Author: Josh Swetnam

Get the right credit card to save money this Christmas

Our Charlestown Branch Manager Josh Swetnam agrees with money expert Paul Clitheroe that a key way to save money this Christmas is to look at your credit card.

I saw an article by well known Australian money expert Paul Clitheroe recently talking about how you can save money by switching your credit card. Paul mentioned that The Greater’s Visa Credit Card had one of the lowest rates in Australia. He was making the point that my colleague Vicki Briggs made in a blog a while back. Despite cuts in official interest rates and to home loan and savings account rates, most banks have not passed on cuts to credit cards.  

This some of what Paul said.

“Only around one in four personal credit cards has delivered a rate cut for the year. [Note: The Greater has cut by its rates by 0.49 per cent.]

“You may have lost track of the rate on your card, but if you’re paying anything close to the average, the interest burden could be a serious drain on your finances.

“As a guide on a card debt of say, $3000, which is about the average outstanding balance, you could be paying annual interest charges of $520.

“Switching to a cheaper card is a simple way to trim the cost.

“It pays to look outside the big banks.”

“Switching the same $3,000 balance from a card charging 17.26 per cent to one with a rate of 10 per cent could mean saving $220 in annual interest costs. It’s money that can be used to reduce the outstanding card balance and stretch your savings even further.”

Given we all give the plastic a workout at Christmas and during the post Christmas sales, switching to a low rate card makes sense. 

The Greater Building Society’s Visa Card outperforms the average standard Australian credit card for both banks and mutuals.  At the time of writing, its base rate is 10.25% p.a, almost half that of the average of the big four banks. There is a $40 annual fee which is waived if people spend a minimum of $10,000 annually after the first year. The card also provides up to 55 days interest free on purchases. Our card does not have rewards points. Those cards can have much higher interest rates and fees. You need to spend a lot of money on your card each year to earn enough points to justify the fees and rates. 

Before you hit the shops this Christmas check the rate on your current credit card. Of course, don’t spend above your budget and always try and pay your card off in full each month. That is the best way to save money this Christmas. 

If you want to know more about credit cards or tips to using them wisely simply give us a call on 1300 651 400 or call into your nearest Greater branch


Have you switched to a low rate credit card lately? Please share your story below.