RBA credit card reforms could spell cheaper travel for Aussies

By Kelly Emmerton ·

RBA reforms which recently came into force concerning credit card surcharges and interchange fees may have a positive effect on the cost of travel for Aussie globetrotters.

The reforms mean that while customers may still pay a surcharge for credit card payments, these surcharges won’t be more than the cost to the merchant for accepting that type of card.

AirPlus International, a business travel payment solutions provider, said the Reserve Bank reforms mean Aussie travellers are now much less likely to be hit with fixed dollar surcharges.

Instead, companies that wish to continue surcharging for credit card use will have to switch to percentage based amounts, AirPlus International said. This change could potentially represent significant savings, especially for frequent flyers, as airlines were identified as one of the major industries currently charging hefty credit card surcharges.

AFTA chief executive Jayson Westbury said that, “The new cap on interchange fees should see a decrease in the merchant rate charged to travel agents, which is the government’s policy hope for these new regulations, that merchant fees are lower for consumers.”

But saving on airline bookings is not the only way for Aussie travellers to save. Mozo Director Kirsty Lamont said that, “savvy travellers can cut costs by choosing a competitive prepaid travel money card. Not only is it a convenient way to keep an eye on your holiday spending, but globetrotters can also avoid high foreign ATM card fees.”

RELATED: Did the RBA interchange fee cap just slash the value of your rewards credit card? Find out here.

While the RBA reforms are good news for Aussie travellers, AirPlus International country manager Australia, David Newington, said that on the flip side, they would also “likely coincide with changes to rebates and rewards programs.”

The value of both credit card rewards schemes and rebates paid to customers are expected to reduce further in the future, with major banks already cutting the value of their rewards points in the lead up to the reforms.

Even so, Lamont added, there are still plenty of ways for Aussies to nab a great rewards credit card. “The most important thing,” she said, “is that rewards cardholders are shopping around for competitive deals, to be sure they’ve got a piece of plastic that will deliver on value.”

If you’re an aficionado of credit card perks, head over to Mozo’s comparison tables to start comparing rewards credit cards.