National Bank of Canada has decided to be a follower in the proprietary credit card rewards program department. Who are they following? TD and the TD Travel Rewards program. Last year the TD Travel Rewards Program (TD First Class Visa Infinite, Platinum and Classic Travel) went through a change that saw the cards devalued when redeeming points for any travel charge made to the card. That is, booking how you want when you want and when the charge showed up on your account you redeem your points against it. TD made this move to try to have their members book via ExpediaForTD as the points redemption ratio did not change for bookings made via Expedia (and in turn TD earns a part of the commission).
NBC is now doing the same with their A La Carte Rewards Plan for holders of the World Elite, World or Platinum versions of their cards. As of November 1st the points required to redeem for 'any travel charged on your card' will be going up by up to 10%. If you have these cards or read about them here on Rewards Canada you'll know that right now redemptions are 11,000 points for a $100 credit or 10,000 Points for a $100 credit if redeeming over 50,000 points. That 11,000 becomes 12,000 and the 10,000 becomes 11,000 points. However if you choose to book travel through the À la carte Plan's dedicated travel agency, managed by Transat Distribution Canada the amount of points required will actually being going down when redeeming up to 50,000 points. The 11,000 for a $100 credit will now be 10,500. Not a huge difference but better nonetheless. Over 50,000 they are keeping it at 10,000 so it is effectively better than the 11,000 required for your travel anywhere booking.
Complete deets are in this chart:
As you can see NBC wants their cardholders to book via their agency hence these changes. This is the exact same thing that happened with TD and we all know their cardholders were not happy and we're guessing NBC cardholders won't be very happy as well! Special thanks to our reader Julien L. who sent us a copy of the letter announcing these changes. I think some competitors will be happy with this change as members will start to reconsider for other cards, we know Julien stated so! Remember too that NBC MasterCard Insurance benefits tend to be really restrictive as well (read more here and here)
You can read all about the changes here on NBC's website.
How about you? Do you have an NBC MasterCard? Are you considering changing cards after this announcement?
Learn more about Proprietary Credit Card reward programs here and why we think they are the best choice for most Canadians.