Learn how a Dual Credit card can help you earn more rewards points
The thinking behind dual credit cards, or companion credit cards, is that customers can benefit from having the best of both worlds. The wide acceptance of both Visa and MasterCard in millions of outlets around the world gives customers the freedom and convenience to pay for things anywhere they go.
Dual Credit Cards Comparison
However, giving customers dual credit cards, such as an American Express card to go along with their Visa or MasterCard can also offer the kudos and privileges that comes along with this type of card.
Most big banks in Australia (specifically Westpac, NAB and Commonwealth Bank) all offer dual AMEX credit cards, but these companion cards are designed to make accumulating Reward Points much easier and quicker.
How Dual Credit Cards Work
When you apply for a credit card from a lender offering dual credit cards, you receive your choice of a Visa or MasterCard, but you automatically receive an American Express card as part of the same approved credit limit.
Your credit card account is still only charged one fee, you can only access funds from the same credit limit and all your transactions are shown on the same statement. The benefit comes when you accumulate Reward Points.
Most lenders will offer bonus points for using your American Express card at places it's accepted, while you'll only earn a regular amount of points for using your Visa or MasterCard by comparison.
You might find that you'll earn 1.5 or even 2 points for every $1 you spend using your AMEX, while you might only earn 1 point for every $1 for using the other cards. This can seriously speed up the rate at which you accumulate your reward points.
Downsides to Dual Credit Cards
While the extra reward points might be tempting, there are some negative aspects to dual credit cards. Having an American Express card often costs more than other types of credit cards. Even though you're only charged one annual fee for having both cards, this fee is often higher.
You could also find that you're penalised if you carry an outstanding balance from month to month, as the APR (Annual percentage rate) is also higher than other comparable credit cards.
In order to negate these downsides, customers who regularly repay their outstanding balance down to zero each month before the statement due date can often benefit from offerings of up to 55 days interest free credit. This could mean they'll pay no interest at all while they're earning more reward points that could easily make up for the cost of the annual fee.Back to top