Most of us have grown up with an Australian bank savings account from as early as primary school. These banks have known our details and understand our spending habits from such a young age that when we decide to get a credit card, we quite often turn to our trusted bank to provide it.
Credit cards are quickly becoming the favoured plastic companion and most of us never leave home without it. But credit cards do have the potential to create financial mayhem if you don't learn how to manage your card and commit to paying off purchases as soon as you can.
Kick-start the search
If you’re considering credit cards from banks, the internet is a great place to start. RateCity’s wide-ranging website offers easy to read comparison tables, which can help you, weigh up the many different credit cards, their rates, application and annual fee structures, and whether they offer a balance transfer.
As part of the selection process, be certain to check whether the credit cards you’re considering have application fees. The good news is that when making a credit card application, you may not actually be hit with this charge that is effectively an establishment fee. Nonetheless, before signing on for new credit cards from banks be sure to check the fine print.
Some cards will charge annual fees. Conversely, some credit cards have no annual fee which means you won’t pay anything, but only if you use the credit card properly. For instance, if you seldom use credit cards banks and tend to pay off the balance within the interest free period, then no annual fee cards could provide zero-cost credit.
A balance transfer credit card offers a much lower (or no rate) interest for a period of time, which is typically six months. Moreover, it will let you switch existing balances from other credit cards to take advantage of the cheaper rate.
Balance transfers are suitable if you wish to pay off an existing balance and are currently being hit with a hefty interest rate charge. In theory, by paying less interest on the transferred balance, you should be able to tame your debt faster. But success will depend on your discipline and determination to cut unnecessary spending – otherwise you’ll make it extra hard to clear the credit card debts.
Just because you have been loyal to your bank doesn't mean you can't look around for a better deal that will save you more money. Check out the RateCity credit card comparison tool to compare other banks and credit provider’s cards.