Bank Australia believes in mutual prosperity. What does this mean? Unlike traditional banks that work to serve investors, Bank Australia is a customer owned bank. In fact, Bank Australia was Australia’s first customer owned bank. So, being customer owned, this is a bank that puts its customers first. Prosperity for its customers, means prosperity for the bank.
But where did Bank Australia come from? This is not one of the big guys, like the Big Four. If you’ve not heard of Bank Australia, don’t worry. It’s not a new bank. It’s an old(ish) bank with a new name. Prior to 2015, Bank Australia was known as bankmecu. Prior to 2011, bankmecu was known as the Members and Education Credit Union.
History lesson over. What does Bank Australia offer its customers today? Bank Australia offers the full gamut of financial products. From savings and transaction accounts, to loans and insurance, to of course, credit cards. Which is why we’re here. Want to know more about Bank Australia’s credit cards? Let’s take a look.
Why do most people keep a credit card in their wallet? There can be many reasons to have a credit card. Perhaps you want to earn rewards points. Maybe you want to make a big purchase and pay it off using an introductory purchase offer. Or maybe, you simply want to buy stuff and pay it back later.
There are several kinds of credit cards available. The key to choosing the right credit card is to choose the right one for your spending habits. If you’re a big spender, a rewards card may work for you. If you like perks, a platinum card may be best. If you want to save money, a card with low interest or no annual fee could be your best bet.
If you want to compare Bank Australia’s range of credit cards, you need to know what each one offers – and who it would work best for. Here goes.
First up on the list is the Bank Australia Visa Credit Card. This is pretty much your standard everyday credit card. It doesn’t offer any flashy features or pretty perks. It simply offers the services of a credit card – with really quite decent rates.
As a customer owned bank, Bank Australia can offer lower rates than other traditional banks. So, this is exactly what Bank Australia does. With its everyday Visa Credit Card, Bank Australia offers a low purchase rate and cash advance rate. But, why exactly should you care what rates are on offer?
Credit cardholders who tend to carry a balance should always take note of how much they are paying in interest. Each month, they pay interest on that carried balance. Obviously, a card with lower rates allows cardholders to pay less in interest than a card with higher rates. So, paying less in interest should allow them to pay down more of their balance, clearing their debt quicker.
Unlike many other everyday credit cards – especially those with low interest rates – the Bank Australia Visa Credit Card also has low fees. Yep, with this card there is no annual fee to worry about. There is no late payment fee to worry about either, which is really quite unusual.
Why should you care about fees? When it comes to credit cards, there are two main ways card providers make their money. Firstly, through interest payments. Secondly, through fees. But, it’s not entirely necessary to pay either. Cardholders can pay off their balance each month to avoid interest payments. Plus, they can choose a card with no annual fees to avoid paying out there too.
Okay, so this is a card that offers minimal extras. Cardholders can enjoy up to 55 days interest free on purchases, but that’s about it. Of course, it has all the usual stuff. It offers security in the form of 24/7 fraud monitoring and Visa Checkout for safe online shopping. It also offers online banking and mobile payments through Apple Pay and Android Pay.
In other words, this is just an everyday credit card. It provides cardholders with access to credit, while keeping costs to a minimum. While this does not sound terribly exciting, it does the job. It does all the important stuff. For cardholders who don’t need rewards and perks, who want to save money while still accessing credit, this could be the perfect card.
We’ve already talked about the importance of low rates on a credit card. But, while the Bank Australia Visa Credit Card does offer low rates, it’s not actually classified as a low rate card. That honour goes to its little brother, the Bank Australia Low Rate Credit Card.
Offering even lower rates than the Visa Credit Card, the Bank Australia Low Rate Credit Card is a great option for anyone looking for a low rate card. It has a super low purchase rate and cash advance rate, like seriously tiny.
Again, this works for cardholders who tend to carry a balance. Instead of paying out large amounts in interest on balances carried over each month, this card offers the opportunity to pay a little less. In theory, this allows cardholders to pay less in interest, to pay off more of their balance. Which, should lead to paying less in interest overall, and paying off the debt sooner.
As we said, credit card providers need to make money in order to provide a service. With lower interest rates, this card charges a higher annual fee than the Visa Credit Card. The annual fee is still quite affordable, but it’s worthwhile doing your sums to work out which card offers you the best way to save money.
Will you pay out more in annual fees than you would save on interest? Or would you save more in interest to make that annual fee worthwhile? Check out some credit card calculators to make your calculations a bit easier on the brain.
As with everyday credit cards, low cost credit cards such as low annual fee and low interest cards tend to be low on extras. With a low cost credit card, its appeal is its money-saving capability. It doesn’t offer any big attractions, because its big attraction is money-saving.
So, with this card you pay low interest rates and a low annual fee, and you get all the same Visa benefits as the Visa Credit Card. It’s worth noting that cardholders have 0 days interest free on purchases (unlike the Visa Credit Card, with up to 55 days interest free). This may be a deal breaker for some cardholders, so have a good think about it before applying.
With a rewards card, cardholders can earn rewards points on their everyday spending. Those points can be redeemed for any number of things, depending on the rewards program in question. Points can be turned into flights using frequent flyer rewards. Or, they could be redeemed for cashback, merchandise or gift cards.
With a platinum card, cardholders can enjoy a few extra perks. This could mean enjoying the services of a personal concierge. It could mean benefitting from complimentary insurances. It could mean having lovely extras such as VIP Lounge access at the airport, or priority service at a department store.
Bank Australia combines these two types of cards with its Platinum Rewards Visa Credit Card. Essentially, a platinum rewards card offers platinum perks, plus rewards. It will usually offer a higher rate of earning compared to standard rewards cards as well. So, how does the Bank Australia Platinum Rewards Visa Credit Card stack up?
To provide perks and rewards costs money. So, cards that offer these features usually charge more in fees and interest. The Bank Australia Platinum Rewards Visa Credit Card is no exception. While its purchase rate and cash advance rate are by no means the most expensive in town, they are still up there.
So, to make this card worthwhile, it’s worth thinking about how it will be used. If the balance will be paid off in full each month, then the purchase rate isn’t really an issue. Even if it is quite high, it won’t apply as long as that balance is paid off before interest starts accruing.
But, for cardholders who tend to carry a balance, this card may not be the best option. Quite simply, the amount they get in rewards is unlikely to be more than they pay in interest. Yes, it’s nice to get extras, but not if you’re paying more for them in interest. To work out if a particular rewards card is for you, weigh up how much you’re getting back against the amount you’re paying in.
Obviously, this also applies to fees. As a platinum rewards card, this card has a higher annual fee. That’s to be expected. But, the trick is to think about what you’re getting for that fee, and work out whether it’s worth it. If you get heaps back in rewards and features, then maybe paying a higher annual fee is worth it for you.
Thinking about adding an additional cardholder to your account? Having two cardholders on one account can make points stack up faster. But, with this card, cardholders have to pay quite a bit for that additional cardholder in annual fees each year. Again, think about the balance of what you’re paying out, for what you’re getting in return.
So, to make your decision, you need to know what you’ll get with this card. First up, rewards. With the Bank Australia Platinum Rewards Visa Credit Card, you will earn Qantas points on your spending. That means 1 Qantas Point for every $1 spent, and 2 Qantas Points for every $1 spent on selected Qantas products and services in Australia.
And the platinum perks? You can enjoy access to Visa Platinum entertainment offers, as well as complimentary overseas travel insurance. Oh, and cardholders also get free Qantas Frequent Flyer membership, saving them $89.50.
Before choosing a card, many credit cardholders like to know a little more about their bank. Yes, we know Bank Australia used to be bankmecu, and before that it was the Members and Education Credit Union. But, what does this actually mean?
Well, it’s safe to say this financial institution is not a flash in the pan. In fact, some customers have been banking with Bank Australia (in it various forms) since 1957. These days, Bank Australia has nearly 130,000 customers making up this customer owned bank.
As a customer owned bank, its customers – obviously – are its owners. No investors or shareholders like a traditional bank. So, its first priority isn’t pleasing those investors with profits. This is a bank that prides itself on responsible banking, putting the profits it makes to good use.
With a customer owned bank, profits can be reinvested back into the bank. This allows it to offer lower rates on products such as credit cards, as well as lower fees.
Bank Australia is also into sustainability. The company has been carbon neutral since 2011. On top of that, the Bank Australia Impact Fund distributes 4% of annual after-tax profits to projects that make change in social and environmental issues.
Is Bank Australia right for you? When choosing a credit card, there is a lot to take into account. It’s important to think about what you need from your card, and what you’re willing to spend. You have to think about how you will use your card, and what is the most important outcome. Do you want big features? Do you want to save money?
In terms of the financial institution you choose, think about its background and what it has to offer. Does Bank Australia live up to your expectations? Does it offer the credit cards you want? Check out the range in detail and find out more today.
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