ANZ QANTAS Visa: reduction in benefits list | Australian Frequent Flyer
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ANZ QANTAS Visa: reduction in benefits list

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sambo

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Joined
Jun 2, 2004
Messages
80
I´ve really had enough of my ANZ qantas Visa. I´ve just watched the benefits go down the drain, and annual fee go through the roof.

If anyone feels like listing all the benefits that have dissappeared over the last three years, I´d appreciate it as I´m about to write a scathing letter to ANZ on this topic, and I´d like to list all the negatives I can.

Let me get you all started:

1. points capping (grrrrr)
2. removal of automatic travel insurance
3. markedly increased fees
4. exiting of major bonus partner Telstra
5. removal of 2 points/$ for overseas purchases(I particularly hate this one)
6...
7...

Help me out guys.

Gordon, I know you´ll be interested in helping out here.

Sambo.
 

Rick93

AFF Supporter
Joined
Nov 10, 2002
Messages
1,178
All card issuers are making it harder for us!

I noticed how ANZ 'bonus partners' had dropped their 'bonus' points down to ONE!!!

You use to get up to 6 points per dollar a few years ago.... now, there are virtually NO bonus partners offering more than a single point over the one point per dollar spent. A total of TWO points is all you can get these days... BIG DEAL!!!!

As for other 'losses'....well, I think, the 'Rewards' magazine has declined to s*it as well! There's nothing really useful in it anymore. Not like years ago. I recall, the best deal I got from the 'old' mag. was from Kathmandu (adventure / camping type gear & clothing). Spend $1,000. and get 30,000 bonus points.... plus 3 points per dollar on top. I bought just over $2,000. worth of gear.... and got about 67,000 points, which when converted to QFF points, I took a Qantas offer of 60,000 points for TWO return tickets to Hong Kong.

So, that was VALUE !!! But we won't see that anymore....

regards,
 

sambo

Intern
Joined
Jun 2, 2004
Messages
80
That´s the sort of offer dreams are made of!!! The only big bonus point offers I´ve seen of recent times are for home loans, term investments etc where big money is involved. To spend $2000 and get 2 free return HK flights is truly amazing. I just wish I was involved in all this a few years back in ¨the good ´ole days¨.

If you can think of any oither benefit withdrawals ANZ have taken from the card, I´d be happy to hear them.

Sam
 

danielh

Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2003
Messages
352
There are two other similar posts about this.

http://www.frequentflyer.com.au/discus/viewtopic.php?t=248

and

http://www.frequentflyer.com.au/discus/viewtopic.php?t=213

Below is a copy of a letter I sent to ANZ at the time. It's taken from the first thread.

Regards
Daniel

14 October 2003

I would just like to officially complain about the changes that have been introduced to my ANZ Qantas Gold Credit Card.

I have been a loyal ANZ customer for over 13 years and have used ANZ for all of my everyday banking needs.

With the recent changes to the Gold credit card, I am appalled at the sheer NUMBER of changes that have been made. There is virtually no difference between a standard credit card and the gold and when you spend the time to analyse the actual differences, they are all negative benefits (ie. they will benefit you if something bad happens to you).

The main problems I see with the changes is...

1. The capping of 2,500 points per month;

2. Introduction of fixed fees to overseas ATM withdrawals;

3. No more fee free accounts;

4. No double point bonus for overseas purchases

I pay $55 a year to be able to earn frequent flyer points with this card and now this is capped to 2,500 a month. I do not get many bonus points so this would equate to 30,000 points per year for $30,000 expenditure and then only half points beyond that to a maximum cap of an additional 45,000 points ($7,500 * 12 * 0.5).

I average just over the $2,500 per month limit and it would be cheaper for me to apply for my Corporate diners Club card and pay the $22 a year to have unrestricted, uncapped Qantas points all year around.

In regards to point 2. How is this the result of the RBA's decision and what additional benefit do you get compared to the number of very annoyed Gold CC holders such as myself.

Point 3. I have been told a few stories the last few weeks and initially I was informed that I would not be getting charged my Savings account fees until my card expires next year and not, in a recent letter dated 9th October 2003, I get told that it WILL happen. Luckily I read it as I had to change my account type to the restrictive fee free one.

Point 4. As with Point 2, how is this going to significantly help the bottom line compared to the purpose of having the only credit card that directly imports points into the QANTAS FF system. If this card is supposed to imply some sort of international/travelling brand to it, removing the double points will only hurt the brand.

ANZ used to have a great product and I used to be one of your main supporters but now, I don't know. I will see how things pan out with this new card and reaccess it at the end of the year.

Regards

Daniel <Surname>

Disappointed Customer
[/quote]
 

wleong

Intern
Joined
Jan 26, 2003
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It's not all the Bank's fault, I blame the Reserve Bank credit card reforms when they cut the Bank's interchange fee by 50%. When you lose millions of $$$ worth of income, something's got to give like our rewards program.

I have not seen any merchants reduce their price levels as a result. It has enable the merchants to charge a levy to recoup their cost. I find consumers are worse off under this reform. Eg, Qantas, Telstra with plenty more to come in the future.

:evil:
 

danielh

Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2003
Messages
352
What I would have hoped is that with the ANZ not have done such a large change to its ANZ Gold Visa card.

From memory, out of the four things I listed in my letter to the ANZ, they could have at least kept the fee free overseas transactions and the free free accounts. We are paying AU$150 ($95 for ANZ and $55 for Qantas) a year for some sort of benefit and apart from some insurance things and a larger points cap value, I can't really see what the difference is between the Gold and Normal.

I would have liked to see the whole things not done in such a broad based knee jerk reaction as they did last October 03.

Regards
Daniel
 

danielh

Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2003
Messages
352
What I would have hoped is that with the ANZ not have done such a large change to its ANZ Gold Visa card.

From memory, out of the four things I listed in my letter to the ANZ, they could have at least kept the fee free overseas transactions and the free free accounts. We are paying AU$150 ($95 for ANZ and $55 for Qantas) a year for some sort of benefit and apart from some insurance things and a larger points cap value, I can't really see what the difference is between the Gold and Normal.

I would have liked to see the whole things not done in such a broad based knee jerk reaction as they did last October 03.

Regards
Daniel
 

Rick93

AFF Supporter
Joined
Nov 10, 2002
Messages
1,178
"loss of millions in income...."
How about balancing that up with BILLIONS IN PROFIT' !!!

I can also claim... that I've lost millions in income.... it's just a shame I didn't land that Hollywood movie contract all those years ago!

.... but I won't complain (smirk)

regards,
 

wleong

Intern
Joined
Jan 26, 2003
Messages
87
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My Map
Here's an interesting article out of Saturday's AFR.


What a card! But watch out, this one bites
Oct 02
Andrew Cornell and Joyce Moullakis


Pay your Telstra bill on the phone by credit card today and Telstra will warn you it will cost an extra 0.63per cent. If you use Diners Club or MasterCard, it is an extra 1.68per cent.

Telstra is not the only organisation that charges for using your credit card. Computer World asks for 2per cent. Some other computer shops charge 5per cent. Flight Centre charges 1per cent. Macquarie Bank's DEFT system for rent and body corporate payments charges more than 1per cent.

Sure, you do not have to pay a fee in all cases. Take Telstra: you can get cash out and pay at one of their shops or use a special ATM at Coles. Or use Bpay or have the amount directly debited from your bank account as the bill falls due.

Not so with Qantas or its budget offshoot, Jetstar. Qantas was first off the rank to levy extra charges when they were permitted more than a year ago. It offers internet-only cheap fares that must be paid by credit card - but that attracts a surcharge. Tax invoices for these fares do not indicate "fees" such as the credit card surcharge Qantas chooses to levy for the only form of payment it will accept.

As you pay these fees you may not realise you are enjoying the fruits of a "reform" the Reserve Bank of Australia introduced about a year ago. The RBA was concerned that not only were banks profiting in a rather sly fashion from credit cards - by charging each other and retailers overly high fees for using them - but the true cost of credit card transactions compared to, say, debit cards or cash, was hidden from the customer.

The customer needed the right signals to make a sensible choice about how to pay and credit cards were being subsidised by a system that simply enriched the banks.

So the RBA re-regulated to force banks to lower charges to merchants who were using their credit card system and permitted the merchants themselves to charge customers to recover the true costs. More expensive credit cards would, in the RBA's view, send the right signals. The pay-off should come from lower aggregate costs across the payments system and the economy as charges are exposed and competed away.

The $60trillion a year payments system would emerge more transparent and efficient. Everybody wins, except the banks, which would lose a $430million annual windfall.

That, at least, was the theory.

Reality is a little more complex. The problem for the RBA is these aggregate improvements are individually tiny - at best maybe 40¢ in a $100 transaction. There is no way of measuring them and, crucially, no way of ensuring merchants like Telstra and Qantas are passing them on by way of lower prices.

And while the RBA monitors the banks, no one monitors the merchants - a point made by Australian Consumers Association finance policy officer Catherine Wolthuizen. "Neither the Reserve Bank nor Asic have been interested in exploring the extent of their regulatory powers in terms of monitoring fee changes and surcharging," she says.

Though initially reluctant to impose surcharges for fear of losing customers - and because credit cards offer benefits such as higher spending and guaranteed payments - more and more merchants are introducing the extra fees.

Australia is following the overseas experience: surcharges are most likely and highest where consumers have the least choice, with monopoly or near-monopoly providers, or where no other payment choice is available.

Meanwhile, the banks claw back on the roundabout what they lose on the swing. For example, ANZ Banking Group, the biggest card issuer in the market, lifted annual fees on its ANZ Qantas card from $27 to $40, with the reward points program rising from $33 to $55.

According to the RBA, fees from credit cards rose 38per cent in 2003, the first year the reforms had an impact.

When the RBA first mooted the changes they had assumed the reforms would not only enforce appropriate pricing signals, they would increase competition - hopefully delivering the kind of consumer benefits seen with the arrival of non-bank mortgage providers like Aussie Home Loans.

That has not happened. New products have been niche products. Meanwhile, the big banks' competitors - such as the regionals - have lost some edge.

Bendigo Bank chief executive Rob Hunt, whose bank has revitalised branch banking in regional areas with its community banking approach, this month took the extraordinary step of publicly lambasting his regulator, the RBA, in Bendigo's annual report.

"As predicted, the Reserve Bank interchange fee reform reduced credit card revenue across the industry," he wrote. "Despite the banks funding the majority of the costs of developing Australia's card payment system, the merchants (particularly the major retailers) appear to be the only stakeholder to gain from the credit card reform - with consumers and the banks losing out to date.

"We are hopeful this trend does not continue with the remaining reforms of the Visa debit card, generic debit card and the ATM and Eftpos systems."

Maybe Hunt has a vested interest. But his position was supported by the Australian Competition Tribunal when the second phase of payments reform, to the Eftpos debit system, was proposed.

At the instigation of the RBA, the banks agreed to eliminate wholesale fees from Eftpos, creating so-called zero interchange, and applied to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission for approval. But an appeal was lodged by major retailers, who had benefited to the tune of about $400million from the credit card reforms but stood to lose about $150million on Eftpos.

The Australian Competition Tribunal backed the retailers against the banks and RBA. It agreed with the retailers that the banks and RBA had provided a "paucity of hard information" and accepted the retailers' contention that consumers would bear the burden of the reforms.

"There is a real public detriment in the likelihood of a flow-on of costs to consumers generally ... We see little public benefit in allowing this change to come about," the tribunal said.

While the ACA's Wolthuizen believes the banks should not be allowed to raise all card fees and charges, she says "without the pay-off reform of Eftpos fee reduction, consumers are left with a half-finished payments reform that has them paying substantially more for one payment instrument without the discounting of an alternative payment system, that is Eftpos".

Almost all commentators in the debate over payments reform have a barrow to push but there is growing concern across the board that the RBA's campaign has been piecemeal, opaque, incomplete and lacking theoretical consistency.

Critics say the RBA's case has been severely compromised by theoretical inconsistencies.

Most significantly, the reforms have not been competitively neutral as they have led banks to shift away from Visa and MasterCards, which are regulated, to unregulated American Express and Diners Club cards. Both of those systems are more expensive for merchants.

The only component of the payments system, a complex interplay of traditional and new instruments from cash and cheques to Eftpos and direct debits, to have been rigorously examined and regulated with regard to costs is credit cards.

The RBA has no independent research on the cost of cash - its physical cost in terms of freight, security and dead time - let alone the social cost. For example, what are the advantages and disadvantages, taking into account diverse elements such as tax avoidance, organised crime or fraud, of cash versus payments that leave an audit trail?

Ironically, more and more government departments are shifting away from cash towards payment-card based payments. The old system was subject to abuse. And many are choosing the charge card Diners Club - the most expensive payment scheme in the market.

Most specifically, while the RBA has based its intervention in the credit card market on a rigorous assessment of justifiable costs, it has abandoned these principles when dealing with the interlinked debit networks Eftpos and ATM.

The RBA's favoured outcome for Eftpos reform - the one thrown out by the Australian Competition Tribunal but now clawed back under the RBA's legislative power - is an arbitrary "neutral" fee regime of zero wholesale fees.

For ATMs, the RBA has taken a third route of letting the market decide, despite considerable evidence that ATM fees are far in excess of the costs of transactions.

Yet market players believe the costs of ATM transactions are the least justifiable, having risen to about $1.45 from 40¢ in a decade - despite the real cost to the institution being closer to 30¢.

With its prodding and poking at different parts of the payment system - cash excluded - other critics accuse the RBA of missing the wood for the trees.

"We are still talking about an average cost in Australia, across the system, of around 30¢ per payment - yet there are economies in Europe where its closer to 2¢," says Grant Halverson, principle of payments and banking consultancy McLean Roche.

"Australia, for historical reasons and having been first into the market, has adopted some very expensive payment architectures. We have expensive bilateral agreements between individual banks where some markets have centralised payment organisation.

"The RBA needs to forget about all this regulation and concentrate on freeing up competition and large-scale efficiencies."

Tackling the ageing architecture of the payments system should deliver benefits across the board to merchants and consumers.

To date, the RBA's reforms have cost consumers without a pay-off, abruptly tilted the playing field but have yet to deliver a new competitor of the ilk of Aussie Home Loans or Virgin Blue.
 
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