Mozo Rate Chasers Roundup – March 2016

Mozo Rate Chasers Roundup – March 2016

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.

Home Loans:

The number of lenders making changes to home loan rates in March was lower than what we’ve seen over the last 6 months. While there were a few new deals from lenders, the best rates in the market haven’t moved for a while now. In fact, we expect that lenders are likely to increase rates in response to funding cost pressures, although that could be at least partially offset if the RBA reduces the official cash rate over the next few months as some analysts are tipping.

Variable rates

Bank of Sydney slashed the rate on its ‘Expect More’ package option, its owner occupier rate down from 4.46% to 4.15% for loan-to-value ratios below 80% and to 4.29% for LVR’s up to 90%. The bank has also ceased lending for investment properties for now.

Gateway Credit Union’s package loan rate is now down at 3.98% from 4.09% for LVR’s up to 80%. Credit Union SA sharpened its rates with a Variable Rate Package Special Offer of 4.20% for loans over $150,000.

The best variable rates for owner occupiers borrowing up to 80% are:

Homestar – 3.94%

Bank Australia, Freedomlend – 3.98%

Then there are 10 lenders offering a variable rate of 3.99%

Fixed rates

If you’re thinking of locking in a low rate there are still lots of really good deals around and a few lenders made their rates more attractive in March.

Suncorp lead the way, cutting its 3 year fixed rates to just 3.99% for both owner occupiers and investors, but you have to sign up for the package option to get that rate.

The St.George/BankSA/Bank of Melbourne group of brands introduced a 0.24% discount on its 3 year fixed loan under its Advantage Package, now 4.05%.

If you are looking for something for a longer term, Greater Building Society cut its 4 and 5 year rates down to just 4.24%, now the best in the market for those terms. The top rates for 1 to 3 year terms are unchanged from last month.

The best fixed rates are:

1 year – 3.50% from Illawarra Credit Union

2 years – 3.85% from Illawarra Credit Union

3 years – 3.89% from Illawarra Credit Union

4 years – 4.24% from Greater Building Society

5 years – 4.24% from Greater Building Society

Check out Mozo’s Home Loan Compare tool that will help you find the lowest rates for your loan amount, property value and purpose.

Credit Cards:

Interest rates

We saw a few interest rate increases on credit cards this month, but overall there weren’t many changes. The GEM Visa Card from GE Money had it’s rate bumped up 2.00% to 24.99% and the rate on the company’s MasterCard and GO MasterCard are both up 1.00% to 24.50%. GE also issues the 28 Degrees MasterCard which is popular with travellers due to its lack of foreign currency exchange fee, and its rate is also up 1.00%, now 21.99%.

Rewards points

The big news for collectors of rewards points was ANZ making a similar move to the one we saw from Commonwealth Bank last month by reducing the earn rates on some of its rewards cards. When using the American Express card for standard ANZ Rewards accounts you now get 1.5 points per dollar spent instead of 2, and 0.75 instead of 1.5 on the Visa card. Platinum customers now get 2 points per dollar instead of 3 when using the American Express card and 1 instead of 1.5 on the Visa, and Black customers using the Visa card now get 1.25 points instead of 2 (but still get 3 points per dollar when using the American Express).

The best bonus points offers at the time of writing are:

Bankwest – More Platinum MasterCard – 80,000

Commonwealth Bank – Diamond/Platinum Awards – 80,000

ANZ – Frequent Flyer/Rewards Black – 75,000

See all the great credit card offers along with the important fees and rates here to find a deal that suits you.

Personal Loans:

Competition for low rate personal loans has been hot for a while now, but during March we saw some signs of that cooling. The trend was for the big banks to push rates up, while smaller lenders made some cuts.

ANZ increased its Online Secured Car Loan rate by 0.05% to 7.60% and NAB lifted its Unsecured Personal Loan rates by 0.30%, to 13.69% for variable rates and 14.19% for fixed.

Community First introduced a new variable rate option on its New Car Loan, now the third best in the market at 5.34%. IMB Bank trimmed its New Car Personal Loan rate by 0.10% to 6.49%.

The top 3 rates for secured loans are:

Loans.com.au – Car Loan – 4.50%

Victoria Teachers Mutual Bank – Green Car Loan – 5.29%

Community First Credit Union – New Car Loan – 5.34%

Find the best deals you can get right now with Mozo’s Personal Loans comparison.

Term Deposits:

The Mozo Rate Chasers saw more than usual increases to term deposit rates last month, however none of those pushed the best rates higher. In fact, the best rate for terms of less than 1 year is actually down 0.05% from last month.

The big banks have been fairly quiet over the last 6 months, making very few changes to term deposit rates. This month Commonwealth Bank increased its 3 month rate 45bp to 2.35% but cut its 4 month rate by 35bp to 2.00%. Similarly, its 7 month rate is up 50bp to 2.40% but its 8 month rate is down 40bp to 2.00%.

Bankwest, Greater Building Society, and Maitland Mutual all increased 6 month rates by 10bp to 3.00. Greater and Maitland also both reduced their 5 month rates by 10bp to 2.90%.

ING Direct had the best rate for less than 1 year at the end of last month with its 3.15% for 11 months, but that’s now down at 2.90% (but still the best for that term).

For terms of less than 1 year the best rate is 3.10% for 7 months from Newcastle Permanent and Maitland Mutual, or for 4 months from Arab Bank Australia. The best rate for 1 year is Big Sky’s 3.05% and the best for 2 years is 3.20% available from ING Direct and Maitland Mutual.

Find the best rates for a term that suits you using Mozo’s Term Deposit Compare tool.

Savings Accounts:

There weren’t many changes to at call deposit rates, but Westpac increased the 3 month introductory bonus rate on its eSaver by 0.26% to 3.11% and St.George/BankSA/Bank of Melbourne pushed its Maxi Saver 3 month introductory rate up 0.20% to 3.20%.

All other changes were cuts, including Bankwest’s Smart eSaver ongoing bonus rate down 0.10% to 2.70%, and Bank of Queensland’s WebSavings Account introductory 4 month bonus rate down 0.10% to 3.00%.

The top ongoing bonus rate is ME’s Online Savings Account at 3.60% and followed by ING Direct’s Savings Maximiser at 3.50%. The best short term bonus rate is RaboDirect’s High Interest Savings Account on 3.50% for 4 months.

Find the best at call savings rates including any hoops that must be jumped through to qualify for them using Mozo’s Savings Account Compare tool.

Detailed information about changes to bank pricing, offers, incentives, product launches, changes and price leaders can be obtained by subscribing to the Mozo Banking Roundup, a monthly newsletter. See here for more information, or email roundup@mozo.com.au.

Mozo Rate Chasers Roundup – March 2016 was last modified: April 6, 2016 by Peter Marshall

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