As the post-Christmas credit card bills roll in, a new poll has found a huge number of Australians are unaware of the interest rate they are paying on their plastic. For many, this means Christmas bills are bigger than expected and will take longer to pay back.
A new survey, conducted by Essential Research for the Customer Owned Banking Association found:
- more than one third describe paying for Christmas presents as “stressful”, and more than 20% say it’s more stressful this year than last;
- on average, Australians buy seven Christmas presents and spend $570, with 30% of us spending between $500 and $2,000;
- around 40% of shoppers put ‘at least’ three quarters of their presents on credit;
- around half of people said “don’t know” when asked the interest rate they pay on their credit card;
- 65% of consumers don’t know who has the lowest credit card interest rates, with many wrongly assuming the big four banks offer the best rates.
“This survey shows people really should check out their credit card deal and see if they are really getting the best deal possible. Go beyond the big four banks and see if there’s something better out there,” said People’s Choice Credit Union spokesperson, Stuart Symons.
“Unnecessarily high interest rates and fees can make a big bill much worse and really add stress to your life,” he said.
“If consumers act now, in the wake of their Christmas credit card shock, and switch to a card with a lower rate or better deal, they’ll not only save money next silly season, but all year round.”
“Consider interest rates, interest free periods, honeymoon rates – that is interest rates which start low and then shoot up – and fees. In addition to application fees and monthly or annual fees, watch out for hidden charges like late payments and cash advance fees.”
“As a credit union, People’s Choice has a long history of being upfront, honest and open with its members, so it has deliberately created a credit card without any unseen extras like hidden fees and interest charges.”
The new People’s Choice Visa Credit Card has a low introductory rate of 6.99%p.a. for the first 6 months, which is available across balance transfers, cash advances and purchases, plus the flexibility of more interest free days on purchases than most of the other credit cards in the market.
To learn more or apply now, check out peopleschoicecu.com.au, visit your nearest branch or call 13 11 82.
‘The Essential Report – Credit Cards’, Essential Research, commissioned by Customer Owned Banking Association, January 2015
 Introductory interest rate applies for 6 months from the date stated on your credit contract and then reverts to a variable rate (currently, as at 18/11/14, either 12.95%p.a. or 15.75%p.a. - the applicable variable interest rate will be determined by the information you provide and the assessment of your application and will be confirmed in your credit contract).
People's Choice Credit Union
People’s Choice is one of Australia’s largest credit unions with 345,000 members across Australia; more than 50 branches in South Australia, Victoria, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory, more than $8 billion of funds under management and advice; and more than 1,100 employees.
P: 08 8305 8331
M: 0413 299 597