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A rewards debit card is linked to your transaction account and allows you to earn rewards when you use your debit card to make purchases. There are different rewards programs on offer, allowing you to accrue everything from Qantas frequent flyer points, to perks like free wine or shopping discounts.
If you want to join a reward program without the stress of accumulating interest, a rewards debit card could be the solution.
- Google Pay
- Apple Pay
- Monthly fees: $0
- No international transaction fees
- Up to 10 currencies
Aussies are spoilt for choice when choosing a reward system that suits your needs. Compare your options in the table below.
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When you open a rewards transaction account with an Australian bank or financial institution, you will be issued a debit card to help with making purchases and withdrawing funds. Your debit card will typically be linked to either the Mastercard or Visa network.
The card is automatically linked to a rewards program – allowing you to earn or redeem the particular reward. For example, you need to use your Citibank debit card at a participating restaurant to get your free bottle of wine.
|NAB Classic Banking with Platinum Visa Debit Card|
|ING Orange Everyday account|
|Bankwest Qantas Transaction account|
|ME Everyday Transaction account|
|Citibank Plus Everyday account|
In order to receive the most value from your transaction account rewards program, it is important that analyse what rewards will benefit you most. These will include such things as:
- Points to dollar ratio. Check to see how many points you are earning for every dollar that you spend.
- Bonus points. Some programs will give you bonus points for using your reward debit card while shopping with their partners, or even just having a balance in your account.
- Cashback offers. Carefully read the terms and conditions to make sure you’re eligible for the cashback. Typically you’ll get 1% back of a purchase amount.
- Prizes. In some cases you can win prizes for making a transaction too.
What reward is best for me?
Points are typically more beneficial for frequent flyers whereas cashback offers tend to be more beneficial for those who don’t travel much. Many frequent flyer programs let you redeem points from a partner airline. Prizes are an added bonus and can suit any type of rewards recipient.
- Fees. Check to see if you are going to have to pay any monthly or annual fees for the use of your reward debit card.
- Joint accounts. You can increase your point earning potential if the bank allows additional cards to be issued for the same account.
- ATM access. Although cash withdrawals are usually not a part of the rewards program, you will still want to be able to easily access funds without having to pay extra fees.
- Daily limits. Look closely to ensure that you are not limited in how much you can purchase daily using your reward debit card.
- There is usually no annual or monthly fee (if there is, you can usually avoid it). Unlike reward credit cards, reward debit cards generally don't charge a monthly fee, or you can deposit your salary into the account to have the monthly fee waived.
- Your credit rating doesn't matter. Unlike a credit card, you don’t have to worry about being turned down for a reward debit card due to your credit history.
- Don't need to worry about accumulating debt. Since the money is being withdrawn from your available funds, you are not accumulating any debt by making purchases with a reward debit card.
- You earn reward points. Your everyday shopping expenditures will be adding up points towards rewards.
- You receive an average return. Debit cards typically have a lower earn rate and there are a few restrictions around cash back. It may not necessarily be the best value in terms of redeeming rewards, but at least you're using your own money and avoiding an annual fee.
- You may need to worry about merchant charges. With some purchases the merchant may charge an additional fee for a debit card transaction.
- The program may have spending limitations. You are limited with the amount of money you can spend by what is available in your transaction account.
What are the risks?
Not only is a reward debit card linked to a rewards account, it is also a direct line to the funds available in your transaction account. You should always keep that in mind to avoid the following:
- Don't get too carried away. Having the same ability to make purchases as you would with a credit card, you could be tempted to spend money on items that you normally wouldn’t.
The questions you never thought to ask
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