Bendigo Bank Low Rate Credit Card
Balance Transfer0% purchase rate and 0% balance transfer for 12 months, from account opening. 2% balance transfer fee applies.
A low rate Mastercard card with a balance transfer offer and one of the lowest annual fees on average.
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If you don’t manage to pay your credit card in full each month, you could be adding hundreds of dollars in extra interest to your monthly credit card bill. Low-rate credit cards with interest rates under 10 per cent can help you keep your credit card debt under control and reduce the amount of overall interest you pay. Switching to a low-rate credit card can help you better manage your money while keeping your debt in check. Here’s what you need to know about credit cards with an interest rate under 10 per cent.
What is a low-interest-rate card?
Credit card interest rates can be confusing, especially with so many different cards and rates on the market. A low-interest-rate card is a credit card which charges you less than 10 per cent interest on your purchases. When you use your credit card, you’re essentially using the bank's money instead of your own. Because the bank is footing the bill up front, they charge you interest to cover their cost of lending you the credit. Interest rates vary between cards depending on the bank and features, but generally speaking, the Australian average is between 14 and 19 per cent. A low-interest credit card basically means your card costs you less because you’re paying less each month on interest payments.
Low-rate credit cards tend to have fewer bells and whistles than other cards. While you may not earn rewards or frequent flyer points, many low-interest-rate cards offer interest-free periods of up to 55 days.
The benefits of a low-interest-rate card
The main benefit of a low-rate card is that you’re charged a lower interest rate, meaning your credit card costs you less in the long run. A credit card with a low interest rate can help you keep your debt under control because you’re paying less interest on the money you owe. The ultimate end game is to pay your credit card’s balance in full at the end of the month, which means you get access to interest-free funds for a period of time. Sometimes, this doesn’t happen because life gets in the way. That’s where a low-interest-rate card can be of benefit. If you’re struggling to pay your full monthly balance on the due date, or if you’ve bought a big ticket item, then a credit card with a rate under 10 per cent can minimise the amount of debt you accumulate.
How do credit cards work?
Credit cards are similar to an unsecured personal line of credit. When you apply for a credit card, the bank will give you a credit limit which sets out how much money you can spend on your card. When you use a credit card, you’re paying for the items upfront using the bank’s funds. At the end of each billing period, which is usually monthly, the bank will send you a statement detailing how much you spent and what you need to pay back.
Depending on the type of low-rate card you have, you might have the added benefit of interest-free days on your card. An interest-free period is a set amount of time where you can repay your card balance without being charged additional interest. Most cards usually come with 55 days interest-free. If you don’t pay the full balance by the end of the interest-free period, the bank will start charging you interest.
How do I find out my interest rate?
While every card is different, most low-rate cards offer lower interest rates for purchases and leave the cash advance rate much higher. Each card has a different interest rate and fee structure depending on the type of card and the benefits on offer. Generally speaking, cards that offer rewards or frequent flyer points tend to have higher interest rates and fees than standard cards with no perks. To find out what your interest rate is, you can check your credit card statement, login to your internet banking or call the bank to check. If you signed up for a card with a low introductory rate or a 0 per cent promotion, there’s a chance the honeymoon period is over and your rate has gone up. To avoid paying unnecessary interest, keep an eye on your interest rate.
How do banks charge interest on my credit card?
Every credit card has different rates, charges and features. Generally speaking, if you’ve spent money on your credit card and haven’t fully paid the closing balance each month, you’re being charged interest. Because a credit card is essentially a loan from the bank, to make their money back they’ll charge you interest on your purchases. If you’ve got an outstanding credit card debt, the interest is usually calculated daily based on the balance and charged once per month.
If you’ve opted for a low-rate card with an interest-free period, you’ve essentially got a window of opportunity to pay your card balance without paying any interest. If you don’t manage to wipe the slate the clean in the interest-free period, interest will start accruing on the balance from that point onwards.
How do I avoid paying interest on my credit card?
The simplest way to avoid interest is to pay your credit card balance in full every month, but sometimes that can be a struggle. If you’ve got a card balance that’s climbing, consider switching to a card that has an interest rate under 10 per cent and offers you a 55-day interest-free period. The other option is to do a balance transfer to a credit card with an extended interest-free period.
The most important thing to remember is that interest never disappears; it grows until you pay it off. To avoid a growing balance, set up a direct debit and try to pay more than the minimum amount due every month – ideally, the entire balance.
How to lower your credit card interest rate
If you’ve been a loyal card holder and you’ve made regular repayments, you could call your card provider and try to negotiate a lower rate. If it’s not possible to lock in a better deal, you could consider a balance transfer to a low-rate card. Before you make the switch, carefully consider what options you really need. Gold or platinum cards tend to attract higher interest rates and annual fees. Do your research and work out whether it’s worth the extra fees.
^To find the best credit card for your needs, it's important to consider more than just the interest rate. Before making any decision, compare the features, benefits, fees and charges of the avaiable options, and remember to read the fine print. If you're having trouble working out the best credit card for your fianncial situation, consider contacting a qualified financial adviser.
Latest news and articles
1 in 3 Aussies don’t know their credit card interest rate, do you?
New research from Defence Bank has found that one in three (35 per cent) of credit card holders don’t know their interest rate. If you’re constantly being stung by credit card interest, it may be worth considering switching to a low-rate credit card.
How capping credit card interest rates could save Australians $1.53 billion a year
Australia’s credit card debt has risen to a total of $20.03 billion dollars, according to new RBA statistics out today. It comes as there are growing calls for the federal government to regulate credit card interest rates so there’s a maximum margin with the RBA cash rate, which is 0.10 per cent.
Property Personal Finance Writer
A property and personal finance writer, Nick Bendel covered property, loans, credit cards, superannuation, and other bank products. Nick has previously written for The Adviser, Mortgage Business, Lifehacker, Business Insider, Yahoo Finance, and InvestorDaily, and loves getting elbow-deep in the latest ABS, APRA and RBA data.
Frequently asked questions
How is credit card interest charged?
Your credit card will be charged interest when you don’t pay off the balance on your credit card. Your card provider or bank charges you the individual interest rate that is associated with your card, which is usually between 10 and 20 per cent.
The interest will be added onto your bill each month or billing period if you don’t pay off the balance, unless you are in an interest-free period.
You will be charged interest on anything that hasn’t been paid for inside the interest-free period. Usually you will receive a notice on your bill or statement saying you will be charged interest so you have some form of notice before you’re charged.
How does credit card interest work?
Generally, when we talk about credit card interest, we mean the purchase interest rate, which is the interest charged on purchases you make with your credit card.
If you don’t pay your full balance each month (or even if you pay the minimum amount), you are charged interest on all the outstanding transactions and the remaining balance. However, interest is also charged on cash advances, balance transfers, special rate offers and, in some cases, even the fees charged by the company.
The interest rate can vary, depending on the credit card. Some have an interest-free period, otherwise you start paying interest from the day you make a purchase or from the day your monthly statement is issued. So avoid interest by paying the full amount promptly.
What is a balance transfer credit card?
A balance transfer credit card lets you transfer your debt balance from one credit card to another. A balance transfer credit card generally has a 0 per cent interest rate for a set period of time. When you roll your debt balance over to a new credit card, you’ll be able to take advantage of the interest-free period to pay your credit card debt off faster without accruing additional interest charges. If your application is approved, the provider will pay out your old credit card and transfer your debt balance over to the new card.
How to calculate credit card interest
Credit card interest can quickly turn a manageable balance into unmovable debt. So being able to understand how interest rates translate into dollars is an important skill to acquire.
The common mistake people make is focusing on the credit card’s annual percentage rate (APR), which often sits between 15 and 20 per cent. While the APR does provide a rough idea of how much interest you’ll pay, it’s not entirely accurate.
This is because you actually accrue interest on your balance daily, not annually. So, you need to work out your daily periodic rate (DPR). To do this, divide your card’s APR by the number of days in a year (e.g. 16.9 per cent divided by 365, or 0.05 per cent). You can then apply this figure to the daily balance on your credit card.
How do you use a credit card?
Credit cards are a quick and convenient way to pay for items in store, online or over the phone. You can use a credit card as a cashless way to pay for goods or services, both locally and overseas. You can also use a credit card to make a cash advance, which gives you the flexibility to withdraw cash from your credit card account. Because a credit card uses the bank’s funds instead of your own, you will be charged interest on the money you spend – unless you pay off the entire debt within the interest-free period. If you pay the minimum monthly repayment, you will be charged interest. There are many different credit card options on the market, all offering different interest rates and reward options.
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.
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.
Which credit card has the highest annual percentage rate?
The credit card market changes all the time, so the credit card with the highest annual percentage rate is also liable to change.
Keep in mind that credit card interest rates are expressed as a yearly rate, or annual percentage rate (APR). A low APR is generally good but also consider:
- There can be different APR's for each feature of the card (e.g. purchases may have an APR of 14 per cent, while cash advances on same card could have an APR of 17 per cent.
- Credit cards with a variable rate can change throughout the year, affecting your APR, so check the full details.
- If you pay your balance in full every month, having the lowest APR is not as important as the other fees associated with the card. However, if you carry a balance from month to month, then you want the lowest APR possible.
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.
What is a credit card?
A credit card is a payment method which lets you pay for goods and services without using your own money. It’s essentially a short-term loan which lets you borrow the bank’s money to pay for things which you can pay back – potentially with interest – at a later date. Credit cards can also be used to withdraw money from an ATM, which is known as a cash advance. Because you’re borrowing money from a bank, credit cards charge you interest on the money you use (unless you repay the entire debt during the interest-free period). When you apply for a credit card, the bank gives you a credit limit which sets the maximum amount you can borrow using your card. Credit cards are one of the most popular methods of payments and can be a convenient way of paying for goods and services in store, online and all around the globe.
What should I do if my ANZ credit card has expired?
Your ANZ credit card is considered expired only after the last day of the month and year marked on your card. For instance, if your card’s expiry date reads 03/22, it is valid until 31 March 2022 and expires on 1 April 2022. Typically, you should have received a new credit card by that date, and you won’t have to request a new card.
Once you get the new card, you should remember to switch any automatic payments you have - such as a utility or mobile phone bill - from your expired credit card to your new credit card. Equally, if you are using CardPay Direct to repay your ANZ credit card debt, you may need to update the credit card account details for that service as well.
In case the new card doesn’t arrive by the expiry date of your current credit card, you can call ANZ on 13 22 73 to find out the reason and if you need to request an expedited card. Please note that if you were planning to close your credit card account or request a credit card upgrade, you may need to call ANZ at least before the 25th of the month your current credit card expires in, as that’s when they may send you the new credit card.
How to pay a credit card from another bank
Paying or transferring debt from one lender to the other is called a balance transfer. This involves transferring part or all of the debt from a credit card with one lender to a credit card with another. As part of the process, your new lender will pay out the old lender, so that you now owe the same amount of money but to a new institution.
Many credit card providers offer an interest-free period on balance transfers to help new applicants better handle their debt. During this period, cardholders are not required to pay interest on the debt they brought over from the other card. This can be a great opportunity for consumers to pay off credit card debt with no interest. There are often fees associated with balance transfers; normally, these are a percentage of the amount transferred.
So make sure you read the terms and conditions of the card before transferring any debt across.
What should you do when you lose your credit card?
Losing your credit card is a serious situation, and could land you in financial trouble. Here is a simple guide detailing what to do when you lose your credit card.
Lock you card – Contact your provider and inform them about your lost credit card. From here lock, block or cancel your card.
Keep track of transactions – Look out for unauthorised credit card transactions. Most banks protect against fraudulent transactions.
Address recurring charges – If your card is linked to recurring charges (gym membership, rent, utilities), contact those businesses.
Check credit rate – To ensure you’re not the victim of identity theft, check your credit rating a month or two after you lose your credit card.
How do I apply for a BOQ credit card limit increase?
If you’re an existing BOQ customer, you can request a BOQ credit card limit increase over a phone call. However, you should remember that owning and using a credit card is a matter of financial responsibility, so it might be worth thinking this decision through.
When requesting a credit card limit increase, you’ll need to be just as responsible in terms of how much you earn and can set aside to repay the outstanding card balance. A credit card company may approve a credit limit increase only if you can show that you have either the income or the disposable income, which is the amount you have left after all expenses have been paid out.
For this purpose, you may need to submit your latest income documents and bank statements for an increase. You may want to estimate how much you usually have left after deducting your expenses, and then use this amount to try and convince the credit card company. Also, you may prefer to pay off the card balance in full each month and thus avoid paying interest on the card, helping you back up any claims of financial responsibility, as well.
Remember that you may not be able to apply for a credit card limit increase beyond any limitations on the type of card you own. For instance, if you own a card whose ceiling is $10,000, and your current limit is $5,000, you won't likely be able to apply for a $10,000 credit card limit increase.
How to pay a credit card
There are a few ways to pay a credit card bill. These include:
- BPAY - allows you to safely make credit card payments online.
- Direct debits - set up an automatic payment from your bank account to pay your credit card bill each month. You can choose how much you want to pay of your credit card bill when you set up the auto payments.
- In a branch.
- Via your credit card provider's app.
How to get money from a credit card
You can get money from a credit card, but generally it will cost you.
Withdrawing money from a credit card is called a cash advance, as it operates more as a loan than a simple cash withdrawal. Because it is a loan, you may be charged interest on your cash advance as soon as you make the withdrawal. Interest rates are also usually much higher for cash advances than standard credit card purchases.
In addition to the interest rate, you may also be charged a cash advance fee. This could be a flat rate, or a percentage of your total cash advance. If you are considering a cash advance, make sure to add up how much it will cost you before committing.
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.
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 you cancel a credit card?
It’s important to cancel your old cards to avoid any additional fees. Unless you’re doing a balance transfer, you’ll need to pay the outstanding balance before you cancel your credit card. If you’ve opted for a card with reward points, make sure you redeem or transfer the points before you close your account. To avoid any bounced payments and save yourself an admin headache, redirect all your direct debits to a new card or account. Once you’ve done all the preparation, call your bank or credit card provider to get the cancellation underway. Once you receive a confirmation letter, destroy your card and make sure the numbers aren’t legible.