Spend $53,000 on credit reward points to get kettle
Exclusive: Credit card customers chasing points are having to spend nearly $53,000 just to get a $169 kettle.
The big four banks are among those forcing customers to jump through hoops to reap any rewards and experts say it's often not worth the customer's time nor expense.
New analysis from financial comparison website RateCity showed to get a Breville brushed stainless steel smart kettle from Westpac's rewards program the customer would have to spend around $1000 a week on their card over a 12-month period.
The data showed on a Westpac Altitude Platinum card the customer would have to fork out $52,725 to redeem the kettle from the bank's rewards store. This card's annual fee is $150, while the kettle only retails for $169.
An ANZ Rewards Platinum cardholder would have to spend $121,487 to earn enough points for a Dyson V8 Animal Extra stick vacuum that retails for $799.
A CBA Platinum Awards customer must spend $90,274 on their card to get a Weber Baby Q barbecue that usually sells for $339, while a NAB Rewards Platinum customer needs card spending of $189,209 to generate the points required for a $749 Breville coffee machine.
In recent years some big banks have reduced the earn rates, meaning customers have to spend more to get any rewards.
RateCity's spokeswoman Sally Tindall warned rewards points "can catch people out".
"If you want to play the rewards points game you need to be on your toes," she said.
"The reality is unless you're a big spender many of the rewards credit cards on offer just aren't worth it because once you shell out for the annual fee you've probably gone backwards."
She suggests customers review the terms and conditions linked to their rewards card to work out if it is worth having - many of these come with hefty annual fees that can more than $400 a year.
Some cards deliver customers extra points depending on which store they make a purchase from.
Crown Money Management's chief executive officer Scott Parry said credit card rewards are a waste of time and money.
"Credit card rewards have been watered down so much, to spend $50,000 to get a kettle is insane," he said.
"Some cards are charging hundreds of dollars a year in annual fees which at the end of the day negates that $50,000 in spending to get the kettle."
Mr Parry also said credit card rewards often resulted in customers spending extra cash so they could collect more points.
During the pandemic Australians have wiped credit card debts - the amount on plastic accruing interest fell from $27.1 billion in December 2019 to $20.1 billion in December last year.
Originally published as Spend $53,000 on credit reward points to get kettle