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Commonwealth Bank Awards program

Shonky for low-flying jets... Commonwealth Bank Awards program.

shonkys hall of shame 2010
CHOICE staff
CHOICE staff


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We looked into the world of travel rewards credit cards to find out what rewards you can earn for a range of spending levels. 

While all the Commonwealth cards linked to the Qantas Frequent Flyer (QFF) program suffered serious rewards jetlag, it was the standard Awards card that stood out for poor performance.

Spending $12,000 per annum on this card will provide a paltry $20 in flights rewards, assuming you can spend on Amex (the value drops even further for Visa/MasterCard users). 

Even big spenders racking up $5000 per month (the highest amount surveyed) can only earn an annual maximum of $240 flights rewards, and returns are even lower if you choose voucher rewards instead.

Where further shonkiness creeps in (yes, it gets worse) is how the points are calculated. 

You could be forgiven for assuming that one Awards point would equal one QFF point – after all, even the terms and conditions do not say otherwise. 

However, in reality you only earn QFF points at half the rate. 

It's confusing to work out and means you need to spend double to earn the rewards you want. 

In fact, you need to spend at least $34,000 just for a Sydney-Brisbane return flight.

The bottom line? If you count on these cards for Frequent Flyer points, you won't be flying very frequently at all.