NAB to remove American Express companion cards from their Qantas and Velocity Rewards cards range

Overview of changes to rewards credit cards in 2017

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 ProgramChange Announced?Date proposed changes will applyCommentary
ANZ Rewards cardsYesFor 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.
(Read more)
ANZ Qantas cardsYes
Citi Rewards CardsYesJune 15thChange earn rates on each card and transfer rates to partners.
(Read more)
CBA Personal Awards cardsYesJuly 1stReduce earn rates on Amex companion cards.
(Read more)
CBA Business Awards cardsYesJuly 1st
NAB Velocity & Qantas Rewards cardsYesNovember 13thRemoval of American Express account, slightly increased earn rates on the Visa but lower points cap.
(Read more)
NAB Qantas Business CardsYesJuly 1stReduce earn rates on Amex companion cards and points cap.
(Read more)
Westpac Altitude CardsYesJuly 1stReduce earn rates on Altitude Black companion Amex card and overseas spend on Mastercard.
(Read More)
Virgin MoneyYesJune 15thVirgin Australia spend bonus points removed, slight points cap reduction on High Flyer
Amplify RewardsYesJuly 1stReduced earn rates on overseas spend.
(Read More)
Bank AustraliaYesOctober 1stReduced earn rates on regular spend
Coles RewardsYes - no changesColes confirmed no planned changes in a statement to us in May
American Express & Membership RewardsMinorAdjustments to earn rates on Qantas card range.
Bankwest (Qantas)NoNo changes announced to date.
Macquarie BankNoNo changes announced to date.
Jetstar MastercardsNoNo changes announced to date.
HSBC QantasNoNo changes announced to date.
Woolworths Qantas MastercardNoNo changes announced to date.
Latitude Finance (28 Degrees)NoNo changes announced to date.
Qudos Bank and other specialistsNoNo 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.

NAB to remove American Express companion cards from their Qantas and Velocity Rewards cards range was last modified: October 17th, 2017 by Keith