Ratehacker: April's Best Credit Card, Bank And Home Loan Deals

In our monthly Ratehacker round-up, Jeremy Cabral from finance comparison site Finder.com.au highlights recent credit card offer changes, plus the best savings accounts and home loans.

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Credit Cards

The market is busy with lots of changes including the return of some really competitive balance transfer offers and rewards changes. Here are a few offers that you should make yourself aware of if you're on the hunt for a better deal:

ANZ Low Rate MasterCard: 0 per cent per annum for 9 months balance transfer. On 4 March ANZ brought out a new 0 per cent per annum. for 9 months balance transfer offer. It's good for a number of reasons: a long term balance transfer means if you plan to switch again at the end of the 9 months you've left a good amount of time since your last credit card application, and if you decide to stick with the card the revert of 13.14 per cent per annum. is reasonably low. (For those still interested, you can still get the exclusive online offer of 2.5 per cent per annum for 15 months until 30 April, 2013).

Bankwest Qantas Platinum MasterCard: 8,000 bonus Qantas Frequent Flyer (QFF) Points, no foreign exchange fees. In last month's Ratehacker column we highlighted cards that had no annual fee and no foreign currency conversion fees. The unique thing about the Bankwest Qantas Platinum MasterCard is that you get the benefit of no foreign currency conversion fees, plus you can also earn rewards points -- 1 Qantas Frequent Flyer point for every $1 spent plus complimentary travel insurance for an annual fee of $99. This means you would need to spend to exceed the costs of card ownership and start getting a return, which is feasible for those looking for only one card with both rewards earning and no foreign exchange fee card for their next trip.

Changes to Westpac Rewards Credit Cards: Removal of Platinum Plus and Gold range, two new Black cards. Westpac introduced a points cap on its Altitude and Earth credit cards range, leaving quite a few people disgruntled. Westpac has also removed the Gold tier from the Earth, Altitude and Singapore Airlines cards. In their place Westpac has introduced a new range of Black cards which are worth considering - the Westpac Earth Black and Westpac Altitude Black, which both have uncapped points earning.

Savings Accounts

A good rule of thumb is to try and save 20 per cent of your income. If you have the discipline to stick to this, a high interest savings account can get you good bank for your buck. Here are a few offers to consider:

RAMS Saver Account: 5.01 per cent per annum (with $200 monthly deposit and no withdrawals). We've highlighted this account before for those wanting to keep one solid high interest savings account. With this account, as long as you maintain a deposit of $200 each month and don't make withdrawals you'll benefit from a 4.21 per cent per annum interest rate including the 0.80 per cent per annum bonus rate.

ING Direct Savings Maximiser: 5.00 per cent per annum for 4 months. At the end of the 4 month introductory interest rate period you can benefit from an additional Loyalty Bonus rate of 0.75 per cent per annum by increasing your balance by $200 a month up to a balance of $50,000.

RaboDirect Notice Saver: 4.65 per cent per annum for 90 days. It's not the highest rate in the market; however, the unique benefit is that you have to give the bank advance notice to withdraw funds stopping you from impulse buying. The advantage it has over a standard term deposit it that you can add funds at any time, withdraw at any time (with notice) and your interest is paid monthly instead of at maturity.

Home Loans

It's always worth reviewing your home loans as lenders are beginning to move their rates outside of the standard cash rate cycle. These three home loans have good comparison rates for those considering switching lenders:

UBank UHomeLoan (Variable Rate) Refinance Only: 5.12 per cent per annum comparison rate. If you have an existing home loan and you're looking to refinance, this offer is worth considering from UBank. The offer includes an upfront 0.25 per cent per annum discount.

eMoney Full Doc Variable 75 Home Loan: 5.35 per cent per annum comparison rate. A great online lender deal with no application fee.

HSBC Home Value Loan: 5.27 per cent per annum comparison rate. HSBC have a very competitive offer with this loan. It has the benefit of a 90% LVR and a $0 establishment fee.

See you in May for our next round-up of the latest personal finance offers.

Jeremy Cabral is the Personal Finance Publisher at Finder.com.au which includes popular comparison sites CreditCardFinder.com.au and SavingsAccountFinder.com.au, helping over 4.8 million Australians compare financial products every year. Connect with Jeremy on Google+, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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Comments

    HSBC Loan is not really that brilliant. Most lenders will allow you to borrow 80%+ as long as you pay LMI. HSBC is no different.
    I believe that there are some lenders out there at the moment who will lend 85% with no LMI

      Hi Kev

      Cheers for the comment. I agree, that's a great tip to share - it's really important to get a good understanding on LMI and how it can help you in getting the home loan you want. It's worth noting that if you can get a 20% deposit together you can get access to some great rates from lenders.

      HSBC's comparison rate is very competitive at the moment, one of the lowest of the big bank offers and is well worth considering as part of a home loan comparison.

    I think my UBank USaver with 4.91% pa with $200pm deposit and no restriction on withdrawal is a much better deal if I want some flexibility.

      Hi mavx4

      It is a great offer. With high interest savings accounts, there's a lot of benefit to signing up for new ones, even if you just use the account for a short while and take advantage of the intro offer that is reserved for new customers.

      It's tough to mention all products always but you are right - the UBank USaver consistently has a good rate and is worth considering! Thanks for sharing.

      Thanks for the comment

    I have found a major flaw with this article.. Percentage dice would be very ineffective. That is all.

    Just an addition to the bit about Westpac cards - some people are getting invites to upgrade to Black, and if you're a Premier Advantage Package you may also be able to get it annual fee free...

      Thanks for sharing Caesar. If you come across one, I'd love a bullet point summary of what they highlight in the letter. One of our users e-mailed me some details from the letter they received, but I'm keen on any further info you might come across.

    It would be great if in the home loans section there was some details on the comparison rates of a couple of the big bank offerings, just for level-setting the 'good' deals
    Cheers,
    S

      This is a great suggestion Stuu! I'll see if I can weave this in to the next Ratehacker for you - I think this would be a valuable and helpful addition each month.

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