With the Reserve Bank’s new caps on credit card ‘interchange fees’ set to take place from July 1, Citibank is the first Aussie credit card issuer to adjust its frequent flyer earning and conversion rates, with most cardholders accruing points at new rates from today.
As Australian Business Traveller first reported in April, Citi’s changes are a mixed bag, with some spenders now earning more points on charges at restaurants, hotels and airlines, but fewer points on most ‘everyday’ transactions, and no points at all with government entities.
For instance, the flagship Citi Prestige Visa Infinite card now offers three Citibank Rewards points per dollar spent at those same restaurants, hotels and airlines (up from two points previously), and three points per dollar spent on overseas transactions (a decrease from five points).
Transactions at supermarkets, petrol stations and major national retailers continue to award two Citibank Rewards points per dollar spent (no change), while payments made everywhere else deliver one Citibank Rewards point: down from two points.
What’s more, the conversion rates from Citibank Rewards points into airline frequent flyer points are also being tweaked, with transfers switching from a 2:1 to a 2.5:1 basis with Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer and Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, and to a 3:1 rate with many other airlines including Etihad, Qatar Airways and Air France for those same Citi Prestige cardholders.
Other cards issued by Citigroup including Diners Club, Virgin Money, Bank of Queensland and Card Services also see changes from today, with the full details outlined here.
Next in line are Commonwealth Bank and NAB with reduced frequent flyer earning rates on credit card statements issued from July 1 2017 – including those containing transactions made in June – followed by Westpac on transactions made from July.