NAB joins CBA in cutting credit card frequent flyer points

NAB joins CBA in cutting credit card frequent flyer points

NAB customers will earn fewer Qantas and Virgin Australia frequent flyer points per dollar spent across the bank’s range of American Express credit cards as of July 1 2017.

Some cards will also face a lower monthly points cap across the account’s total expenditure, regardless of which card type is used.

However, as with the Commonwealth Bankand now Westpac – NAB will continue issuing American Express credit cards to new customers, despite the RBA’s cuts to credit card ‘interchange fees’ which kick in from the same date as NAB’s new rates.

Here’s what’s changing on a card-by-card basis across NAB’s portfolio, applicable for transactions settled on or after July 1 2017.

New frequent flyer earning rates: NAB personal credit cards

NAB Qantas Rewards Premium Card: Cardholders will earn one Qantas Point per dollar spent on the AMEX and will continue to earn 0.5 Qantas Points per dollar on the Visa, up to $5,000 per statement period – after which, no points are earned on either card.

Currently, the AMEX awards 1.5 Qantas Points per dollar spent, with points earned on transactions up to $25,000 per statement period.

NAB Velocity Rewards Premium Card: As with NAB’s top-end Qantas card, the Velocity variant will also deliver one Velocity point per $1 spent via AMEX and 0.5 Velocity points per $1 via Visa, up to $5,000 per statement period: cut from 1.5 points per $1 on AMEX spend at present and the card’s current monthly spend ceiling of $20,000.

NAB Qantas Rewards Card: Points earned on AMEX charges are decreasing from 1 to 0.75 Qantas Points per dollar spent, with Visa/MasterCard spend continuing to deliver 0.5 Qantas Points per $1. Points will also be capped at $3,000 of spend per month, down from $20,000 at present.

NAB Velocity Rewards Card: Again mirroring the bank’s Qantas cards, NAB’s entry-level Velocity cards will earn 0.75 Velocity points per dollar spent via AMEX (currently 1/$1), and will continue providing 0.5 Velocity points per $1 when using Visa.

However, the currently monthly points cap of $20,000 spend is again being replaced by a much lower cap of $3,000 per statement period, with any further spend awarding no points at all.

NAB Qantas Rewards Plus Card: This card isn’t open to new applicants, although existing cardholders will earn fewer points whether paying by American Express, Visa or MasterCard.

The current AMEX earning rates of one Qantas Point per $1 up to $3,000 and 0.5 Qantas Points per dollar on spends of $3,001-$25,000 per month are being replaced – from July, the same card will provide one Qantas Point per $1 up to $3,000 and 0.5 Qantas Points per dollar on spends of $3,001-$6,000, with no points awarded until the next statement cycle begins.

Similarly, the account’s companion Visa or MasterCard will earn 0.66 Qantas Points per dollar on the first $3,000 of total monthly spend and 0.33 Qantas Points per dollar on spends of $3,001-$6,000 – again with no points awarded thereafter.

Importantly, those spending caps apply per account, not per card: so if you spend >$3,000 via AMEX each month, any Visa/MasterCard spend thereafter will earn at the lower rate.

New frequent flyer earning rates: NAB business credit cards

Although NAB doesn’t issue American Express credit cards to its business customers, the number of frequent flyer points awarded on Visa and MasterCard spend will decrease on its Qantas-branded cards.

NAB Qantas Business Signature Visa cardholders will earn 0.66 Qantas Points per dollar spent as of July 1 – down from 0.8 Qantas Points per dollar at present – with a revised monthly points cap of $50,000 per card per statement period (currently $100,000).

The NAB Qantas Business Visa (only available to existing customers) will continue to award 0.66 Qantas Points per dollar spent, but with the same revised spending cap per monthly statement period of $50,000 per card – again decreased from $100,000 at present).

No changes apply to the recently-launched NAB Rewards Business Platinum Visa credit card, from which cardholders can convert credit points into Virgin Australia Velocity points, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles or Air New Zealand Airpoints Dollars.

The personal NAB Flybuys Rewards Platinum Visa also remains unchanged and will continue to award one Flybuys point per dollar spent up to $20,000 per statement period, with Flybuys points convertible into Virgin Australia Velocity points and Etihad Guest miles.

Chris Chamberlin
Chris Chamberlin is a senior journalist with Australian Business Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!


  • john hauser


    1 May, 2017 06:28 pm

    WOW, i have the NAB Velocity premium card, the points cut is painful but the drop from $20K to $5K per statement period is the biggest reason I will change cards. I regularly spend $15K a month on the NAB amex which used to earn me 22,500 points, now I will only earn on $5K of spend = 5,000 points. Bye Bye NAB, at least with my Amex platinum Velocity the points are uncapped even though its the same 1 point per $1
    Member who gave thanks


  • john hauser


    1 May, 2017 06:30 pm

    The cut from 1.5 points per $ to 1.0 points per $1 is hard enough to take, but the cut from $20K per statement period to $5K means they have cut potential benefits by 75% 
    No member give thanks

  • brebbles


    2 May, 2017 03:33 pm

    Even more - considering the $20,000 is counted on Amex spend first you could earn 30,000 points a month - so it's been cut by 83% by my reckoning
    No member give thanks

  • Mitch Benson


    1 May, 2017 08:35 pm

    Exactly, I can wear the cuts to the points per $ but reducing the cap by such an extravagant amount is crazy! Need to work out what is going to be the next best option I to any suggestions (velocity). 
    No member give thanks

  • sydneyfreqflyer


    1 May, 2017 10:22 pm

    Perhaps this is just the wake up call I needed.

    I had been brainwashed into thinking that paying an Annual Fee of $295 for a credit card is really good value. And while outraged at first, paying an extra 3.85% for my purchases in the form of an Amex Transaction Fee is now the norm for me.

    I have decided to focus my Qantas points accruing energies elsewhere: buying wine through Qantas Epicure. It is still the cheapest way to accrue points. And the only caps you have to worry about are the ones on the bottles.

    No member give thanks

  • john hauser


    2 May, 2017 06:56 pm

    The only saving grace is I dont pay an annual fee on the NAB cards, holding>500 NAB shares you get the annual fee rebated
    No member give thanks

  • simon v

    simon v

    21 Jul, 2017 06:51 pm

    Banks and their institutions are not dumb and we are all looking at this from a personal consumption level but if just one bank said " lets keep eveything like it was a year or two ago and 1.5 pts for amex purchases, no ridiculous capping  etc" 

    they would benefit from the entire market of savy credit card reward users - surely thats got some banking value 
    No member give thanks

  • 777jc


    27 Oct, 2017 06:35 pm

    Just received the official NAB notice today concerning the NAB Qantas Rewards Premium Amex/Visa cards. Aside from cancelling the Amex card on Feb 21, 2018, the annual fee for the Visa remains the same (!) and points earn changes to 1 point per $1.50 for first $3,000 then 1 point per $3 for the next $3000.

    It disturbs me that they want to keep the fee the same. Time to cancel on next annual fee anniversary I think.
    No member give thanks


22 May, 2019 05:14 pm


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