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.

  • Bendigo Bank Platinum Rewards Credit Card

    Earn 1.5 Bendigo Rewards points for every dollar spent (T&Cs apply). Up to 55 days interest free, comprehensive travel insurance, purchase protection and extended warranty.

    Bendigo Rewards

    $89

    No current offer

    1.5 points uncapped

    • 0% p.a. for 12 months

    • 19.99% p.a.

    • No current offer

    • 21.99% p.a.

    • 55

    • 3.00%

    • $15.00

    • 1.5 points per dollar on Mastercard, uncapped

    • 36 months

    • No current offer

    • 54,078 points

    • 592,592 points

    • -

    • • Concierge

      • Travel Insurance

      • Commission-free Travellers Cheques

      • Extended Warranty

      • Purchase Protection

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

    Details Close

  • Virgin Money Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Bonus Points Offer

    Earn up to 100,000 bonus points in the first 4 months (conditions apply) and 0% Balance transfer for 18 months

    Velocity Frequent Flyer

    $129 $64 in the first year

    100,000

    0.66 points up to $1,500/month, then
    0.5 points uncapped

    • -

    • 20.74% p.a.

    • 0% p.a. for 18 months and then 20.99% p.a.

    • 20.99% p.a.

    • 55

    • 3.30%

    • $30.00

    • 0.66 points per dollar on Visa, up to $1,500 per month, then
      0.5 points per dollar on Visa, uncapped

    • Never

    • 100,000

    • 7,800 points

    • 119,600 points

    • 19,500 points

    • • Concierge

    Read our Mozo Review to learn more about the Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Bonus Points Offer

    Details Close

  • NAB Rewards Signature Card

    Earn 90,000 Bonus Points then an additional 30,000 when you keep your card open for 1 year (Minimum $3,000 spend in first 60 days). Up to 44 days interest free on purchases (see T&Cs).

    NAB Rewards

    $295

    120,000

    1.25 points 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

    • 1.25 points per dollar on Visa, uncapped

    • Never

    • 120,000

    • 15,600 points

    • 239,200 points

    • 19,230 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 Rewards Signature Card

    Details Close

  • Apply By 24 February 2022

    Westpac Altitude Black

    Earn up to 180,000 bonus Altitude Points ($6k min. spend in the first 120 days on eligible purchases). 0% balance transfer for 24 months. 1% BT fee. Discounted Annual Fee of $99 for the first year. New cards only. Offer ends February 24th 2022. T&C's and exclusions apply.

    Altitude Rewards

    $250 $99 in the first year

    180,000

    1.25 points uncapped

    • -

    • 19.99% p.a.

    • 0% p.a. for 24 months and then 21.49% p.a. (1.00% balance transfer fee)

    • 21.49% p.a.

    • 45

    • 3.00%

    • $15.00

    • 1.25 points per dollar on Mastercard, uncapped

    • Never

    • 180,000

    • 23,400 points

    • 318,000 points

    • 24,100 points

    • • Concierge

      • Travel Insurance

      • Extended Warranty

      • Purchase Protection

    Read our Mozo Review to learn more about the Altitude Black

    Details Close

  • American Express Velocity Platinum Card

    Receive 100,000 bonus Velocity Points when you apply online, are approved, and spend $3,000 on your new Card within the first 3 months. Available to new Card Members only. Enjoy a complimentary domestic return flight with Virgin Australia to selected cities, each year after your first card spend.

    Velocity Frequent Flyer

    $375

    100,000

    1.25 points uncapped

    • -

    • 20.74% p.a.

    • No current offer

    • 55

    • 3.00%

    • $30.00

    • 1.25 points per dollar on Amex, uncapped

    • Never

    • 100,000

    • 7,800 points

    • 119,600 points

    • 19,500 points

    • • Travel Insurance

      • Purchase Protection

      • Account alerts by SMS

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

    Details Close

^See information about the Mozo Experts Choice Credit cards Awards