Here at Mozo HQ we take banking comparison very seriously. Our team of Rate Chasers track and review over 2000 banking and insurance products from 189 financial services providers Australia-wide. We analyse interest rates, fees, rewards points and dive into product disclosure statements in search of sneaky fees and charges and we share all this information with you on our site so that you can get the best deal on your finances.
So to start the new year off with a bang (or bank), we took a look back at all the products that were launched or enhanced with new features last year to bring you our list of Banking VIPs (Very Innovative Products). These are the products that stood out among the crowd for their innovation, interest rate worthiness or cool features and are well worth considering adding to your wallet this year.
Check out who’s on the most innovative banking list for 2014.
Bank Account VIP
A true deserver of its VIP status is the Bankwest Rewards Transaction Account. Australia’s first rewards transaction account that rewards you when you spend as well as when you save. Yes, really. You’ll earn points every time you use your Debit MasterCard (5 points for every purchase) and you’ll also earn points on your account balance (1 point per $100). Points can be used to redeem shopping gift cards, flights, even electronic equipment.
Other top features of the Bankwest Rewards Transaction Account include no monthly account fee when at least $2000 is deposited each month, free atm withdrawals from any BankWest or CBA ATM. There are no overseas ATM fees but a 2.95% transaction fee is charged for any overseas transaction which includes purchases and ATM withdrawals.
Savings Account VIPs
With savings rate taking a big tumble last year on the back of RBA rate cuts it was the year of customer loyalty for high interest savings accounts. First ING DIRECT introduced a 0.75% loyalty bonus on its Savings Maximiser Account which kicks in after the welcome rate stops with deposits of $200 or more a month. And ME Bank began offering a 1.6% bonus rate for 12 months, taking its Online Savings Account to the top of the rate charts at 5.10%. Plus both accounts are fee free!
Rewards Credit Card VIPs
In 2012 we saw two new credit cards hit the rewards market that ticked the right boxes of a great rewards credit card.
The American Express Velocity Escape Card tops our list for rewards value. It is one of the few rewards card in the market with no annual fee and points get automatically converted to your Velocity frequent flyer account making it simple to keep track and redeem flight rewards. You’ll get 1 point for every dollar spent and unlike some rewards cards the points never expire and points aren’t capped.
For shoppers, the launch of instant rewards at Myer was a VIP scoop for Comm Bank. Commonwealth Bank Awards card customers no longer have to wait for rewards purchases to get shipped by mail, they can simply walk into any Myer store and redeem points instantly for anything instore. Cardholders get better bang for their reward spend by using the American Express card (also has a Mastercard option) but points are capped at $75,000 a year.
Home Loan VIP
Loans.com.au, the online home loan provider, has maintained its market leading position offering one of the best home loan rates at 5.34% on its Dream Loan Express Home Loan. If you’ve got more than 25% equity in your home and are looking to save on repayments this is a loan worth considering with no ongoing fees, no application fee and a 100% redraw facility. The savings you’ll make will be worth it. For instance, if your current home loan is the Commonwealth Bank’s Wealth Package at 5.60% (300,000 over 25 years) you could save over $23,000 by switching to the Dream Loan Express.
Personal Loan VIP
Peer-to-peer lending and borrowing made its debut in Australia with the launch of Society One. Now when you need to borrow some extra cash for a new car, home reno or holiday you can bypass banks all together by connecting direct with investors via a secure online platform. Or if you have money you can invest it and earn returns from 10% on a portfolio of personal loans.
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