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NAB customers threaten to 'jump ship' after rewards points removed

The major bank will no longer offer rewards points on BPAY transactions from April 18.

NAB is overhauling the ways points can be earned on its rewards credit cards. While they are relatively minor changes, it’s been enough for some customers to threaten to cancel their credit cards.

From April 18, NAB customers will no longer be able to earn rewards points when they pay for bills using BPAY. The move brings it in line with most other cards on the market, with ANZ the only other major credit card provider offering rewards points for these transactions.

NAB is also changing the bonus rewards points offered on its Rewards Platinum and Classic credit cards. While it will reduce the points cardholders can earn at selected department and hardware stores like Myer and Bunnings, this will be offset by a boost to points earned at supermarkets.

NAB branch
NAB is making changes to its rewards credit cards and one expert says it could cause some customers to walk.

Do you have a story to share? Contact tamika.seeto@yahooinc.com

One NAB customer told Yahoo Finance he was disappointed by the BPAY changes, which come on top of the major bank also hiking interest rates on its Rewards cards earlier this year.

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"What happened to putting the customer first?," he said. "With other little changes that have been implemented, it seems the focus may be on enhancing the returns the bank makes on each product rather than increasing the value proposition for customers."

Another points collector vented online that it was “time to find an alternative” as BPAY was his “largest point earner”. Others pointed out they liked the fact BPAY transactions could be easily scheduled in advance.

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NAB personal everyday banking executive Paul Riley told Yahoo Finance these changes were “based on customer feedback”.

“We’ve simplified and expanded the benefits of our NAB Rewards credit cards to reward people for things they spend on more often,” Riley said.

“NAB’s Points Booster has been simplified across all tiers of NAB Rewards credit cards to provide more relevant and valuable benefits.

“The change to points earn on BPAY has been made considering the value proposition to customers and better aligns NAB’s offer in market.”

NAB hiked the interest rate on its Rewards, Low Rate and Qantas credit cards by 1 per cent earlier this year, with Rewards customers now paying 20.99 per cent.

CBA, Westpac and ANZ have also hiked interest rates and fees on selected credit cards over the past few months, while CBA recently reduced the number of interest-free days offered on its rewards cards.

‘Winners and losers’ from changes

RateCity research director Sally Tindall said there were “winners and losers” from NAB’s points shakeup.

“For many families with a Rewards Platinum or Classic card, the small bump in points at the supermarket will easily outweigh the bigger drop in points at select department and hardware stores,” Tindall told Yahoo Finance.

“The customers most likely to get their noses out of joint from this revamp are those who purposely have a NAB rewards card to earn points on BPAY transactions.

“For some, it could potentially be enough for them to consider jumping ship to ANZ, which will soon be the only major card provider offering this perk.”

BPAY warning

Tindall has urged customers to “read the find print” before they take out an ANZ credit card to take advantage of the BPAY perk.

“Not all BPAY transactions accrue points using an ANZ rewards card,” she warned.

“If the biller does not accept BPAY transactions made by a credit card, the transaction will be treated by ANZ as a cash advance which typically comes with an extra fee and a higher interest rate, charged from day one.”

The fee is currently 3 per cent or $3 (whichever is higher and capped at $20), and a higher interest rate of 21.99 per cent per annum.

Tindall recommended looking up billers on the BPAY website to check how the transaction would be processed before making a payment.

Customers may still be able to earn points on their bill payments, provided companies offer the option to pay directly by credit card.

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