Investment property, credit cards, old smartphones: This week’s best banking news

By Polly Fleeting ·
  • A quarter of Aussies keen to snag an investment property despite the pandemic 
  • How switching credit cards could save Australians $2.1 billion 
  • Unused smartphones in Australia equate to $7.8 billion, says EBay 
  • Meet Azimo! The new international money transfer fintech 
  • How to lower your energy bill before summer 
  • Suncorp says goodbye to foreign exchange fees 

All in this week’s best banking news: editor’s pick. 

Investment properties: One in four Aussies eager to buy in current climate  

Despite the economic impacts of the global pandemic, Australians are still keen to get a foothold in the investment property market. 

In fact, a new ING survey of 2,075 Aussies found that 44% saw property as the most solid investment option. Plus, it revealed that 26% say now is a prime time to buy. 

And a bunch of young potential home buyers were among the pack. A quarter of millennial respondents indicated they were saving for a property and half were positive about their chances due to low home loan interest rates and a dip in house prices. 

Read full article:
One in four Australians eager to buy investment property, despite recession for comments from ING’s head of home loans, Julie-Anne Bosich.

Australians could pocket $2.1 billion by changing credit cards 

Fresh Mozo data has revealed that if Aussie credit card users switched their high rate card to the market-leading low rate option, we’d collectively save $2.1 billion. 

Our team crunched the numbers and found that the highest credit card rate on the Mozo database, 24.99%, is a massive 17.50% than the lowest rate on offer.  

“At a time when travel linked rewards on high interest rate credit cards largely grounded due to the pandemic, getting value through this premium card category has become more challenging,” Mozo Director, Kirsty Lamont said. 

“So if you’re carrying a balance forward on your premium credit card, you're not missing out on much at the moment by switching to a leading low rate card and reducing your monthly repayments.” 

Read full article:
Aussies could save $2.1 billion by switching credit cards and find out the lowest rates on the market right now. 

How old smartphones stack up to $7.8 billion collectively

In Australia, there are 33 million mobile phone connections, according to consumer data researchers at Statista. That’s more phones than people. 

Digital marketplace powerhouse eBay estimates that the total amount of unused smartphones in Ausse households equates to a massive $7.8 billion. 

It says that if people were to sell well-preserved devices they could make $386 or more, rather than trading in for an upgrade. This year, 76,626 second hand smartphones have been sold on eBay so far. 

Read full article:
Do you have an old smartphone sitting in a drawer? It's one in a pile worth $7.8 billion for more stats about what you can do with your old smartphone. 

Australia welcomes new international money transfer fintech, Azimo

This week, digital payments platform Azimo was welcomed onto the Aussie international money transfer scene. 

The UK-based fintech has been operating in Europe since 2012 and now aims to offer Australian customers competitive exchange rates and fast transfer speeds. 

Through the platform, Azimo customers are able to transfer funds to over 200 countries and territories. Plus, it says that most of its transfers will arrive within 24 hours. 

Read full article:
Azimo joins Australian fintechs in fight for cheaper international money transfers for an in-depth rundown of what’s on offer. 

How switching energy providers could save you hundreds this summer

Ever heard of a default offer or market offer on your electricity bill? If not, it’s something to know about. 

A default offer refers to the highest amount an energy retailer can charge a customer for electricity. While on the other hand, a market offer is an energy plan advertised by a retailer which includes things like discounts and incentives, so is often cheaper. 

The good news is that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) found that out of the 1.5 million electricity bills in Australia, there are less households on default offers. However, if you are one of the minority, you may want to make the switch.   

“We often talk about the lazy tax and how much extra it could be costing Aussies who don’t make the effort to shop around on households expenses, like their energy bill,” said Mozo Director, Kirsty Lamont. 

“Recent Mozo research found that in New South Wales alone, switching from the average to the cheapest electricity plan could save households $286 a year.”

Read full article:
Electricity bills: How to switch and save before summer hits for more on electricity rates and fees, and to see what discounts are available right now. 

Suncorp cuts foreign exchange fees on its bank account product 

Last weekend, major bank Suncorp said adios to its 3.00% foreign exchange fee on its Everyday Options account. 

While it’s unlikely you’ll be able to use your debit card overseas any time soon, it does still come in handy if you tend to shop on international websites. 

Suncorp joined a crew of banks that already offer bank accounts without this fee, including Up, HSBC and Citi. 

Read full article:
ICYMI: Suncorp has cut fees, including for foreign exchange to weigh up other bank account options without foreign exchange fees.

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