There are a wide variety of choice in credit cards, and it is often difficult to find the right one. For those people that pay their monthly statement in full each month, a low interest rate is not required, but most people only make partial payments. The good news is that the credit card market in Australia is highly competitive. Apart from most banks, card issuers include Aussie Home Loans, Virgin Money, Members Equity, HSBC, Wizard and GE Capital. Most low-interest credit cards do not offer a rewards program. They usually have an interest-free period of around 40-55 days, with a late payment fee, and may also have an annual fee.

Many financial institutions offer credit cards with reward programs. The cards are called Gold Cards or similar. Rewards programs come with an annual fee, which is generally higher than for non-rewards cards, and can be as high as $114. You generally received one point for $1 spent, but there are some special deals where more points are offered. You can also gain bonus points for certain purchases. You do not receive points for your annual fee.

You can redeem your points for goods and services. However, it can take substantial points to purchase goods and services. A $25 gift voucher requires around 4,000 points. In other words, you need to spend $4,000 to have enough points for the voucher. A $1200 purchase requires around 187,000 points. The beauty of the rewards program is that if you would make these purchases anyway, it is great to get rewarded for them.

Obviously, the more purchases you make with your credit card the more rewards points you receive. For this reason, it is best to use your card wherever you can, including groceries, petrol, payment of bills and public transport, as long as you can make significant payments above the minimum monthly balance. Try to think of everything you can use your card for, including online purchases.

Some of the most popular rewards programs are from credit card issuers such as American Express, ANZ, NAB, Westpac, Citibank Commonwealth Bank, Virgin Money and GE. As well as a wide range of goods and services for which points can be redeemed, most of these institutions offer frequent flyer programs. Two popular ones are the ANZ Qantas Card and the American Express Card. Generally you receive one point for each dollar spent, but American Express is offering 1.5 points. These programs are best suited to frequent travellers, particularly overseas where you can earn a lot more points. Be aware, though, some airlines place restrictions on frequent flyer customers. If a flight is full you may not be eligible to travel on that flight. Check with your airline before flying.

Some rewards programs have a cash back option. This can be in the form of a credit to your card account, but you are not allowed to put this toward the payment of your minimum monthly balance. You could also receive the cash back option as store vouchers, which profit the store by encouraging you to make further purchases, which may only be partially covered by the voucher.

You need to think carefully about your personal circumstances before choosing your credit card.

Summary

When deciding on the right credit card for you, consider:

  • Low interest cards.
  • Annual fees.
  • Rewards programs.
  • Frequent flyer programs.
  • Terms and conditions on each card.

By admin