Credit cards reward programs are fast losing popularity, with more than half of Australians admitting they’re not longer interested after a handful of banks dropped the value of their loyalty rewards programs.
Following the July 1 cap on interchange fees to retailers’ banks at 0.8 per cent, many banks have dramatically scaled back their loyalty programs in the past few months.
Previously, a bank could charge a merchant’s bank a fee of 1.5 per cent to 1.7 per cent – interchange fees the banks then used to fund their rewards programs. But with the introduction of the new cap, it’s no surprise that the value of those programs has dropped.
New research from finder.com.au found 43 per cent of people are less interested than previous in applying for a rewards credit card ,while 11 per cent of cardholders who currently have a rewards credit card are thinking about ditching it altogether.
However, 31 per cent said they’d continue to use their rewards credit card, with another 15 per cent saying they’d still apply for one if given the chance.
If you’re among the few left who are still keen on a rewards credit card, the best way to get the most of out of it is to take advantage of competitive bonus offers, pay attention to tiered earn rates, and compare what’s out there.
The Qantas American Express Ultimate card currently offers 100,000 bonus Qantas Points, while the ANZ Altitude Black comes with 80,000 Qantas Points.
If you’d rather Velocity Points, the Virgin Australia Velocity High Flyer card will get you 80,000.
If you’re more interested in the flexibility of credit card rewards, the American Express Explorer card will get you 100,000 bonus points and the NAB Rewards Signature card comes with 75,000 bonus points.
Be sure to compare your options before applying though as each of the introductory promotions has specific spending and eligibility requirements.
When you’re using your credit card, it’s also a good idea to consider how you’re using it and whether or not you can increase your points based on what kind of stuff you’re likely to buy as often earn rates can work in your favour if you do your research.