Australia: CBA last of the Big 4 to ditch Amex companion cards

CBA has followed the other Big banks in axing its American Express companion cards at the end of this year. CBA announced that cardholders will only receive a Mastercard if they apply for the Diamond Awards, Platinum Awards or Awards credit card from the 1st of September 2018. If a cardholder is an existing owner, the American Express card will be disabled from the 1st of November.

The largest hit to cardholders is the reduction in points earned potential. These cards will be stripped of its higher points earning potential that comes with expenditure on an American Express card and will be lowered to regular Mastercard earn rates come September.

However, cardholders can still use points for the same rewards as originally planned, including paying with points at Myers or converting them to Qantas points. Although the points earn potential has decreased, CBA has made no announcements of lowering the annual fees.

This could potentially drive cardholders to switch institutions as RFi Group data suggests that the top drivers for switching intention year on year have been a better rewards program and lower annual fees.

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