If you have a Westpac credit card that earns Altitude Rewards points, now is your last chance to transfer your points before the upcoming devaluation. On Friday 9 November 2018, Westpac will increase the number of Altitude Rewards points required when transferring to most frequent flyer program partners. This also means you’ll soon earn fewer airline frequent flyer points per dollar spent on your Westpac Altitude credit card.
From next Friday, you’ll need to redeem 3 Westpac Altitude points for every 1 Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer mile, Cathay Pacific Asia Mile or Malaysia Airlines Enrich mile. The transfer rate from Westpac Altitude to Virgin Australia Velocity will also increase from 2:1 to 3:1, unless you’ve opted in to monthly auto-redemption. There is no change to Air New Zealand Airpoints redemptions, although we wouldn’t recommend sending your points to that program anyway.
Here is the new list of Westpac Altitude Rewards transfer partners from 9 November 2018:
- Velocity Frequent Flyer (monthly auto-redemption): 2 Altitude points = 1 Velocity point
- Velocity Frequent Flyer: 3 Altitude points = 1 Velocity point
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer: 3 Altitude points = 1 KrisFlyer mile
- Malaysia Airlines Enrich: 3 Altitude points = 1 Enrich mile
- Cathay Pacific Asia Miles: 3 Altitude points = 1 Asia Mile
- Air New Zealand Airpoints: 180 Altitude points = 1 Airpoint
You can continue to transfer Altitude points to Velocity Frequent Flyer at a 2:1 rate after 9 November. But to access this rate, you would need to use Velocity Auto-Redemption. This means your entire balance of Altitude points would be automatically converted to Velocity points each month. Unfortunately, this means you’re locked into earning Velocity points – which removes the benefit of using a flexible credit card rewards program such as Altitude Rewards!
A Westpac spokesperson told Australian Frequent Flyer that the bank has contact affected customers to communicate the changes and provide assistance. “Customers can also contact our designated Altitude Rewards line on 1300 887 820, Monday to Friday, between 8am to 8pm (AEST)”, the spokesperson added.
If you have a large balance of Altitude points, make sure you transfer them out by 8 November 2018 to access the current rates!
Altitude is Westpac’s credit card rewards program. Altitude Rewards points are earned with the Altitude Platinum and Altitude Black credit cards, along with their American Express companion cards, unless you’ve opted in to earning Qantas Frequent Flyer points. Altitude points can be transferred to five airline frequent flyer programs, or redeemed for a range of rewards including gift cards, cash back and electronics.
Sadly, Westpac is not participating in this month’s promotion on credit card transfers to Velocity Frequent Flyer. Virgin Australia is giving away 15% bonus Velocity points when transferring points from most Australian credit card rewards programs during November. But Westpac Altitude (along with St George Amplify and CommBank Awards) is notably absent from the list of participating programs.
Transferring Altitude points to KrisFlyer miles
Until the end of the year, you’ll now earn more Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles if you first transfer to Velocity via Auto-Redemption. If you had 100,000 Altitude Rewards points, for example, these would convert to 50,000 Velocity points. You can then convert the Velocity points to KrisFlyer miles and receive 37,037 KrisFlyer miles.
With transfers to the popular KrisFlyer program increasing to a 3:1 rate, those same 100,000 Altitude points would only net you 33,333 KrisFlyer miles if you transferred directly from Altitude to KrisFlyer.
However, from 1 January 2019, Velocity transfers to KrisFlyer will also be devalued. With the conversion rate increasing from 1.55 Velocity points = 1 KrisFlyer mile, those 100,000 Altitude points would be worth 32,258 KrisFlyer miles if you transferred the points via Velocity.
Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: Altitude Rewards changes to points transfer rate