This is a round-up of rates in March and some may have changed since the time of writing. To check on today’s rates click on the highlighted product.
The RBA cash rate remains on hold so we saw limited changes to deposit and loan rates again during March. However providers are still trying to attract business, and a few inventive offers emerged, particularly on bank accounts where the focus is on value and access rather than interest rates.
Most of the cash back offers reported in last month’s Rate Chaser blog have expired and the best rates in the market are unchanged.
loans.com.au’s dream home loan variable ‘hot summer rate’ special is the cheapest variable rate at 4.49% (comparison rate 4.51%), the best fixed rates are IMB’s 3.99% for 1 year, eMoney’s 4.65% for 2 years, and Teachers Mutual Bank’s 4.49% for 3 years, though to get this rate you must be employed in the education sector.
St.George has extended its $1,250 cash back offer for people refinancing loans of $250,000 or more to its Advantage Package that had been due to expire at the end of March, now available through to June 2014.
Looking at the major banks, ANZ cut its 2 year fixed rate by 5 basis points to 4.99% and its 3 year rate by 8 basis points to 5.20%, while NAB also took 5 basis points off its 2 year rate, now 4.94%, trimmed its 3 year rate by 8 basis points to 5.15%, and took just 1 basis point off its 5 year rate, now 5.79%.
Commonwealth Bank and Westpac both made no changes to home loan rates during the month.
Check out Mozo’s Home Loan Compare tool that will help you find the lowest rates for your loan amount and property value.
There are still plenty of 0% balance transfer offers to be found, however some of those are due to expire in the next month and we are unsure as yet whether they will be extended or not.
Commonwealth Bank is offering up to $200 cashback, made up of $50 gift cards when minimum spend of $100 is made at each of JB HiFi, Caltex, Dymocks, and Flight Centre before 31 May 2014.
Two new credit cards were launched during the month, one with a low rate and the other targeting ‘premium’ customers.
American Express launched its new “Low Rate Credit Card” which has a purchase rate of 11.99% and a $65 annual fee, but no rewards.
ANZ launched its “Rewards Black” credit card, offering the bank’s highest earn rate of 3 points per dollar spent on the American Express card, and 2 points per dollar spent on the Visa card, along with a bonus 10,000 points if more than $50,000 is spent on the account in the first year. The purchase rate is 18.79% and annual fee is $375. To qualify for the card you must earn at least $75,000.
The lowest ongoing purchase rates continue to be Community First’s McGrath Pink Visa at 8.99% and Vic Teachers Platinum card at 9.99%.
See all the great credit card offers along with the important fees and rates here to find a deal that suits you.
Term deposit rates continued the decline we’ve seen over the last few months. Average rates across the board didn’t move much, however 20 of the 70 providers listed on the Mozo site made some adjustment to their rates, and of those 97 were down and only 30 were up.
ME Bank had the best rates for 7 of the 11 fixed term options of less than one year, the highest of which was 3.90% for 5 months. RaboDirect had the best rates for longer term deposits topping the 3 year (4.30%), 4 year (4.60%), and 5 year (5.00%) terms.
Find the best rates for a term that suits you using Mozo’s Term Deposit Compare tool.
At Call Deposits:
Savings account rates remain in the doldrums and the only major change we saw was NAB cutting 13 basis points from the ongoing bonus rate on its Reward Saver product to 3.93%. This is still better than the other 3 major banks offer on their equivalent products, but only by up to 3 basis points.
The best savings rates remain the 4.62% available on UBank’s USaver with Ultra savings and bank account combination, and ME Bank’s 4.60% for 5 months on its Online Savings Account when combined with its Everyday Transaction Account.
So, while there’s little competition for your savings account dollars, some providers have shifted focus to their day-to-day transaction accounts.
Bankwest has launched Australia’s first transaction account that lets you earn Qantas Points. 5 points are paid on most purchases completed with the attached Debit MasterCard, and for every $100 balance on your account you will earn 12 points per month. Accounts opened before 31 May 2014 and have at least $2,000 deposited each month for the first 3 months qualify for an introductory offer of 10,000 bonus Qantas points. There’s also no monthly account keeping fee if you deposit at least $2,000 during the month.
ANZ has introduced a special offer on its Access Advantage account where new accounts opened in March could receive a $100 bonus. To qualify, customers must deposit at least $2,000 and login to either ANZ’s internet banking or mobile app.
Peoples Choice Credit Union is promoting its new Zip Account by giving customers 2.50% cash back on Visa payWave transactions, up to a maximum of $12.50 per week until the end of April. There’s also a mobile game in which players catch falling money, with cash prizes of up to $300 for the highest score each week until May 2014.
Try our Savings Compare tool that makes it easy to see the conditions that can apply to special rates or our Bank Accounts Compare tool that shows which accounts don’t charge a monthly fee, or can have their fee waived if you meet some conditions.