2017 is continuing to see large-scale adjustment of bank rewards programs and credit card points earn rates, thanks to the changes announced by the RBA last year.
Coles have provided us a statement which will be good news for cardholders of the Coles Rewards MasterCard, indicating they have no plans to make any changes to the card as a result of the RBA interchange legislation.
A Coles spokesperson gave us this statement:
Coles is not making any changes to the way flybuys members earn or redeem points as a result of the new cap on interchange fees. flybuys remains free to join and members earn points on every dollar spent at Coles, as well as on purchases from partner retailers.
And then, more generally:
Point accumulation can also be accelerated by taking advantage of frequent bonus point offers and by signing up for a Coles Credit Card or taking out Coles Comprehensive Car, Coles Home Insurance or Coles Landlord Insurance policy. Points can be redeemed for a huge range of rewards, from $10 off your shopping at Coles to gift cards from partner retailers and travel from flybuys travel.
How long this is valid for, we can’t say. But that gives some certainty for the near future at least, and leaves the Coles Rewards MasterCard as a strong points-earner, with an effective earn rate of 0.87 Velocity Points or 0.8 Etihad Guest miles per dollar after transferring them from flybuys.
Round-up of changes announced so far
We’ve tried to round up a list of all the banks that have made changes this year – and then incorporated those changes into our Cards Table which shows all of the earn rates for rewards cards on the market in Australia going forward. The Cards Table is now showing future points earn rates, rather than current earn rates, for cards that are changing, along with identifying the date that any changes are occurring.
This guide should hopefully also become a watchlist for cards or rewards programs which haven’t yet made any changes but might do so in future.
Here are the summaries of the changes made so far:
|Card Issuer / Rewards Program||Change Announced?||Date proposed changes will apply||Commentary|
|ANZ Rewards cards||Yes||For cardholders prior to March 1, August 5th for removal of Amex / changes in earn rates.||Removal of American Express account, increased earn rates on the Visa and addition of points cap.
|ANZ Qantas cards||Yes|
|Citi Rewards Cards||Yes||June 15th||Change earn rates on each card and transfer rates to partners.
|CBA Personal Awards cards||Yes||July 1st||Reduce earn rates on Amex companion cards.
|CBA Business Awards cards||Yes||July 1st|
|NAB Velocity & Qantas Rewards cards||Yes||July 1st||Reduce earn rates on Amex companion cards and points cap.
|NAB Qantas Business Cards||Yes||July 1st|
|Westpac Altitude Cards||Yes||July 1st||Reduce earn rates on Altitude Black companion Amex card and overseas spend on Mastercard.
|Virgin Money||Yes||June 15th||Virgin Australia spend bonus points removed, slight points cap reduction on High Flyer|
|Amplify Rewards||Yes||July 1st||Reduced earn rates on overseas spend.
|Coles Rewards||Yes - no changes||Coles confirmed no planned changes in a statement to us in May|
|American Express & Membership Rewards||Minor||Adjustments to earn rates on Qantas card range.|
|Bankwest (Qantas)||No||No changes announced to date.|
|Macquarie Bank||No||No changes announced to date.|
|Jetstar Mastercards||No||No changes announced to date.|
|HSBC Qantas||No||No changes announced to date.|
|Woolworths Qantas Mastercard||No||No changes announced to date.|
|Latitude Finance (28 Degrees)||No||No changes announced to date.|
|Bank Australia, Qudos Bank and other specialists||No||No changes announced to date.|
We’ll also be updating our guides to the highest earning Qantas, Velocity, KrisFlyer and Asia Miles credit cards in the next couple of days, so keep an eye out for those.
The changes as a result of the new legislation coming through are complicated, and extensive. The Reserve Bank’s regulatory changes on interchange fees could affect many Australian credit cards, however cards issued directly by American Express will not be impacted by the legislation.
As a result it is likely that cards issued directly by American Express will offer a stronger rewards offering than competitors in the future – or at least maintain their existing set of benefits relative to other banks.
We’ll continue to update this summary over time as new changes are announced.