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Credit Card Eligible Purchases - What Are They?

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Immanuel Debeer | 16/01/2024

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If you’ve ever applied for a points-earning credit card, you’re likely familiar with the term “eligible purchases”. This term appears in nearly every card offer with a sign-up bonus, whether it’s American Express, Qantas Money, ANZ, NAB, Westpac, etc. The wording is consistently used across the board and it’s an important detail for those who are looking to meet the minimum spend required to obtain their credit card sign-up bonus!

So, what exactly constitutes an eligible purchase on a credit card? It’s actually quite straightforward, and there are no real “gotchas” (which is what people often assume). Broadly, everything qualifies as eligible spend if it would ordinarily earn you points. This means the list of ineligible credit card spend includes the following:

  • Interest charges
  • Annual card fees
  • Late payment fees
  • Balance transfers
  • Refunded transactions
  • Cash advances
  • Gambling
  • Traveller’s cheques

For some credit cards, payments such as those made to the ATO/government bodies also don’t qualify as eligible spend. Additionally, many cards don’t allow points to be earned on BPAY payments.

As you can see, the list above is pretty straightforward (at least, I think so) and applies to almost all credit cards in Australia. Chances are, if you’re reading this, you didn’t read your credit card’s Terms and Conditions document, which is always linked on the bank’s or credit provider’s website.

To quickly find the relevant terms specific to your card, follow these steps:

  • Locate your bank’s or credit provider’s page where your specific card is listed.
  • Find the “terms and conditions” link on that page.
  • Open the document (usually a PDF).
  • Use your keyboard to press “Ctrl+F” or “Command+F” and type in the keyword you’re looking for, e.g., “eligible”.

This way, you can quickly locate the terms related to your specific credit card and understand what’s classed as eligible spend, or rather, what isn’t.

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Immanuel Debeer

Chief points nerd and travel hacker at Flight Hacks

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