The concept of rewards or reward points were up until recent times the exclusive domain of credit cards. Now, you can earn rewards through regular banking without going into debt!
Banks, credit unions and other financial institutions have jumped on the rewards bandwagon. Many now offer customers rewards for saving and spending.
Rewards – as with the credit card equivalent – are a system whereby you accumulate points that can be used for purchases, banking discounts, cash bonuses and services such as flights.
Bank account rewards programs award points (or rewards) for either keeping a minimum balance on your transaction account, making cash deposits or based on your number of transactions.
Some rewards schemes give you – the account-holder – the benefits, while others pay it forward in the form of community rewards.
You can also earn Qantas and Velocity frequent flyer points depending on which bank account rewards program you’re with.
Which bank account rewards program should I choose?
There are only a handful of financial institutions offering bank account rewards on transaction accounts. This makes your decision about which one to sign up for much easier.
Whether or not you have an affiliation with a certain airline is a good starting point to help you determine which type of rewards program would be the most benefit.
And if you’re not a frequent flyer, other factors that might help you choose are:
- How many points are awarded per dollar transacted
- Whether bonus points are awarded for cash deposits
- How many points are awarded based on your bank balance
- How the points can be spent
- Whether a community organisation or charity benefits
- Who the participating reward businesses partners are
Another consideration is whether you’re a fan of Visa or Mastercard, as there’s usually a debit card associated with bank account rewards.
Last but not least, you might want to compare the fees associated with the particular rewards programs you’re interested in. Look out for ATM fees, account-keeping fees and deposit fees.
How do I earn rewards?
As with any program you join, it’s important you read the fine print to ensure you meet the requirements to get the full benefit of a rewards scheme.
All financial institutions provide you with either a product disclosure statement (PDS) or the terms and conditions associated with the contract for the product or service.
For bank account rewards schemes offering flyer points, you would need to check whether it’s a requirement to become a member of the airline’s program first.
Earning rewards might be achieved via purchases using Smart Pay, payWave or a Debit MasterCard. Rewards could be earned by using certain ATMs for withdrawals, or by paying your bills online.
Check what you need to do to earn as many points as possible to make your bank account rewards a worthwhile exercise.