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Credit Card Reforms: Credit Card Key Fact Sheets

Information verified correct on December 10th, 2016

Understanding how your credit card works is going to be easier with the introduction of credit card key fact sheets.

Key points

  • Information about credit cards fees and charges will be presented in an easy to understand standardised manner.
  • Potential card applicants can compare one credit card against other credit card offered by the same lender.
  • Everyone who applies for a credit card will have access to this information.

When you’re interested in finding out how a particular credit card works, the first questions you’re likely to ask are, ‘What’s the annual fee? What are the interest rates? And are there any perks?’ Jump online and this information is pretty easily found; however, the majority of card applications happen in person.

We know that some institutions make a summary of their credit card’s key facts readily available to anyone who wants it. All you have to do is walk into a branch and ask for some information on their cards, and you’ll get a nice pamphlet with key facts for a range of products laid out in black and white.

But you still have to ask to get this information.

The reform

Now, you're going to have the key facts of all card offered by a lender provided when you go to sign up for a credit card. This is happening because the government wants to make sure everybody in Australia knows what they’re getting themselves into when they apply for a credit card.

Presenting a standardised layout of key features and rates should help people determine what’s a reasonable offer and give some insight into the relationship between the annual fee, rates and value adding benefits.

This may also reduce the instances of failed credit applications and the implications this has for a person's credit report.

Link to the ANZ key fact sheet

Although it's mandatory to provide key fact sheets when you apply, the call to action could be better

Government draft for lender's key facts sheets

This is the information the government wants every new applicant to be supplied with when they apply for a card.

What does it mean for you

In short you can expect a little more paperwork when you apply for a credit card, and you won't have to do any digging to get to the 'key facts' about how much it's going to cost you.

Although these ‘key facts’ are readily available from most credit card comparison websites across various comparison tables and rates tables, according to our recent card user survey, only 16.5% of Australians have used a credit card comparison site. This means that the other 83.5% of Australians are getting their information from their lender or other sources, and are going to see the full benefit from a simplified and comparable approach to presenting vital information about a credit card without using a credit card comparison site.

If you’re reading this post, you’re probably already aware that Credit Card Finder presents information in an easy to digest manner that’s to help you when doing a credit card comparison. The introduction of key fact sheets should make it a little easier in terms of standardising the information you see across the bank websites, and you can be sure that it will help the decision making process a little easier when you apply for a card.

Jacob Joseph

Jacob is a writer and video journalist with finder.com.au. Credit cards, personal loans and savings accounts are his bread and butter, and he likes nothing more helping people understand the sometimes overly complex world of personal finance.

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