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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If you haven't done any planning for this Christmas, it's not too late. Don't go spending on a card with a crappy interest rate if you aren't going to be able to repay the purchases back in time to avoid interest charges — do a comparison and consider your options now. It only takes a few minutes to find a new card that is going to be better than what you have.
Also, it's time to start cutting back on expenses like unnecessary bank fees and overspending when you could be saving yourself some money by comparing and switching. If you have a home loan, there are some home loan offers in market with a rate of 4.56% per annum so don't wait for the RBA to give you a rate cut to save some money. We've included a few products for you to consider below to save you some time when doing your research.
Feature: 0% balance transfer
ANZ Low Rate MasterCard: 0% per annum for 16 months on balance transfers. This is still the standout 0% balance transfer offer this month due to its long 16 month balance transfer period, low annual fee and low revert rate of 13.49% per annum
Feature: 0% purchases
Bankwest Breeze MasterCard: 0% per annum for 13 months on purchases. This is an exclusive purchase rate offer for applications via finder.com.au (The normal offer on the Bankwest website is offering 0% for 4 months on balance transfers). At the end of the introductory period your outstanding balance on purchases made will revert to the lowest purchase rate of all MasterCard credit cards in Australia at 12.24% per annum.
Feature: Long term balance transfer
Citibank Ready Credit: 4.9% per annum for 36 months on balances transferred. Exclusive offer to finder.com.au (The normal offer on the Citibank website is currently 2 years at 5.9% per annum). This card allows you to borrow up to $48,000 for any purpose with no early payout fees or annual fees. There is a once-off $129 establishment fee to be aware of.
Feature: Variable rate
Loans.com.au Dream Home Loan - <90% LVR: 4.56% comparison rate. If you're worried because you've never heard of them, Loans.com.au is backed by Firstmac one of Australia's largest mortgage providers. It's worth noting this low interest home loan has a 100% offset account option with this product which can bring some significant savings if used correctly.
Feature: Discounted interest rate
RAMS Discount Home Loan: 1.2% per annum discount in first year. Borrow up to $750,000 with this home loan over a 30 year maximum loan term. With this loan you can borrow an additional 2% of the property value to contribute to LMI bringing the maximum loan to 97% of the property value. What this means is that if you have a 5% deposit and enough to cover the rest of the LMI then you could be considered for this loan.
Feature: Fixed rate home loan
Newcastle Permanent Fixed Rate Home Loan: 5.37% comparison rate. If you are looking to refinance your home loan to a fixed rate, then this loan is incentivising you with a $1000 cash back offer. To qualify you need to borrow more than $150,000, apply before 19 December 2014 and settle by 31 March 2015.
Feature: High maximum variable interest rate
ING Direct Savings Maximiser: 4.00% per annum. If you open an Orange Everyday Bank Account and deposit $1,000 or more each month from an external account you will receive a bonus 1.25% per annum above the standard variable rate of 2.75% per annum for balances up to $100,000.
Feature: Incentive saver
RAMS Saver: 3.91% per annum. If you deposit a minimum of $200 per month and make no withdrawals you will earn a bonus rate of 1.30% per annum above the base rate of 2.61% per annum
Feature: Notice Saver
RaboDirect 90 Day Notice Saver: 4.00% per annum. If you don't need immediate access to your savings then a RaboDirect Notice Saver account is worth considering with benefits for giving up to 90 days notice on withdrawing your funds.
Feature: Fee free account
Citibank Plus Transaction Account: Fee free bank account, no foreign transaction fees. No monthly fee, foreign transaction fees or ATM cash withdrawal fees at over 3000 Citibank, Westpac, St.George, Bank SA and Bank of Melbourne ATMs in Australia.
Feature: Cashback on purchases
ME Bank Everyday Transaction Account: 5% cashback on PayPass purchases under $100. Apply before 31 December and receive 5% when you use Tap & Go for purchases under $100. This account also features no monthly account keeping fees and free ATM access at over 3,000 ME Bank, Westpac, St George, Bank SA and Bank of Melbourne ATMs in Australia.
Feature: Rewards Transaction Account
Bankwest Qantas Transaction Account: 10,000 Bonus Qantas Points. Receive 10,000 Bonus Qantas points when you open an account and deposit at least $2,000 per month for the first 3 months. You can also earn 5 Qantas Points per eligible purchase, 12 Qantas Points per $100 balance in your account and 5 Qantas Points each time you withdraw cash at an overseas ATM.
Feature: Debt Consolidation Loan
Citibank Flexible Personal Loan: 4.9% for 3 years on balance transfers. Exclusive offer to finder.com.au. Borrow up to $48,000 with no monthly or annual fees. There is also the benefit of not having to pay any early payout fees if you want to pay back your loan faster.
Feature: Fixed Rate New Car Loan
NRMA Car Loan: 7.76% comparison rate. Purchase a new car for a loan term of up to 7 years with no ongoing fees. The minimum loan amount is $5000 and the maximum is $80,000
Feature: Low interest personal loan
Society One Low Interest Personal Loan: 9.95% comparison rate. Borrow between $5,000 and $30,000 for 1 to 3 years at a fixed interest rate.
Feature: Policy discount
InsureandGo Travel Insurance: 10% discount on your policy plus free kids cover. Exclusive finder.com.au offer to get a 10% discount on your travel insurance policy with InsureandGo. Features unlimited medical cover on all overseas policies.
Feature: Discounted premium
NobleOak Life Limited: 25% discount on your premiums and first month free. Exclusive offer for Life Insurance Finder customers - receive savings on your premium (up to 25%) and you will get one month of cover at no charge.
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.