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ANZ and American Express end credit card partnership

2 March 2017

ANZ and American Express end credit card partnership

ANZ credit card customers will loose the ability to use companion American Express and Visa credit cards.

Seven ANZ credit cards are affected by this change that will impact cardholders ability to maximize their point earning on their credit card spend. The termination of ANZ’s partnership with American Express means that all seven of the ANZ Rewards, Adventures and Frequent Flyer credit cards will from today, 1st March 2017, no longer be offered as companion cards where both a Visa and AMEX card where issued on the same account.

Existing ANZ cardholders can continue to take advantage of their companion cards and the existing points earn rates until 5 August 2017, whilst for new customers the product changes will be effective from today.

The key impact on current cardholders is that they will no longer be able to increase their points balance with the higher point earn rates that where offered on the AMEX cards.

For new customers the introductory offers will change as will the cards point earn rates.

Across the three ANZ Rewards credit cards, the previous bonus points offers of 25,000 on the Rewards credit card, 50,000 on the Rewards Platinum credit card and 75,000 on the Rewards Black credit card are all replaced with $250 Westfield vouchers that can be redeemed once you reach a spend of $2,500 in the first 60 days from card approval. This switch to a voucher is a shift down in value terms, with the previous bonus points representing significantly better value than the Westfield voucher. Furthermore cardholders are also required to spend $2,500 within the first 60 days to redeem the voucher. Whereas the bonus points offer was activated when cardholders made their first eligible purchases.

ANZ’s Frequent Flyer credit cards will maintain their bonus Qantas Points offers, though the number of points you’ll earn per $1 spent will change across all seven cards. For example, the ANZ Frequent Flyer Platinum credit card will offer 1 Qantas Point per $1 spent on eligible purchases, an increase from the 0.75 points per dollar spent with the Visa companion card. Similarly, the ANZ Rewards Travel card will offer 1.5 Reward Points per $1 rather than 1 point per dollar when spending with Visa.

The decision for ANZ and American Express to split is a direct result of to be a the new interchange regulations that come into effect as of 1 July 2017. Previously, the perk of offering AMEX companion credit cards was that they were not restricted by the interchange fees, between the merchant's bank and the card issuer. As companion credit cards had no limits on interchange fees, this meant the banks could offer more points per dollar than with a Visa or MasterCard. However, the new interchange regulations will apply to American Express and companion credit cards as of 1 July, meaning that offering higher points becomes cost prohibitive for the banks. 

"While we have had a very successful partnership with ANZ, we understand the decision in the context, and as a consequence of, the current regulatory environment. People can continue to enjoy American Express service and rewards programs through taking up a credit card with us directly or with one of our other bank partners," said a spokesperson from American Express.

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