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

Kelly Emmerton

06 Nov 2017

Westpac drops amex companion cards content

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. Advertiser disclosure.

  • American Express Cashback Credit Card

    Enjoy up to 6% cashback on eligible purchases in the first three months. Additional 1.5% cashback with American Express Shop Small Campaign (conditions apply). Complimentary perks and insurances. Eligibility criteria and T&Cs apply.

    Cashback Rewards

    $120

    No current offer

    1 point uncapped

    • -

    • 20.74% p.a.

    • No current offer

    • 55

    • 3.00%

    • $30.00

    • 1 point per dollar on Amex, uncapped

    • Never

    • No current offer

    • -

    • -

    • -

    Read our Mozo Review to learn more about the Cashback Credit Card

    Details Close

  • Apply By 15 June 2021

    American Express Qantas Ultimate Card

    Receive 120,000 bonus Qantas Points plus 120 Status Credits when you apply, are approved, and meet the minimum spend criteria of $4,500 in the first 3 months. T&Cs apply. Available to new Card Members only.

    Qantas Frequent Flyer

    $450

    120,000

    1.25 points uncapped

    • -

    • 20.74% p.a.

    • No current offer

    • 44

    • 3.00%

    • $30.00

    • 1.25 points per dollar on Amex, uncapped

    • Never

    • 120,000

    • 8,000 points

    • 110,400 points

    • 19,730 points

    • • Travel Insurance

      • Purchase Protection

      • Account alerts by SMS

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

    Details Close

  • Apply By 07 September 2021

    Westpac Altitude Platinum

    Earn up to 80,000 bonus Altitude Points, worth up to $350 of eGift cards ($3k min. spend in the first 90 days on eligible purchases). Enjoy up to 45 days interest free with a 0% balance transfer for 18 months (rate then reverts to 21.49% after). 1% BT fee. Only $99 annual card fee for the first year, $150 thereafter.

    Altitude Rewards

    $150 $99 in the first year

    80,000

    1 point 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

    • 1 point per dollar on Mastercard, uncapped

    • Never

    • 80,000

    • 15,600 points

    • 212,000 points

    • 24,100 points

    • • Travel Insurance

      • Extended Warranty

      • Purchase Protection

    Read our Mozo Review to learn more about the Altitude Platinum

    Details Close

  • 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. T&C’s apply. Mozo Experts Choice Qantas Frequent Flyer Credit Card Winner 2020.

    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

    • 19,730 points

    • • Purchase Protection

      • Account alerts by SMS

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

    Details Close

  • NAB Qantas Rewards Signature Card

    NABs fastest way to earn Qantas Points. 110,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $3,000 on everyday purchases within 60 days of account opening and keep the card open for 12 months. Access to 6 complimentary insurances when you make eligible purchases.

    Qantas Frequent Flyer

    $395 $295 in the first year

    110,000

    1 point up to $5,000/month, then
    0.5 points up to $20,000/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

    • 1 point per dollar on Visa, up to $5,000 per month, then
      0.5 points per dollar on Visa, up to $20,000 per month

    • Never

    • 110,000

    • 8,000 points

    • 110,400 points

    • 19,730 points

    • • Concierge

      • Extended Warranty

      • Purchase Protection

      • International Travel Insurance

      • Transit Accident Insurance

      • Interstate Flight Inconvenience Insurance

      • Rental Vehicle Excess in Australia Insurance

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

    Details Close

^See information about the Mozo Experts Choice Credit cards Awards