Mozo Rates to Riches blog – February 2017

Mozo Rates to Riches blog – February 2017

Every month the Mozo Rate Chasers help you to find the biggest bonuses, special offers and the best rates to ensure you keep more money in your pocket rather than the banks!

This blog is a summary of offers in February and some may have changed since the time of writing. To check the latest information click on the highlighted product.

Home Loans:

Three lenders announced they would only accept refinances from investors if accompanied by an owner occupier loan – AMP, Commonwealth Bank and its subsidiary Bankwest.

Fixed rate increases have far outnumbered cuts for each month since October, however the pace has slowed with fewer increases in February than in any of the previous 3 months.

Variable rates

The Commonwealth Bank reduced the owner occupier rate on its Extra Home Loan by 10bp to 4.09%. The 3 year introductory rates on the bank’s Economiser loan are up, by 30bp for owner occupiers to 4.29% and by 47bp for investors to 4.73%, while the $600 application and $8 monthly fees which had been waived have now been re-instated.

The lowest rate available for owner occupiers with an LVR up to 80% is from Reduce Home Loans, now 5bp higher than last month at 3.39%.

Suncorp cut the rate on its Back to Basics Special from 4.17% to 3.88% while Bank Australia increased its basic Home Loan rate from 3.71% to 3.79%.

Fixed rates 

Heritage Bank dropped its 1 year rate for owner occupiers from 4.09% to 3.79%, while increasing its 2 year rate by 5bp to 3.99%.

ING Direct increased fixed rates across all terms with 1, 2 and 3 years all up 10bp (to 4.09%, 4.04%, and 3.99% respectively), 4 years up 5bp to 4.34% and 5 years up 10bp to 4.29%.

Reduce Home Loans cut its 1 year and 3 year rates by 32bp and its 2 year rate by 22bp, all now 3.87%.

Suncorp cut 1 year rates by 15bp taking its owner occupier rate to 3.89%, the same rate as for its 2 and 3 year terms.

The best fixed rates are:

1 year – 3.59% from Greater Bank

2 years – 3.69% from Bank Australia and QT Mutual Bank

3 years – 3.59% from Easy Street

4 years – 3.75% from BCU

5 years – 4.10% from BCU

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:

Low rate cards are all the rage with two of the four major banks announcing lower rates and an international bank launching its first low rate card.

Rewards programs are changing too. ANZ has ceased issuing Amex companion cards effective 1 March and has made extensive changes to the points that can be earned on its remaining cards.

ANZ reduced rates on its two low rate products. Both cards were at 13.49%, but now the Low Rate Credit Card is down to 12.49% and the Low Rate Platinum down to 11.49%. As of 1 March, ANZ no longer offers American Express companion cards. Existing customers will be able to continue to use their Amex cards until 5 August, but no new companion cards will be issued. They’ve also made changes to earn rates on the Visa portion of affected products.

HSBC removed the HSBC Credit Card from its line-up, replacing it with a Low Rate Credit Card which has a purchase rate of 13.25% and annual fee of $55, versus the Credit Card’s purchase rate of 17.99% and $0 annual fee. The Low Rate Credit Card launches with a 0% for 15 months balance transfer period.

Westpac announced that it has a new low rate card product in development with a rate less than 10% and annual fee less than $100, but launch is still a few months away.

The lowest credit card purchase rate is 6.99% on Police Credit Union’s SoLo Credit Card. The longest 0% balance transfer period is 24 months on Citibank’s Platinum card and NAB’s Premium Card (for online applications only) while the longest 0% introductory purchase rate is for 12 months on Virgin Money’s Velocity Flyer Card.

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

Personal Loans:

Very few changes to personal loan rates in February, but a few lenders made cuts to unsecured loan rates and a major bank lifted its car loan rate.

ANZ increased the rate on its Online Secured Car Loan from 6.40% to 6.99%. This is the second month in a row the rate has increased and its now the highest rate for the loan since May 2016.

Commonwealth Bank cut its Unsecured Personal Loan rate by 20bp, now 13.70%. HSBC dropped the rate on its Unsecured Personal Loan from 11.99% to 9.50%. Suncorp cut rates on its Unsecured Personal Loan by 150bp with the fixed option now at 10.99% and variable at 11.19%.

The top secured loan rate is Victoria Teachers Mutual Bank’s Discounted Green Car Loan at 5.29% and the best unsecured loan rate is G&C Mutual Bank’s fair Rate Personal Loan, available from 5.99%.

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

Term Deposits:

Rates for term deposits continue to head downwards, with terms of up to one year most affected.

CUA’s 3 month rate is down 20bp to 2.10% while its 5, 8 and 11 month rates are all up 5bp (to 2.75%, 2.85% and 2.90% respectively). The 11 month rate is the best for any term less than 1 year.

Westpac launched a 10 month special rate of 2.60%, up from 2.00% and only available until 12 March 2017. The bank’s 1 year rate is down 15bp to 2.35% and 2 years is down 60bp to 2.40%.

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

Savings accounts:

February saw the launch of new at-call deposit accounts from two providers, both mutuals.

CUA launched a new savings account called eSaver Boost. The account pays an ongoing bonus rate of 2.95% in months where at least $250 is deposited and no funds are withdrawn.

Newcastle Permanent has rearranged its range of at call deposit accounts with significant changes to existing accounts and the launch of two new accounts. A new account called Smart Saver pays 3.00% in months where the balance increases by at least $150 from the first to the last day of the month, and allows up to two withdrawals in each month without losing bonus interest. There’s also a new everyday banking account called Basic Access Account which has no service fee and offers four free ‘everyday transactions’ per month (ATM and EFTPOS fees beyond that are $0.60 each).

NAB’s Reward Saver ongoing bonus rate is down from 2.70% to 2.55%.

Best ongoing bonus rate at the time of writing is from ME at 3.05%. For a short term bonus the top rate is RaboDirect’s 3.05% for the first 4 months.

Find the best 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. For more information email roundup@mozo.com.au.

Mozo Rates to Riches blog – February 2017 was last modified: March 2, 2017 by Peter Marshall

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