NAB nukes American Express credit cards

By David Flynn, October 10 2017

NAB is pulling the pin on its partnership with American Express, becoming the second of Australia's Big Four banks – after ANZ – to axe AMEX credit cards.

The bank's current 'combo card' rewards packages for Qantas and Virgin Australia frequent flyers – which pair a Visa card with an American Express card – will no longer be available from November 13 2017, while all NAB-issued AMEX cards will cease working as of February 21 2018.

NAB is blaming its decision on "new regulations from the Reserve Bank of Australia" which reduce how much banks can earn from each credit card transaction – and which in turn means a thinner margin for buying frequent flyer points to lure customers in and keep them on the hook.

NAB's card shuffle will also see a revamp of the points-earning proposition for it Qantas Rewards and Velocity Rewards (standard and premium) frequent flyer cards, with tiered rates replacing the current flat earning model for Qantas or Velocity points per dollar.

From 13 November 2017 the earn rates across both the Qantas Rewards and Velocity Rewards cards will be

  • 1 point per $1.50 up to a $3,000 spend per statement period
  • 1 point per $3 from $3,001 to $6,000 per statement

That speed bump at the $3,001 mark halves your earn rate will put the brakes on big spenders building up their points balance, and every dollar you put on the new NAB cards beyond $6,001 per statement will earn you zero points.

Swinging the numbers around, the new NAB earn rate is revealed as 0.66 points per dollar up to $3,000 per statement, and 0.33 points per dollar for $3,001 to $6,000 – which translates to a monthly cap of 2,970 Qantas or Virgin Australia frequent flyer points.

Note that those earning rate changes apply only to the Qantas Rewards and Velocity Rewards branded cards which are today paired with an AMEX.

Other cards in NAB's portfolio – the Qantas Rewards Signature Card launched earlier this year, NAB Rewards Classic, Platinum and Signature card family (with points which convert to Virgin Australia, Air New Zealand and Cathay Pacific) and NAB Flybuys Rewards Card (with points which convert to Virgin Australia and Etihad) – retain their current earn rates.

Additional reporting by Chris Chamberlin


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.



Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 May 2017

Total posts 87

NAB Qantas Rewards Signature Card is my go to for when AMEX is not accepted - 1pt per $ up to $5K.

amex explorer or platinum charge for when it is



21 Feb 2014

Total posts 10

How on earth is it that I find out about this through ABT and not through a courtesy email from NAB? Astonishing.




16 Oct 2015

Total posts 13

I didn't get an email or any communications when they cut earn rates a few months back at all. Learnt about it through AusBT too



10 Oct 2017

Total posts 2

Good point smoothsilver. By co-incidence I cancelled our NAB Platinum cards (Visa and Amex) today as I'm using ANZ FF Black even though all my other banking is with NAB. Just have to decide in 6mths whether to go back to NAB for bonus offers or stick with ANZ FF Black



Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

10 Dec 2016

Total posts 45

so the NAB AMEX per statement period earn used to be 1.5 points for $10K per month, then they cut it to 1.0 point for $5k per month, now its .66 points for $3K per month. I am going to cancel my NAB cards as AMEX have today increased my credit limit to match NAB ($38k) and I earn 1.5 points no limit and I have a Virgin Money Visa ($35K limit now) which is 1.0m point per $10K statement period. Nab have lost a 32 year customer and I wont be back. Smart move NAB, very smart



Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

03 Jul 2011

Total posts 180

nab now have a updated link on their credit card info page.



17 Sep 2015

Total posts 391

colin5353, nab has an obligation to write to the many customers who receive statements by mail. I still have not received a letter from it.



Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

24 Jan 2013

Total posts 11

Goodbye NAB. No point (sorry about the pun) staying with them.

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