St. George, Bank of Melbourne, Bank SA rejig credit card points

By Chris Chamberlin, May 2 2017
Disclaimer

Executive Traveller may receive a commission when you apply for these credit cards via our links.

You should seek independent advice and consider your own personal circumstances before applying for any financial product.

St. George, Bank of Melbourne and Bank SA are the next three credit card issuers to cut the number of frequent flyer points that customers can earn as the Westpac-backed trio updates its frequent flyer plastic ahead the RBA’s upcoming cuts to credit card ‘interchange fees’.

These changes take effect from July 1 2017 – the same date as the new RBA regulations – across the banks’ Amplify Signature, Amplify Platinum and Amplify credit cards, but interestingly, only reduce points earned on international transactions: on which no cuts to interchange fees are being made.

In explaining the move to its customers, all three banks affirm that “the Reserve Bank of Australia has announced new regulations that impact Australian bank issued credit cards. In response, (the bank) is reviewing its rewards programs, and from 1 July 2017 there will be changes to how you earn … points.”

Whether your Amplify card is issued by St. George, Bank of Melbourne or Bank SA, here’s how the shake-up affects you.

New St. George, Bank of Melbourne, Bank SA Amplify frequent flyer credit card earning rates

Amplify Signature (with Amplify Rewards): Using your card overseas will earn half as many points per dollar spent as available today, lowering from 3 to 1.5 Amplify points.

That’s equal to 0.75 Virgin Australia Velocity points, 0.75 Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles or 0.75 Malaysia Airlines Enrich Miles per dollar spent: the same rate as continues to apply to transactions within Australia.

Amplify Signature (with Qantas Points): Spenders collecting Qantas Points can earn 0.75 points per dollar spent overseas from July, being a 50% cut to the current earning rate of 1.5 Qantas Points per dollar spent.

Amplify Platinum (with Amplify Rewards): Double points on international spend will also be axed for Platinum cardholders, descending from two to one Amplify point per dollar spent, worth 0.5 Velocity points, 0.5 KrisFlyer miles or 0.5 Enrich miles.

Amplify Platinum (with Qantas Points): You guessed it – the number of points awarded on overseas transactions will again be sliced in half, decreasing from 1.0 to 0.5 Qantas Points per Aussie dollar charged abroad.

All cards: There are no revisions to the conversion rates used when exchanging Amplify Rewards points for Velocity points, KrisFlyer miles or Enrich miles (remaining 2:1); for any spend on entry-level Amplify cards; on transactions made within Australia on any card; or for Amplify Business cards.

No changes to the 10% 'birthday bonus' for Amplify Signature cardholders have been announced, so these members can continue to receive a bonus of 10% on their yearly points earnings, delivered within four weeks of their birhday evey year.

The move follows parent company Westpac axing bonus points on international transactions for its own top-tier Altitude and Earth customers, and comes in the same week as NAB and Commonwealth Bank roll-out revisions to their own lines of frequent flyer credit cards.

Disclaimer

Executive Traveller may receive a commission when you apply for these credit cards via our links.

You should seek independent advice and consider your own personal circumstances before applying for any financial product.

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jan 2017

Total posts 49

Seems that the amplify signature card, with 0.825 effective earn rate on krisflyer (and others) is probably the best visa/master card out there without an astronomical annual fee.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

13 Jan 2015

Total posts 582

don't you mean 0.75 earn rate?
That rate would include the 'birthday bonus' for Signature cardholders, so you initially earn 0.75 frequent flyer points per $1 and then get a further 10% around your birthday each year, taking that to 0.825/$1.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 Jul 2016

Total posts 23

starting to theink the ANZ Black is about the best card in terms of points earn, as long as you're not a huge spender via a Visa card.

The annual fee is high, but i like the $250 spend to get insurance AND the fact that sup card holders are insured when not travelling with the primary account holder.  Don't think that's something offered by any other card insurance.

15 Feb 2013

Total posts 140

Supplementary card members are covered under Amex Centurion, including both the holder of the supplementary black amex, as well as up to 4 supplementary Platinum cards. Mind you, pretty difficult to get one of these, and they do have somewhat of a high annual fee for the benefit!

15 Feb 2013

Total posts 140

I just got a BoM card because of the "effective" earn rate of 0.825/$1.  The only card that beats it is Woolworths at 1/$1 but that has a cap of $2500 per month before the points are halved, whereas no cap on BoM.  Disappointed the o/s rate is dropping though, as this made a nice companion to the Amex cards that earn 2 points overseas.

I still find all these changes very inconsistent between the banks - they have left it all very late, and to be honest it seems rushed and not thought through. CBA for example have overseas transactions remaining as one of the few higher points earn, and have slashed everything else. But then Westpac is doing the opposite and keeping comparatively high rates on Amex earn, as well as the Amplify brands.  I suspect there will be another round of changes somewhere along the line, because I don't believe these banks can sustain this by cutting overseas earn rates instead of domestic ones.


Hi Guest, join in the discussion on St. George, Bank of Melbourne, Bank SA rejig credit card points