NAB drops Amex companion cards, bumps up points rate on Visa

Major bank NAB has today announced it will be canning American Express companion cards on its rewards credit card range, and at the same time, adjusting points earn rates on affected Premium Visa rewards credit cards.

From 13 November 2017, customers picking up a new NAB credit card will no longer be issued with an Amex companion card. Existing companion cards or any applied for before 13 November can continue to be used until 21 February 2018.

After that, cardholders with a NAB Qantas Rewards Card, NAB Qantas Rewards Premium Card, NAB Velocity Rewards Card or NAB Velocity Rewards Premium Card can wave goodbye to the higher points earn rate from Amex companion cards.

According to the NAB website, the change is due to new RBA regulations which brought companion cards under the same interchange fee regulations as other credit cards from 1 July this year.

When the regulation changes were announced earlier this year, ANZ was the first major bank to ditch Amex companion cards. At the time, NAB chose to keep American Express companion cards, but scaled back the number of points earned on the cards, and imposed much stricter monthly caps on points earning.

NAB’s announcement that it would be discontinuing Amex companion cards came along with revisions to the rewards point earn rates for the affected Premium Visa cards.

The regular earn rate was bumped up from 0.5 points per $1 spent to 1 point per $1.50 spent - or 0.66 points per $1. The points cap on Premium Rewards options was also lowered from $5,000 per month to $3,000. After that, the earn rate drops by half, to 1 point per $3.

What does this mean for NAB cardholders?

Here are some of the main things NAB customers need to know in preparation for when your Amex companion card can no longer be used.

  • Your existing American Express companion card can be used as normal, up until 21 February 2018, when you’ll need to ditch it.
  • You’ll need to update any direct debits or automatic transfers you have set up on your NAB American Express Card. And don’t forget that any supplementary cardholders will need to update their automated payments as well.
  • If you’ve made bookings for anything after 20 February - such as holiday accommodation - using your Amex companion card, you’ll need to update the card details on these purchases. After this date, any transactions on your card will be declined and might cause you trouble!
  • Your complimentary credit card travel insurance will still be valid if you activated it by spending on your Amex companion card.

If you’re in the market for a rewards card with great points earning value, make sure you take our Rewards Revealer tool for a spin to find the plastic that suits your spending style.