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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Now is the opportunity to go 'fee free' for the new financial year. No annual fee cards are an option to look at if you pay your card off in full and on-time as they do typically have a higher purchase rate than other cards. We've profiled some no annual fee credit cards for you to consider:
HSBC Credit Card: $0 annual fee with 0 per cent per annum for 6 months balance transfers. You could transfer your balance and pay 0 per cent per annum with this card for 6 months and also benefit from the $0 annual fee. It's important to note that you will still have to pay the minimum monthly repayment during the balance transfer period.
Bankwest Zero Platinum MasterCard: 0 per cent per annum for 9 months balance transfers. If you are looking for a Platinum card with no annual fee but with some platinum perks like complimentary travel insurance then this card is well worth it. You can also benefit from no foreign transaction fees with this card.
American Express Qantas Discovery Card: Earn 1 QFF point for every $1 you spend. Who said you couldn't earn rewards points with a no annual fee card? Well, you're right - most don't allow you to, but this card does. On top of that you can get up to 7500 bonus Qantas Frequent Flyer points if you meet the spend criteria.
With the RBA Cash Rate being as low as it is you really have to start comparing to make sure you find a better rate. Here are a few savings account offers to consider:
RaboDirect High Interest Savings Account: 4.76 per cent per annum for 4 months. This special rate of interest applies to new customers who apply with a savings balance up to $250,000. At the end of the introductory period the interest rate reverts to 3.50 per cent per annum.
RAMS Saver: 4.76 per cent per annum (with $200 monthly deposit and no withdrawals). If you have the discipline to deposit at least $200 per month you can receive the maximum variable rate on your savings of 4.76 per cent.
ING Direct Savings Maximiser: 4.75 per cent per annum for 4 months. You can also receive a Loyalty Bonus rate of 0.75 per cent if you increase your balance by a minimum of $200 per month (up to a balance of $50,000).
It's very hard to justify paying a monthly fee on your bank account. These accounts offer you no monthly fee as well as no fees on ATM withdrawals if you meet certain conditions:
Bankwest Zero Transaction Account: no monthly fees when you deposit $2000 per month, no ATM fees at Bankwest, CBA, ANZ, NAB, Westpac ATMs. The account also comes with a Debit MasterCard with PayPass.
Citibank Plus Transaction Account: no monthly fees, no ATM fees at Citibank, Westpac, BankSA and St.George branded ATMs. Also benefit from no foreign transaction fees on overseas purchases meaning you could save somewhere between 2.5 and 3 per cent on each overseas purchase compared to other accounts.
ING Direct Orange Everyday Bank Account: no monthly fees, no ATM fees for withdrawals of $200 or more. This account also features a cashback offer - for all new customers who use payWave for a purchase under $100 for the first 6 months after opening your account you will receive 5 per cent cashback in to your account once the transaction settles.
If you are looking to take advantage of some of the lower interest rates available right now, here are some home loans to include in your comparison:
Loans Blackboard Special: 4.77 per cent per annum comparison rate. This home loan features an offset account facility and also allows you to borrow up to 90 per cent of the property value. Online application only. Note: this home loan is for purchases only.
State Custodians Peak Performance Offset Home Loan: 5.11 per cent per annum comparison rate. This loan features an offset account and is a variable rate home loan meaning you can switch whenever you like without penalty for breaking a fixed contract. Note: This home loan is available for refinancing and for new purchases.
UBank UHomeLoan - Refinance only: 4.97 per cent per annum comparison rate. If you decide to fix your home loan for 3 years you can get an interest rate of 4.73 per cent per annum. This includes the upfront discount offer of 0.25 per cent p.a. They also have a guarantee that if you don't save $1000 in the first year you will receive $1000 in when you switch.
To help with your research, here are the comparison rates of the Big Four banks variable rate home loans:
- Commonwealth Bank Economiser / Rate Saver: 5.83 per cent per annum
- ANZ Simplicity Plus: 5.48 per cent per annum
- NAB Base Variable Rate Home Loan: 5.48 per cent per annum
- Westpac Flexi First Option Home Loan: 5.40 per cent per annum
See you in August 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.