I’ve been asked this question a fair bit, so thought I’d write a short article on it.
The subject mightn’t make much sense, but what it essentially means is thus:
Many American Express cards from the major banks (NAB, ANZ, CBA etc) also have a lower point earning Visa or Mastercard attached. Let’s use the ANZ Frequent Flyer Black account as an example in this scenario.
The AMEX card hits up 1.5 Qantas Frequent Flyer points per dollar spent, which is pretty good. The attached Visa card, however, only pulls in 0.75 points per dollar. On the Platinum version of this card, the AMEX is still 1.5, yet the Visa plummets to 0.5 points per dollar.
If you BPay from this account- it’ll go through the Visa, not the AMEX, so you’ll get a much smaller point gain.
As demonstrated above, you’re generally going to get a better points earn from American Express, but seeing as many retailers don’t accept AMEX, you really should have a good performing Visa or Mastercard as well (ie: not the one attached to the AMEX as it will have a dismal earn rate). In my case, I have the ANZ Black for the majority of my AMEX purchases (except Qantas flights which I use my Qantas Discover for), and then I have a Jetstar Platinum Mastercard for retailers that don’t accept AMEX, and also for BPay. The Jetstar card gets me 1 point per dollar, so if you’re paying a $1000 bill via BPay, you could do it your attached visa for 500 or 750 points, or use your better performing Mastercard or Visa and get the full 1000 points.
Direct Debit is still fine on your high earner AMEX, so definitely still run all your utility bills on that.