Need a new financial plan for the new year? 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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2014 is a brand new year and it's the perfect opportunity to get a fresh start on your finances. Whether it be committing to reducing your debt (maybe you spent a bit too much over Christmas?) or to hitting a new savings goal, it's important to make sure you pick the right products to help you reach your financial goals sooner.
Feature: 0 per cent Balance Transfer
Bankwest Breeze MasterCard: 0 per cent per annum for 13 months on balance transfers. Currently Australia's lowest purchase rate MasterCard at 11.99 per cent per annum. Features a unique 13 month balance transfer with the low revert rate of 11.99 per cent per annum. If you meet the application criteria, consider the Platinum card for extra benefits such as no foreign transaction fees on online and overseas purchases.
Feature: Low Ongoing Purchase Rate
McGrath Pink Visa Credit Card: 8.99 per cent per annum on purchases, balance transfers and cash advances. This card features a low purchase rate and also the benefit of a low $40 annual fee, of which half is donated to the McGrath Foundation every year you hold the card.
Feature: 0 per cent Introductory Purchase Rate
St.George Platinum Visa: 0 per cent on purchases for 12 months and 0 per cent for 9 months on balance transfers. When a credit card such as this one features both 0 per cent on purchases and balance transfers it allows you to spend on the card interest free during the balance transfer period. This card also features complimentary insurance including overseas travel insurance, extended warranty on purchases and also the services of a 24/7 Visa Platinum Concierge. (The same offer available from BankSA and Bank of Melbourne if you prefer)
Feature: Variable Rate
Loans.com.au Blackboard Special (<80 per cent LVR): 4.51 per cent comparison rate. Available for new purchases and refinancing. At this interest rate you can borrow up to 80 per cent of the property value. This home loan also features a 100 per cent redraw offset facility and the option to pay interest only repayments for up to 10 years.
Feature: Discounted Interest Rate
EasyStreet Honeymoon Home Loan Special: 5.23 per cent comparison rate. This home loan features no annual fee and the option to borrow up to 95 per cent of the property value. It also features an attached offset account facility. For the first 12 months you will benefit from the introductory fixed rate of 4.84 per cent per annum. which reverts to the on-going variable rate of 5.26 per cent per annum.
Feature: Fixed Rate Home Loan
UBank UHomeLoan Fixed Rate (1 year): 4.86 per cent comparison rate.If you are looking to fix interest rates for 1 year you can do so at a rate of 4.48 per cent per annum. This product also features the option of a loyalty discount of 0.10 per cent per annum off the variable rate once the fixed interest rate term ends after three years.
Feature: Notice Saver Account
ME Bank Online Savings Account: 4.60 per cent per annum for 5 months. Bonus interest rate of 1.70 per cent per annum. for 5 months when linked to an ME Bank Everyday Transaction Account. Available to new customers only for balances up to $250,000.
Feature: Long Introductory Rate Period
Bankwest Telenet Saver: 4.30 per cent per annum for 6 months. There's no monthly account keeping fees or minimum balance with this savings account. You get this along with around-the-clock access to your account and a competitive rate on your savings for six months, currently one of the longer introductory periods available.
Feature: No Foreign Transaction Fees
Citibank Plus Transaction Account:This account doesn't charge you any fees for making purchases overseas or from overseas retailers, and you'll also avoid ATM withdrawal fees at overseas ATMs (ATM owner fees may still apply). What's more is you can carry out free international money transfers, and you get a free bottle of wine whenever you dine at a participating restaurant and use your Citibank card to pay.
Feature: Cashback Transaction Account
ING DIRECT Orange Everyday Account: 5 per cent cash back on contactless purchases. The ING Direct Orange Everyday gives you back 5 per cent of every payWave purchase under $100 for the first six months of opening your account. You can also get free withdrawals from any ATM in Australia provided you withdraw $200 or more at a time, and won't pay monthly account keeping fees.
Feature: Linked Transaction Account
USaver Ultra Transaction Account: Bonus 0.80 per cent interest on normal USaver rate. If you have $10,000 deposited in a Ubank account or a settled UBank home loan, this transaction account is available to you. It grants a larger interest rate bonus on top of the regular USaver rate, and features the unique 'sweep' function. This automatically both replenishes your transaction account when you need extra funds, or if you're particularly frugal one week, moves any surplus funds from your transaction account to your savings account.
Feature: Sustainable Home Renovation
bankmecu Home Improvements Personal Loan - Sustainable Purpose: 9.67 per cent comparison rate. If the home improvement you're planning is considered to be 'sustainable', bankmecu will discount the interest rate you pay on your loan. This loan also comes with a free redraw facility, the ability to make extra repayments, and a maximum term of 15 years.
Feature: Line of Credit
Citibank ReadyCredit: 5.9 per cent for 24 months. The ReadyCredit can be used to pay off existing debts you have in the same way as a balance transfer. If you don't have any debts to pay off, you can also request a cheque from Citibank to use the funds for any other purpose you might have. There's a maximum credit limit of $60,000, no annual or account keeping fees, and you can make use of a redraw facility too.
Feature: New Car Loan
Gateway CU Car Loan: 7.90 per cent comparison rate. Low interest car loan with no account keeping fees. Offers discounts on car insurance through CGU when you apply for the car loan online.
Jeremy Cabral is the 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.