If the ‘Black’, Centurion-esque branding didn’t drop enough hints, the minimum credit limit of $15,000 and minimum income requirement of $75,000 put the cards exclusively in the hands of professionals and businessmen and women.

Emirates Citibank World MasterCard

The new Emirates Citibank World MasterCard takes over from its now-superseded Platinum cousin with the title of the only direct-earning Emirates Skywards credit card in the Australian market.

Other perks such as free access to Emirates’ Australian lounges and the Chauffeur Drive service when flying in economy see this card easily paying for itself…