The idea behind companion credit cards is that you get the best of both worlds* – the widespread acceptance of Visa or MasterCard, and the kudos and extra privileges of American Express.
All the big four banks – NAB, Commonwealth, Westpac and ANZ – now operate companion credit card schemes, and they are designed to speed up the rate at which rewards points can be accumulated. Where Visa and MasterCard purchases may bring one point per dollar spent, American Express card purchases can often bring two or three points per dollar.
The idea is that you use your American Express card where it is accepted and earn more points per dollar for doing so. American Express does not enjoy the same coverage as Visa or MasterCard, so many people who opt for just one credit card would not choose Amex above Visa or MasterCard.
Companion credit cards are a way round this. They operate as one account, have one annual fee, and all points count towards one rewards program. The downside is that it can cost more in terms of an annual fee to use an American Express credit card companion offer. The APR on these cards also tend to be above average.
These are the Amex companion credit cards being offered by the big four banks to accompany their Visa or MasterCard offerings. Below is table of the major dual credit cards offers in market.
Companion Credit Card Offer
The ANZ Frequent Flyer is a companion credit card that will get you to your desired destination in no time at all. Earn Qantas Points for every $1 spent.
- $95 p.a. annual fee
- 19.99% p.a. on purchases
- Cash Advance Rate of 21.49% p.a.
- Up to 44 days interest free
- Minimum Income Requirement of $15,000 p.a.
Companion and Dual AMEX Credit Cards Comparison
Rates last updated October 1st, 2016.
- ANZ Rewards Platinum
Receive 50000 bonus Rewards Points
June 15th, 2016
- ANZ Frequent Flyer
removed FYF offer + extended 25k bonus points offer
June 15th, 2016
- ANZ Rewards Credit Card
Receive 25000 bonus Rewards Points
June 15th, 2016
As a point of interest, the Australian Securities & Investments Commission has recently taken an interest in NAB’s companion credit card scheme, specifically as it relates to NAB Qantas Gold account customers. ASIC was concerned that the distribution of these new Amex companion cards was unsolicited and potentially in breach of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001, which prohibits the sending of unsolicited credit and debit cards, except where:
- a customer has requested the card in writing; or
- the card is sent in renewal or replacement of, or in substitution for, a card of the same kind previously sent to the customer
Between February and May 2009, NAB proactively migrated customers with a NAB Gold Rewards account (MasterCard or Visa card) to an NAB Qantas Gold account (with a MasterCard or Visa card, and a companion American Express card). NAB has now written to all of its Qantas Gold account customers, giving them the option to opt in or opt out of their companion credit cards scheme in writing.
Information on how to earn rewards points on credit cards