Westpac has moved to limit the cost of its credit card rewards program by imposing a monthly cap on the number of points issued to customers.
The bank has begun informing customers of the move, which takes effect midyear and will see the number of Altitude points earned restricted to as few as 3750 for each card statement cycle.
Such rewards programs allocate at least one point for each dollar spent on the card and can be converted to frequent flyer points or used to purchase consumer goods.
"The introduction of points caps ensures we can continue to provide a competitive rewards program and access to a great range of rewards," a Westpac spokeswoman said.
"We are the last of the major banks to introduce limits to the number of points customers can earn - our major competitors already apply either a points cap or points expiry to their credit card rewards programs."
While the Commonwealth Bank and National Australia Bank have monthly or annual points caps, ANZ Bank said it did not restrict the number awarded or apply an expiration date.
Westpac's caps will range from 3750 per month for its Earth and Altitude Qantas Platinum to 20,000 for Altitude Business Gold. Its Altitude Platinum card will be limited to 7500.
The bank plans to introduce an Altitude Black World MasterCard and American Express Card with uncapped rewards points. Information of the fees that would apply to those cards was not yet available.
NAB last month introduced a cap on points awarded for beyond a $100,000 spend each month. "These products are designed for personal use only and we price them accordingly," a NAB spokesman said.
"The cap was introduced to prevent anyone attempting to use the card inappropriately."
The Commonwealth said it had annual rather than monthly caps in place for its cards.The limits range from 50,000 a year for its Awards card to one million for the Diamond Awards card.
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