Newsflash! We’ve found the best credit card in Australia. It has an unlimited 0% APR, unlimited 0% balance transfer and an unlimited 0% cash advance rate! We’re off to sign up now – this is unbelievable…
What’s that you say? What’s that about annual fee?
$20,000 per annum…really? Oh… Haha… of course we’re kidding. This is fantasy land and Mickey Mouse might as well be talking.
We have exaggerated things to the “nth” degree, but we just wanted to highlight that any card provider can throw out a few great features and claim they are offering the “best credit card in Australia.” It doesn’t mean that it is the best and you should do your homework before signing up for any deal.
The best credit card will be the one that most closely matches your individual spending and repayment habits. Let’s give you an example of what we mean.
You are very organized financially and always meet payment deadlines through careful budgeting and reminders about due dates, and you always check your bank statements.
You intend to use your credit card frequently but you will clear the balance each month by the due date – not just the minimum repayment, but the whole balance. You travel quite frequently and want to use your card overseas.
Now what features are you looking for in your card?
Firstly the APR will only kick in if your purchases attract interest. How can you avoid interest? Well, you will be looking for a nice lengthy interest-free period of, say, 44 or 55 days, so that you can make purchases and pay them off a month or so later without paying any interest on them.
If you’re using the card regularly then the annual fee may not be a big concern, especially if you can get some other benefits from the card. The balance transfer rate won’t affect you unless you’re intending to transfer a debt over from another credit card, which is unlikely if you are so organized.
Flying regularly and using it overseas will mean you may be interested in a frequent flyer rewards scheme and/or a card that provides free travel insurance, like many of the gold or platinum cards now do.
If you manage to find these features above and you’re confident that you meat the application criteria for the card, then you’ve just found the best credit card in Australia…for you…without the help of Mickey Mouse or any character from Fantasy Land!
Do you see how considering your own financial situation and habits carefully will dictate the features you should be looking for in your card?
Don’t try to shape your life to the card; it’s better to shape the card to your life - and that may mean a bit more research and hunting around online, but it’s fully worth the time you put in; the wrong credit card can end up costing you a lot of money and impact your financial future; the right credit card can help you now and in the long run.