Westpac drop Amex companion credit cards - CBA holds out, but for how long?

Kelly Emmerton

06 Nov 2017

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UPDATE 19/4/18: Westpac has launched a pair of American Express issued rewards cards, available to all new cardholders as part of a bundle with Westpac issued Platinum and Black cards. More information here.

Westpac has become the third big bank to announce it will no longer offer American Express companion cards with its rewards credit card selection.

Citing regulation changes from the RBA, Westpac recently announced that it had reviewed its rewards card range. The result was some minor changes to points earn rates and caps on some cards, and the decision to can Amex companion cards.

From 1 February 2018, new card applicants will no longer receive an American Express companion card with their new Westpac plastic. Existing cardholders can continue to use their companion card for the time being, but from 4 April 2018, these too will close.

Other minor changes from Westpac included reducing the annual fee on the Altitude Black card to $250, bumping up the points earn rate on Altitude Black Qantas Frequent Flyer Visa cards from 0.625 points per $1 spent to 0.75 points and removing the points caps on both Altitude Platinum Rewards and Altitude Platinum Qantas Visa cards. These changes are effective from 4 April 2018.

The move from Westpac follows a trend set by ANZ in March this year. ANZ was the first big bank to can Amex companion cards in anticipation for RBA regulation changes which came into effect on 1 July 2017.

The new regulations bring Amex cards under the same interchange fee rules as other credit cards, effectively negating the value of offering them as far as big banks are concerned, as Mozo Data Services Director, Andrew Duncanson, explained at the time.

RELATED: American Express takes top credit card gong in Experts Choice Awards

NAB followed ANZ’s lead in early October, dropping Amex companion cards, effective from 13 November 2017.

The last big bank to still offer American Express companion cards with it’s credit card range in the Commonwealth Bank. But now that the other three big banks have announced plans to scrap American Express companion cards, CommBank may not be far behind, said Mozo Data Manager Peter Marshall.

“The big banks definitely have a history of making similar product decisions, so I wouldn’t be surprised at all if CommBank follows suit and gets rid of Amex companion cards soon,” he said.

“Having said that, CommBank has already cut back the value of Amex companion cards to the point where you earn more on Mastercard anyway. So, who knows, maybe they’ll just decide to keep them as a show of good faith to customers.”

CBA retained it’s Amex companion card range when ANZ first announced it would be scrapping the scheme, but slashed the points earn rate on regular domestic spends to just 0.5 points per $1 spent. On the other hand, most of CommBank’s rewards cards earn 1 point per $1 spent on Mastercard.

“CommBank is the last credit card provider in the market offering Amex companion cards, so it seems these cards have become a thing of the past,” Marshall summed up.

If this is the end of high earning Amex companion cards, it might be time to find a rewards credit card that will earn you more of the freebies you love. Check out our Rewards Revealer tool to crunch the numbers and find your plastic match, or check out some of the rewards credit cards below.

Rewards credit cards - rates updated daily

  • Promoted

    American Express Qantas Discovery Card

    Receive up to 1.75 Qantas Points for every $1 spent on Card purchases (T&Cs apply). No annual fee for the life of the card. Credit Card Provider of the Year in the Mozo Experts Choice Awards 2019.^ T&C’s apply.

    Qantas Frequent Flyer

    $0

    No current offer

    0.75 points uncapped

    • -

    • 20.74% p.a.

    • No current offer

    • 44

    • 3.00%

    • $30.00

    • 0.75 points per dollar on Amex, uncapped

    • Never

    • No current offer

    • 8,000 points

    • 110,400 points

    • 18,690 points

    • • Purchase Protection

      • Account alerts by SMS

    Read our Mozo Review to learn more about the Qantas Discovery Card

    Details Close

  • Promoted

    St.George Amplify Platinum

    Earn 60,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $2,000 on eligible purchases within 90 days of card approval. New cards only, Eligibility criteria and T&Cs apply. Offer ends September 30th 2020.

    Qantas Frequent Flyer

    $99

    60,000

    0.5 points uncapped

    • -

    • 19.74% p.a.

    • 0% p.a. for 6 months and then 19.74% p.a.

    • 21.49% p.a.

    • 55

    • 3.00%

    • $15.00

    • 0.5 points per dollar on Visa, uncapped

    • Never

    • 60,000

    • 8,000 points

    • 110,400 points

    • 18,690 points

    • • Travel Insurance

      • Extended Warranty

      • Purchase Protection

    Read our Mozo Review to learn more about the Amplify Platinum

    Details Close

  • Promoted

    NAB Rewards Platinum Card

    Up to 60,000 bonus points (T&Cs apply). Also get 1 NAB reward point for every $1 spent on everyday purchases.

    NAB Rewards

    $195

    60,000

    1 point uncapped

    • -

    • 19.99% p.a.

    • 0% p.a. for 6 months and then 21.74% p.a. (2.00% balance transfer fee)

    • 21.74% p.a.

    • 44

    • 3.00%

    • $15.00

    • 1 point per dollar on Visa, uncapped

    • Never

    • 60,000

    • 15,600 points

    • 239,200 points

    • 19,240 points

    • • Concierge

      • Travel Insurance

      • Extended Warranty

      • Purchase Protection

      • Guaranteed Pricing

      • Domestic Hotel Burglary Insurance

    Read our Mozo Review to learn more about the Rewards Platinum Card

    Details Close

  • Promoted

    Westpac Altitude Platinum

    Earn 60,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $3,000 on eligible purchases with a new Altitude Platinum credit card within 90 days of card approval. 0% p.a. for 18 months on balance transfers requested at card application. Plus, discounted annual card fee of $99 for the first year. Offer ends November 11th 2020.

    Qantas Frequent Flyer

    $200 $99 in the first year

    60,000

    0.5 points uncapped

    • -

    • 20.49% p.a.

    • 0% p.a. for 18 months and then 21.49% p.a. (1.00% balance transfer fee)

    • 21.49% p.a.

    • 45

    • 3.00%

    • $15.00

    • 0.5 points per dollar on Mastercard, uncapped

    • Never

    • 60,000

    • 8,000 points

    • 110,400 points

    • 18,690 points

    • • Travel

      • Insurance

      • Extended

      • Warranty

      • Purchase

      • Protection

    Read our Mozo Review to learn more about the Altitude Platinum

    Details Close

  • Promoted

    NAB Qantas Rewards Premium Card

    30,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $2,500 within 60 days (T&Cs apply).

    Qantas Frequent Flyer

    $250

    30,000

    0.66 points up to $3,000/month, then
    0.33 points up to $6,000/month

    • -

    • 19.99% p.a.

    • 0% p.a. for 6 months and then 21.74% p.a. (2.00% balance transfer fee)

    • 21.74% p.a.

    • 44

    • 3.00%

    • $15.00

    • 0.66 points per dollar on Visa, up to $3,000 per month, then
      0.33 points per dollar on Visa, up to $6,000 per month

    • Never

    • 30,000

    • 8,000 points

    • 110,400 points

    • 18,690 points

    • • Concierge

      • Travel Insurance

      • Extended Warranty

      • Purchase Protection

      • Guaranteed Pricing

      • Domestic Hotel Burglary Insurance

    Read our Mozo Review to learn more about the Qantas Rewards Premium Card

    Details Close

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