Which banks aren’t changing their reward programs?
Coles and Amex are the only two card issuers to state they're not dropping their earn rates come 1 July.
The new financial year is almost upon us, which means that the interchange fee regulations that will apply from 1 July 2017 are also fast approaching. As such, we're going to see many credit card rewards programs change and drop in value in the coming weeks. While we’ve provided thorough coverage of the banks that are altering their reward programs (and how) come July, which banks won’t be affected by the regulations?
We’ve already seen the Big Four and a handful of other major Australian banks announce how their rewards programs will adjust, but there are a few that have yet to announce any changes. Some of these banks include Bankwest, Macquarie Bank, Jetstar Mastercards, HSBC Qantas cards, Woolworths Qantas Mastercards, Latitude Finance, Bank Australia and Qudos Bank.
The card issuers that won't be changing their rewards programs
While these banks could be biding their time until the interchange fee caps apply in July, there are two issuers that we’re certain won’t be making any changes to their rewards programs: American Express and Coles Financial Services.
First, let’s look at American Express credit cards. Unlike cards that use Visa or Mastercard, Amex uses its own network to process payments.
“American Express has a direct relationship with every merchant that accepts our cards and we issue those cards directly, so there’s no interchange that is taking place” says Kathryn Drew, head of loyalty at American Express.
“This means that our customers can continue enjoying fantastic rewards and benefits that may be better than what they can receive on another product.”
Dual American Express cards aren't immune from the changes, though. This is why Commonwealth Bank, NAB and Westpac Group (including St.George and BankSA) reduced the earn rates across their American Express cards throughout their dual products. Plus, ANZ severed its partnership with Amex in March. As such, it’s not surprising that we’ve seen applications for dual credit cards drop as interest in American Express cards has skyrocketed since March this year.
Coles Financial Services
Meanwhile, Coles customers can expect to enjoy the same rewards because its products are already charged an interchange fee that is below the new cap of 0.8%.
“Coles is not making any changes to the way flybuys members earn or redeem points as a result of the new cap on interchange fees,” explained a spokesperson from Coles.
So, while we won’t see any increases in earn rates, Coles cardholders will continue to earn the same number of flybuys points per $1 spent across the No Annual Fee, Platinum No Annual Fee, Rewards, Platinum Rewards, Low Rate and Platinum Low Rate Mastercard products. In fact, by maintaining its points structure, the Coles Rewards Mastercard and Coles Platinum Rewards Mastercard earn rates of 2 points per $1 spent are now some of the most competitive offers on the market.
With the credit card rewards landscape undergoing several changes in the coming weeks and months, it’s never been more important for cardholders to compare their options. If your bank hasn’t announced any modifications to its rewards program yet, keep an eye on your email inbox and letterbox for notifications from your card issuer. Otherwise, to compare how credit card rewards are changing between banks, check out our roundup of all of the proposed changes to earn rates.