Westpac is the latest major bank to announce a big shake-up of its American Express credit cards.
The bank has announced that its current AMEX cards, which are issued and serviced by Westpac, will close in April 2018.
To replace them, Westpac and AMEX say they will launch a range of new rewards credit cards in early 2018, under a new partnership. These new cards will likely carry the Westpac logo but be issued and serviced by AMEX Australia.
We don’t know any details yet about the new cards or how existing Westpac cardholders will be transitioned to them, but nonetheless, this could be good news for Westpac customers.
All of the banks have been forced to respond to new laws that have made high-end cards, especially AMEX cards, no longer viable for them. However, Westpac, unlike ANZ and NAB, isn’t simply cutting its AMEX cards completely. Instead, it’s opted for a new partnership with AMEX Australia.
Since cards issued by AMEX Australia are not subject to the new laws that affect bank-issued cards, AMEX Australia is able to continue to offer generous perks. (In fact, AMEX has been increasing the perks it offers, to woo new customers).
It seems likely that the new Westpac AMEX cards, being issued by AMEX Australia, will also provide decent benefits. We don’t know any details yet, but yesterday’s press release states that the new cards will offer “an accelerated reward points earn rate, uncapped points, complimentary retail and travel insurance, and other benefits offered exclusively by American Express” – which sounds promising.
Westpac cardholders will also continue to have the choice of accruing points to either their existing Westpac Altitude Rewards or Qantas Frequent Flyer account.
More information about the new cards and the transition process for Westpac cardholders is expected in early 2018.