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NAB ends credit card partnership with American Express



NAB customers will have to say goodbye to dual cards in the new year.

Another one bites the dust. NAB has announced that it’s ending its partnership with American Express today. This means that the NAB Qantas Rewards Card, NAB Qantas Rewards Premium Card and NAB Velocity Rewards Premium Card will no longer offer dual American Express and Visa cards from next month.

Dual NAB credit cards will be unavailable for new applications from 13 November 2017. So, any applications for these four cards following this date will only come with the Visa card. If you already have one of the four NAB dual credit cards, you can only use it up until 21 February 2018. After this, you can only use the Visa counterpart to make purchases and earn points.

What does this mean for me?

Unfortunately, your ability to earn rewards is the collateral damage of this breakup. Initially, the major draw card of these dual products was the ability to enjoy higher earn rates with your American Express card. Without an Amex card, this is no longer the case.

The silver lining of this is that you’ll soon earn a higher earn rate on Visa purchases on the Premium cards than you would’ve previously. However, NAB has also replaced its flat earn rate with a tiered earn rate structure, which could impact your points potential depending on how much you usually spend per statement period.

You can compare the changing earn rates below:

NAB Qantas Rewards Premium Card earn rate

Spend amountAmerican Express earn rate (until 20 Feb 2018)Visa earn rate (from 13 November 2017)
First $3,000 per statement period1 point per $10.67 points per $1
Next $3,000 ($3,001 - $6,000)1 point per $10.33 points per $1

NAB Velocity Rewards Premium Card earn rate

Spend amountAmerican Express earn rate (until 20 Feb 2018)Visa earn rate (from 13 November 2017)
First $3,000 per statement period1 point per $10.67 points per $1
Next $3,000 ($3,001 - $6,000)1 point per $10.33 points per $1

Previously, both of these cards collected 0.5 frequent flyer points per $1 spent on the Visa card up to $5,000 per statement period. So, the earn rate is now slightly higher before the tiered earn rate kicks in and the spend cap has increased by $1,000 each statement period.

Why is NAB breaking up with Amex?

NAB has confirmed that its departure from American Express is a result of the RBA interchange fee regulations that rolled out on 1 July 2017.

Previously, banks could charge a fee between 1.5% and 1.7% for interchange fees when merchants processed a purchase from a premium rewards credit card. They used the profits from these fees to fund their rewards programs. This interchange fee has been capped at 0.8% since 1 July, so we’ve seen a bunch of card issuers cut back their rewards perks and earn rates to compensate for the loss. It also means that banks such as NAB can no longer afford to maintain their rewards relationships with American Express.

NAB is now the second of the Big Four banks to axe its relationship with American Express this year. In March, ANZ also announced that it would cut ties with Amex across its three Rewards credit cards. It may only be a matter of time before the other big banks follow suit, but we'll keep you informed as changes arise.

For now, it might be time to start comparing new frequent flyer credit cards or American Express-issued products if you're going to miss having an Amex in your wallet.

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Picture: Shutterstock

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