ANZ removes American Express companion cards: moves to Visa only with increases to Visa earn rates & addition of points caps

ANZ have made one of the first major moves of credit card changes this year, severing ties with American Express, with their range of rewards cards now including a Visa only.

Existing cardholders will be able to use their American Express cards up to August 5th, with the corresponding Visa earn rate changes effective immediately. New applicants won’t receive a companion American Express card as of today.

ANZ’s product line up hasn’t otherwise changed much – there are no new or removed cards – but the existing ANZ Rewards cards now also have points caps applied, although these are waived on these cards until August 5th.

We’ll publish updated guides to each of the following cards soon to reflect the new product offering.

In summary, ANZ have:

  1. Removed the companion American Express from all accounts
  2. Increased earn rates on most of the Visas, up to a points cap
  3. Added points caps on the ANZ Rewards cards, after which earn rates are reduced

Here’s a summary of the revised earn rates:

CardOld Earn RatesChange in Earn Rate before Points CapNew Earn Rates / Points Caps
American ExpressVisaVisa onlyVisa only
ANZ Frequent Flyer Black1.5 Qantas Points per $0.75 Qantas Point per $+0.25 Qantas Point per $1 Qantas Point per $ spent up to $7,500 per statement period
0.5 Qantas Point per $ spent above $7,500 per statement period
ANZ Frequent Flyer Platinum1.5 Qantas Points per $0.5 Qantas Point per $+0.25 Qantas Point per $0.75 Qantas Point per $ spent up to $3,000 per statement period
0.5 Qantas Point per $ spent above $3,000 per statement period
ANZ Frequent Flyer1 Qantas Point per $0.5 Qantas Point per $None0.5 Qantas Point per $ spent up to $500 per statement period
0.25 Qantas Point per $ spent above $500 per statement period
ANZ Rewards Black3 ANZ Rewards points per $1.25 ANZ Rewards points per $+0.75 ANZ Rewards points per $2 ANZ Rewards point per $ spent up to $5,000 per statement period
1 ANZ Rewards point per $ spent above $5,000 per statement period
ANZ Rewards Platinum2 ANZ Rewards points per $1 Reward point per $+0.5 ANZ Rewards points per $1.5 ANZ Rewards point per $ spent up to $2,000 per statement period
0.5 ANZ Rewards point per $ spent above $2,000 per statement period
ANZ Rewards1.5 ANZ Rewards points per $0.75 Rewards point per $+0.25 ANZ Rewards points per $1 ANZ Rewards point per $ spent up to $1,000 per statement period
0.5 Rewards point per $ spent above $1,000 per statement period
ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures Card2 ANZ Rewards points per $1 Reward point per $+0.5 ANZ Rewards points per $1.5 ANZ Rewards point per $ up to $2,000 per statement period
0.5 ANZ Rewards point per $ above $2,000 per statement period

For the ANZ Rewards range, this means the cards now earn points into Velocity, KrisFlyer and Asia Miles as follows:

Frequent Flyer ProgramTransfer RateANZ Rewards Black Effective Earn RateANZ Rewards Platinum Effective Earn RateANZ Rewards Effective Earn RateANZ Rewards Travel Adventures Card Effective Earn Rate
Virgin Australia Velocity2 ANZ Rewards points to 1 Velocity point1 point per $10.75 point per $10.5 point per $10.75 point per $1
Singapore Airlines Krisflyer Miles3 ANZ Rewards points to 1 Krisflyer Mile0.66 point per $10.5 point per $10.33 point per $10.5 point per $1
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles3 ANZ Rewards points to 1 Asia Mile0.66 point per $10.5 point per $10.33 point per $10.5 point per $1
Air New Zealand Airpoints200 ANZ Rewards points to 1 Airpoints Dollar0.010 Airpoints per $10.0075 Airpoints per $10.005 Airpoints per $10.0075 Airpoits per $1

Summing up – is this a good or bad move by ANZ?

This is first major adjustment by one of the big banks as a result of the changes to interchange fees put in place by the RBA, and which come into effect on June 1st – just like last year, these will have a fairly sweeping effect on the points and credit card market in Australia, and it won’t be until the dust settles fully will we know the full impact on rewards credit card users.

We tracked the changes that come through last year and will do the same again as more banks revise their offerings.

ANZ’s changes have been announced with several months notice, which allows customers to consider their options, and they aren’t overwhelmingly negative – those who spend up to and around the points cap will be better off, with the higher spenders for each card type.

It will likely push a few ‘Classic’ and Platinum cardholders up the ANZ card range if they want to earn more points without hitting their points cap – if they want to stick with ANZ. But many cardholders reliant on American Express card spend to boost their points earn may look elsewhere.

ANZ Rewards also haven’t adjusted transfer rates to their frequent flyer partners, which is to be commended – doing that while keeping earn rates the same has a similar effect as changing earn rates on cards, but is harder for consumers to understand, so it’s great that ANZ have simply adjusted their earn rates and added points caps to not make the program more complex.

The removal of an American Express option is obviously a blow for those who could put a significant amount of spend on their ANZ-issued American Express cards, with the revised Visa earn rates understandably still below the existing points earn rates on the companion American Express cards.

It also makes ANZ cardholders ineligible to take part in offers through Amex Network, as well as removal of the Sydney American Express lounge access for ANZ Black cardholders.

An American Express spokesperson gave us this comment: “While we have had a very successful partnership with ANZ, we understand the decision in the context, and as a consequence of the current regulatory environment. People can continue to enjoy American Express service and rewards programs through taking up a credit card with us directly or with one of our other bank partners.”

ANZ removes American Express companion cards: moves to Visa only with increases to Visa earn rates & addition of points caps was last modified: May 1st, 2017 by Keith