As ASIC eyes Afterpay, keep your credit card handy

Ben Tosi

21 Nov 2017

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Aussie regulatory giant ASIC announced that it would be keeping a close eye on “buy now, pay later” schemes like Afterpay on Friday, which might make you nervous. Fortunately, the good old credit card is always there to fall back on.

Similar to the lay-by of yesteryear, payment platforms like Afterpay allow Aussies to purchase their favourite retail goods (and take them home immediately) for a smidge of the actual cost, with the rest paid off in fortnightly instalments.  

But now regulators have their eye on the platform, looking to see whether it is as good as we all think it is.

“ASIC is currently monitoring this industry and engaging with both industry participants and consumer groups,” said ASIC senior executive, Michael Saadat.

“We plan to collect data from buy now, pay later providers in the first quarter of 2018 to determine the size and demographics of the industry and participants, as well as to identify any consumer harms."

RELATED: Love Afterpay? Here are the traps you should know about

These kinds of payment methods have taken hold in Australia this year. In September, Afterpay announced it was now responsible for processing 20% of total online fashion retail and planned on being in over 4000 physical shop fronts come Christmas.

Part of what makes Afterpay so popular is that it doesn’t charge you any interest for your purchases, just a $10 late payment fee, which grows to $17 if you leave it longer than a week.

While this might seem like a great thing for Aussies who don’t want to pay the full price right away but also can’t stand the thought of costly interest charges, it also means that the company operates outside of credit consumer laws, so it isn’t really regulated.

RELATED: The 9 credit card perks you forgot (or didn’t know) you had

But regulated options still exist for savvy shoppers who don’t want to pay the bulk of their Christmas haul upfront. For example, interest free credit cards, when used responsibly, can provide a lot of the same benefits as these buy now, pay later payment options.

“If you’re clever with your credit card payments you can use your piece of plastic for the Christmas shopping haul, making the most of the interest free days that it offers and avoiding new year interest charges on your bill,” said Mozo Director, Kirsty Lamont.

But it isn’t just the interest free aspect of Afterpay that is attractive for Aussies. If you’re keen on having a fixed payment plan to make sure you pay off your spending but would rather stick with  plastic, there are options on the market, like the ING Orange One card which features an option to pay for larger purchases via instalments, albeit at a 9.99% interest rate.

Check out a popular bunch of interest free credit cards in the table below or read up on how to best use your credit card for the Christmas shopping spree with our credit cards for shoppers guide.

Interest free credit cards for you - rates updated daily

  • Promoted

    St.George Vertigo

    0% p.a. for 22 months and then 21.49% p.a. (1.50% balance transfer fee)

    0% p.a. for 7 months then 13.99% p.a.

    $55 $0 in the first year

    Enjoy 0% p.a. for 22 months on balance transfers at card application. 1.5% balance transfer fee applies. Rate then switches to applicable variable cash advance rate. Plus, 0% p.a. on purchases for 7 months. Rate then switches to applicable variable purchase rate. First year annual card fee waived for the first year ($55 thereafter). Available to new cards only, Eligibility criteria and T&Cs apply. Offer ends September 30th 2020.

    • 0% p.a. for 7 months then 13.99% p.a.

    • 0% p.a. for 7 months

    • 0% p.a. for 22 months and then 21.49% p.a. (1.50% balance transfer fee)

    • 21.49% p.a.

    • 55

    • 0.0

    • 3.00%

    • $55 $0 in the first year

    • $15.00

    • 2%, Min $2.50

    Read our Mozo Review to learn more about the Vertigo

    Details Close

  • Promoted

    St.George Vertigo Platinum

    6.99% p.a. for 12 months and then 21.49% p.a.

    0% p.a. for 15 months then 12.99% p.a.

    $99 $49 in the first year

    Take advantage of 0% p.a. on purchases for 15 months. Rate then switched to applicable variable purchase rate. 55 day interest free period for repayments. Low $49 annual card fee for the first year ($99 thereafter). Applicable to new Cards only, Eligibility criteria and T&Cs apply. Offer ends September 30th 2020.

    • 0% p.a. for 15 months then 12.99% p.a.

    • 0% p.a. for 15 months

    • 6.99% p.a. for 12 months and then 21.49% p.a.

    • 21.49% p.a.

    • 55

    • 49.0

    • 3.00%

    • $99 $49 in the first year

    • $15.00

    • 2%, Min $2.50

    Read our Mozo Review to learn more about the Vertigo Platinum

    Details Close

  • Promoted

    Bank of Melbourne Vertigo

    0% p.a. for 22 months and then 21.49% p.a. (1.50% balance transfer fee)

    0% p.a. for 7 months then 13.99% p.a.

    $55 $0 in the first year

    Get 22 months 0% interest on balance transfers at card application (1.5% balance transfer fee applies). Plus, get 0% p.a. on purchases for 7 months. Rate then switches to applicable variable purchase rate. Pay no annual card fee for the first year ($55 thereafter). New cards only, Eligibility criteria and T&Cs apply. Offer ends September 30th 2020.

    • 0% p.a. for 7 months then 13.99% p.a.

    • 0% p.a. for 7 months

    • 0% p.a. for 22 months and then 21.49% p.a. (1.50% balance transfer fee)

    • 21.49% p.a.

    • 55

    • 0.0

    • 3.00%

    • $55 $0 in the first year

    • $15.00

    • 2%, Min $2.50

    Read our Mozo Review to learn more about the Vertigo

    Details Close

  • Promoted

    NAB StraightUp Card ($10/month - $1,000 Credit Limit)

    No current offer

    0% p.a.

    $120 $10/month - waived if no spend & no balance owing

    Pay no interest and no late payment fees, just a $10 monthly fee for a $1,000 credit limit. Plus, if you don't make any purchases and have an outstanding balance of $0 during the whole statement period, the monthly fee will be reversed. Also pay no foreign currency fees when you shop online or overseas.

    • 0% p.a.

    • -

    • No current offer

    • 0

    • 0%

    • $120 $10/month - waived if no spend & no balance owing

    • $0.00

    • n/a

    Read our Mozo Review to learn more about the StraightUp Card

    Details Close

  • Promoted

    BankSA Amplify Platinum

    0% p.a. for 22 months and then 19.74% p.a. (1.50% balance transfer fee)

    0% p.a. for 7 months then 19.74% p.a.

    $99 $0 in the first year

    Receive 0% p.a. for 22 months on balance transfers requested at card application. 1.5% balance transfer fee applies. Rate then switches to applicable variable cash advance rate. 0% p.a. on purchases for 7 months. Rate then switches to applicable variable purchase rate. First year annual card fee waived for the first year ($99 thereafter). Choose between Amplify Rewards or Qantas Frequent Flyer. New cards only, Eligibility criteria and T&Cs apply. Offer ends September 30th 2020.

    • 0% p.a. for 7 months then 19.74% p.a.

    • 0% p.a. for 7 months

    • 0% p.a. for 22 months and then 19.74% p.a. (1.50% balance transfer fee)

    • 21.49% p.a.

    • 55

    • 0.0

    • 3.00%

    • $99 $0 in the first year

    • $15.00

    • 2%, Min $2.50

    Read our Mozo Review to learn more about the Amplify Platinum

    Details Close

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