This week in banking - Qantas upgrades its Frequent Flyer program

Niko Iliakis

Friday 21 June 2019

In this week’s banking recap, we take a look at the latest news in fintech, energy, and rewards cards, plus revisit the latest debacle in Aussie property development.

Do we need a Royal Commission into residential building?

The recent Mascot Towers fiasco has shone a spotlight on Australia’s shoddy development problem. With apartments going up quick, builders cutting corners, and defects appearing left and right, there’s mounting concern among owners that their properties will plummet in value. Mozo’s property expert, Steve Jovcevski, weighs in on the state of development in Australia and whether or not a Royal Commission is in order.

New ACCC rules to increase transparency, save consumers money

On Tuesday, the ACCC released its Electricity Retail Code, a set of rules that will apply to energy providers in South Australia, New South Wales and South East Queensland. Under these new rules, headline discounting will be banned and caps will be introduced on ‘standing offers,’ which will be set annually by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER).

“These new rules, based on recommendations by the ACCC, increase transparency in advertising of electricity offers, and put consumers in a stronger position by enabling them to trust retailers’ advertised discounts and find a better deal,” said ACCC Commissioner, Cristina Cifuentes.

Revolut launches in Australia

Following a string of successes in Europe, Revolut has finally arrived on Australian shores. Valued at $US1.7 billion ($AUD2.4 billion), the plucky young neobank is currently awaiting its local banking license, but will offer customers a transaction account and debit card in the meantime.

“Revolut already has an established European market and when you combine this with the all the flak major banks have copped since the Royal Banking Commission and with some not passing on the RBA rate cut, big banks should be sweating over innovative fintechs like this,” said Mozo’s banking expert, Peter Marshall.

Qantas announces overhaul of rewards program

On Thursday, Qantas announced it will be revamping its rewards program, giving members access to more rewards, reducing points requirements for certain flights, and introducing a new Points Club program, which will treat members to an even greater array of offers.

“Australians love earning Qantas Points and that momentum has seen us expand our number of retail partners and extend into new areas like financial services and insurance. The result is that people have lots of opportunities to earn points, so this overhaul is about making sure they have more opportunities to use them,” said Qantas CEO, Alan Joyce.

If you’re thinking about signing up for a Qantas rewards card, we’ve compiled some options below.

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