ASB backs down on plan to cut credit card rewards, after customer ‘feedback’

ASB has backed down from its plan to significantly increase the amount of money customers have to spend on their credit cards to earn rewards.

It said it had listened to customer feedback and decided to rethink its approach.

It announced this week that it had planned to downgrade its credit card rewards scheme early next month.

The bank’s credit card rewards scheme allows cardholders to earn either AA Smartfuel discounts, or ASB True Rewards points.

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The True Rewards points can then be spent at stores including Farmers, Noel Leeming, Pascoes and Rebel Sport, but they can also be used to top up ASB KiwiSaver accounts, or to make donations to charities.

Each True Rewards point is worth $ 1, but ASB said people would have to spend more to earn each point, and each extra cent off the pump price of petrol.

ASB says it has 'listened to customer feedback'.

Kevin Stent / Stuff

ASB says it has ‘listened to customer feedback’.

Someone with an ASB Visa Rewards card would have to spend $ 275 to get one True Rewards dollar, instead of $ 150 at present.

People with a Visa Platinum Rewards card would have to spend $ 150 rather than $ 100 at present.

But ASB said on Friday that it had changed its mind about the plan.

“[We] won’t be going ahead with the planned earn rate changes we communicated this week.

“Please note, the proposed changes were due to come into effect next month so no earn rate changes have been made.”

It had been suggested that other banks might have to follow suit because of new caps on merchant fees, which retailers pay to accept credit card payments. These take effect on November 13.

Retail NZ chief executive Greg Harford said the interchange rates funded rewards programs.