Companion cards increase credit card rewards

All major Aussie banks are now offering companion reward cards with credit cards, making it an ideal time to compare credit cards.

In an article for the Age, John Kavanagh pointed out that the launch of a new range of Commonwealth Bank credit cards last week now means that all four big banks have American Express companion cards as part of their reward packages.

Under the companion card system, customers are encouraged to hold two cards; a Visa or a MasterCard and an Amex, with both cards operating one account. The different cards make different charges on transactions and offer different levels of reward points, but all accrue into the same account.

According to Mr Kavanagh, the system allows reward points to be accumulated faster. "Commonwealth Bank reward program members need 16,200 points to redeem a $100 store voucher. The members would need to spend $16,200 to redeem the voucher if they were using only a MasterCard but just $5400 using only their Amex card," he said.

Mr Kavanagh added that customers should compare credit cards carefully to determine which companion deal was best suited to them. He said that while platinum cards offered the best reward rate, they also had the highest fees.

This week Jonathan Tyler, senior lecturer at the University of Technology’s School of Accounting, told the Daily Telegraph it was important customers ensured credit card limits were set within their means before Christmas shopping.

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