Westpac just launched the Altitude Black Mastercard + American Express combo. At the beginning of the year we learned that Westpac would be parting ways and no longer offering the Amex companion card. The newly launched combo includes the Altitude Amex card which is now issued and serviced by American Express and will allow members to maximise their point earning potential by having 2 cards again.

WESTPAC ALTITUDE BLACK 120K BONUS POINTS

Westpac is offering a generous sign-up bonus of up to 120,000 Qantas or Altitude Reward points with 80,000 points coming from the Westpac Altitude Black Mastercard and 40,000 points coming from the American Express Altitude Black card.

Learn more or apply via Westpac

Both cards require a sizeable minimum spend with the Mastercard requiring  $3000 within 90 days to get the bonus and the Amex $3000 within the same period. This works out to around $466 per week which is very achievable if you switch all your expenses to the new cards.

Earn Rates For Qantas Members

American Express Westpac Altitude Black Card

The new Amex Altitude Black card earns a healthy 1.25 Qantas points per dollar on everyday purchases in Australia. When used overseas the card earns 2 Qantas points per dollar and a booster of 2.25 points per dollar is earned when spending directly with Qantas.

 

  • 2 Qantas Points for every $1 spent on eligible purchases in foreign currency
  • 1.25 Qantas Points for every $1 spent on eligible purchases in Australia
  • 0.5 Qantas Point for every $1 spent at government bodies in Australia such as Australia Post & the Australian Taxation Office
  • Plus earn 1 additional Qantas Point for every $1 spent on selected Qantas products and services in Australia.

Westpac Altitude Black Mastercard

The Altitude Black Mastercard earns 0.75 Qantas points per dollar on everyday purchases which is one of the highest earn rates in Australia at the moment. There’s also a booster when spending directly with Qantas of 1.75 points per dollar but it’s advisable to use the companion Amex for such purchases instead.

 

  • 0.75 Qantas Points for every $1 spent on eligible purchases.
  • Plus earn 1 additional Qantas Point for every $1 spent on selected Qantas products and services in Australia.

Earn Rates For Altitude Rewards Members

American Express Westpac Altitude Black Card

Spending in foreign currencies the new Amex Altitude Black card earns up to 5 Altitude points per $1 spent (worth 2.5 Velocity/Enrich points or 2 Asia Miles/KrisFlyer miles), while purchases in Australia earn 3 Altitude points per $1 spent (that’s 1.5 Velocity points or 1.2 KrisFlyer/Asia miles) and government charges attract only 1 Altitude point per $1 spent (0.5 Velocity points or 0.4 KrisFlyer miles).

  • 5 Altitude Points for every $1 spent on eligible purchases in foreign currency
  • 3 Altitude Points for every $1 spent on eligible purchases in Australia
  • 1 Altitude Point for every $1 spent at government bodies in Australia such as Australia Post & the Australian Taxation Office

Westpac Altitude Black Mastercard

The Altitude Black Mastercard reward earn rates are 1.25 points per dollar which works out to 0.5 Krisflyer miles, 0.5 Asia Miles or 0.65 Velocity points per dollar which can be earned at an uncapped rate.

 

  • 1.25 Altitude Points for every $1 spent on eligible purchases

Frequent Flyer Program Earn Rates

Comparison of effective earn rates on all card options. Keep in mind Qantas Points are only earned when enrolled into Altitude Qantas Rewards (in which case you won't be able to earn points into any other frequent flyer programs).
ProgramMasterCardAmex (Dom. spend)Amex (Int. spend)
Qantas Frequent Flyer0.75 points per $11.25 points per $12 points per $1
Velocity Frequent Flyer0.625 points per $11.5 points per $12.5 points per $1
Singapore Air KrisFlyer0.5 points per $11.2 points per $12 points per $1
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles0.5 points per $11.2 points per $12 points per $1

How the Mastercard + Amex Combo Works

Since the new Amex Altitude card is issued and serviced by American Express and the Mastercard is issued and serviced by Westpac you will essentially have 2 separate accounts. Your Amex will be accessed via the American Express online portal while the Mastercard is managed directly through Westpac. Points will be credited to your rewards account separately each month. Because both cards are issued by 2 separate financial institutions it’s also likely that both will check your credit score.

Can I Get The Bonus As An Existing Amex Card Holder?

Yes, if you already hold an other card issued by American Express you will still be eligible for the sign up bonus. If you previously held a Westpac Altitude credit card you will only be eligible for the Mastercard bonus if your account has been closed for 12 months or more.

Card Details:

Mastercard Altitude Black

  • Variable purchase rate: 20.24% p.a.
  • Variable cash advance rate: 20.74% p.a.
  • Annual Card fee: $250 (plus a $50 Qantas Rewards fee applies for customers who choose to earn Qantas Points through the Altitude Qantas rewards program)
  • Free Lounge Access: 2 QF Club lounge passes or 2 Priority Lounge passes
  • Points cap: there is no cap on the amount of points you can earn
  • More details here

American Express Altitude Black

  • Interest Rate on purchases: 20.24% p.a.
  • Cash advance rate: Cash advances are not available
  • Annual Card fee: $199
  • Free Lounge Access (Amex lounge Melbourne or Sydney)
  • Points cap: there is no cap on the amount of points you can earn
  • More details here

Qantas Lounge Passes

If you choose Altitude Qantas, you are eligible for two complimentary Qantas Lounge invitations per year after your first Altitude Black Mastercard spend on selected Qantas products and services. To take advantage, you must register and opt-in.
Make sure to register your card here.

Priority Pass Lounge Passes

If you choose Altitude Rewards, you can register your Altitude Black World Mastercard to receive two complimentary lounge visits per year to use at over 1000 VIP airport lounges worldwide.
Make sure to register your card here.

American Express Lounge Passes

Enjoy two complimentary visits each year to the American Express Airport Lounge at either Sydney or Melbourne International Airports, with your American Express Westpac Altitude Black Card.

Travel Insurance & Warranty Extensions

It’s always hard to put a value on credit card travel insurance because each person has different requirements, therefore I highly recommend having a read through the PDS to decide for yourself if this insurance policy works for you.

For overseas trips up to 6 months, overseas travel insurance includes cover for:

  • Specified medical expenses incurred overseas
  • Unexpected cancellation of travel arrangements
  • Up to $20,000 per person cover for loss or damage to personal property
  • Up to $550 per person for loss or damage to travel documents
  • Limit of $2.5 million of personal liability cover
  • Up to $5,500 rental vehicle excess cover as specified in the policy for loss or damage to a rental vehicle
  • You, your spouse and your dependent children could be automatically covered for Complimentary
  • Overseas Travel Insurance on your journey, if each of you meets the eligibility criteria, including pre-paid travel costs using your credit card. See Details for eligibility criteria
  • Transit accident insurance: Up to $500,000 transit accident insurance cover against specified accidental death or injury when sustained while riding as a passenger in a plane, bus, train or ferry when you have purchased the tickets for the journey using either one of your Altitude Black cards before you leave
  • Purchase security insurance: 4 months cover against loss, theft or accidental damage for a range of personal items purchased in Australia and overseas provided the item is purchased using either one of your Black Altitude cards
  • Extended warranty insurance: Up to 24 months extended warranty insurance cover (in addition to the manufacturer’s expressed Australian warranty) on a range of personal items purchased using either one of your Black Altitude cards

In Conclusion

I know a lot of Westpac customers were disappointed to see their Amex companion card disappear, so it’s great to see that this new offer brings back the combo although in a different form. The sign-up bonus is huge but so are the minimum spend requirements and the combined annual fees of both cards. For big spenders, this is a no-brainer as the uncapped earn rate will benefit a lot of people, and a minimum spend of around $2666 per month for 3 months is very achievable if you switch all your payments to these cards ( And now less thanks to the reduced minimum spend requirements from $5000 to $3000 on the Westpac Mastercard!).
Alternatively, there’s the lower tier Westpac Altitude Platinum combo which you can read more about here.

Westpac Altitude Black Combo
Great sign up bonusUncapped points earning potentialGreat overseas earn rate on Amex companion card
High minimum spend requirement
85%Overall Score