Bundles are the hot credit card trend: Why Citi and Diners Club joined the fray
With increased points potential and extra perks, are credit card bundles the best way to earn points?
Citi Australia has unveiled a new Linked Diners Club Card to accelerate rewards members' points potential today. The card is designed to suit frequent international travellers and points collectors who want to maximise their rewards when paying with plastic.
You can then use the Linked Diners Club Card to shop with no international transaction fees and earn more points per $1. For example, you could earn 1 Citi Rewards Point per $1 spend with your Citi Rewards Platinum card or 2 Citi Rewards Points per $1 spent with your Diners Club Card. The points you earn with your Diners Club Card are debited to your standard Citi Rewards account, aren’t capped and don’t expire.
New Citi Rewards cardholders can also earn 10,000 bonus Citi Rewards Points when they apply for the Prestige, Signature or Platinum card and request a Linked Diners Club by 31 March 2019. You’ll earn the bonus points after you’ve made your first Diners Club transaction within 90 days of opening your account.
The Linked Diners Club Card is connected to your Citi credit card, so you’ll continue to use the same PIN and online Citi account to manage both cards. There is also no additional annual fee for opting in for the Linked Diners Club card.
Citi and Diners Club have a long-standing partnership, with Diners Club cards already being issued alongside a Mastercard with Citi branding in Australia. You can use Diners Club cards in over 190 countries around the world.
If you’re worried about spending with a Diners Club card in Australia because of surcharges, merchant acceptance is on the rise. You can now use your card at major local retailers including Coles, Woolworths, K-Mart and target without being charged any extra fees. However, Diners Club cards often charge high surcharges (sometimes as high as 4%) elsewhere in Australia, so this is important to keep in mind.
Are companion credit card bundles the new norm?
This isn't the first time we've seen an Australian card issuer give customers the choice to request an additional card to earn more points. In April 2018, American Express and Westpac launched their new American Express Westpac Altitude credit card bundles. If you apply for the Westpac Altitude Platinum or Black credit card, you can also request an American Express credit card that offers a higher earn rate, additional bonus points and extra perks. Cardholders also have the option to earn either Westpac Altitude Rewards or Qantas Points. Although you apply for both cards through Westpac, the Amex card is issued and serviced by American Express.
The American Express Westpac Altitude bundles were the card issuers' answer to the void left by the cancellation of the Westpac Altitude dual credit cards in November 2017. Prior to 1 July 2017, it wasn’t unusual to have a dual credit card that offered both a Visa or Mastercard with an American Express (or sometimes Diners Club) card. These cards were appealing because they gave cardholders the convenience of a Visa or Mastercard and higher points earn rates of an American Express.
Following the roll out of the RBA interchange fee regulations in July last year, a bunch of Australian banks dropped their dual cards and cut back rewards earn rates. This is why financial institutions like Citi and Westpac are partnering with the likes of Diners Club and American Express to give cardholders the option to bundle their bank rewards cards with another card that offers higher earn rates.
“By giving customers both a Citi Rewards credit card and the Linked Diners Club Card, consumers are able to maximise on the superior points offered by Diners Club, while also still generating points from their Citi credit card in the event Diners Club is not yet accepted,” said Citi’s head of cards Richard Wilde.
Whether these credit card bundles are the best way to earn points depends on your preferred rewards program and spending habits. If you're a regular spender who often spends overseas or with retailers that accept American Express or Diners Club, this is an easy way to pick up extra points.
Although Westpac, American Express, Citi and Diners Club are the first Australian card issuers to offer this option, we could see more of these companion card options appear on the market in an attempt to fill the gap left by dual credit cards.
Want to weigh up more credit cards to earn points? You can start comparing other frequent flyer and rewards options on finder.
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