Over the weekend ANZ announced it will reduce the purchase interest rates on two of its credit cards to their lowest rates since 2003.
From 23 February, the bank will lower the purchase rate on its Low Rate Platinum card by 2.00% p.a. to 11.49% p.a. and its Low Rate Classic card by 1.00% p.a. to 12.49% p.a..
|ANZ||Low Rate Classic Card||12.49%||$58.00|
|ANZ||Low Rate Platinum Card||11.49%||$99.00|
Source: CANSTAR. New announced rates effective from 23 February 2017.
If you’re considering a low rate card, the comparison table below may help. This provides a snapshot into the current market offerings for credit cards that feature lower rates. Please note that these have been sorted by our star rating, A-Z and are based on a $2,000 monthly spend with links direct to the providers’ website.
ANZ has been lauded by some for the rate reductions, with Liberal MP Scott Buchholz saying that the move shows “commercial courage”.
The news was also applauded by Malcolm Turnbull, with the Prime Minister welcoming the rate reductions as a sign that his policy concerning the big banks was working.
“I am bringing the banks regularly before the House Economics Committee and they are being held to account for their actions, and you’re seeing real results,” said Mr Turnbull.
“That is one of them. This was something that Mr Buchholz raised expressly. We challenged the banks on this and they’ve obviously reflected on that and they’re responding.”
— 7 News Adelaide (@7NewsAdelaide) February 19, 2017
13 other credit cards with low rates
ANZ Group Executive for Retail and Commercial Banking Fred Ohlsson said the rate changes will offer “the best rate available from any of the major banks or any of the regional banks owned by the majors”.
But a quick look at the low rate credit cards currently available shows that consumers can do better than 11.49% p.a. with smaller lenders.
CANSTAR’s database shows several cards with rates as low as 11.49% p.a. or less, with many of those even having a rate below 10%.
|Australian Military Bank||Low Rate Visa Card||10.99%||$49.00|
|Bank Australia||Low Rate Visa CreditCard||9.39%||$59.00|
|Community First CU||Low Rate Visa Cred Card||8.99%||$40.00|
|Community First CU||McGrath Pink Visa Card||8.99%||$40.00|
|ECU Australia||Low Rate Visa Credit Card||10.95%||$48.00|
|G&C Mutual Bank||Low Rate Visa Credit Card||9.49%||$50.00|
|Newcastle Permanent||Value+ Credit Card||11.49%||$49.00|
|Northern Inland CU||Low Rate Visa Credit Card||8.99%||$0.00|
|Police Bank||Visa Credit Card||10.76%||$30.00|
|SCU||Low Rate Visa Credit Card||10.49%||$30.00|
|Select Encompass Credit Union||Visa Credit Card||10.99%||$30.00|
|Victoria Teachers Mutual Bank||Visa Platinum Credit Card||9.99%||$84.00|
|Woolworths Employees CU||Low Rate Credit Card||9.45%||$25.00|
Source: CANSTAR. Rates correct as at 20 February 2017.
ANZ is the first big bank to drop rates of low rate credit cards, perhaps it will set a trend for competitors. pic.twitter.com/KjVpnmuQIB
— Sunrise (@sunriseon7) February 19, 2017
Labor: ‘More needs to be done’
The Labor party welcomed ANZ’s decision to cut credit cards interest rates, but said more needs to be done by the banks to give customers a fair go.
Shadow Minister for Small Business and Financial Services Katy Gallagher said it’s time banks looked beyond the interest rates they offer.
“Banks should look seriously at the annual fees charged, cash advance fees, late payment fees, and other products like credit protection insurance and the reward program rip-offs,” Gallagher said.
Gallagher also pointed out that credit card fees now make up over one third of the fees banks collect from households each year, with $1.5 billion paid in annual fees alone.
“With the average credit card holder in Australia owing $4,262 on their card and with $734 paid in interest per year, every increase in fees, charges and hidden costs hits households hard – particularly low and middle income households,” she said, quoting ASIC’s Credit Card Debt Clock.
Credit card rate environment (personal non-rewards cards)
Source: CANSTAR. Rates correct as at 20 February 17. Only Unsecured, non-rewards, personal credit cards included.