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That’s okay. In the world of finance, Latitude is really pretty new. Perhaps you’ve heard of GE Capital Finance? GE Capital Finance held the reins on Harvey Norman’s interest free offers.
Now? GE Capital Finance has been rebadged and has a whole new look. Following a makeover in late 2015, GE Capital Finance became Latitude Financial Services. Lovely. But what does that have to do with you exactly?
Well, Latitude has some pretty interesting credit cards on the table. If you happen to be looking for a credit card, Latitude could have the very one for you. From rewards cards and retail cards, to travel cards and no frills cards, Latitude credit cards are well worth a look.
What are retail credit cards? We get it. All credit cards can be used in retail environments. That’s kind of what they’re for: buying stuff. However, retail credit cards are designed specifically to allow cardholders to make the most of retail purchases.
Let us explain. The GEM Visa Credit Card is a great example of a retail credit card. If you use the card to make a purchase over $250, you can enjoy up to six months interest free. Yep, six months. Or, for purchases under $250, you can receive up to 55 days interest free.
If you happen to use the card at any of 9,000 selected stores and healthcare providers, you could enjoy even longer interest free periods. One, two and three years interest free, depending on the card’s terms and conditions.
To make this deal even sweeter, the card also offers extras such as GEM Visa Fraud Security Protection, and Shoppers’ Protection insurance, which can protect against price dropping, theft, loss and damage.
Why should you choose these cards?
If you plan on making large purchases with your credit card, this is the way to do it. You can buy the stuff you want, and pay it off without having to worry about interest. Just make sure you pay it off before the interest free period ends though. The standard purchase rate could really make your eyes water.
Before you start using your card, check out which retailers participate in the longer interest free offers. You can find big names such as The Good Guys, Super A-Mart and Michael Hill, to name but a few.
Retail cards often stray rewards cards’ territory. These are the kinds of cards that are great for retail shopping – but they also offer a retail rewards program. Latitude has one rewards card on offer, the GO Mastercard.
When it comes to rewards cards, you need to make them work for you. Rewards cards often charge higher annual fees and higher rates of interest. In terms of annual fees, you need to make sure you get more back in rewards than you pay out in annual fees.
When it comes to interest, you need to pay off your balance before interest starts accruing. If you don’t, you may end up losing out – no matter how many rewards points you earn.
Another biggie with rewards cards is choosing a rewards program that rewards your spending – and gives you the rewards you want to use.
If you want to earn rewards points on everyday spending, the Go Mastercard could be for you. You can earn 1 Go Reward points for every dollar spent on the card, which can then be redeemed at dozens of retailers. Points never expire but they are capped at $100,000 per year.
Similar to the retail cards mentioned above, you can also enjoy extras such as interest free shopping. You can receive up to 55 days on all purchases, as well as a range of longer interest free terms at certain retailers. Again though, make sure you pay it all off before interest starts accruing. Purchase rates on these cards all sit pretty high.
As for annual fees, this card doesn’t actually have one. However, you will pay an ongoing $5.95 monthly fee. You’ll also pay a one-off establishment fee of $25.
Thinking of travelling overseas? Travelling is awesome. It broadens the mind and all that good stuff. But, it can be mighty expensive. If you already have a credit or debit card, check out how the fees stack up for overseas use.
When you use a standard credit or debit card overseas, you can get hit with all sorts of fees. You may have to pay for ATM withdrawals – both with the issuing ATM provider and your card provider. You may have to pay currency conversion fees, or transaction fees.
Designed as a travel credit card, the 28 Degrees Platinum Credit Card can help cut down on all those pesky fees you pay when travelling overseas. You will pay no international transaction fees on purchases, and no currency conversion fees. On top of that, no annual fees. What a winner.
Well, yes it is actually. The 28 Degrees Platinum Credit Card won the 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 Canstar Award for best travel credit card. Want some extras? You got it. This card offers a 24/7 Platinum Concierge service and Fraud Protection Cover.
Why should you choose these cards?
This type of card is perfect for travelling overseas and saving money on fees. If you love doing both of those things, then this could be for you. You can also enjoy some interest free leeway on your purchases. The 28 Degrees Platinum Credit Card offers up to 55 days interest free.
One thing to think about though is cash advances. This is a credit card, so if you use it to take money out of an ATM, you will pay a cash advance fee. You will also start paying interest at the card’s cash advance rate from the moment you use that ATM. Be smart. Don’t save all that money on transaction fees only to get tripped up on ATM withdrawals.
Based in Australia and New Zealand, Latitude Financial Services offers a range of financial products and services, including credit cards, insurance and loans.
As we know, this new look organisation was once GE Capital Finance. So, despite its makeover, it’s really not ‘new’. For one thing, Latitude has 2.4 million customers. Not many start-ups can say that. And another thing, Latitude still offers many of the products GE Capital Finance offered – with many of the same retailer partnerships.
What does that mean for you? If you apply for a credit card from Latitude, you have a pretty decent range to choose from. Okay, the range doesn’t have frequent flyer or prestige cards packed with features. But, it does offer a selection of extremely usable rewards, travel and retail cards. As for interest free offers? These cards have ‘em in spades.
Unlike other credit cards, Latitude cards don’t always have those big shiny introductory offers. However, they do come up now and again. Let’s have a look at some of those offers and how they work.
With these offers, you’ll pay no annual for a certain period, or for the life of the card. If you want to save money, then this type of offer is perfect. You can enjoy all the benefits the card offers, without paying out in annual fees. If you do choose a card with this type of offer, make sure you know what annual fee you’ll pay at the end of the intro period.
Cards with a purchase rate offer have an introductory period where purchases attract low or no interest. These are awesome if you want to put something big on your card and pay it off with no interest.
It’s worth bearing in mind that many of Latitude’s credit cards have interest free offers as standard. Check the small print to find out the details, including payment plans and participating retailers. Just make sure you pay off your purchases within the interest free period. Those interest rates could really sting.
When you transfer a balance from an existing card to a balance transfer card, you will pay low or no interest for a certain period of time. If you have existing credit card debt, this can be a great way to pay it down while avoiding interest. Any balance left unpaid when intro period ends attracts the card’s revert rate.
Rewards offers are really quite common on rewards cards. They often come in the form of bonus points on sign-up, or additional points on the standard earn rate. As with any offer, you have to read the fine print. To be eligible for the bonus points, you may have to spend a certain amount with a certain retailer within a certain timeframe.
Other small offers often crop up. While they may not be as big and shiny as other offers, if they work for you, that’s all that matters. Keep an eye out for offers that work with your credit card spending and make the most of them.
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