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.
NAB have indicated that they will be removing American Express companion cards from their Qantas and Velocity Rewards cards range effective 13th November 2017, making their entire rewards cards line up Visa only.
In summary, NAB have:
- Removed the companion American Express from all accounts effective 13th November 2017
- Increased earn rates on their Qantas and Velocity Rewards cards range (except NAB Qantas Rewards Signature), up to a points cap ($3,000/month)
- Lowered initial points cap for both Qantas and Velocity Premium cards ($3,000 from $5,000 per statement period), but slightly increased the hard cap to $6,000 per statement period
Existing cardholders will still be able to use their American Express accounts until 21st February 2018. Learn more about the details of the upcoming changes here.
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 is a summary 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||November 13th||Removal of American Express account, slightly increased earn rates on the Visa but lower points cap. |
|NAB Qantas Business Cards||Yes||July 1st||Reduce earn rates on Amex companion cards and points cap. |
|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.|
|Bank Australia||Yes||October 1st||Reduced earn rates on regular 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.|
|Qudos Bank and other specialists||No||No changes announced to date.|
The changes as a result of the new legislation coming though 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.