Many ANZ customers will be significantly worse-off after the bank introduced a raft of major changes to its credit card lineup. ANZ will no longer issue any higher-earning American Express (Amex) cards, and new point-earning caps will restrict earning rates on all remaining Visa cards.
Most ANZ credit cards previously came as a Visa/Amex package, with the Amex card earning points at a higher rate. To compensate for the loss of Amex cards, earning rates on the remaining Visa cards will actually be increased. However, the benefits of this will be largely outweighed by new, restrictive point-earning caps. Earning points at the full rate will be capped at as low as $500 per month on one card, with additional points earned at half the usual rate after this limit is reached each month.
Many members are understandably considering cancelling their cards. These members now find it difficult to justify paying the annual fees on their cards, which remain unchanged and are as high as $425. While the increase in Visa earning rates is a positive change, it does not make up for the loss of an Amex card and the new point caps.
The loss of Amex credit cards also means that ANZ Black card holders will lose access to the Amex Lounge at Sydney Airport.
ANZ has cited the RBA’s restrictive new interchange fee regulations, which come into effect later this year, as a major reason for the devaluation. These regulations will not affect Amex cards issued directly by American Express, which continue to earn points at higher rates than most bank-issued credit cards.
The changes take effect immediately for new customers, while existing customers will continue to earn points at existing rates until 5 August, 2017.
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