Commonwealth Bank Awards Credit Card Rewards Program Review

Posted September 12th, 2010 and last modified July 9th, 2014

Learn about the main benefits of the Commonwealth Bank Awards Credit Card Program, and how you can redeem your points.

Thanks to a wide range of rewards, your dollar just became more valuable. The Commonwealth Bank Awards Credit Card Program is a companion credit card rewards scheme. This means that two credit cards are issued on one account – a MasterCard and an American Express – giving the customer one annual fee and one statement, but with points from both cards counting towards the reward of your choice.

Commonwealth Bank offers their rewards cardholders a variety of choices when it comes to reward items. You can choose from four different levels of reward cards to gain Commonwealth Bank Awards points.

Commonwealth Bank Awards Credit Card

Commonwealth Bank Awards Credit Card Offer

The Commonwealth Bank Awards Credit Card gives you a chance to earn Rewards points per $1 spend. Also offering a low interest rate offer on balance transfer and purchases.

  • $89 p.a. ($59 for qualifying customers) annual fee
  • 0% p.a. for 10 months (reverts to 20.24% p.a.) on purchases
  • 5.99% p.a. for 5 months on balance transfers
  • Cash Advance Rate of 21.24% p.a.
  • Up to 55 days interest free

Overview of Commonwealth Bank Credit Cards with Rewards Programs

Rates last updated September 3rd, 2014.

Interest rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee Cash advance rate (p.a.)
Commonwealth Bank Awards Credit Card
Commonwealth Bank Awards Credit Card
A low interest rate offer with online security guarantee. Frequent Flyer Awards system, including Bonus Partner Reward Offers. 0% p.a. for 10 months (reverts to 20.24% p.a.) 5.99% p.a. for 5 months $89 p.a. ($59 for qualifying customers) 21.24% p.a. Go to siteMore info
Commonwealth Bank Gold Awards Credit Card
Commonwealth Bank Gold Awards Credit Card
A low interest rate offer on balance transfer and purchases. Complimentary comprehensive travel insurance, 90 day purchase security cover and extended warranty on purchases. 0% p.a. for 10 months (reverts to 20.24% p.a.) 5.99% p.a. for 5 months $144 p.a. ($114 for qualifying customers) 21.24% p.a. Go to siteMore info
Commonwealth Bank Platinum Awards Credit Card
Commonwealth Bank Platinum Awards Credit Card
A low interest rate offer with an international travel Insurance and extended Insurance/Purchase/Security benefits. 0% p.a. for 10 months (reverts to 20.24% p.a.) 5.99% p.a. for 5 months $280 p.a. ($250 for qualifying customers) 21.24% p.a. Go to siteMore 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.



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.

Earning 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 $425, more expensive than the $89 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.

Redeeming 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.

  • Redeem 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.

  • 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 like Myer, Coles, 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.

  • 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.

Points balance

Through Netbank

You can check your points balance by logging onto Netbank, which is Commonwealth Bank’s internet banking platform.

When you log on, you need to scroll down to the table displaying your available accounts. Then click on the yellow ‘A’ and you’ll be shown your points balance.

  • At Myer or Flight Centre

    Myer and Flight Centre can both let you use your points to pay for items and services, and also check on your balance. You will need to ask the representative who’s handling your transaction and they’ll be able to tell you.

  • Over the phone

    You can find out how many points you have by calling the Awards service hotline between 8am and 8pm Monday to Friday (Melbourne and Sydney time).

Travel

The Awards program has a number of benefits for the frequent traveller, or those who like to gradually build their points and splurge on a holiday. Awards points have no expiry date, so you can use them whichever way you like.

  • Remember you can choose to directly earn Qantas Points, transfer your points for Virgin Velocity Points or use your points at Flight Centre.

  • If you choose to redeem your points and swap them for Velocity points, you’ll need to log onto your Netbank or call the service hotline.

  • If you decide to use your points at a Flight Centre, you’ll need to use your Awards card when paying and specify to the person handling the transaction that you want to use your points. Alternatively you can call the specified hotline number, or buy flights and accommodation for both domestic or international trips through the Awards website.

Other important information

There are some things to bear in mind with the Awards program.

Points earning is capped each year. Each of the Awards cards has a different cap.

Maximum points earned per year

Awards card

50,000

Gold Awards card

125,000

Platinum Awards card

250,000

Diamond Awards card

1 million

Points don’t expire. As long as you still have an Awards account your points don’t expire. This is in contrast to frequent flyer programs where points usually expire after a certain time, or if the account isn’t used within a specified time period (18 months for Qantas and 36 months for Virgin Velocity).

Points are transferred to your new card if you upgrade. If you move from say a Gold Awards card to a Platinum Awards card, your existing points will be transferred over within five business days.

Commonwealth Bank offers a large reward program with no expiry on points. This means you can earn points quickly when you use your Commonwealth Bank awards credit card for daily spending.

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18 Responses to Commonwealth Bank Awards Credit Card Rewards Program Review

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Default Gravatar
    Judith | March 4, 2014

    I would like to speak to someone in reference to re-joining your awards program, but I’m unable to find a contact phone number as the numbers on my credit card are all disconnected.

    • Staff
      Jacob | March 4, 2014

      Hi, Judith.

      Thanks for getting in touch with us.

      You can contact the Commonwealth Bank Awards Program on: 13 1661.

      I hope this helps.

  4. Default Gravatar
    Terry | February 21, 2014

    Could you email me an awards brochure please?

    • Staff
      Jacob | February 21, 2014

      Hi, Terry.

      No problem.

      Jacob.

  5. Default Gravatar
    robyn | December 4, 2013

    How many points for a $50 gift card?

    • Staff
      Jacob | December 4, 2013

      Hi Robyn.

      There are a number of gift cards, please refer to the Commonwealth Bank Awards catalog for information about rewards redemption options.

      Thanks for your question.

  6. Default Gravatar
    cheryl | October 3, 2013

    How do I find the point redemption brochure?

    • Staff
      Jacob | October 3, 2013

      Hi Cheryl.

      This information can be found on the Commonwealth Bank Awards website. Look for the link that says, ‘browse awards’.

      Thanks for your question.

  7. Default Gravatar
    jANET | September 30, 2013

    Could you please give me a phone number to ring?

    • Staff
      Jacob | September 30, 2013

      Hi Janet.

      Thanks for your question.

      You can find our phone number on the contact us page.

  8. Default Gravatar
    Denise | August 1, 2013

    How many points do I need for a $100 dollar voucher?

    • Staff
      Jacob | August 1, 2013

      Hi Denise.
      Thanks for your question.
      The number of Commonwealth Bank Awards Points you need depends on the type of gift card. For instance, currently you can redeem 18,600 Commonwealth Bank Award Points for a $100 Myer Gift Card and 20,000 Commonwealth Bank Awards Points for a $100 MasterCard gift card. I have sent the latest Commonwealth Bank Awards brochure to your email if you would like to have a look.
      I hope this helps.
      Jacob.

  9. Default Gravatar
    Anna | April 20, 2013

    Hi. If I make Bpay payment with credit card, can I get the points? Thank you.

    • Staff
      Jacob | April 21, 2013

      Hi Anna. Thanks for your question. BPAY transactions are excluded from earning Commonwealth Bank Awards Points. American Express Cards allow you to earn point when paying utility bills, you can compare their cards here. Jacob.

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