Your guide to the St. George, BoM, BankSA Amplify Rewards program

Your guide to the St. George, BoM, BankSA Amplify Rewards program

Fancy earning frequent flyer points with Virgin Australia Velocity, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer or Malaysia Airlines Enrich from your Visa credit card spend? Then take a look at the Amplify Rewards program attached to eligible credit cards issued by St. George, Bank of Melbourne and BankSA.

Use that Amplify card and you’ll earn Amplify points on eligible purchases – which can later become frequent flyer points with the airlines above – or if you’d prefer to earn Qantas Points, there’s an option for that too.

Whether you’re an existing Amplify credit card customer or are considering a switch, here’s what you need to know about Amplify Rewards and collecting frequent flyer points from your credit card.

Amplify Rewards 101

You can earn Amplify points via the conveniently-named Amplify range of plastic from St. George, Bank of Melbourne and BankSA, which come in the standard, Platinum and Signature varieties.

The number of points earned per dollar spent is the same across all three banks for cards at the same tier – so for example, an Amplify Signature cardholder with St. George earns the same number of points per dollar spent as an Amplify Signature cardholder with Bank of Melbourne or BankSA.

St. George Amplify Signature, Bank of Melbourne Amplify Signature and BankSA Amplify Signature are essentially the top-of-the-line ‘Black cards’, and are your key to earning the highest number of points on everyday spends, with 1.5 Amplify points fetched per $1 spent, uncapped.

On top of that, a 10% ‘birthday bonus’ is offered each year as well, calculated on the total number of Amplify points earned over the previous 12 months and credited in the month of your birthday, which boosts the overall earning rate to 1.65 Amplify points per dollar spent – being the standard 1.5/$1, plus 10% (0.15/$1).

Spenders with the St. George Amplify Platinum, Bank of Melbourne Amplify Platinum and BankSA Amplify Platinum cards instead earn one Amplify point per dollar spent, also uncapped, but without the 10% birthday bonus of the Signature range.

Entry-level Amplify cardholders also receive one Amplify point per dollar spent, sans cap.

In short: Amplify Signature cardholders earn up to 65% more points than Amplify Platinum or regular Amplify cardholders on the same spend, getting that next free flight or upgrade even sooner.

Amplify Rewards: earning airline frequent flyer points

To earn Qantas Points, you’ll need to choose the ‘Amplify Qantas’ rewards option rather than using the ‘Amplify Rewards’ program, as Amplify Rewards points cannot be converted into Qantas Points.

Instead, by choosing Amplify Qantas, the points you earn each month are automatically transferred to your Qantas Frequent Flyer account, with Amplify Signature cardholders netting 0.75 Qantas Points per dollar spent, or 0.825 Qantas Points per dollar spent including the 10% birthday bonus.

Amplify Platinum and regular Amplify cardholders instead earn 0.5 Qantas Points per dollar spent (again, with no birthday bonus, which is exclusive to Amplify Signature).

Otherwise, Virgin Australia Velocity points, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles and Malaysia Airlines Enrich miles can be earned by choosing the ‘Amplify Rewards’ option (instead of Amplify Qantas).

In this scenario, customers first accrue Amplify points (as detailed further above) and can later convert these into frequent flyer points as needed, as the following conversion rates:

  • 2 Amplify points = 1 Virgin Australia Velocity point
  • 2 Amplify points = 1 Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer mile
  • 2 Amplify points = 1 Malaysia Airlines Enrich mile

Taking into account each card’s earning and conversion rates, here’s how that translates into the number of frequent flyer points earned per dollar spent (including the 10% birthday bonus for Amplify Signature cardholders):

  • Amplify Signature: 0.825 Velocity, KrisFlyer or Enrich miles/points
  • Amplify Platinum: 0.5 Velocity, KrisFlyer or Enrich miles/points
  • Amplify: 0.5 Velocity, KrisFlyer or Enrich miles/points

No cards in the Amplify program have earning caps or points tiering rules, so you’ll earn that many points per dollar spent regardless of how much you charge each month or year on eligible purchases.

When you’re ready to convert your Amplify points into airline frequent flyer points, you can visit the Amplify Rewards website of your issuing bank.

For Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer and Malaysia Airlines Enrich, a minimum of 3,000 Amplify points (1,500 KrisFlyer/Enrich miles) can be converted at a time, with transfers above this amount possible in increments of 500 Amplify points (3,500 Amplify points; 4,000 Amplify points; and so on).

Amplify points can be manually converted into Virgin Australia Velocity points on the same basis – being a minimum of 3,000 Amplify points per transfer and in increments of 500 Amplify points over and above – or, Amplify members can set up ‘auto-redemption’ for Velocity only.

Once configured, that converts all the Amplify points earned every month straight across to Velocity Frequent Flyer at the usual 2:1 rate.

That’s true even if you’ve earned less than 3,000 Amplify points (the usual minimum transfer amount), so it’s a nice way to keep your points flowing in as you can ‘set and forget’.

However, when you first set this up, your entire Amplify balance is also converted to Velocity: so if you were planning to send a few miles to the KrisFlyer or Enrich programs first, make those transfers before setting up Velocity auto-redemption.

The Amplify Rewards website also has a handy points calculator, where you can key in the number of Amplify Rewards points you have to see what they're worth, or the number of frequent flyer points you want to see how many Amplify points you'd need:

As a reminder, you can’t convert Amplify points into Qantas Points. This is only available when choosing ‘Amplify Qantas’, rather than ‘Amplify Rewards’, as your loyalty option.

Amplify Rewards: pros and cons

Compared to direct-earning credit cards where your frequent flyer points are automatically sent across to your account every month, programs like Amplify Rewards are great as you can earn points now, but choose where to send them later.

That’s ideal if your plans often change, you don’t have any firm travel goals or you’re an advanced points collector and can find a reward flight available through one program that you can’t snag via another – as you can convert your points to the most suitable program when needed.

It’s also a good ‘insurance policy’ against airlines making changes to their own frequent flyer schemes, such as to the number of points or miles needed to book a flight, as your points aren’t locked-in and be sent somewhere else if need be.

As Amplify points have no expiry, keeping your points in the Amplify program until you’re ready to use them also protects you from the usual points expiry rules of each frequent flyer program – such as Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, where miles expire approximately three years after they were earned.

(If you’re collecting miles for use with KrisFlyer, for example, you can build them up with Amplify over years of spending, and convert them all across when you’re ready to fly – with KrisFlyer’s three-year expiry count beginning only when you make that points transfer from Amplify Rewards, not when you first earned those Amplify points.)

However, as is true of all banks, the conversion rates from bank loyalty programs (such as Amplify Rewards) to airline frequent flyer programs can change from time to time: and when a new conversion rate takes effect, any points remaining in your bank loyalty account become less valuable.

That’s why banks normally provide notice when making these kinds of changes – allowing you to convert your existing points across to your preferred frequent flyer program before the rates change.

Westpac Group (the parent company of St. George, Bank of Melbourne and BankSA) has a good reputation of providing such notice where changes have been made in the past.

One other factor to consider is that points transfers from bank loyalty programs, including Amplify Rewards, tend to take a few days to process before those points arrive in your frequent flyer account – so if you’ll soon be booking your next reward flight, be organised and send your points across early so that they’re ready to spend when needed.

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!
 

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22 May, 2019 03:10 pm

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