Best introductory credit card offers September 2017

Amy Bradney-George 5 September 2017 NEWS


Save with 0% interest rates or enjoy bonus reward and frequent flyer points when you get one of these credit cards.

If you’re looking for a new credit card, you can take advantage of introductory offers to help get more value from the one you choose. These promotional deals are designed to offer you more value in the form of bonus points, cashback rewards or savings on standard rates and fees.

Along with the ever-popular balance transfer and bonus point offers, the last three months of the year usually bring more introductory 0% purchase rate offers (in preparation for Christmas and holiday spending). So here, we’ve rounded up this month’s best offers for balance transfers, rewards and 0% purchase rates based on their potential dollar value, card costs and what you need to do to enjoy these benefits on your next credit card.

Rates and fees are correct as of 5 September 2017 but may change subsequently.

Best 0% balance transfer offer

Westpac Low Rate

This low rate credit card is currently offering 0% on balance transfers for 24 months when you apply online. In terms of costs, there is a one-time balance transfer fee of 2% of the debt you move to the card and an annual fee of $59 p.a.

At the end of the introductory period, any debt remaining from the balance transfer will be charged interest at the standard variable purchase rate, currently 13.49% p.a. In comparison, many other cards revert to a higher cash advance interest rate.

What do I have to do to get this offer?
Here are the key details you need to know to make the most of this 0% balance transfer offer:

  • Online applications only. You can only get 0% on balance transfers for 24 months when you apply for the Westpac Low Rate credit card online.
  • Apply by 26 October 2017. This offer is only available if you apply online and are approved by 26 October 2017.
  • Request the balance transfer at the time of your application. The promotional 0% interest rate only applies when you request the balance transfer at the time of your application, so make sure you have your existing credit card details handy to speed up this process.
  • Balance transfer amount. Westpac allows you to transfer up to 95% of your approved credit limit.
  • Eligible debts. You can transfer your balance/s from up to three non-Westpac, Australian-issued credit, charge or store cards.

Alternative offer: ANZ Platinum

If you have existing debt and upcoming expenses, this exclusive offer for the ANZ Platinum gives you 0% interest on balance transfers for the first 12 months and 0% interest on purchases for the first 3 months you have the card. It also offers a $0 annual fee in the first year (reverts to $87 p.a.). At the end of the introductory periods, the balance transfer rate reverts to the standard variable cash advance rate of 21.49% p.a. and the 0% purchase rate reverts to 19.74% p.a. (variable).

Best reward or frequent flyer bonus points offer

American Express Explorer

amex-explorer250x158American Express continues to dominate this category with numerous 100,000 point promotions. The Amex Explorer is this month’s pick, offering 100,000 Membership Rewards points to new cardmembers when you spend $1,500 in the first 3 months. If you transferred these points to your Velocity Frequent Flyer account, you’d have enough to book a reward flight from Sydney to LA or from Melbourne to London (excluding fees and taxes).

The American Express Explorer also comes with many other frequent flyer benefits, including a $400 Travel Credit, two complimentary airline lounge passes and complimentary travel insurance. It also has an annual fee of $395 and a purchase rate of 20.74% p.a.

What do I have to do to get this offer?
Take note of these details so you can make the most of these 100,000 bonus points:

  • Apply online by 2 October 2017. This offer is only available if you apply online for the American Express Explorer by 2 October 2017.
  • New cardmembers only. If you’re new to American Express or have a bank-issued Amex card, you’ll be eligible for the 100,000 bonus point offer. But you won’t be eligible for this offer if you have held a card issued by American Express in the past 18 months.
  • Spend criteria. To get the bonus 100,000 Membership Rewards points, you have to spend $1,500 on eligible purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. This covers most of your everyday spending but excludes transactions such as cash advances. The 100,000 points will be credited to your account around 8–10 weeks after you meet this spending requirement.

Alternative offer: St.George Amplify Platinum

If you’re looking for a rewards card with a lower annual fee, the St.George Amplify Platinum charges a competitive $99 p.a. and currently offers a bonus 60,000 Amplify or Qantas Points when you apply by 20 September 2017. With Amplify Rewards, you’d have enough points for a $250 Westfield gift card (57,000 points) or to book flights and travel through the Amplify Travel (prices vary). Choose Qantas Points and you’d have enough for a return economy flight from Sydney to Bali (45,000 points) or a one-way economy flight from Perth to New York (60,000 points).

Best 0% purchase credit card offer

Bankwest Breeze Platinum

Bankwest-Breeze-Plat-cardThe Bankwest Breeze Platinum currently offers 0% on purchases for first 13 months. It also offers 0% on balance transfers for 13 months, with a 2% balance transfer fee. At the end of the introductory period, both 0% interest rates revert to the card’s ongoing variable purchase rate, currently 12.99% p.a.

In addition to this competitive 0% introductory offer, the Bankwest Breeze comes with no foreign transaction fees, complimentary travel insurance and a concierge service you could use to help you book travel or shop for gifts. It has an annual fee of $99.

What do I have to do to get this offer?
Pay attention to these factors so you can make the most of 0% for 13 months on the Bankwest Breeze Platinum:

  • Limited time offer. While there is no specific end-date for this offer, it may be withdrawn or changed at any time without notice. So check the rates and fees listed before you apply to make sure the offer is still available.
  • New customers only. This offer is only available if you’re a new Bankwest Breeze customer.
  • Introductory purchase period. You get 0% interest on purchases for the first 13 months from the date the card is opened, regardless of when a purchase is processed by Bankwest.
  • Eligible purchases. The promotional 0% interest rate for purchases applies to most everyday transactions. But it does not apply to cash advance transactions such as ATM withdrawals or foreign currency purchases, which attract the card’s standard variable cash advance interest rate.
  • Eligible balance transfer debts. If you want to take advantage of the 0% for 13 months introductory balance transfer offer, you’ll need to request it at the time of your application. Note that only non-Bankwest-branded credit cards can be balance transferred to the Bankwest Breeze Platinum.

Alternative offer: Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer

If you're looking to earn rewards for your spending, the Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer credit card gives you 0% on purchases for the first 12 months when you apply 31 October 2017 and select this offer (there are currently three different promotions available). You’ll also earn 0.66 Velocity Points per $1 spent on everyday purchases for the first $1,500 each month and 0.5 points per $1 after that. This card has an annual fee of $129 and a standard variable purchase rate of 20.74% p.a. that applies at the end of the introductory period.

Knowing how to make use of these introductory offers can help you enjoy more benefits when you first get a new credit card. But it’s also important to weigh up the ongoing costs and features of a range of credit cards so you can find one that really works for you.

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