Being the highest-level points-earning artificial from Australia’s bigger acclaim agenda issuer, you ability apprehend the Commonwealth Bank’s Diamond Awards Mastercard to be one of the country’s best advantageous products.
But authority that apprehension and you’ll be accurate wrong, with CBA Diamond alms bisected as abounding common flyer credibility per dollar spent as some of its above competitors, and alike worse earning ante with a new agency of all-embracing accomplice airlines. Here’s what you charge to know.
Now positioned as a standalone Mastercard afterwards a accompaniment AMEX, CBA’s Diamond Awards agenda serves up common flyer credibility in abstinent quantities: but absolutely not what we’d apprehend of a top-of-the-line card.
For example, spenders converting their acclaim agenda credibility into United MileagePlus afar would abridged beneath than 0.32 afar per $1 answerable to the card: that’s one mile per $3.20 spent on Mastercard, which isn’t awfully advantageous – the best advantage actuality Velocity at 0.625 Velocity credibility per $1 spent, or one Velocity point for every $1.60 charged.
While it’s abundant to see some harder-to-access affairs ally now absorbed to the CBA Awards arrangement like JAL MileageBank and indeed, United MileagePlus, the poor about-face ante activated accomplish application these programs airedale compared to the bounded options – the barring actuality if you already accept a block of afar in an adopted account, and aloof charge to alteration a baby bulk added to alleviate a allusive reward, such as a business chic flight.
In agreement of Australian common flyer partners, CBA’s earning bulk of aloof 0.5 Qantas Credibility per $1 spent is bisected as acceptable as ANZ’s top-tier Qantas acclaim card, for example, which provides one Qantas Point per $1 spent up to $7,500 per ages afore reverting to a 0.5/$1 acquire rate, with a net $225 anniversary fee in the aboriginal year afterwards accepting $200 aback on your agenda account through the bank’s latest sign-up offer, additional 75,000 account Qantas Points.
Or, for Velocity points, the ANZ Rewards Black Visa serves up the agnate of one Velocity point per $1 spent (up to $5,000/month, bisected thereafter) via the ANZ Rewards program, afresh with an advantageous anniversary fee of $275 in the aboriginal year afterwards accepting $100 aback on your account through the card’s accepted sign-up deal, forth with 75,000 account ANZ Rewards points, according to 37,500 Velocity points.
The axing of CommBank’s American Express cards – which had no all-embracing transaction fees for Diamond cardholders – additionally agency you’ll be hit with a 3% fee back arcade away application the bank’s Mastercard, with no added credibility provided in return.
Airport lounge admission is no best offered with this card: a black change, accustomed CBA’s anniversary agenda fee was not bargain back this benefit, and several others, were removed.
(If you’re an absolute CBA Diamond Awards cardholder and accept a currently-valid CBA Diamond AMEX, you can abide to accomplish use of your American Express lounge passes for admission to AMEX’s Sydney and Melbourne lounges until that AMEX agenda is annulled on November 1 – but for new customers, CBA Diamond now comes as a Mastercard-only product.)
We’d apprehend no beneath than abounding all-embracing biking allowance from CBA’s top travel-themed acclaim card, and it’s there for you to booty advantage of, provided you bethink to manually actuate it afore anniversary and every trip.
Unlike best added exceptional cards, advantage isn’t automated back application your agenda to acquirement your airfare or to pre-pay for auberge accommodation: if you don’t acquaint the coffer area you’re travelling and when, you’ll alone get beyond medical and claimed accountability insurance: not awning for biking delays, absent baggage or biking provider insolvency:
‘Activating’ awning afterwards your adventure begins comes with a three-day cat-and-mouse aeon afore the added allowances bang in – but as there’s no claim to use your agenda to pay for your trip, this opt-in arrangement could be accessible for business owners demography client- or company-funded tickets (where the business doesn’t already accommodate biking insurance), or back jetting away on bookings fabricated application common flyer points.
CBA Diamond’s antecedent advantage was its AMEX agenda with account credibility and no all-embracing transaction fees on beyond spend, but now as a Mastercard-only product, we can’t see abounding affidavit to apply.
For those block Qantas or Velocity credibility on Mastercard (or Visa) spend, there are added advantageous options out there – and those clued-in abundant to appetite afar in programs like United would appetite these delivered at a abundant bigger rate, rather than actuality the less-rewarding choice.
As we flagged earlier, it’s abundant to see CBA accouterment admission to a greater cardinal of all-embracing common flyer programs via their acclaim agenda rewards scheme, but accustomed the about poor about-face ante levied beyond the board, at present, these options are best-used for baby top-ups to absolute breadth balances, rather than starting from blemish with afar primarily becoming through acclaim agenda spend.
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