A couple of months ago we trumpeted St.George’s SENSE account as the poster child for the trend towards more different and innovative products in the transaction account category. As a follow up, over the coming weeks I thought it would be good to take a look at a couple of the other new kids on the block who are doing things a bit differently in banking world. The first of these hotshots is ANZ’s Extras Package…
The ANZ Extras Package is a standard ANZ access account which, as the name suggests, comes with a range of extras for an increased monthly fee of $18. What does this $18 get you? Well, apart from a standard day-to-day bank account, the package gives you a range of bonuses and benefits you’d normally associate with a credit card or a home loan package.
The first of these is a slew of instant shopping and dining discounts as well as ticket and travel offers, similar to the kind of thing we’ve seen in credit cards over the past few years. Another key feature is 24 hour roadside assistance. Considering the usual annual cost of this service is approx $99, its addition could help justify forking out the account’s monthly fee.
The Extras Package also comes with mobile phone, domestic travel and accidental death insurance. The mobile phone cover is particularly unique and as it usually costs about $6 a month when taken with your mobile provider, it proves a pretty handy saving. Whilst all this cover is useful, I must say it’s odd that there isn’t some level of purchase protection or extended warranty as they would seem to be a better fit for a day-to-day transaction account.
On the financial side, you get free access to a monthly overdraft facility of up to $1000. You also get 0.2% bonus interest on an ANZ Online Saver account as well as waiver on an ANZ First credit card’s $30 annual fee. Like ANZ’s standard account, the extras package also comes with a Visa debit card.
The question is whether all the ‘extras’ are worth the $18 monthly fee. Financially, the overdraft facility is handy, but there are far better savings and credit card products out there even when you add the discounts into the equation. Also, if you already have a home loan package or credit card, you’ll already have access to most of the benefits available. However, for those without either, ANZ’s extras package has a host of benefits that depending on circumstance, could save you a bit of money and make things a little more convenient. It may not be for everyone, but nonetheless, it’s heartening to see a bank try something new.
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