In 1972 a small group of educators started their own financial institution as an alternative to the big banks, and they named it the Victoria Teachers Mutual Bank.
More than four decades on it has more than 110,000 customers, $2.32 billion in assets and has been renamed Bank First.
Bank First is owned by its customers, and profits are reinvested into the bank.
Although it still focuses on education, anyone in Australia can bank with Bank First.
Pros and cons
- Credit cards have very low to low interest rates
- $0 annual fee credit card offered
- Balance transfer options available
- Small selection of credit cards
- No rewards credit cards
- Only Visa cards offered
Bank First credit cards rates
Product Name Card
for 6 months then 12.54%
Interest Free Days
Interest Free Days
Late Payment Fee
Go to site
Purchase Offers0% p.a. on purchases for 6 months
Product Name Card
for 6 months then 9.59%
Interest Free Days
Interest Free Days
Late Payment Fee
Go to site
Purchase Offers0% credit card interest for 6 months
About Bank First credit cards
Unlike the big banks that offer a huge variety of credit cards, Bank First has a small selection:
- Standard Visa credit card
- Platinum Visa credit card
The fees and rates vary between the credit cards offered.
The Bank First standard VISA credit card is a basic credit card that has no annual fee and a moderately low interest rate. It would suit a customer who was looking for a low-cost credit card but didn’t want rewards or perks. The interest-free days are moderate and it also comes with a balance transfer option.
The Platinum Visa credit card offered by Bank First has a very low interest rate and a moderate annual fee. It has a moderate number of interest-free days on purchases and also has a balance transfer option. The Bank First Visa Platinum credit card has perks including:
- Complimentary international travel insurance
- 24/7 concierge
- Access to Visa Platinum entertainment offers
Bank First credit card review
The credit card selection offered by Bank First is very slim compared to the big banks that have a credit card to suit almost every customer.
Instead, Bank First offers two types of cards that would suit customers looking for a no-frills credit card, like pensioners or those looking to get their first credit card, or customers who are looking for a low interest rate card that has a few perks.
Unlike platinum credit cards offered by many other financial institutions, Bank First’s platinum credit card does not come with any rewards or cashback schemes. Instead, it offers a competitive interest rate and a few perks like free international travel insurance. The annual fee on Bank First’s platinum credit card is also lower than many of its competitors offering a similar card.
Learn more about credit cards
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.
Can a pensioner get a credit card?
It is possible to get a credit card as a pensioner. There are some factors to keep in mind, including:
- Annual income. Look for credit cards with minimum annual income requirements you can meet.
- Annual fees. If high fees are a concern for you, opt for a card with a low or $0 annual fee.
- Interest rate. Make sure you won’t have any nasty surprises on your credit card bill. Compare cards with a low interest rates to minimise risk.
Should I get a credit card?
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.
How do you use credit cards?
A credit card can be an easy way to make purchases online, in person or over the phone. When used properly, a credit card can even help you manage your cash flow. But before applying for a credit card, it’s good to know how they work. A credit card is essentially a personal line of credit which lets you buy things and pay for them later. As a card holder, you’ll be given a credit limit and (potentially) charged interest on the money the bank lends you. At the end of each billing period, the bank will send you a statement which shows your outstanding balance and the minimum amount you need to pay back. If you don’t pay back the full balance amount, the bank will begin charging you interest.
How do you apply for a credit card?
You can apply for a credit card online, over the phone or in person at the bank. Once you’ve compared the current credit card offers, the application process is quick and easy. Before you get your application started, you’ll need to gather your personal information like proof of ID, payslips and bank statements, proof of employment and details of your income, assets and liabilities. To be eligible for a credit card, you’ll need to be an Australian citizen over 18 and earn a minimum of $15,000 each year. Once you’ve applied for a credit card, you should get a response fairly instantly. If your credit card application has been approved, you should receive a welcome pack with your new credit card within 10-15 days.
How do I transfer money from my Commonwealth bank credit card to my bank account?
Your Commonwealth bank credit card may include a cash advance benefit, but you won't be able to transfer money to your bank account.
You can, however, withdraw cash from your credit card at an ATM. You should remember that you have to pay a fee for such transactions, and you’ll be charged interest from the day you withdraw the cash.
Unlike other credit card transactions, you don’t get an interest-free repayment period for cash advances. Also, you may not be able to access your full credit card limit for a cash advance.
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.
Does Macquarie Bank offer any credit card insurance?
Yes, Macquarie Bank may offer credit card insurance; it just depends on the type of Macquarie Bank credit card you have. There is a range of credit card insurance offers you can benefit from when you take out a Macquarie Bank credit card.
If you have a Macquarie Black or Platinum credit card, you have access to travel insurance for you, your spouse and any dependent children while travelling overseas. Under this travel insurance you receive:
- Interstate Flight Inconvenience Insurance, which provides cover for meals and clothing, depending on the delay
- Medical Emergency Expense Cover, which offers you unlimited cover for most medical expenses, and limited cover for dental treatment and emergencies caused by an act of terrorism
- Baggage, Money and Documents Cover, which is subject to certain sub-limits mentioned in the terms and conditions
As a Macquarie Bank credit cardholder, you could be eligible for Extended Warranty insurance, which provides an extension to the manufacturer’s Australian warranty on certain products. To access this cover, you must have purchased the product using your Macquarie Bank credit card.
Select Macquarie Bank credit cardholders might also be able to take advantage of Rental Vehicle Excess Insurance. This insurance will cover you for any excess or deductibles that you’re liable to pay during the rental period.
Most Macquarie Bank credit cards also come with purchase protection insurance which protects you against fraudulent transactions. You should check the terms and conditions to find out more.
Can I transfer money from my American Express credit card to my bank account?
If you’re an American Express credit card customer, you may not be able to transfer money from your credit card to your bank account. However, you may be eligible for cash advances, which involves withdrawing money through an ATM.
To qualify for a cash advance, you’ll likely have to enrol for American Express Membership Rewards. Consider checking your online credit card account to see if you can withdraw a cash advance and, if so, the fees and charges you’ll incur for this transaction.
You should remember that cash advances are different from balance transfers, which were available with some American Express credit cards earlier. Balance transfers allow customers to consolidate debt from high-interest credit cards to a credit card offering a lower interest rate. If you only recently applied for an American Express credit card, balance transfers may not be available irrespective of the card you own.
How to increase your Bendigo Bank credit card limit?
As a Bendigo Bank credit cardholder, you can avail a minimum limit of $500, but if you use your card regularly, you may want to consider increasing it. To increase your Bendigo Bank credit card limit, you can contact the bank’s credit card team on 1300 236 344 and talk to the bank directly.
You can also apply for a credit card limit increase through online banking, by logging into Bendigo Bank web portal or through the app on your phone or tablet. Once you’ve successfully logged in, you'll want to send a secure message to Bendigo Bank asking them to increase your credit card limit.
If you cannot access the online portal or the app, you can also apply to increase your credit card limit through the online enquiry form. Simply add relevant information in the required fields and click ‘Submit’. Once you have completed the application, Bendigo Bank should verify your details and analyse your current financial standing. Based on this assessment, the bank will either accept your application to increase your credit card limit or deny it.
How to increase ME Bank credit card limit?
If you want your ME bank credit card limit increased, you’ll have to fill the “credit card limit increase request form” and send it to the bank via post, email, or fax. The requirements for increasing the credit limit include:
- You should have the card for at least six months;
- Your income has increased; and
- Your debt liabilities have decreased.
What should you do if your credit card is compromised?
Credit card fraud is a serious problem. If your credit card is compromised and you’re wondering what to do, here are a few precautionary steps to take.
Contact you credit provider – Get in touch will your credit card provider. If you feel your card has been compromised, you should be able to lock or block it.
Monitor your accounts – Keep an eye on your credit card accounts. Any unauthorised transactions could be a sign your credit card has been compromised.
Check your credit rating – It’s also important to check your credit rating, to ensure you’re not a victim of identity theft or some other financial mischief.
What can I do about my Commonwealth Bank expired credit card?
You’ll typically receive your replacement Commonwealth Bank credit card before your current one expires.
Once you receive the replacement card, you may need to update the new card with all the direct debits that you had set up on your expired Commonwealth Bank credit card. These could include insurance payments, electricity or gas bills, and monthly entertainment subscriptions.
To see a list of all your regular payments in NetBank, follow these steps:
- Log on to NetBank
- Click on ‘settings’
- Go to ‘product requests’, and select ‘credit card regular payments’.
If you don’t use NetBank, you can see the list of your regular payments on your most recent credit card statement. Keep in mind, this list may not be complete and you should also check your past statements or your transaction history.
If you haven’t received your replacement card before your current card expires, call 13 22 21 and the bank will send a new card to you.
It is important that you safely discard your expired credit card. This often means cutting it up with scissors and throwing it out.
How easy is it to get a credit card?
For most Australians, there are no great barriers to applying for and getting approved for a credit card. Here are some points that a lender will consider when assessing your credit card application.
Credit score: A bad credit score is not the be all and end all of your application, but it may stop you being approved for a higher credit limit. If your credit score is less than perfect, apply for the credit limit that you need, rather than the one you want.
Annual income: Most credit cards have minimum annual income requirements. Make sure you’re applying for a card where you meet the minimum.
Age & residency: You need to be at least 18 years old to apply for a credit card in Australia, and most require that you are an Australian citizen or permanent resident. However, there are some credit cards available to temporary residents.
How do credit cards work?
Think of credit cards as a short-term loan where you use the bank’s money to buy something up front and then pay for it later. Unlike a debit card which uses your own money to pay, a credit card essentially borrows the bank’s money to fund the purchase. When you apply for a credit card, the bank assesses your income and assigns you a credit limit based on what you can afford to pay back. At the end of each billing cycle, which is usually monthly, the bank will send you a statement showing the minimum amount you have to pay back, including any interest payable on the balance.