Altitude cutting transfer rates to Airpoints, Asia Miles and Krisflyer


Back in August, we reported that Westpac had advised that they were making changes to the redemption requirements for Airpoints, Krisflyer and Asia Miles. Originally, set to take effect on 28 September, Westpac missed that date. Last week, the web page advising of the change had no content. The page has now been restored, and has a new date of 9 November, 2016 for the change.

Altitude Transfer Reduction

Westpac has been advising customers of some upcoming changes to the Altitude Rewards redemption rates. The changes, set to kick in on 28 September 9 November, 2016, reduce the effective value of Altitude Rewards points across a range of the available redemption options. Of particular note to frequent flyers, is a change to the transfer rate to the Airpoints, Asia Miles and Krisflyer programs.

The full range of changes that are being made have been published on the Altitude Rewards site. The points devaluation cuts a wide swathe through the program, affecting redemptions on gift voucher, merchandise and frequent flyer programs.

Frequent Flyer Program transfer rate changes

Altitude Rewards has five transfer partners. Of those five partners three are having their redemption rates cut. This affects the Air New Zealand Airpoints program, Cathay Pacific’s Asia Miles, and Singapore Airlines Krisflyer programs.

The two programs that are not affected by this round of changes are Virgin Australia’s Velocity and Malaysia Airlines Enrich program. These two programs will continue to have a transfer rate of 2 Altitude points to one point in either Velocity or Enrich.

For the programs changing, the following table outlines the change

Program Current Redemption
(BeforeĀ  9 November2016)
New Redemption Rate
(From 9 November 2016)
Air New Zealand Airpoints 160 Points to 1 Airpoint Dollar 180 Points to 1 Airpoint Dollar
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles 2 Points to 1 Asia Mile 2.5 Points to 1 Asia Mile
Singapore Airlines Air Miles 2 Points to 1 Krisflyer Mile 2.5 Points to 1 Krisflyer Mile

Effective Earn Rates

As there are a variety of cards across the Altitude family, the effective earn rate per dollar varies by card. The following table shows the effective earn rate in Asia Miles and Krisflyer before and after the changes. Note that the current effective earn rates also apply to Velocity and Enrich – and these effective rates will remain in place.

Account Card Altitude Points
per Dollar
Current Conversion
Effective Earn Rate
New Conversion
Effective Earn Rate
Altitude Black spend Amex 3 1.5 per dollar 1.2 per dollar
Mastercard – Australia 1.25 0.625 per dollar 0.5 per dollar
Mastercard – Overseas spend 3 1.5 per dollar 1.2 per dollar
Altitude Platinum Amex 2 1 per dollar 0.8 per dollar
Visa 1 0.5 per dollar 0.4 per dollar
Altitude Amex 2 1 per dollar 0.8 per dollar
Visa 1 0.5 per dollar 0.4 per dollar

While the changes are not great, they are perhaps not unexpected. There have been a number of cuts made across various credit card programs over the last year, so it was probably inevitable that the Westpac cards would get caught up in award reductions as well.


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