The following article has been sponsored by American Express Rewards
Great men must start somewhere. Before Bourdain was a chef, he was a simple guy who liked food. Before Ford was a fashion designer, he was a guy with good taste. Before Musk was a billionaire, he was a man with big ideas and even bigger confidence.
“If you believe in living well no matter your disposable income, this could be the card that gets you there.”
The path to Magnificent Bastardom cannot be completed overnight. The luxe watches and sports cars, the tailored suits and fine dining, the 5-star resorts and first-class flights…it all comes with time and careful cultivation. They say that getting there is half the fun.
Then again, it’s hard to deny the appeal of a shortcut. The American Express Qantas Discovery Card is the latest shortcut in our arsenal. We recently took it for a spin, putting its points system and rewards programs to the test. If you believe in living well no matter your disposable income, this could be the card that gets you there.
Meet The American Express Qantas Discovery Card
The American Express Qantas Discovery Card comes with a simple premise: no frills, no annual fee, and a direct connection to your Qantas Frequent Flyer account.
Card Members earn one Qantas point for every dollar spent on any purchase, anywhere. Two points are earned for every dollar spent with Qantas. Members new to American Express can also earn up to 7,500 bonus points – 5,000 with a $300 minimum spend in 3 months and 2,500 after the first spend with Qantas.
But let’s talk about what you really want to know. What do those numbers translate to in actual travel terms?
With 8,000 points, you could purchase a Qantas Economy one way Classic Flight Reward from Sydney to Melbourne. 12,000 points could take you one way from Sydney to Hobart in Economy. Save up 18,000 and you could score a Qantas Economy seat one way from Perth to Adelaide.
Points are easy to earn, easy to manage, and easy to use when the spending mood strikes. American Express transfers your points straight to your Qantas Frequent Flyer account each month (because a Magnificent Bastard has bigger things to worry about).
Points can be redeemed for rewards flights with Qantas and over 50 partner airlines and their affiliates (because a Magnificent Bastard doesn’t like to be boxed in). And there’s no cap on the amount of Qantas Points you can earn (because a life without limits is the only one worth living).
Our verdict? It’s a great value entry-level credit card, ideal for a man who recoils at the thought of a yearly fee but wants to maximise his travel points earning potential and pick up a few perks along the way.
Continue on for our advice on how to make the most of it.
See The World
We start with the obvious: with a Qantas card, travel is always on the mind. If the Qantas Discovery Card did nothing else right (and fortunately, it does) the travel rewards would still make it an intriguing option for frequent flyers and those who aspire to be them.
The card earns kudos from us for its versatility. Your frequent flyer points can be used for one way, return, or multi-destination Classic Flight Rewards. They can be redeemed with Qantas, of course, but also with more than 50 partner airlines and their affiliates.
In all, that means access to over 1,000 amazing destinations worldwide. Your unattainable jet-setting dreams may not be so unattainable after all.
Any purchase earns you one point per dollar. Any Qantas purchase earns you two points per dollar. The savvy traveller (hint: that’s you) books Qantas flights with his Qantas Discovery Card to earn double points towards his next adventure before the current one even begins.
Since moving from Melbourne to Sydney, I find myself frequently making the trip home to visit family and friends. I know it’s a regular route for me, which makes it easy to book strategically and earn the most points possible. Who says it’s hard to master travel hacking? Not this ginger.
Travel is just one piece of the good life puzzle. A refined palate is a must for a Magnificent Bastard, and the ‘Taste from American Express’ program makes it easier to attain. The global dining program serves up at over 400 restaurants around the world, each one handpicked by locals in the know. From hotspots to hidden gems, each restaurant makes the cut for one simple reason: the food’s damn good.
With the Taste program, Card Members get treats along with their eats. Pay with your card at any participating restaurant and you’re guaranteed to receive a special perk with your meal – an appetiser from the à la carte menu (up to ten guests), a complementary bottle of wine for the table, or 20% off the food bill (up to 10 guests).
Taste proved to be a perfect companion for my travels. There are few better ways to immerse yourself in a culture than to sample its food. I hit Araliya for a Sri Lankan feast, accompanied by a free bottle of vino and a brand new batch of points earned.
It’s a tasty endeavour solo, but for the biggest benefit, gather the squad for a night on the town. Pay the bill with your card and get the rest of the gang to pay you in cash, so you earn points on the full amount without spending anything extra.
Shop Like A Local
A Magnificent Bastard excels at many things, but one of his most finely honed skills is shopping. What can I say? Even magnificence doesn’t exempt you from the allure of retail therapy.
Through the Local Champion program, you can easily earn an additional bonus point per dollar spent at the retailers you visit most.
Step one: Download the app.
Step two: Select up to 10 merchants where you want to play.
Step three: Shop and pay with your Qantas Discovery Card.
The aim is to become the local with the most number of transactions at a given location – aka that location’s Local Champion.
If you’re crowned, you automatically receive bonus points any time you purchase from that merchant – which means that not only do you end up with the purchases you want, you also support local businesses and set yourself up for bigger Amex rewards. Win-win-win.
During my test drive, I put my plastic through its paces at some of my favourite Sydney stores. For a fashion fix, I chose two classics, Uniqlo and Zara, where I can always find affordable and on-trend basics. I threw in Lululemon, the mecca of up-market workout wear, for good measure. It’s never too late to get started on those New Year’s resolutions.
Edible adventuring took my Amex around the world without leaving home – A Tavola for Italian, Mr Wong for Chinese, Sake for Japanese, and The Pavilion for modern Australian. For entertainment of a liquid variety, my bid for Local Champion took me to Bondi Beach Cellars. Even Magnificent Bastards need the occasional night in with a relaxing brew.
Always Be Earning
It’s easy to talk about the flashy stuff. We all want more food, more fashion, more flights to far-flung locales. But being an expert points earner is about more than splashing out on the biggest, shiniest things.
Consider your spending habits. Where do you shop most frequently? What items do you buy often? What reoccurring payments do you make each month? These purchases, though not as glamorous as a first-class ticket to Bangkok, are key to regularly increasing your points cache.
Use your card to pay for groceries and gym memberships, pull it out at petrol stations, and set up automatic debits for your monthly bills. Over time, the small and consistent purchases may be the ones that reap you the most rewards.
There’s no excuse not to earn along every step of the road to magnificence.