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Haven’t heard of Bank of us? That’s okay. If you live outside Tasmania, it’s unlikely to be a name you’re familiar with. As a name, Bank of us may even be unfamiliar to many Tasmanians, as prior to November 2017, Bank of us was known as B&E.
While it may have a few brand changes under its belt, Bank of us happens to have a long history in Tasmania, dating back to 1870, when the Launceston Equitable Building and Investment Society was launched to provide housing finance by way of a co-operative venture.
Fast forward a century or so, and Tasmania’s two leading building societies – the Equitable Building Society and the Bass Building Society – merged to become Bass & Equitable Building Society, to then later re-brand as B&E in 2001.
So, what does it mean to be a customer-owned bank? As Bank of us says, it’s not Bank of ‘me’ or Bank of ‘you’, it’s Bank of us. This is a Bank that prides itself on placing people at the heart of banking.
As it’s owned by customers – not by external stakeholders like the major banks – Bank of us can use its profits to benefit customers, by providing better products and services. One great example of this is the Bank of us credit card range.
Bank of us keeps its credit card range simple. So simple, in fact, that the range only features one credit card. Aside from the bank’s Visa Debit option, the only credit card on its books is the Bank of us Visa Credit Card.
But, just because this credit card stands alone, does not mean it’s not got lots to offer. Let’s take a look at what you can expect from the Bank of us Visa Credit Card to find out if Bank of us is right for you.
One of the most appealing aspects of a customer-owned bank is its ability to offer low cost financial products and services. Because it can re-invest profits instead of lining external shareholders’ pockets with them, a customer-owned bank can keep costs low on rates and interest, making them more affordable for customers.
Offering one low rate on purchases, cash advances and balance transfers, the Bank of us Visa Credit Card is not only easy to understand, it’s also easy on the wallet. Why should you choose a low rate credit card?
Why do some credit cards have higher annual fees than others? That’s simple. It all comes down to what the card has to offer. If a card is stacked with features and rewards, it will typically come with a higher annual fee. After all, credit card providers are not going to give away all that stuff for free.
You will usually find low feature cards have a lower annual fee. The Bank of us Visa Credit Card is a great example of this. Instead of heaping its card with features, Bank of us attracts cardholders with its low costs. That means having a low interest rate – and yes, a low annual fee.
Not only is the annual fee exceptionally low, cardholders can actually skip paying it altogether, as long as they spend at least $8,000 on their card each year.
If you really want a credit card that saves you money, you need to avoid any unnecessary fees and charges. That means finding out what fees and charges may apply, before you get hit with them.
Be aware of the late payment fee on the Bank of us Visa Credit Card, and avoid it by paying your credit card repayment by the given due date. If you shop online at overseas merchants – or travel and use your card overseas – take note of the overseas ATM withdrawal fee and the overseas card transaction fee.
Carrying on this theme of saving money, the Bank of us Visa Credit Card can help you save on interest when using your card to buy stuff, providing you with up to 57 days interest free on purchases.
How does this work? Like many credit cards, the Bank of us Visa Credit Card gives a certain number of days interest free on purchases made using the card. So, as long as you pay the full closing statement balance by the payment due date each month, you could enjoy up to 57 days interest free on purchases.
It’s worth bearing in mind that you do not get 57 days interest free on every purchase you make – it depends on the date of the purchase, and how far through the credit card’s statement cycle the purchase is made. To make this feature work for you, make sure you understand how it works!
Ease of use is key with low feature cards such as the Bank of us Visa Credit Card. Making life as easy as possible for cardholders, this card can be linked with up to two other Bank of us accounts, so you only have to carry the one card in your wallet.
Another feature filed under the ‘ease of use’ category is the card’s access. Much like what’s on offer from bigger banks, Bank of us offers cardholders access to their account via 24/7 phone banking, internet banking and mobile banking.
As it’s a Visa card, it can be used anywhere Visa is accepted, at more than 24 million outlets worldwide. For cardholders in Tasmania, there are eight Bank of us branches state-wide, and as part of one of Australia's largest ATM networks, Bank of us provides access to more than 70 rediATMs in Tasmania and 3,000 nationwide.
When it comes to high-end credit cards such as platinum and black cards, there is not only higher fees and interest to worry about, there is usually a higher minimum credit limit to consider as well. If you’re not a big spender, or you don’t have a high disposable income, you may not want a credit card with a high minimum credit limit.
Fortunately, the Bank of us Visa Credit Card has a low minimum credit limit, which may make it easier to get approved for than prestige credit cards with high minimum income requirements and high minimum credit limits.
However, the Bank of us will look at each application individually to assess the applicant’s credit worthiness, so be sure to check out eligibility requirements before you apply.
Much like Mastercard, Visa offers its cardholders a number of features as standard. Some of the basic Visa features offered on the Bank of us Visa Credit Card include:
When it comes to money, it pays to know who is looking after it for us. Want to know more about Bank of us? That makes sense to us!
As Tasmania's only customer-owned bank, Bank of us has more than 30,000 customers, eight branches across the state, and more than $700 million in assets. But what sets Bank of us apart from the competition?
Time to make a decision! While Bank of us certainly has a lot going for it, a Bank of us credit card may or may not be for you. If you want heaps of fancy features or an elaborate rewards program, Bank of us simply doesn’t have that to offer.
On the other hand, if you want to save money on fees and interest, Bank of us could help you do that. If you want a low cost card in your wallet, providing you with money-saving features and access to credit, Bank of us could have the card for you.
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