Commonwealth Bank cuts points earning on ATO payments


The Commonwealth Bank has become the latest financial institution to clamp down of the earning of frequent flyer points when using your credit card to pay the Australian Taxation Office (ATO),. The lastest round affects CBA’s line of personal credit cards, which include the standard, Gold, Platinum and Diamond Awards cards. As from November 2, 2015 these cards will earn zero points on payments made to the ATO.

The changes, announced last week, have been applied to the Terms and Conditions of the Award program, to spell out that the earnings will be zero, regardless of whether you use the Visa/Mastercard or American Express cards attached to the account.

The changes, however, do not affect holders of the business oriented Business Awards customers.These customers will be able to accrue points from ATO payments after the change to personal cards comes into effect.

Gaining points through payments to the ATO has provided a large source of points for many cardholders. While the main beneficiaries are those that can put large BAS payments through their accounts, there are tax payments that may be made for personal tax matters. These include paying any annual tax bill, any Pay as You Go Instalments, or even any HECS or FEE-HELP debt that may be owed.

Over the last few years, a number of banks have reduced or even removed earnings on payments to the ATO. This includes the likes of Westpac, which reduced earnings on it American Express cards, while removing it altogether on Visa and Mastercard payments. NAB pulled the plug on ATO payments back in May.

Other approaches used by the banks has included placing low monthly or annual limits on the number of points that could be earned on credit cards.



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