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CBA enhances™ points earn ahead of interchange reduction

burmans

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Whilst no international transaction fee applies to the CBA issued Platinum/Diamond AMEX card from 1st July 2017, you need to carefully compare the AMEX exchange rate to those offered by Visa & Mastercard on the same day.

It may be that the exchange rate that is offered by AMEX is quite a bit worse than what is on offer from Visa & Mastercard.
Well it may be or it may not! Do you have a basis for this comment that suggests one way or the other?
 

SOPOOR

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I guess the only way to compare is to buy two items on the same day/time with different cards and compare the rate,

and that is assuming the transaction is processed at the same time and not hours apart

seems lke a very difficult task
 

earlyriser

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Just noticed this this morning:

AMEX INTNL TRANSACTION FEE
$ 4.90 FEE NOT CHARGED ON YOUR AMEX

Can only imagine they will be putting these on statements temporarily?

 

Moindardt

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Re: CBA enhances™ points earn ahead of interchange reducti

My daughter has our card in the UK at the moment and it charged the international fees until the 3rd. She only flew out on 1st so they can't be from earlier transactions. Every line after that has the accompanying fee not charged.
 

Scarlett

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Re: CBA enhances™ points earn ahead of interchange reducti

I've used my cba plat amex for a number of usd txn in the past week and have not been charged any fees. There are no comments such as fee not charged or the like, on my internet banking statement. Will see if I have an amex txn and 28deg mc txn from about the same time to compare rates.
 

Walter_Plinge

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Mar 21, 2010
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Re: CBA enhances™ points earn ahead of interchange reducti

I've had a Diamond Awards Mastercard card for years and due to an accident of history it's fee-free. I've always transferred points monthly into QFF but I was wondering it would be better to leave points in CBA and redeem them through Flight Centre. Is there anyone who does that?
 

cove

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Re: CBA enhances™ points earn ahead of interchange reducti

You might be glad you didn't have to get a new passport thanks to FC.
 

DerekG

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Well it may be or it may not! Do you have a basis for this comment that suggests one way or the other?
Following your request, I thought I would investigate this further.

Visa & Mastercard rates were easy to find, but the AMEX rates remain hidden. There may be good reason for this. Please read on.

I chose the transaction date of Friday 14th July 2017 with a 0% bank fee (as the Citi Plus Mastercard & Citi Plus Visa Card for example do not charge a foreign exchange transaction fee either).

I selected my card in AUD$
My transaction was In US$

The daily VISA Card Foreign Exchange Rate is found here:

https://www.visa.com.au/travel-with-visa/exchange-rate-calculator.html

Using the above, the Visa foreign exchange rate was:

1 United States Dollar = 1.320174 Australian Dollar

The Mastercard foreign exchange rate is found here:

https://www.mastercard.us/en-us/consumers/get-support/convert-currency.html
(I had to enter "U" to be offered US$ & "A" to be offered AUD$

Entering the same details as above, the Mastercard foreign exchange rate offered was:

1 USD = 1.320393 AUD

Now, if you Google for the daily foreign exchange rates offered by AMEX, you will not find them. This is very strange. I then found this on the Commonwealth Bank's own website:

https://www.commbank.com.au/support/faqs/1187.html

"You can view online conversion rate calculators set by the MasterCard and Visa card schemes.

While American Express does not publish an online calculator, rates for transactions in major currencies are comparable with other rates in the market. Cross rates can be provided for transactions. Please email American Express at amexconnect@aexp.com providing the date of transaction and the currency that the transaction was made in and American Express will respond within 2 business days."

What I did find was this website that compared the exchange rates offered by Visa, Mastercard & Amex over an entire year (with a substantiating graph):

Mastercard, Visa and Amex exchange rates - which wins?

The article is well worth reading, but based on the entire year studied, the result was:

(For US$ Conversions)

MASTERCARD WIN 21
VISA WIN 3
AMEX WIN 3

Next time I'm overseas I will use my Citi Plus Visa Card on the same day as my CBA Amex. That will be the only way to be sure (on that day) which card offered the better exchange rate.

The Citi Plus card is discussed in depth on the Whirlpool Forum as being one of the best to travel overseas with due to no foreign ATM fees (it is a debit card so no interest is charged when withdrawing cash) & no foreign exchange fees being charged by Citibank:

https://whirlpool.net.au/wiki/citibank_plus_transaction_account

https://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum-replies.cfm?t=2616968
 

amaroo

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I just clocked up 4 x ESTA fees ..... US$56 = CBA DIA Amex charge $71.64 and 86 QFFP

XE app is showing $70.62
 

Walter_Plinge

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Next time I'm overseas I will use my Citi Plus Visa Card on the same day as my CBA Amex. That will be the only way to be sure (on that day) which card offered the better exchange rate.

The Citi Plus card is discussed in depth on the Whirlpool Forum as being one of the best to travel overseas with due to no foreign ATM fees...
I used the Citibank Plus card exclusively while in the US in May. For all cash withdrawals, whether at a bank or independent ATM, the machine said a fee would be levied and indeed the fee was shown on the receipt. The fee was $3 to $5, i.e., $200 cash plus fee, $205 to be deducted from my account.

However...when checking the on-line account the next day it showed zero fees and $200 deducted. Confusing. Other than that, great card.
 

amaroo

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I just clocked up 4 x ESTA fees ..... US$56 = CBA DIA Amex charge $71.64 and 86 QFFP

XE app is showing $70.62
FWIW the charge has now progressed from pending > charge and has been reduced to $70.88 .... close enough to the XE rate IMO. Very happy!

BTW the XE app is currently showing $70.8637
 
Last edited:

prozerran

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Aug 4, 2013
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Hi Walter

The Citibank Plus card does not charge foreign exchange and atm withdrawal fees on Citibank's side. The owner of the atm can still charge fees (eg when you go to an independent servo atm they charge fees).

I find in Europe - atms rarely charge fees
In America/Canada - most atms charge fees

and I use the major banks most of the time and not independent atms.

Cheers
 
Last edited:

woodyren

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I have had my diamond rewards card for many years and it is the card that I have used the most. I work part time and travel three or four times a year. One of those trips normally is for three months or so.

I keep the card for the travel insurance and as I will fall below minimum earn limits in a few years I had planned to just hold on to this card. The fee free OS spend will be a nice little bonus for me and while I will still keep my Citibank Plus Visa for cash withdrawals all CC OS spend will go on my diamond amex.

One of our regular spends is on RCL cruises. Even though they are purchased in AUD and in Australia they are processed in Miami. In the past this has resulted in an overseas transaction fee on the diamond amex and so I never use this card for these purchases.

Will this now be fee free and will it earn 3pts per dollar spend?

Is there a way of checking points allocation on each purchase on the Commbank website? (yes crazy as I have had this card for a long time but never check)

It states in the T&C's 3 pts for spend at petrol stations. Is that at ANY petrol station or only the majors? The Speedway close to home accepts Amex and has cheap prices.
 

amaroo

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Exchange rate data point.

2/8/17 I paid for a couple of rooms at the PH NYC. Charge on the statement: USD3,883.29 = A$4880.34 & USD 2534.98 = A$3,185.85 ..... exchange rate = 0.7957 ... In my book that is a spectacular rate for a CC that earns 1.2P/$.

Not sure what's better a) exchange rate at 0.7957 B) seeing these notes (below) on the statement C) earning 9,680 QFFP :D This is an awesome card for international spending! Big Cherry on top - the card is fee free :D

02 Aug 2017 AMEX INTNL TRANSACTION FEE
$ 170.81 FEE NOT CHARGED ON YOUR AMEX

02 Aug 2017 AMEX INTNL TRANSACTION FEE
$ 111.50 FEE NOT CHARGED ON YOUR AMEX
 
Last edited:

woodyren

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Aug 31, 2015
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Are people going to retain the diamond for the 1.2pp$ supermarket spend? Worthwhile?
Why would you when you can get 3ppd for most places using plat edge or 2ppd w explorer??
My card use now is supermarkets, petrol and OS spend. All have 3 reward points per $ and are main spend areas anyway. Fee free OS spend and the travel insurance make this a great card for me. I just use one of my churn cards for other spends.
 

SOPOOR

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Jan 12, 2009
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My main thinking was because a lot of people can get the card free with a CBA Mortgage Package.
Yes I hear.
I have a card too. It's not fee free but it has been for recent years.

Esseinatly you get 1.2 or 1.4 can't remember exactly qff or velocity points per dollar spent on super market spend . You'd get 2 to 3 on the amex cards. So I'm not sure why anyone would use the cba card except for is purchases
 

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