Won’t somebody please think of the frequent flyers? The Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance has decided to defend the right for big banks to charge exorbitant credit card fees, so that people can earn small numbers of frequent flyer points they will never use. According to the “Save our Rewards” website put up by the Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance:
“The Reserve Bank of Australia has just announced they are BANNING high-point earning credit cards and AMEX ‘companion’ cards — and frequent flyers stand to lose big. The banks have already started slashing reward point earns — and there are more cuts to come! But it’s not too late to fight back and save our rewards from extinction!”
As one of the helpful links the alliance has provided on the petition page, one of the two changes bans high fixed credit card surcharge fees from September this year, to a reasonable percentage of the purchase price. This means the fees on budget domestic flights would improve, while the fees on business and international flights would likely be increased, unless the airlines decide to cap the upper end of the fees.
The other change from July next year would cap interchange fees — the amount the card provider charges back to the banks per transaction — at 0.8% with a weighted average cap of 0.5% — below the 2.2% max today. This has led to some of the rewards schemes announcing that they’ll rejig their rewards program, and it’ll be a bit tougher to get that free flight than it was in the past. Annoying for those who like to maximise their points, but will going into bat for the banks and airlines stir up the grassroots movement the conservatives are hoping for?