Commonwealth Bank Awards Credit Card Rewards Program Review

Information verified correct on August 28th, 2015

Earn points at a brisk pace with Commonwealth Bank Awards Credit Card program, and redeem them for attractive purchases

The Commonwealth Bank Awards credit card program allows cardholders to earn as they spend, even providing opportunities to accrue bonus points. With partners varying from Qantas, Virgin Australia and Myer, the rewards program is catered to suit almost any type of cardholder. These perks usually come at the price of a high annual fee though, so cardholders should always ensure that the benefits of the card outweigh any of the costs.


Commonwealth Bank credit card rewards program review

Commonwealth Bank Awards Credit Card program provides customers with a wider option in terms of redeeming their points but the cherry on top is an option for faster points collection for every dollar spent. Cardholders can earn up to 3.00 points for every dollar spent on AMEX purchases with a Diamond Awards card. All the cards have no expiry of points, but they do have a limit to the amount of points which can be collected in a year. There are different types of cards which should satisfy the requirements of most the customers. The basic Awards card comes with a low fee of $59 p.a. whereas the higher end Diamond Awards card has a fee of $349 p.a.


Overview of Commonwealth Bank Credit Cards with Rewards Programs

Rates last updated August 28th, 2015
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee Points per $ spent
Commonwealth Bank Awards Credit Card
Enjoy a low annual fee with balance transfer offer of 5.99% p.a. for 5 months.
20.24% p.a. 5.99% p.a. for 5 months $59 p.a. VISA/MC: 1 AMEX: 1.5 More info
Commonwealth Bank Gold Awards Credit Card
Receive complimentary comprehensive travel insurance, 90 day purchase security cover and extended warranty on purchases. Get 5% cash back on contactless purchases.
20.24% p.a. 5.99% p.a. for 5 months $119 p.a. VISA/MC: 1 AMEX: 2 More info
Commonwealth Bank Platinum Awards Credit Card
Enjoy a balance transfer offer of 5.99% p.a. for 5 months with an international travel Insurance and extended Insurance/Purchase/Security benefits. Get 5% cash back on contactless purchases.
20.24% p.a. 5.99% p.a. for 5 months $249 p.a. VISA/MC: 1 AMEX: 2.5 More info

Commonwealth Bank Awards Program: Interview with Lynn Hamblet

Click here for video transcript

Jeremy: Hi. I’m Jeremy Cabral, from Finder.com.au, and we’re here to talk to Lynn Hamlett, the Executive Manager of Credit Cards from Commonwealth Bank. Lynn, thank you for joining us.

Lynn: It’s great to be here.

Jeremy: When it comes to choosing a rewards credit card, why should someone choose CommBank?

Lynn: The CommBank Awards Program is the largest awards program of any Australian bank. All of our awards accounts come with an American Express card and a MasterCard card. This means our
customers can maximise their points earning potential, as well as having the freedom of knowing that their card is accepted at over 35 million locations worldwide. What’s more, with our Awards Program, our points never expire.

Jeremy: How can customers earn CommBank awards points?

Lynn : Most purchases you make with your CommBank Awards card will earn you points. We also have a bonus partner program, whereby customers can earn bonus points at some of our selected bonus partners. For a full list of our bonus partners, you can visit the website.

The main difference with the CommBank Awards Program is that we not only allow our customers to redeem by the more traditional methods, such as over the phone or online, but our customers
have the power to redeem their points in-store at Myer and FlatCentre stores nationwide. All our customers need to do is present their card at Myer or Flight Centre stores and ask to pay with points. If you don’t have enough points to pay for the total amount, you can make up the difference, just like any other purchase.

Jeremy: So how can somebody apply for a CommBank Awards credit card?

Lynn: Once you hit Apply on credit card finder, you’ll be taken to a secure website where you can complete your application. We offer a 60 second response.

Start comparing Commonwealth Bank awards credit cards


Types of Reward Cards

  1. Commonwealth Bank Awards Credit Card - The basic awards card can be from MasterCard or American Express. The MasterCard gains 1.00 Awards point per $1 spent, while the American Express card earns 1.50 Awards point for the same amount. Customers also have the option of linking both the MasterCard and the American Express card to the same rewards account, and benefit from accelerated rewards.
  2. Commonwealth Bank Gold Awards Credit Card – Cardholders earn 2.00 Awards points per dollar spent on purchases through the gold card when spending on AMEX, and 1.00 point when per $1 spent on MasterCard purchases.
  3. Commonwealth Bank Platinum Awards Credit Card- The highest points can be accumulated through the platinum card, 2.50 Awards points per dollar spent on AMEX Purchases, and 1.00 Award points on MasterCard purchases. For the gold and platinum cards you still have the choice of linking both a MasterCard and an American Express Card to the same Awards account. You will receive one statement for both your cards, while maximizing your rewards points accumulation rate.

How can I earn points?

The Commonwealth Bank Awards program is very flexible. By default, an Awards card will earn Awards points. As mentioned above there’s four levels of Awards cards, and below is a table showing what they earn when using the MasterCard and linked American Express.

Points per dollar (MasterCard)

Points per dollar (American Express)

Awards card

1.00

1.50

Gold Awards card

1.00

2.00

Platinum Awards card

1.00

2.50

Diamond Awards card

1.25

3.00

As you can see the points earning potential gets better the higher up the Awards card food chain you get. The annual fees also get more expensive, with the Diamond card having an annual fee $349, more expensive than the $59 charged by the regular Awards card.

If you already have a Qantas Frequent Flyer membership you can have your Awards card linked to this so you directly earn Qantas Points. If you have a Virgin Velocity Frequent Flyer membership you can’t directly earn these points through the Awards card; however, you can manually convert Awards points into some frequent flyer programs. Below are the earn rates for each.

Qantas Points

As mentioned you can swap your Awards card over to the Qantas Frequent Flyer program
and directly earn Qantas Points, although this comes with a $10 annual fee.

Points per dollar (MasterCard)

Points per dollar (American Express)

Awards card

0.4

0.6

Gold Awards card

0.4

0.8

Platinum Awards card

0.5

1.25

Diamond Awards card

0.625

1.5

Velocity Frequent Flyer

To earn Velocity points via the Virgin frequent flyer rewards program, you’ll need to manually swap Awards points over each time you have over 3,600 points.

Each Award point will be worth a different number of Velocity points depending on what card you have.

Number of Awards points needed for one Velocity point

Awards card

2.5

Gold Awards card

2.5

Platinum Awards card

2

Diamond Awards card

2

Bonus partners

You can earn extra points if you spend with Commonwealth Bank’s bonus partners. These include using your card to pay for services or items from partners like Flight Centre, who sometimes give bonus Awards points if you redeem points for a flight with them.


How can I redeem points?

There are many potential rewards available through the Awards program, so how you redeem your points will depend on what you choose to do with them.

  • Directly at Myer

Myer will let you pay for purchases using your points. All you need to do is pay using your Awards card and inform the sales representative at the counter you wish to pay using your points. You can also pay with a combination of points and payment from your credit card.

  • Flight Centre rewards

    You can use your Awards points to make bookings at Flight Centre. This means you can make bookings on any airline, for any seat and to anywhere. In addition you can book hotel accommodation, car hire and more using these points through Flight Centre. This can be more flexible than a regular frequent flyer program, which forces you to fly with the airline linked to the program and their partner airlines. Like the Myer points redemption you can pay with a combination of points and money from your Awards credit card if need be. There’s also a minimum points redemption amount of 2,500 points.

  • Pay with points

    Myer and Flight Centre offer the ability to pay for your rewards using your points, and if you don’t have enough, you can pay for the difference using real payments including your credit card. If you’re booking a holiday through Flight Centre you can also use points and payment at Escape Travel, Student Flights, Travel Associates and Cruiseabout.

  • Other redemption possibilities

    You can use your points to receive the usual range of items from a frequent flyer store. This includes electronics, appliances, fashion and health items and magazine subscription. The Awards program also has a large range of gift cards which can be bought using points. Retailers and department stores likeColes, rebel, Flight Centre, Napoleon, Prouds, RedBalloon and others all offer gift cards for different amounts. Redeeming points for these items involves logging onto your netbank account for your Awards card and browsing till you find what you want. You then simply add the reward into your rewards cart and pay using your points.

How can I check my points balance?

  • Netbank. Netbank is Commonwealth Bank’s internet portal. Customers can log into Netbank and click the Awards icon. This will show the points balance on their card.
  • Myer or Flight Centre. Both these options let you buy goods through the points accumulated. You can ask a representative to tell you the points tally on the card.
  • Over the phone. Awards service hotline can be called between 8am and 8pm from Monday to Friday to find the points tally.

Are there any perks for frequent travellers?

Frequent travellers have a greater flexibility of redeeming their points. They can redeem them directly at the Flight Centre or transfer points to Qantas Frequent Flyer program and Virgin Frequent Flyer points. Some important points are:

  • Velocity points. For swapping the points to Velocity points customers need to contact Netbank or call the service hotline.
  • Flight centre. Before purchasing the ticket, the person handling the transaction should be informed that the payment must be through the points on the card.
  • Awards website. Customers can also go the Awards website and purchase flight and accommodation for both domestic and international trips.

What else should I keep in mind?

Customers need to keep a couple of things in mind while using these cards. They are:

  • Point expiry. These points never expire. There are other programs like Qantas Frequent Flyer program where the points can expire in 18 months; however with Awards points there is no such limit. Therefore customers should not be in a hurry to redeem their points. They can safely add their points for a couple of years and redeem it to pay for their dream vacation or any other expense when they have enough points.
  • Card upgrade. Due to the limitation on the points many customers can hit the ceiling limit quite fast. In this case they can consider upgrading to a higher level card. In this case, the points earned will be transferred to the new card within five business days.
  • Correct choice of card. These cards have a fee from $59 p.a. for basic card to $349 p.a. for Diamond card. So it is necessary to choose the card prudently which will allow adding maximum number of points depending on the current spending habits. Buying a higher level card when the expenses are not high will lead to lower point collection and unnecessary heavy annual fee.
  • Point limitation. There is a point limitation for all the cards. They are 50,000 for basic Awards card, 125,000 for Gold card, 250,000 for Platinum card and 1,000,000 for Diamond card. This is the maximum points which can be added on the cards per year.

Maximum points earned per year

Awards card

50,000

Gold Awards card

125,000

Platinum Awards card

250,000

Diamond Awards card

1 million


Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Wide variety. There is something for everyone due to the diversity of cards. Customers with lower purchase level can choose a Gold or standard card whereas customers with higher expenses can opt for Diamond card which should help in rapid accumulation of points.
  • No point expiry. The points never expire. This helps in accumulation over a longer period of time without worrying about losing the points. This can help in paying off one-time expense at a later date like going on a dream vacation.
  • Easy redeeming. The points can be redeemed through a variety of options. These include directly at Myer, Flight centre or pay with points.
  • Easy upgrade. The cards can be upgraded if the points ceiling will be reached within a year. This gives the option to go for a lower level card initially and then move to a higher level if the purchases on the card are high.

Cons

  • High Balance transfer rate. These cards have a high balance transfer rate compared to the general market. The rate is 5.99% p.a. for first five months.
  • Lower purchases. If the overall purchases on the card are less, it will lead to lower points and lower benefits on redeeming these points. For customers who use two or three cards, a lower purchase on these cards will lead to higher annual fee without commensurate benefits. Hence customers should try and use these cards as their primary purchase card to gain requisite points.

    Commonwealth Bank has a range of cards which meet the requirement for most of the customers seeking reward points. These options range from basic Awards card which comes at $59 p.a. fee to more premium Diamond Award card which comes at $349 p.a. fee. The exact choice of the card should depend on the spending habits of an individual. An ideal card would help to gain enough points to recuperate the annual fee along with providing desired benefits. Customers should also be wary of overspending to collect points as it can lead to unnecessary debt and mismanagement of household budget.


    Frequently asked questions

    How much does a gift card cost in points?

    You can use a wide range of gift cards offered by Commonwealth Bank. For example, a $100 gift card would need 18,600 points and $500 gift card would need 93,000 points. Customers can find a wide range of option by visiting netbank.com.au. Clicking on the Awards icon will give additional details. Customers can also call 13 1661 for complete detail on phone.

    Can I purchase other goods with the points earned?

    Sure. This is the best feature of these points. You can get an Iphone 6 for 200,000 points or an Ipad air for 112,000 points. There are other option also, from American Tourister bags, Swarovski set, Delonghi coffee machine to a humble George Foreman mixture.

    I do not like to redeem my points regularly although my overall expense is high. Is there any benefit for these cards?

    The points on these cards have no expiry. So you can get a Diamond or Platinum Awards card and keep on accumulating points for the next few years. These points can then be spent to get a free vacation on a tropical island or a visit to Europe. With other features like complimentary travel insurance, these cards make sure you do not have to spend any extra amount during your dream vacation, provided you have enough points on your card.

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34 Responses to Commonwealth Bank Awards Credit Card Rewards Program Review

  1. Default Gravatar
    lindsay | July 20, 2015

    Could you please send to my email address the pdf for the latest Commonwealth Bank awards available, as I no longer receive a hard copy.

    Thank you

    • Staff
      Jonathan | July 20, 2015

      Hi Lindsay, thanks for your inquiry!

      Please refer to the PDF I have sent to your email for the latest copy of Commonwealth Bank’s awards.

      Cheers,

      Jonathan

  2. Default Gravatar
    joan | June 12, 2015

    I am trying to view the catalogue be cant seam to find it please help.

    Joan

    • Staff
      Jonathan | June 12, 2015

      Hi Joan, thanks for your inquiry!

      Please refer to the PDF I have sent to your email for the rewards catalogue of Commonwealth Bank.

      Cheers,

      Jonathan

  3. Default Gravatar
    Kathy | April 14, 2015

    I have tried to get from a local branch a hard copy of the rewards catalogue for my elderly parents. They do not want to have internet access to view online. They used to automatically receive it vua post. I have not been able to find the brochure online on CBA site. Are you able to please send one to them via post? I don’t understand why the branch couldn’t arrange to have one sent to them.
    Thanks

    • Staff
      Jonathan | April 15, 2015

      Hi Kathy, thanks for your inquiry!

      Please note that finder.com.au is independent to Commonwealth Bank. At this point of time the Rewards catalogue is only available in PDF format online, possibly due to environmental reasons to save paper printing. An alternative around getting the catalogue posted is that the PDF can be printed and then given to your parents.

      I hope this helps.

      Cheers,

      Jonathan

  4. Default Gravatar
    Alan | April 2, 2015

    I would like to cash in award points. What is the phone number?

    • Staff
      Jonathan | April 8, 2015

      Hi Alan, thanks for your inquiry!

      Please refer to the contact details I have sent to your email for Commonwealth Bank Awards.

      Cheers,

      Jonathan

  5. Default Gravatar
    rajeev | March 16, 2015

    Hello,

    Please send me CBA awards booklet by post/email

    regards

    rajeev

    • Staff
      Jonathan | March 16, 2015

      Hi Rajeev, thanks for your inquiry.

      Please see the attachment I have sent to your email for the CBA awards booklet.

      Cheers,

      Jonathan

  6. Default Gravatar
    Mrs | December 15, 2014

    How do I access list of rewards offered, not interested in buying from Myer etc. have clicked on “awards” beside Master Card on netbank but can get nowhere!!

    • Staff
      Elizabeth | December 15, 2014

      Hi Margaret,

      Thanks for your question.

      According to the Commbank website, by clicking on ‘Awards’ in netbank you should be able to see a list of rewards that are available for you to redeem. If you’re not seeing this then you may need to get in contact with Commbank directly in order to find out if there is a problem.

      I hope this has helped.

      Thanks,

      Elizabeth

  7. Default Gravatar
    R | November 26, 2014

    What is the number to call to redeem points off the annual charge on my credit card? It is not on your main page

    • Staff
      Elizabeth | November 26, 2014

      Hi R Curtis,

      Thanks for your question.

      You can contact Commonwealth Bank on 13 16 61, but bank fees are exempt from earning rewards points so you will be unable to redeem points for your annual fee.

      I hope this has helped.

      Thanks,

      Elizabeth

  8. Default Gravatar
    Ellen | September 11, 2014

    Would like to see the items that
    I can get with my points.

    • Staff
      Shirley | September 12, 2014

      Hi Ellen,

      Please log into your NetBank account.

      Next to your credit card account you’ll see a small, yellow ‘A’. If you click on this image, you’ll be taken to the page where you can see your options or redeem your points.

      Cheers,
      Shirley

  9. Default Gravatar
    Mel | August 15, 2014

    With the points cap, how do I know the period it operates from – when it starts and when it is over?
    I would be better off switching to one of my other cards for that period or would excess points count towards the next period?
    Or are they wasted? This happened recently with Commbank so I switched to Amex

    • Staff
      Shirley | August 18, 2014

      Hi Mel,

      Thanks for your question.

      You can find out the period is operates from by reading the terms and conditions of the awards program. Please note that Commonwealth Awards points do not expire while you are a member.

      For example, for the Diamonds credit card the total awards point cap is 1,000,000 awards points per year, on the anniversary of when your card account was opened.

      I’ve emailed you a copy of these conditions just in case you wanted to have a look.

      The best reward program for you depends on your personal situation. For example, if you know you’re going to go over the cap all the time, then you might want a credit card that has uncapped points earning.

      All the best,
      Shirley

  10. Default Gravatar
    Murra | August 12, 2014

    How do I find what i can buy with my rewards points ?

    • Staff
      Shirley | August 13, 2014

      Hi Murra,

      Please log into Netbank – next to your credit card account you’ll see a symbol with an “A”.

      Once you’ve clicked on that icon you’ll be redirected to a page where you can browse through rewards.

      Cheers,
      Shirley

Credit Cards Comparison

Rates last updated August 28th, 2015
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee Cash advance rate (p.a.)
St.George Vertigo Platinum
A platinum card with a low interest rate on balance transfers and purchases with a low annual fee.
0% p.a. for 3 months (reverts to 12.74% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 20 months $99 p.a. 21.49% p.a. Go to site More info
NAB Low Rate Credit Card
Low ongoing interest rate on purchases and balance transfers.
0% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 13.99% p.a.) 4.99% p.a. for 6 months $59 p.a. 21.74% p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Velocity Escape Card
Enjoy 7,500 bonus Velocity Points when you spend $300 within the first 3 months and up to 2.00 points for every dollar you spend, together with a $0 annual fee. Offer ends on 30 September 2015.
20.74% p.a. 0.99% p.a. for 6 months with 1% balance transfer fee $0 p.a. Go to site More info
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
Earn rewards points plus a balance transfer offer. Access to Platinum benefits including a personal concierge service and VISA Platinum reward program.
19.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 8 months $0 p.a. 21.99% p.a. Go to site More info

* The credit card offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of credit cards CreditCardFinder.com.au has access to track details from and is not representative of all the products available in the market. Products are displayed in no particular order or ranking. The use of terms 'Best' and 'Top' are not product ratings and are subject to our disclaimer. You should consider seeking independent financial advice and consider your own personal financial circumstances when comparing cards.

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