ANZ and American Express Cease Partnership

ANZ’s American Express cards will be no more. Find out how this affects customers and ANZ’s rewards schemes.

ANZ has ceased their commercial partnership with American Express, which means they will no longer issue American Express companion cards linked to their ANZ credit cards.

Existing ANZ customers with an American Express companion card will be unable to use their AMEX card after 5 August 2017.

In the credit card rewards space, the split is significant, with American Express companion cards generally considered to offer better value for money than other Visa only or MasterCard only products. This is because American Express companion cards earn rewards points at a more favourable rate.

ANZ is the first of the major banks to end this relationship with American Express, but it is possible other banks may follow suit in the near future.

The bank has also made major changes to reward earn rates, with soft caps being placed on all rewards cards. The news follows hot on the heels of the rate reduction by ANZ on its low rate cards and the announcement of a new low rate card from Westpac to come in a few months.

Why has ANZ split with Amex?

It widely acknowledged that the new interchange fee regulations announced by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) have driven ANZ to make this decision.

These regulations were announced in May 2016 and will come into effect on 1 July 2017.

Generally, the RBA is placing a limit on the interchange-like fees that result in banks receiving higher revenue when their customers use their American Express cards rather than the Visa or MasterCard option.

This limit will reduce revenue from American Express cards, and consequently the bank’s ability to fund rewards. Some rewards programs have already been trimmed in anticipation of the change.

An American Express spokesperson had this to say about the split:

“While we have had a very successful partnership with ANZ, we understand the decision in the context, and as a consequence of, the current regulatory environment. People can continue to enjoy American Express service and rewards programs through taking up a credit card with us directly or with one of our other bank partners.”

How will the ANZ/AMEX split affect customers?

Customers seeking frequent flyer rewards face the prospect of having to spend double the amount to earn the same amount worth of flight rewards. The earn rate of the Amex was previously 1.5 points per $1 of eligible spend, while the new earn rate for the Visa is 0.75 points per $1 of eligible spend. See the tables below for all new Visa earn rates.

Canstar researchers estimated that without the American Express cards, ANZ customers would have to spend an extra $5,333 to earn a flight from Sydney to Melbourne – up from a $5,334 spend to $10,667.

This is based on an 8,000 point, one-way Qantas flight from Sydney to Melbourne using the ANZ Frequent Flyer Platinum, and it assumes that the American Express was the card used to accrue all points.

Canstar Group Executive, Financial Services, Stephen Mickenbecker, suggests that consumers who are impacted by the change could review their card against other offerings on the market and take a card that suits their needs. This could, of course, still be an ANZ card.

Mr Mickenbecker also warns that there could well be changes to the offerings of other banks who are effected by the same regulatory change. He says we are currently seeing a change in the credit card landscape – and that when the dust settles, consumers should review their cards for suitability.

Changes to ANZ rewards

These are the changes ANZ has made to their rewards arrangements (correct as at 1 March 2017):

ANZ Rewards Card

Old New (1 March 2017)
Card Schema Visa/American Express Visa
Sign Up Offer 25,000 Reward Points after first eligible purchase in the first 3 months $250 Westfield Gift Card + no annual fee for the first year – when you spend $2,500 in the first 60 days from approval
Annual Fee $80/year $80/year (waived for first year)
ANZ Rewards Earn Rate (Amex) 1.5 Reward Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases – uncapped N/A
ANZ Rewards Earn Rate (Visa) 0.75 Reward Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases – uncapped 1 Reward Point per $1 spent on eligible purchases up to $1,000 per statement period, then 0.5 Reward Points per $1 spent on eligible purchase above $1,000 per statement period

Until 5 August 2017, receive 1 Reward Point per $1 spent on eligible purchases – uncapped

Source: CANSTAR Credit Card Rewards Database.

 

ANZ Rewards Platinum

Old New (1 March 2017)
Card Schema Visa/American Express Visa
Sign Up Offer 50,000 Reward Points after first eligible purchase in the first 3 months $250 Westfield Gift Card + no annual fee for the first year – when you spend $2,500 in the first 60 days from approval
Annual Fee $95/year $95/year (waived for first year)
ANZ Rewards Earn Rate (Amex) 2 Reward Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases – uncapped N/A
ANZ Rewards Earn Rate (Visa) 1 Reward Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases – uncapped 1.5 Reward Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases up to $2,000 per statement period, then 0.5 Reward Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases above $2,000 per statement period

Until 5 August 2017, receive 1.5 Reward Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases – uncapped

Source: CANSTAR Credit Card Rewards Database.

 

ANZ Rewards Black

Old New (1 March 2017)
Card Schema Visa/American Express Visa
Sign Up Offer 75,000 Reward Points after first eligible purchase in the first 3 months $250 Westfield Gift Card + no annual fee for the first year – when you spend $2,500 in the first 60 days from approval
Annual Fee $375/year $375/year (waived for first year)
ANZ Rewards Earn Rate (Amex) 3 Reward Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases – uncapped N/A
ANZ Rewards Earn Rate (Visa) 1.25 Reward Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases – uncapped 2 Reward Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases up to $5,000 per statement period, then 1 Reward Point per $1 spent on eligible purchases above $5,000 per statement period

Until 5 August 2017, receive 2 Reward Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases – uncapped

Source: CANSTAR Credit Card Rewards Database.

 

ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures Card

Old New (1 March 2017)
Card Schema Visa/American Express Visa
Sign Up Offer One complimentary  return domestic flight per year with Virgin Australia
No overseas transaction fee on purchases
Two complimentary single entry Virgin Australia lounge passes per year
One complimentary  return domestic flight per year with Virgin Australia
No overseas transaction fee on purchases
Two complimentary single entry Virgin Australia lounge passes per year
Annual Fee $225/year $225/year
ANZ Rewards Earn Rate (Amex) 2 Reward Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases – uncapped N/A
ANZ Rewards Earn Rate (Visa) 1 Reward Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases – uncapped 1.5 Reward Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases up to $2,000 per statement period, then 0.5 Reward Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases above $2,000 per statement period

Until 5 August 2017, receive 1.5 Reward Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases – uncapped

Source: CANSTAR Credit Card Rewards Database.

 

ANZ Frequent Flyer

Old New (1 March 2017)
Card Schema Visa/American Express Visa
Sign Up Offer 25,000 Qantas Points when you spend $2,500 on eligible purchases in the first 3 months + no annual fee for the first year 25,000 Qantas Points when you spend $2,500 on eligible purchases in the first 3 months + no annual fee for the first year
Annual Fee $95/year (waived for first year) $95/year (waived for first year)
ANZ Rewards Earn Rate (Amex) 1 Qantas Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases – up to $3,000 per statement period N/A
ANZ Rewards Earn Rate (Visa) 0.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases – up to $3,000 per statement period 0.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases up to $500 per statement period, then 0.25 Qantas Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases above $500 per statement period
Source: CANSTAR Credit Card Rewards Database.

 

ANZ Frequent Flyer Platinum

Old New (1 March 2017)
Card Schema Visa/American Express Visa
Sign Up Offer 50,000 Qantas Points when you spend $2,500 on eligible purchases in the first 3 months + no annual fee for the first year 50,000 Qantas Points when you spend $2,500 on eligible purchases in the first 3 months + no annual fee for the first year
Annual Fee $295/year (waived for first year) $295/year (waived for first year)
ANZ Rewards Earn Rate (Amex) 1.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases – up to $6,000 per statement period N/A
ANZ Rewards Earn Rate (Visa) 0.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases – up to $6,000 per statement period 0.75 Qantas Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases up to $3,000 per statement period, then 0.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases above $3,000 per statement period
Source: CANSTAR Credit Card Rewards Database.

 

ANZ Frequent Flyer Black

Old New (1 March 2017)
Card Schema Visa/American Express Visa
Sign Up Offer 75,000 Qantas Points when you spend $2,500 on eligible purchases in the first 3 months + no annual fee for the first year 75,000 Qantas Points when you spend $2,500 on eligible purchases in the first 3 months + no annual fee for the first year
Annual Fee $425/year (waived for first year) $425/year (waived for first year)
ANZ Rewards Earn Rate (Amex) 1.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases – uncapped N/A
ANZ Rewards Earn Rate (Visa) 0.75 Qantas Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases – uncapped 1 Qantas Point per $1 spent on eligible purchases up to $7,500 per statement period, then 0.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases above $7,500 per statement period
Source: CANSTAR Credit Card Rewards Database.

 

Compare ANZ Credit Cards

 

Compare Credit Cards

 

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