Macquarie is the latest Australian bank to slash the value of its credit card rewards offering. From next month, both of Macquarie’s Qantas Frequent Flyer-linked cards will see new caps on the number of Qantas points that can be earned at the full rate each month.
Both the Macquarie Platinum and high-end Macquarie Black cards currently earn 1 Qantas point per dollar spent. However, points earn on the Platinum card will soon be halved for purchases above $2,500 each month. For Black cardholders, full points will only be earned up to $4,000 per month.
Macquarie is also removing the ability to earn points on tax payments to the ATO. This affects all Macquarie-issued credit cards.
I’m a platinum card holder and received an email this evening that advices the changes to QFF points rewards will come into effect from 11th May. Platinum will only receive 1 for 1 for the first $2,500 spent in the statement period, and then reverts to .5 of a point per dollar thereafter.
Our members are unanimous in their disappointment with these changes. Most say they will likely cancel their credit cards as they no longer see the value. Macquarie charges an annual fee of $249 and $299 for the Platinum and Black cards respectively. There are many other more competitive cards that attract a lower annual fee.
Disappointing news because I only recently swapped over to Macquarie visa because Citibank halved the QFF return. Oh well, I got the 40,000 bonus points, so will now look for another alternative that provides maximum QFF points return.
Macquarie is just the latest of a wave of banks to slash its credit card rewards offering. In recent months, point earn rates have been cut by Commonwealth Bank, ANZ, Citibank and Virgin Money.
It is likely that the RBA’s recent changes to credit card interchange fee regulations are partly to blame. Under the changes, the fees that credit card providers can charge to merchants when a customer pays by credit card are being limited.
The RBA changes could affect many Australian credit cards, but there are some exceptions. Cards issued directly by American Express, such as the Platinum Edge card, remain unaffected by the RBA’s changes to interchange fees. For this reason, it is likely that direct-issue Amex cards will continue to offer strong point-earning potential into the future.
For existing cardholders, the Macquarie changes come into effect on 11 May. For new cardholders, the lower earn rate kicks in on 20 June.
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