The NAB Rewards Business Platinum Visa is the sister card to the consumer NAB Rewards Platinum Visa card, with similar points earn rates but a range of benefits that are more suitable for SMEs.
NAB Rewards launched earlier in 2017, with Velocity, Asia Miles and Air NZ Airpoints as transfer partners.
This introduces a flexible points program option into the Business suite of NAB credit cards, a welcome addition given that prior to this, NAB business customers’ sole option was direct earn to Qantas Frequent Flyer.
As a Visa, it means that the card is accepted in more places than its American Express counterparts.
The new NAB Rewards Business Platinum Visa cards offers bonus points for overseas spend and at major department and hardware stores, which could be a useful bonus category if you spend frequently in these areas.
Digging into the details of the NAB Rewards Business Platinum Visa
The NAB Rewards Business Platinum Visa is linked to NAB Rewards.
NAB Rewards is a flexible points program, meaning points are earned within NAB’s own program and can then be redeemed for merchandise or points of a program partner by transferring at a later time.
Flexible points programs differ from direct earn programs in that they don’t lock you into a particular frequent flyer program, and allow you to decide when you transfer your points rather than being directly transferred on a monthly cycle.
This gives you the ability to plan and decide later on the best partner or redemption option for your business particular circumstances at that time. This is why flexible points programs are great! There is some risk, of course, that banks may choose to devalue the points in the program though, by changing redemption options or the transfer rates to partners, for example – but these should usually be done with notice to cardholders.
Reward programs are well known for devaluing their programs through tweaking their earn or redemption rates (or both!) but most bank and bank reward programs make these changes very infrequently, and when they do, usually give notice to consumers.
NAB Rewards partners include Velocity Frequent Flyer, Cathay Pacific’s Asia Miles and Air NZ Airpoints so you can transfer NAB Rewards points to partners at the following rates:
- To Velocity at a rate of 1 NAB Rewards points = 0.5 Velocity point
- To Asia Miles at 1 NAB Rewards point = 0.33 Asia Miles
- To Air NZ Airpoints at 1 NAB Rewards point = 0.005 Airpoints
The NAB Rewards Business Platinum Visa currently has a standard annual fee of $175, which is reasonable for a card offering insurance benefits, is well accepted worldwide and has a relatively good points earn rate.
The card should appeal to those businesses who want flexibility in the partners and redemption options offered by the NAB Rewards program, and who need a Visa to be able to ensure they are earning points for as many transactions as possible (outside of spending on an American Express which usually offer higher points earn rates).
Earning Points with the NAB Rewards Business Platinum Visa
The NAB Rewards Business Platinum Visa earns 1 NAB Rewards point per dollar spent, which can be converted to to 0.5 Velocity Points, 0.33 Asia Miles or 0.005 Airpoints (subject to minimum points transfer thresholds).
This is in line with most of its competitors but the bonus categories – where you’ll earn twice as many points – for major department and hardware stores (more on this later) does differentiate the card.
You’ll also pick up triple points – so the equivalent of 1.5 Velocity points per dollar – on purchases with Webjet and overseas spend, but with a 3% foreign transaction fee applied (as with many other credit cards).
Effective Frequent Flyer Program Point Earn Rates
|Frequent Flyer Program||Domestic Spend||Overseas Spend||Department & Hardware Stores|
|Velocity Points||0.5 point / $||1.5 point / $||1 point / $|
|Asia Miles||0.33 point / $||0.99 point / $||0.66 point / $|
|Air NZ Airpoints||0.005 point / $||0.015 point / $||0.010 point / $|
There are no points caps applied for any NAB Rewards card.
NAB Rewards points expire
One of the downsides to NAB’s new rewards program is the points expiry policy. This is outlined in the NAB Rewards PDS and states: Points in your points balance must be used to claim a reward within 36 months from the date the transaction which earned those points was processed to your rewards card account. Points that remain unused in your points balance after that period will be forfeited.
The points you earned into your NAB Rewards account first will be used first at the time of redemption, so you have three years from the date of earning the points to when they must be used.
This is a downside to the program for anyone who wants to earn large numbers of points and hold them for an extended period of time.
This can negate a key benefit of a flexible points program, being the ability to transfer points at your choosing. If you are inclined to earn large number of points and hold them for an extended period of time, then you may need to reassess whether this card is for you.
Travel & Purchases Insurance
The NAB Rewards Business Visa also offers the following complimentary insurances:
- NAB Commercial Cards Unauthorised Transaction Insurance
- NAB Commercial Cards Transport Accident Insurance
The unauthorised transaction insurance covers transactions that were not authorised by the business, and made by cardholders, up to $20,000 per cardholder and up to $150,000 per year. Company Directors and their immediately family members are excluded.
The transport accident insurance covers cardholders for loss of life or injuries incurred while ‘riding as a passenger on a conveyance during an authorised business trip’. The costs of the ‘conveyance’ must have been paid on the business credit card before the commencement of travel.
It’s like a form of more specific travel insurance – examples given in the PDS include being a fare paying passenger, boarding or disembarking a licensed plane, tourist bus, train or ferry, or if you are travelling to or from an ‘international or overseas departure port’ if you are riding in a licensed taxi, bus or hire vehicle.
Our assumption is that this policy is designed to ensure some travel insurance coverage for employees (as cardholders) requiring light ground or air transport coverage. There is no delay, baggage or other travel insurance coverage though, this is purely for accident or death during transport – hence the name of the policy.
You’ll need to read the PDS for each policy to determine whether these insurances are suitable for your business needs.
They can be found here:
- NAB Commercial Cards Unauthorised Transaction Insurance PDS
- NAB Commercial Cards Transport Accident Insurance PDS
This guide references some of the benefits of insurance policies provided with this card.
You should read the PDS and obtain independent professional advice before obtaining this product.
Offer Eligibility for Existing Cardholders
NAB have also confirmed to us that any existing customer on a NAB direct earn card can opt to take out a new NAB Business Rewards card and if they are approved and meet the minimum spend they will receive the bonus points.
This includes NAB Rewards personal cardholders who could also apply for a NAB Rewards Business card and receive the joining bonus, if they had plans to use both cards.
If you have questions or concerns about your specific circumstances as an existing NAB cardholder you should contact NAB directly to discuss and check your eligibility.
Summing up: NAB Rewards Business Platinum Visa
While the NAB Rewards Business Platinum is a Visa card, meaning that it earns lower points per dollar spend, it is accepted in more locations worldwide and has lower or even no surcharges in comparison to its American Express counterparts.
In effect, the earn rate of 0.5 Velocity Points per dollar spend is relatively competitive with other non-American Express branded business cards, which generally trade off lower earn rates with higher points caps in contrast to its personal card offerings.
Velocity also run regular transfer bonus promotions, which NAB Rewards may be included in and help boost the value of your NAB Rewards points if transferred to Velocity during a bonus period.
Another key benefit is the ability to transfer to Asia Miles, given that Asia Miles redemptions for long-haul travel on Cathay Pacific, Qantas and other oneworld airlines offer some excellent value. However, this is partially negated by the lower earn rate that is available compared to Velocity.
The inclusion of a flexible program option into the suite of business cards for NAB is a welcome addition. The annual fee and points earn are reasonable, along with the appeal of the flexible points program as outlined above.
Overall, if you are in the market for a business card that allows spend on Visa, and are interested in redeeming for non-frequent flyer benefits such as cash back onto your card to assist your business cash flow, then this card is worth considering.
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