Yet another frequent flyer plan windback. There does seem to be a pattern here. Launch with compelling offers which beat the alternatives. Win lots of customers and then dial back the rewards.
Westpac is winding back its frequent flyer point credit card loyalty program.
The number of frequent flyer points earned for every dollar spent on the bank's "Altitude" credit cards will be halved.
Westpac says increased costs have forced the change and less than 40 per cent of customers will be affected.[Source: abc.com.au]
ANZ's Qantas Visa and ANZ Telstra Visa, both of which redeem points against Qantas flights have been wound back (from memory) at least twice. The first was when Qantas changing the earnings basis from 1 pt per kilometre to 1 pt per mile (in 2000 or 2001). Then most recently ANZ capped the rates at which you earn points on larger monthly spend. The ANZ program is the most popular in Australia.
From ANZ web site
For ANZ Frequent Flyer Visa
In any monthly statement cycle, you earn:
- one point for every dollar up to $1,500 spent on purchases
- one point for every two dollars over $1,500 spent on purchases up to and including a maximum monthly spend of $5,000
- no points (excluding bonus points) on amounts spent over $5,000.
Earning point is one point of frustration but the real challenge becomes when it comes to redeeming them. Despite having a massive liability related to unredeemed points the airlines I deal with (mainly Qantas) have very limited opportunities to redeem and often at only inopportune times.
It is reasonably easy for an airline to predict the acceptance of a frequent flyer program. How they are allowed to promote schemes which ultimately they don't deliver remains a mystery.