Ratehacker: December'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.

Money picture from Shutterstock

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.

Cubes picture from Shutterstock

This week is the absolute last opportunity to organise a new credit card in time for Christmas. We've written a new Christmas credit cards guide which covers the options available which is worth checking out. It's really important to be mindful of your budget this month without getting too carried away with your spending and accumulating credit card debt unless you have a clear plan on how you plan to repay your purchases.

Credit Cards

Feature: 0 percent purchases

NAB Low Rate Visa: 0 per cent per annum for 15 months on purchases. Just in time for Christmas is this purchase rate offer from NAB. For 15 months you'll pay 0 per cent per annum on all purchases made on the card and a low annual fee of $59. You can also transfer an existing card balance and enjoy 4.99 per cent per annum for six months.

Feature: 0 percent balance transfer

ANZ Low Rate MasterCard: 0 per cent per annum for 16 months on balance transfers.This is among the longest balance transfer options available. Transfer one or more card balances to the ANZ Low Rate and you'll pay 0 per cent per annum for 16 months. The revert rate is competitive as well — at the end of the 16 months the balance attracts the purchase rate, currently 13.49 per cent per annum.

Feature: Student credit card

Commonwealth Bank Low Fee Student Credit Card: $0 annual fee whilst studying. Pay no annual fee whilst you're studying. The other major benefit is this card has a $400 credit limit which will stop you from getting too carried away with your credit card.

Feature: 0 percent balance transfer and no annual fee

Virgin No Annual Fee Visa: 0 per cent per annum for 14 months on balances transferred and $0 annual fee. Keep your new year costs low with no annual fee and 0 per cent per annum on balances transferred for 14 months. At the end of the 14 months your balance will attract the cash advance rate, currently 20.99 per cent per annum. Virgin Money also offers a relatively competitive purchase rate of 18.99 per cent per annum.

Home Loans

Feature: Variable rate

Loans.com.au Dream Home Loan - <90 per cent LVR: 4.50 per cent comparison rate. Start the new year with one of the most competitive, variable interest rates in the market. It's available for a new purchase or the refinance and this loan comes with all the features you'd expect. There is a 100 per cent offset account to help reduce the amount of interest you pay, plus you can also make unlimited, additional repayments.

Feature: Discounted interest rate

RAMS Discount Home Loan: 1.20 per cent per annum discount in first year. Offering a substantial, discount interest rate in its first year, the RAMS Discount home loan could help you ease into your first home loan. There are no monthly fees and after your first year, you'll still be rewarded for your loyalty with a 0.90 per cent per annum discount off the standard variable rate for the remaining life of the loan. Also, you'll get the flexibility to make additional repayments (with no minimum) and redraw the funds in case of an emergency.

Feature: Fixed rate home loan

Newcastle Permanent 2 Year Fixed Rate Home Loan: 5.37 per cent per cent comparison rate. Newcastle Permanent is currently offering $1000 cashback to borrowers who refinance from another lender and waiving the establishment fee ($550) on all home loan products. You'll have peace of mind knowing what your repayments will be for the fixed period and unlike other fixed rate loans, you can make additional repayments up to $25,000. There is also the ability to choose interest-only repayments to help with your cash flow needs.

Savings Accounts

Feature: High maximum variable interest rate

ME Bank Online Savings Account: 4.10 per cent per annum. Link your Online Savings Account with a ME Bank Everyday transaction account and you'll be eligible for maximum standard variable fo 4.10 per cent per annum This flexible account has no set term and no minimum opening balance or deposit, plus no account-keeping fees. You'll be able to access your money 24/7 through ME Bank's online banking portal and you can relax knowing that there are no interest rate penalties for withdrawals.

Feature: Incentive saver

RAMS Saver: 3.91 per cent per annum. With this account no minimum balance is required. To receive the bonus rate for the month you need to deposit a minimum of $200 and make no withdrawals.

Feature: Notice Saver

RaboDirect 90 Day Notice Saver: 4.00 per cent per annum. The 90 day notice period is the amount of time you have to give notice for the funds be withdrawn. Once you've requested that the funds be withdrawn, you'll need to wait 90 days until the funds can be used. This account is worth considering if you don't need access to your savings right away.

Transaction Accounts

Feature: Fee free account

Citibank Plus Transaction Account: Fee free bank account, no foreign transaction fees. Pay no monthly account fee, dishonour fee, overseas ATM withdrawal fees or foreign transaction fees, perfect for Christmas time when you're shopping online for presents. This card also comes with a handy free international money transfer service, and you can transfer money to selected countries within a few hours.

Feature: Cashback on purchases

ME Bank Everyday Transaction Account: 5 per cent cashback on PayPass purchases under $100. Receive 5 per cent cashback when you use PayPass for the first 6 months for purchases under $100 if you open an account by 28 February 2015. If you choose to opt for a pink Debit MasterCard, ME Bank will also donate one cent to the National Breast Cancer Foundation every time you make a purchase with your card.

Feature: Rewards Transaction Account

Bankwest Qantas Transaction Account: 5 Qantas Points per eligible purchase. Earn 12 Qantas Points per month per $100 balance in your account and 5 Qantas Points for every ATM withdrawal from an overseas ATM or eligible purchase. Your monthly account fee is also waived if you deposit at least $2000 per month.

Personal Loans

Feature: Debt Consolidation Loan

NAB Unsecured Variable Personal Loan: 13.86 per cent comparison rate. Borrow up to $55,000 to consolidate your debts. There is also the benefit of not having to pay any early payout fees if you want to pay back your loan faster. You also get the flexibility to redraw funds if you need.

Feature: Fixed Rate New Car Loan

loans.com.au Car Loan: 6.49 per cent comparison rate. This competitive fixed rate car loan allows you to borrow up to $100,000 for a car up to 9 years old. You can also add your on-road costs into the loan amount and take advantage of the loans.com.au car buying service.

Feature: Low Interest Personal Loan

Society One Low Interest Personal Loan: 9.95 per cent comparison rate. Now with the backing of some of Australia's biggest names, read Murdoch, Packer and Stokes, this fixed rate personal loan offers rates up to 4.80 per cent per annum cheaper than the big banks. It also features a low interest rate, no application fees and no ongoing fees either.

Travel Insurance

Feature: Policy Discount

InsureandGo Travel Insurance: 10 per cent discount on your policy plus free kids cover. Exclusive finder.com.au offer to get a 10 per cent discount on your travel insurance policy with InsureandGo. Features unlimited medical cover on all overseas policies.

Life Insurance

Feature: Discounted Premium

NobleOak Life Limited: 25 per cent discount on your premiums and first month free. Exclusive offer for Life Insurance Finder customers - receive savings on your premium (up to 25 per cent) and you will get one month of cover at no charge.

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.


Comments

    Does the ME bank product have the same restrictions that ingdirect applies, in that if you don't make at least one deposit or withdrawl for 12 months your funds will become frozen, and you are unable to get your money until you ring them?

      I just confirmed that you don't have to make at least one/deposit withdrawal within a 12 month period and the funds won't become frozen. Hope this helps.

    For the ME Bank Online Savings Account, the 4.10% includes a bonus rate of 1.35% that only applies for the first 4 months, is that correct, or am I missing something?

      That's correct. The base variable rate is 2.75% p.a.. There is nothing stopping you from switching to another high interest savings account at the end of the 4 month period - there are no feeds involved or penalties for transferring your savings to another provider.

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