It’s that time of the year again where we make our annual Mozo list (and check it twice) to find out which providers have been naughty and nice. Innovations and benefits or sneaky new fees the truth comes out under the Mozo tree…
Who’s been Nice?
For simplifying savings: UBank Ultra Saver
UBank entered the bank account market this year with revolutionary new account designed to take the thinking out of saving. The automated sweep function works to ensure savings are always sitting at a pre-determined target, automatically transferring funds if above or below. Which means you never overdraw or overspend when you have the odd windfall and always have just what you need. The standard interest rate of 3.61%, with bonus rate of 1.06% for any customers who deposit over $2000 a month into the account was also a very generous and competitive offer in a year with such low interest on savings.
For great value globetrotting: Qantas Cash
We’ve given the Qantas Cash prepaid travel card a wrap on several occasions since its launch this year for bringing together the best of two worlds with an excellent value prepaid travel card that also lets the card holder earn frequent flyer points on their local and international spend. Low fees, reasonable exchange rates, and the ability to carry up to nine currencies make this card a strong contender for Mozo nice list.
For virtual innovation and security: Virgin Velocity Global Wallet
Up there with the Qantas card, the Virgin Velocity Global Wallet travel card is not only a competitive prepaid travel card (and great option for velocity points collectors) but is the only prepaid travel card to offer a free ‘virtual card’ facility. Virtual cards allow the cardholder to create a temporary card number, expiry date and security number that you use to make purchases online or over the phone. When you’re finished, you simply delete the virtual card so even if someone manages to capture your details, they can’t use them. Even online shoppers who never leave home could benefit from having this card in their online shopping arsenal, as the virtual card feature and competitive exchange rates are ideal for security concerned online shoppers.
For driving down the price of car insurance: Coles Car Insurance
Coles Car insurance makes the Mozo nice list this year for excellent value and bringing down the cost of one of life’s bigger expenses. Coles Car Insurance was voted best value car insurance in The Mozo People’s Choice Awards 2013 and their promise to “beat your current price if you’re 30 or over” and 10% online discount are very compelling offers for budget-savvy Australians looking to insure their cars with a trusted brand.
For lending more flexibly: UBank and Loans.com.au
Both UBank and loans.com.au deserve a mention for making their highly competitive home loan offerings available to everyone. UBank’s great value loan that was initially only available to refinancers is now also available to buyers. While loans.com.au made their market-leading low rates for new buyers available to refinancers – a real win for the great Australian dream.
Bad behavior headed for the naughty list …
Charging outrageous 288% interest
Arguably the worst way you could cover a shortfall, popular express or payday loans from Nimble or Cash Train charge fees of around $24 for every $100 borrowed. With annual percentage rates equivalent to 288% – more than 10 times higher than the highest credit card rate – these arrangements are the most expensive way to borrow money that you could possibly find.
Spoiling a beautiful thing
The 28 Degrees MasterCard has been the darling of international travellers since its inception, with no fees for international transactions including cash advances at ATMs. However, some of the sparkle came off this year when the provider announced an unhappy change to the fee structure. From January 1, 2014, 28 Degrees MasterCard will introduce a cash advance fee of 3%. Of course it’s still a highly competitive card for overseas credit purchases but travellers will need to find another way to access their foreign cash – a slap on the wrist to 28 degrees for the buzz kill.
Non-bank lender Myrate.com.au makes the naughty list this year for some less-than-generous behavior towards their existing customers. In fact, MyRate was called up by ASIC for failing to pass on rate cuts advertised to new customers, to their existing customers – hardly a good way to reward (and win) customer loyalty.
Un-rewarding rewards cards
When Mozo compared 96 rewards card available in the market, we found you had to spend $17000 a year – or be putting at least $1416 a month on your credit card to earn $216 in rewards (with the very best value card in the market.) For the average consumer rewards cards really aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. Unless you’re pouring a serious amount of money through your card and paying it off in full each month, chances are your provider is getting more out of the relationship than you are. Mozo would like to see cardholders receive more reward for their loyalty in 2014 and invite cardholders to use our handy rewards revealer tool to make sure their card is actually working in their favor.