Westpac will increase the number of Altitude Rewards points required when transferring to most frequent flyer program partners. The Altitude devaluation takes effect from 9 November 2018. This means you’ll soon earn fewer airline frequent flyer points per dollar spent on your Westpac Altitude credit card.
You’ll soon 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 a summary of the changes from the Westpac website:
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 defeats the purpose of using a flexible credit card rewards program such as Altitude!
That said, 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.
A Westpac spokesperson told Australian Frequent Flyer that the bank will 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.
Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: Altitude Rewards changes to points transfer rate