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Westpac increases points requirements for Altitude Rewards program


Westpac building

Westpac's Altitude Rewards members will need more points to redeem the same rewards for gift cards and transfers to KrisFlyer and Asia Miles come 28 September.

Westpac is the latest bank to announce changes that will reduce the value of its rewards program this year. As of 28 September, Westpac Altitude Rewards members will need more points to redeem the same rewards.

One of the biggest losses is the change in the transfer rate of Altitude Rewards points to Singapore Airlines' KrisFlyer, Cathay Pacific's Asia Miles and Air New Zealand's Airpoints programs.

Currently, you need 2 Altitude Points per 1 KrisFlyer and Asia Miles and 160 Altitude Points per 160 Air NZ Airpoints. As you can see in the table below, you'll now need more points to redeem the same rewards:

Frequent flyer program Old transfer rate New transfer rate
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer2 Altitude rewards per 1 KrisFlyer2.5 Altitude rewards per 1 KrisFlyer
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles2 Altitude points per 1 Asia Mile2.5 Altitude rewards per 1 Asia Mile
Air NZ Airpoints160 Altitude points per 1 NZ Airpoint180 Altitude points per 1 NZ Airpoint

Members who prefer to transfer their points to the Velocity frequent flyer program or the Malaysia Airlines Enrich program will be glad to know that the 2:1 transfer rate will remain the same.

You will also need more points to redeem gift card rewards. The Westpac website currently says you'll need 9,900 Altitude points for a $50 Westfield eGift voucher.

As of 28 September, you'll need 11,000 Altitude points. You'll also require an additional 200 Altitude Points if you'd like a physical card, meaning you'd need 11,200 points for that same $50 Westfield voucher in card form.

Westpac has also announced that you'll need more points to redeem Altitude Travel and Merchandise rewards as well. For example, a Kambrook Blender can be redeemed for 11,400 Altitude Points but will require 13,350 Altitude Points from 28 September onward.

While this is bad news for Westpac Altitude Rewards members, considering the number of credit card rewards programs that have dropped in value in 2016, the rewards rate changes aren't exactly a surprise. Out of the Big Four banks, NAB is now the only one that hasn't announced a drop in the value of rewards rates this year.

Picture: Shutterstock.

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