CommBank Awards may be Australia’s largest credit card rewards program, but it is certainly not the most competitive. Not a single CommBank Awards credit card makes it into our lists of the top-earning Qantas, Velocity or Asia Miles credit cards in Australia. In addition, all CommBank Awards credit cards have annual limits on the number of points that can be earned and the CommBank Awards program provides mediocre value.
With CommBank Awards, you can choose to opt-in to earning Qantas Frequent Flyer points (for an additional fee, of course). Alternatively, you can earn CommBank Awards points which can then be redeemed for gift cards and merchandise, or transferred to a variety of frequent flyer programs.
In 2018, CommBank Awards introduced 10 new partner frequent flyer programs that points can be transferred to. The program now has quite an impressive list of transfer partners including Virgin Australia Velocity, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, United MileagePlus and Flying Blue. However, the rate at which points can be transferred to most airlines is not particularly favourable.
For most cardholders, the best way to redeem CommBank Awards points will be to transfer the points to Velocity Frequent Flyer. 1 CommBank Awards point is worth 0.5 Velocity points for Diamond and Platinum Awards cardholders, or 0.4 Velocity points if you have a $59/year CommBank Awards credit card.
During May 2019, Velocity Frequent Flyer is running a promotion offering 25% bonus Velocity points if you transfer points across from CommBank Awards. Velocity runs a similar promotion every six months, but CommBank rarely participates. The last time CommBank took part in this promotion was in May 2017, and at that time only 15% bonus Velocity points were offered.
You can redeem Velocity points for flights and upgrades on Virgin Australia, as well as reward flights on any of Virgin Australia’s partner airlines. This includes Singapore Airlines, Etihad Airways, Hawaiian Airlines, Hainan Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, South African Airways and Delta (including to Los Angeles in Premium Economy).
It’s also possible to transfer Velocity points to the Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer program and redeem them for award flights with Singapore Airlines, SilkAir and Star Alliance. In addition, Singapore Airlines has a Star Alliance round-the-world award.
If you have a stash of CommBank Awards points in your account, it’s unlikely you’ll find a better opportunity to redeem or transfer them for a more valuable reward any time soon. So, you may consider transferring your CommBank Awards points to Velocity before the end of this month!
You can discuss the CommBank Awards program on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: CommBank Awards forum