While it was previously easy to rack up points on premium rewards cards, this is no longer the case as card issuers take the knife to rewards programs in direct response to the Reserve Bank’s cap on interchange fees, which came into effect on July 1.
Cardholders are seeing their points-earning potential dwindle before their eyes with seven card providers devaluing their rewards programs this year alone by tweaking point tiering and capping and slashing earn rates.
The result is that cardholders now have to spend over $3500 more than they did two years ago to earn a $100 gift card.
ANZ is no longer offering American Express companion cards from August 5, a move that will see customers up to 10,000 points worse off each month.
Following this, the Commonwealth, Westpac and NAB slashed higher Amex earn rates by up to 73%, while NAB also hit big spenders with points caps on regular Qantas and Velocity cards as well as premium cards.
While more card providers are expected to devalue their rewards programs, the good news for fans of rewards is that there are still plenty of cards that do deliver decent value.
Using its Rewards Revealer, Mozo found the best five rewards cards in the market right now are all linked to an airline program and allow cardholders to directly accrue Qantas or Velocity points.
These cards have small annual fees, or none at all, along with decent earn rates.
For example, the American Express Qantas Discovery Card earns one point per $1 spent and an additional one point per $1 spent on selected Qantas products or services.
American Express-issued cards are also worth considering for those looking for a more rewarding card as these aren’t affected by the interchange regulation and are able to offer great value to cardholders.