Westpac has announced a series of changes to the Altitude Rewards redemption rates. Overall, the changes affect a broad range of redemptions across the program. For Frequent Flyers, the changes include a reduced value that will be obtained when transferring Altitude points to some airline partners.
The changes were originally scheduled to apply from September 28, however this was delayed until November 9, 2016
The Frequent Flyer schemes affected by the change are the programs of Air New Zealand (Airpoints), Cathay Pacific (Asia Miles) and Singapore Airlines (KrisFlyer). The changes do not affect the redemption rates to the Malaysia Airlines (Enrich) or Virgin Australia (Velocity).
The changes to the redemption rates are shown in the following table:
(Before 9 November 2016)
|New Redemption Rate
(From 9 November 2016)
|Air New Zealand Airpoints||160 Points to 1 Airpoint Dollar||180 Points to 1 Airpoint Dollar|
|Cathay Pacific Asia Miles||2 Points to 1 Asia Mile||2.5 Points to 1 Asia Mile|
|Singapore Airlines Air Miles||2 Points to 1 Krisflyer Mile||2.5 Points to 1 Krisflyer Mile|
For the Enrich and Velocity Programs, the number of points required will remain at 2 Altitude Points to 1 Enrich or Velocity Point.
When comparing the value of various cards, an important factors is the effective earn rate that can be achieved. The effective rate is the number of points that can be earned for each dollar of spend.
As the Altitude Points earn rate varies depending on the actual card you are using, the effective earn rate changes. The effective earn rate reflects the number of Frequent Flyer points that are earned per dollar spent. This is one of the useful metrics in comparing cards, and can vary quite widely.
For the main personal Altitude cards, the new effective earn rates (for Asia Miles and Krisflyer) are shown in the following tables:
Effective Earn Rate
Effective Earn Rate
|Altitude Black Amex||3||1.5 per dollar||1.2 per dollar|
|Altitude Black Mastercard – Australia||1.25||0.625 per dollar||0.5 per dollar|
|Altitude Black Mastercard – Overseas||3||1.2 per dollar||1.2 per dollar|
|Altitude Platinum Amex||2||1 per dollar||0.8 per dollar|
|Altitude Platinum Visa||1||0.5 per dollar||0.4 per dollar|
|Altitude Amex||2||1 per dollar||0.8 per dollar|
|Altitude Visa||1||0.5 per dollar||0.4 per dollar|
There are changes in the redemption rates of other options in the Altitude program. Affected redemptions include those for Gift Vouchers, Merchandise and Altitude Travel, These will require more points to be redeemed.
You are able to redeem at the current levels prior to 9 November. If you are transferring to one of the affected programs, it would be worthwhile considering making the transfer prior to this date.
Details of the changes have been published by Westpac on the Altitude Rewards website.