Loved up for less

Loved up for less - Valentine's Day that won't blow the budget

New research shows that Valentine’s Day is the Hallmark holiday that Australians spend the most on. But you can be romantic without breaking the bank. In fact you can woo your loved one for less than $100!

How to be romantic for under $100 – RateCity’s Ali Cassim helping loved-up Australians on The Today Show.

The flowers

RateCity’s Ali Cassim said that everybody loves flowers, but they can be really expensive.

“They can cost a fortune, but there are some great options if you shop online for fixed-price bouquets,” she said.

“Or suprise your loved one with a delivery on Friday – everyone loves getting flowers delivered to the office. I know I do!”

Save money on the biggest expense right away – the flowers! A personalised bouquet from a high end florist will cost you $70 minimum.  Do some research online and check out some of the flat price bouquets on the market – some online florists specialise in making one bouquet style per day which means you pay less for the personalizing!  Using these sites, you can pick up an impressive bunch for around $25 including same day delivery!

  • If you are having them delivered, check out companies like Little Flowers or The Little Market Bunch.
  • If you are picking them up, look up your local flower market and get up early to get a great bunch.  You can get a really beautiful big bunch of flowers at the markets for under $30.

Action or adventure?

Cassim said that gifting a voucher often has a stigma attached that the gift giver isn’t being thoughtful, but that’s not always true.

“If you give a voucher for an experience that you know they’ll love and if it’s quality time together, that’s always love,” she said.

Get creative with surprise activities – there is nothing more romantic than spontaneity! Sites like Red Balloon, GoDo and Adrenalin have great deals on experiential activities for around the $50 mark!  Choose something that involves food and you are ticking all of the boxes.

Dinner for two

Find a great dinner package.  Again searching online for a good package deal can save you a lot of money when it comes to dinner packages. Check out Groupon, Cudo and for some great options:

For around the $60 mark you can get a three course dinner for two with drinks. There are several available at restaurants nationwide and most of these sites will let you search by city. Get in quick before Saturday books out! Combine this option with some pre-purchased flowers and you have ticked all of the boxes.

Pop up picnic

Cassim said a picnic can be a great way to enjoy a more relaxed and intimate dinner with your loved one.

“I think picnics are beautiful. You can get away from the fancy restaurants and the sometimes stiff conversation and spend time just the two of you and there are companies that will do all the work for you,” she said.

Invest in a pre-packaged picnic. There are a range of companies Australia wide that create easy picnics to go – perfect for busy people!  Be romantic and have the picnic sent to your loved one with a note telling them where to meet you! Online sites like Pop up Picnic will not only pack your picnic for you and deliver it, they also list the perfect picnic locations!

Out of the box

For a unique experience, romantics could look beyond the traditional Valentine’s Day activities, said Cassim.

“You might want to hire help to serenade your partner on Valentine’s Day and there are sites like AirTasker where you can pop up a job for someone to do for you. It might someone to chauffeur you for the day or whatever your imagine runs wild with,” she said.

“Someone to wash the dishes might be your idea of a real treat,” she added.


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Once you've compared credit card interest rates and deals and found the right card for you, the actual process of getting a credit card is quite straightforward. You can apply for a credit card online, over the phone or in person at a bank branch. 

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Where can I get a credit card?

Looking to get your first credit card? You might be confused as to exactly where to go to apply for one. Here’s where to go when you are ready to put in that application.

The bank: Your bank is a great place to start, provided that you have a good banking history. Since you already have a financial history, you have more chance of your application being approved.

Credit card provider: Another option is to apply for a credit card directly from the issuer, such as Visa, Mastercard or Amex. This will most likely be an online application, so do your research and apply for a suitable card for your circumstances.

Major retailers: Coles, Woolworths, Myer and David Jones all have credit cards available. But watch out for the interest rate and annual fees – these cards are designed to help you spend more in store.

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Applying for the card online, over the phone or in person is the fastest step. This usually takes around 15 minutes, provided you have all of your documents handy.

After submitting your application, it usually takes between one to 10 business days for the lender to assess your eligibility. Some lenders offer instant approval, although you will need to send supporting documents before it is official.

Once your application has been approved, expect to wait between one to 14 days to receive your card in the mail. Keep in mind that delays can happen during busy periods, such as if the lender has launched a special deal.

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To get a new credit card, generally you need to be at least 18 years old and have a good credit rating. You don’t need to be an Australian citizen. Usually you can apply online or in person at a branch of the card issuer. You’ll typically have to supply information like:

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What's the best credit card for rewards?

There is no one-size-fits-all best rewards credit card. It's best you research what type of rewards program you'd like, as well as the fees, interest rate and conditions associated with those types of cards before making a choice. 

Rewards credit cards can also come with high annual fees that may end up nullifying the rewards, so think how often you use the card to decide whether the benefits outweigh the extra cost for you. A card with a lower annual fee might require a lot of spending to get any useful rewards, while another card with a higher annual fee might need fewer purchases to get a reward. 

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If you have a bad credit score, you might encounter two main problems. First, the lower your credit score, the more likely you are to be rejected when you apply for a loan or any other credit product. Second, if your application is accepted, the less likely you are to qualify for the lowest interest rates.

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Can I get a credit card on part-time/casual work?

Yes, as credit card providers look at your annual income amount as well as your occupation. Minimum income requirements tend to be between $30,000 – $40,000 for standard and rewards credit cards, however low income credit cards can have minimum income requirements as low as $15,000 per year.

How to get a credit card for the first time

A credit card can be a useful financial tool, provided you understand the risks and can meet repayment obligations.

If you’re a credit card first-timer, review your options. Think about what kind of credit card would suit your lifestyle, and compare providers by fees, perks and repayments.

Once you’ve selected a card, it’s time to apply. Credit card applications can generally be completed in store, online or over the phone.

When you apply for a credit card for the first time, you must meet age, residency and income requirements. As proof, you must also provide documentation such as bank account statements.