Banks’ handling of financial difficulty not up to scratch
December 3, 2018
The perils of buying now, paying later
December 3, 2018

Christmas credit card deals hit the market

Credit card issuers are rolling out a host of zero interest rate offers to entice consumers ahead of the Christmas shopping season, with one issuer offering an interest free period of 15 months.

Comparison site RateCity reports that Coles is offering 15 months interest free on its No Annual Fee Mastercard. The rate moves to 19.99 per cent after the introductory period. There is no annual fee.

Westpac subsidiaries St George Bank, Bank of Melbourne and BankSA are all offering zero interest for 14 months on the Amplify Classic card. The rate moves to 19.49 per cent after the introductory period. There is a $79 annual fee.

Virgin Money is offering zero interest for 14 months on its Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card. The rate moves to 20.74 per cent at the end of the introductory period, and there is a $129 annual fee.

Bankwest is offering zero interest on its Breeze Classic for 13 months. The rate moves to 12.99 per cent at the end of the introductory period, and there is a $79 annual fee.

NAB is offering zero interest on its Low Rate Platinum for nine months. The rate moves to 13.99 per cent. There is a $100 annual fee.

All of the above offers are for new customers and do not include balance transfers in the offer.

RateCity recommends that to make best use of such card offers, consumers should cancel any existing credit card before taking out a new one. They should also have a plan to make repayments within the interest free period and, preferably, opt for a card with a low ongoing rate and a low or no annual fee.

Comparison site Mozo reports that ANZ has improved many of the introductory bonus point offers on its range of rewards credit cards. The Frequent Flyer Black and Rewards Black cards have gone from 75,000 bonus points to 120,000 points. However, the activation threshold has gone from the first eligible spend to a spend of $7500 in the first three months.

Not all the recent card changes are good news for consumers. Citibank removed the six-month zero interest balance transfer offer on its Prestige and Qantas Prestige cards, and rediced the Simplicity card offer from 15 months to six.