Reward yourself: Comparing Australia’s banking rewards programs

The Commonwealth Bank and Menulog may seem like a strange combination – like peanut butter on beef burgers – however, the pair has joined forces and it could work in Commbank customers’ favour.
Eligible Commonwealth Bank customers could receive cashback on Menulog food orders via a CommBank app feature.

This new rewards program is designed to support customers, whilst driving more business for local restaurants.

The businesses will offer CommBank Rewards customers $15 cashback when they spend $30 or more using their CBA credit or debit Mastercard when they activate and redeem the offer.

The offer is now available and customers can activate it in the CommBank app and redeem by 14 June 2020.

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Simon Cheng, Menulog Marketing Director, said: “We know that during this time, restaurants, cafes and businesses are having to adapt their operations in line with changing government guidelines, while customers are choosing to spend more time at home to keep safe. This is why we look forward to introducing initiatives like this, so that our partnership with CBA can help give back to the community by enabling customers who rely on services such as ours, to discover their new local eateries and support local businesses.”

The Commonwealth Bank has already added to its rewards program this year.

In January, the Commonwealth Bank released the all black Ultimate Awards credit card to join its Awards program. You can earn points at supermarkets, service stations and on international transactions.

CommBank has four cards within its Awards program: the Awards, Platinum Awards, Diamond Awards and the Ultimate Awards credit cards.
The points for each of these cards have no expiry date and can be easily redeemed via NetBank or on the CommBank app.

Points can be redeemed online on the Awards website for a gift card, homewares or even cashback. Points can also be redeemed in store at Myer or Flight Centre.

Make the most of your points – you paid for them

Reward cards reward you based on the money you’ve already spent. Essentially, you’ve already paid for whatever rewards are on offer.

So make the most of your rewards card and read the fine print.

The first thing you should do is determine what card best suits your spending habits.

You can find plenty of cards that offer bonus points.

Some will give you points just for applying, while others enable you to earn points during interest free introductory periods that could help you put your best foot forward straight away.

Yet, to earn points you will generally have to meet a minimum monthly spend.

If you can’t meet that monthly spend and start accruing interest, you may want to reconsider the value of your rewards card. The worth of your rewards program diminishes if you can’t pay your balance on time and in full every month.

Essentially if you fall into arrears, the rewards pale in comparison to the amount of interest accrued.

What to look for in a rewards card

If the interest on your credit card is 20 per cent or more, it may be time to look for a lower priced card, with low to no annual fees. You can compare over 70 products through the InfoChoice rewards card comparison website.

There are 10 key considerations:

  1. What type of card are you looking for: platinum, black, gold or standard?
  2. What is the interest free period on the card?
  3. Is there an annual fee?
  4. What is the cash advance rate?
  5. Is there a late payment fee?
  6. What is the minimum payment?
  7. Is there a joining fee for the rewards program?
  8. What does the rewards program offer?
  9. What is the earn rate for every dollar spent?
  10. Do I receive bonus points on start-up?

To give you an idea of some of the different cards on offer, the Macquarie Black Card with Macquarie Points has an earn rate of 2 points for every dollar spent on eligible products and a sign up bonus of 20000 points for every $2,000 on eligible purchases within 60 days of approval. The purchase rate is 18.99 per cent. Via the NAB Rewards Platinum card you can earn 60,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 on everyday purchases within 60 days of account opening. From then on, earn one point for every dollar spent. The purchase rate is 19.99 per cent. The ANZ Rewards Black card offers 150,000 reward points when you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases in the first 3 months from approval. ANZ offers two points for every dollar spent up to $5000, and one point per dollar thereafter. The purchase rate is 20.24 per cent. The American Express Westpac Altitude Platinum Card Bundle (Qantas Rewards) offers one point for every dollar spent and a 60,000 point bonus sign-up for every $3000 spent on purchase. The purchase rate is 20.49 per cent.

There are plenty of cards to choose from. The best thing to do is to use a compare all benefits against the costs of the cards, make sure you can pay off the card in required timeframes and choose the rewards that best suit your lifestyle.

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