Credit card users not given enough help, experts say

Ceyda Erem

14 May 2020

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While home loan and business owners have received extensive financial aid, it’s credit card customers who have pulled the short straw in the COVID-19 pandemic.

 Over recent months, we’ve seen the rollout of financial assistance from banks and financial institutions but perhaps not enough focus on credit - at least that’s what some experts believe.

“Unsecured credit has been the poor cousin in all of this [pandemic],” said director of policy at the Consumer Action Law Centre, Katherine Temple. “A lot of [other banks] responses are kicking the can down the road.” 

Deferring repayments, purchase rate reductions and lowering the minimum repayment amount for vulnerable customers are measures that have been put in place. However, there’s one area that may have been overlooked. Accruing interest.

RELATED: Four credit card tips for financially strapped times

According to J.D Power, 26% of Aussies are using their plastic to pay for household necessities. So, if you own a credit card with an interest rate over 20%, you may find yourself with some challenges once the deferral period ends: a stack of built up debt, higher repayments and a hefty interest bill to match.

According to Mozo Director, Kirsty Lamont, there are a few things Aussies can do now to prepare themselves for the future. 

“It’s crucial that credit card holders familiarise themselves with smart ways to pay down their debt, so that when the time comes, they are fully equipped to do so,” says Lamont. 

“One course of action might be to apply for a balance transfer credit card, which can wipe away debt without the interest. 

“It’s important to prepare a realistic repayment plan, so you’re guaranteed to clear your balance before the 0% interest rate period ends. Otherwise, you could find yourself with a revert purchase rate much higher than what you initially started with.”

RELATED: Get on top of debt! 4 smart ways to pay off your credit card

If you’d like to find out how much you could save in interest by taking out a balance transfer credit card, check out some offers below or head on over to our comparison tool for more options. 

And if you haven’t been keeping up with the latest COVID-19 developments, check out our coverage of all the credit card relief packages banks offer. 

Compare balance transfer credit cards

Rates updated daily. Advertiser disclosure.

  • Apply By 31 May 2021

    Bendigo Bank Low Rate Credit Card

    0% p.a. for 18 months and then 11.99% p.a. (2.00% balance transfer fee)

    11.99% p.a.

    $45

    0% p.a. balance transfer for 18 months (Reverts to 11.99% p.a). Low annual fee of $45 and no fees for additional cardholders.

    • 11.99% p.a.

    • -

    • 0% p.a. for 18 months and then 11.99% p.a. (2.00% balance transfer fee)

    • 13.99% p.a.

    • 55

    • 3.00%

    • $45

    • $15.00

    • 0.50%, Min $3.25

    Read our Mozo Review to learn more about the Low Rate Credit Card

    Details Close

  • St.George Amplify Platinum

    0% p.a. for 15 months and then 21.49% p.a. (1.00% balance transfer fee)

    19.74% p.a.

    $99

    80,000 bonus Amplify Points (min $3,000 spend within 90 days. 0% p.a. for 15 months on balance transfers requested at card application (1% BT fee). New cards only, Eligibility criteria and T&Cs apply. Offer ends 28th September.

    • 19.74% p.a.

    • -

    • 0% p.a. for 15 months and then 21.49% p.a. (1.00% balance transfer fee)

    • 21.49% p.a.

    • 55

    • 3.00%

    • $99

    • $15.00

    • 2%, Min $2.50

    Read our Mozo Review to learn more about the Amplify Platinum

    Details Close

  • Bankwest Breeze Mastercard

    0% p.a. for 26 months and then 10.99% p.a. (2.00% balance transfer fee)

    10.99% p.a.

    $49 $0 in the first year

    Enjoy 0% p.a on balance transfers for 26 months (2% BT fee applies) then 10.99% thereafter. No annual fee for the first year. Limited time only. Other fees, T&Cs apply. New Mastercard Breeze customers only.

    • 10.99% p.a.

    • -

    • 0% p.a. for 26 months and then 10.99% p.a. (2.00% balance transfer fee)

    • 21.99% p.a.

    • 55

    • 0.0

    • 2.95%

    • $49 $0 in the first year

    • $25.00

    • 2%, Min $4.00

    Read our Mozo Review to learn more about the Breeze Mastercard

    Details Close

  • Hot Deal Limited time balance transfer offer

    Westpac Low Rate

    0% p.a. for 24 months and then 21.49% p.a. (1.00% balance transfer fee)

    13.74% p.a.

    $59

    Enjoy 0% p.a. interest on balance transfers for the first 24 months. Get $200 cashback with $1k minimum spend on eligible purchases within 90 days of card approval. 55 interest free days and low on-going rate of 13.74% on all purchases.

    • 13.74% p.a.

    • -

    • 0% p.a. for 24 months and then 21.49% p.a. (1.00% balance transfer fee)

    • 21.49% p.a.

    • 55

    • 3.00%

    • $59

    • $15.00

    • 2%, Min $2.50, Max $150

    Read our Mozo Review to learn more about the Low Rate

    Details Close

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