St.George, Bank of Melbourne and BankSA drop earn rates on Amplify credit cards

Sally McMullen 2 May 2017 NEWS

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That brings the total of banks to make cuts to their rewards programs this week to six.

St.George, Bank of Melbourne and BankSA are the latest three credit card providers to announce changes to their rewards programs to prepare for new interchange fee regulations coming into effect this July. The banks have announced that earn rates will be reduced by 50% for overseas transactions under changes to the Amplify rewards credit cards.

Given that Westpac owns these three banks and announced similar rewards program cuts yesterday, it’s not surprising that this trio has quickly followed suit.

How will the earn rates change?

Across St.George, Bank of Melbourne and BankSA, you can expect the following changes to the earn rates across the Amplify rewards and frequent flyer products:

Card Current earn rate New earn rate as of 1 July 2017
Amplify Signature (with Qantas Points) 1.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent overseas. 0.75 Qantas Point per $1 spent overseas.
Amplify Platinum (with Amplify Rewards) 2 Amplify Rewards points per $1 spent overseas. 1 Amplify Rewards points per $1 spent overseas.
Amplify Platinum (with Qantas Points) 1 Qantas Point per $1 spent overseas. 0.5 Qantas Point per $1 spent overseas.

If you’ve opted to earn Amplify Rewards points, you’ll be relieved to know that no changes have been made to the exchange rates between Amplify points and partnered frequent flyer programs. As such, you can still trade 2 Amplify rewards for 1 Velocity Point, KrisFlyer Mile or Asia Air Mile. There aren’t any changes scheduled for the 10% birthday bonus either, so cardholders can still look forward to the little points bounty within four weeks of their birthday every year.

As well as Westpac, Commonwealth Bank and NAB also announced reduced earn rates across their dual cards this week, cutting back how many points cardholders can earn on their American Express cards as of 1 July 2017.

As mentioned, we’ve seen a downpour of rewards program cuts this year as a result of the upcoming interchange fee regulations. From this date, interchange fees will be capped at 0.8% per transaction. High-end rewards cards generally collect 1.5% to 1.7% in interchange fees, so banks are preparing for a potential loss of profits by cutting their rewards programs.

Unfortunately, this means that many cardholders will find that their rewards credit cards no longer offer the same value they initially signed up for. If your credit card issuer has announced changes to its rewards program that reduce your points potential, you can start comparing other rewards and frequent flyer credit cards to find a card that offers more value for your money.

See our coverage of how credit card rewards programs will change in light of the interchange fee regulations for more information.

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