Westpac Bins American Express Companion Card Program

Post by Sharat on November 14, 2017 · Under credit cards · Comments Off on Westpac Bins American Express Companion Card Program 

Westpac has announced that it will no longer offer American Express companion credit cards becoming the third major lender to do so. Westpac said the decision was the result of changes made to regulations by the central bank. The lender also recently said it had undertaken a review of its rewards cards and had made some minor changes to points earn rates and caps placed on some cards.

Amex dropped in response to regulatory changes

As of February 1st, 2018, customers applying for new cards will no longer receive an American Express card to complement their Westpac plastic. Existing card holders will still be able to use their American Express cards but the program will completely shut down by 4th April 2018. Westpac follows the lead set by ANZ which made a similar announcement in March. ANZ did so in advance of proposed changes to regulations set by the RBA which became effective on July 1st 2017.

Westpac is the third major lender to drop Amex

The new regulations essentially force American Express cards to comply with the same interchange fee rules as other credit cards. This means there is no added value in offering them for the big banks. NAB became the second lender to drop American Express when it to made announcement that its companion card program would end on 13th November 2017. CBA is the last of the big four lenders to continue offering American Express companion cards, but it to is likely to follow suit now that the other three lenders have dropped the program.

CBA may keep offering Amex cards as a goodwill gesture

The big four lenders have a history of making similar decisions when it comes to their product offerings so CBA joining the bandwagon and dropping American Express companion cards would hardly come as a surprise. Nevertheless, CBA has already cut back on the value of American Express companion cards to such an extent, that card holders earn more using MasterCard anyway. This means the lender may decide as a goodwill gesture to its customers to retain the American Express program.

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