credit-cardsIf you have a Westpac credit card that earns Altitude points, now is the time to transfer them! From Wednesday 28 September, redemptions through Westpac’s Altitude credit card rewards program will become more expensive.

The rate at which points are converted from Altitude to airline frequent flyer points will increase by up to 20%. And it’s not just point transfers that will become more expensive. The number of points required for a gift card will rise by 11%, and merchandise or Altitude Travel redemptions will become 17% more expensive.

The biggest news is the change in point conversion rates to Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer and Cathay Pacific Asia Miles. Previously, 2 Altitude points converted to 1 Singapore Airlines or Cathay Pacific mile. This conversion rate will soon increase to 2.5:1. The cost of transferring to Air New Zealand will also rise. Thankfully, the rate at which Altitude points are converted to Virgin Velocity Frequent Flyer, as well as the Malaysia Airlines Enrich program, remains unchanged at 2:1.

Westpac’s Altitude Rewards has been a popular scheme because points can be transferred to a range of airlines, including the popular Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer program. Sadly, the devaluation will now make Westpac less competitive among point-savvy credit card users.

The one most of us will be annoyed about is that 2.5 altitude pts will be needed for 1 Krisflyer mile (currently it is 2 for 1)..so a 20% devaluation

One member currently has more than a million Altitude points. As a result of the devaluation, they stand to lose enough points for a return Business class ticket to Europe!

Got 1.5m altitude points, and now what to do? Old rate will give me 750k KF , new rate is 600k KF ( huge differences 150k KF, this is return ticket J class to europe). Any suggestion guys?

With around a week left before the devaluation, many of our members have already started withdrawing points from their Altitude accounts.

I transferred all my points to SQ yesterday. This will keep us in the pointy end for a couple of years.

Given the earn on the new Amex Explorer, I think I will cancel this card and get apply for that one.

While it does make sense to transfer your points to Singapore Airlines or Cathay Pacific now, be aware that miles in both of these programs expire after 3 years! So, it’s important that you don’t transfer large balances across to these programs unless you have plans to use them in the relatively near future.

It’s also worth noting that now is not the best time to transfer points to Virgin Velocity Frequent Flyer. The conversion rate from Altitude to Velocity is not affected by this devaluation. In fact, you may be able to get a better rate by waiting for a promotion on credit card transfers to Velocity.

If you do decide to convert your points before the 28 September devaluation, make sure you don’t leave it to the last minute. Transfers can take up to 3 business days.

Join the discussion HERE.

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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]