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. In addition to that, there’s 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.
Commonwealth Bank Awards Program: Interview with Lynn Hamblet
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Types of Reward Cards
- Commonwealth Bank Awards Credit Card This is the basic awards card which is ideal for cost conscious customers who would like to take benefit of the awards program. The annual fee is $59 Some of the limits on this card include a maximum points collection limit per year of 50,000 and also a lower points earning rate of 1 (MasterCard) to 1.5 (AMEX) for every dollar spent. If customers choose to participate in the Qantas Frequent Flyer program it would also give lower points earning of 0.6 points per dollar (AMEX card).
- Commonwealth Bank Gold Awards Credit Card This is the next highest card available which comes with an annual fee of $119. Customers can accumulate points up to 125000 per year on this card. The earning rate varies from 1 (MasterCard) to 2 (AMEX) points per dollar spent.
- Commonwealth Bank Platinum Awards Credit Card This card is available at a fee of $249. Customers can earn 2.5 points on AMEX card and 1 point on MasterCard. A total of 250,000 points can be accumulated per year on this card.
- Commonwealth Bank Diamond Awards Credit Card This is the highest level card available at a price tag of $349. Customers can earn up to 3 points on Amex card and 1.25 point on MasterCard for every dollar spent. The limit on points collected per year is also much higher at one million. There are other benefits which include a much faster point collection on other programs like Qantas Frequent Flyer program and personal concierge.
These cards have been customised to meet the expectations of different customer groups. Customers who have a lower income can go for basic card or Gold card which will prevent them hitting the points ceiling. Customers with higher expenses can go for Diamond card which has a very high points ceiling limit and allows them to take advantage of other benefits like personal concierge, travel insurance and more.
How can I earn points?
The biggest variation in the cards comes at the earning rate. Higher level cards like Diamond card have a much higher rate at which points are earned then basic Awards card. This ends up with higher tally of points at the end of the day which can be used to buy other items or used to get gift cards.
|Points per dollar (MasterCard)||Points per dollar (American Express)|
|Gold Awards card||1||2|
|Platinum Awards card||1||2.5|
|Diamond Awards card||1.25||3|
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.
Customers can opt-in for Qantas Frequent Flyer (QFF) program for a fee of $10 p.a. They can earn points on QFF at the following rates.
|Points per dollar (MasterCard)||Points per dollar (American Express)|
|Gold Awards card||0.4||0.8|
|Platinum Awards card||0.5||1.25|
|Diamond Awards card||0.625||1.5|
Velocity Frequent Flyer
Customers can also swap their points for Velocity Frequent Flyer points at the following rates.
|Number of Awards points needed for one Velocity point|
|Gold Awards card||2.5|
|Platinum Awards card||2|
|Diamond Awards card||2|
Bonus points are an attractive alternative for rapidly adding the points to your tally. There are several partners which provide extra points when purchases are made at their store. Some of them are mentioned here along with the points earned:
- Crown Metropol: 1
- Crown Towers: 1
- Marque Hotels: 2
- Napoleon Perdis: 1
- Rendezvous Hotels And Resorts International: 2
- Thrifty: 1
- Village Cinemas Australia: 1
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. The points can be used to directly purchase goods at Myer. This can vary from the latest IPhone, IPad to menswear or women’s apparel.
- Flight Centre rewards. Flight Centre provides a flexible option to book your flights through the points. Customers can also book hotel accommodation or car hire through the points./li>
- Pay with points. Customers are given a wider option by allowing part payment through points. For example, customers can choose to get an IPhone 6 by paying 50,000 points and the rest of the payment can be made through real money in credit card.
- Other redemption possibilities. There are other options through which one can use the points. One of this is getting a gift card. Gift cards from $25 to $500 are available which can be used in a number of department stores like Myers, Napoleon, Prouds, Coles and more.
How can I check my points balance?
- 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 consider?
Customers need to keep a couple of things in mind while using these cards. They are:
- 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.
- 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. Hence 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.
|Maximum points earned per year|
|Gold Awards card||125,000|
|Platinum Awards card||250,000|
|Diamond Awards card||1 million|
Pros and Cons
- 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.
- 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.