Get a home loan with a linked Visa debit card and access your money anywhere, anytime.
A Visa debit card gives you easy access to your money at millions of locations worldwide. Whether it's an ATM, retailer or online, you know you'll have the flexibility of buying goods and services whenever you want.
If you're thinking about getting a home loan, you can consider getting one with a linked Visa debit card. This can come through a transaction account that is part of your home loan package or a linked offset account.
Compare home loans with a linked Visa debit card
How does a home loan with a linked Visa debit card benefit me?
We all know the benefits that an offset account can give you, but a linked Visa debit card gives you that extra convenience of spending this money whenever you like.
The funds in your offset account substitute for a portion of your principal, so it's best to keep your spending down to maximise this benefit.
These types of home loans are like any other conventional home loan that is linked to an offset account, where you have to repay the money you borrow within a given time period and you also have to pay interest on the principal.
Such home loans can attract fixed or variable interest rates, loan terms can vary from one offering to the next, and the loans may be suited to owner-occupiers or investors.Back to top
What are the points of difference when comparing home loans with visa debit cards?
- Offset accounts. A linked offset account can help you reduce how much money you pay in the form of interest, simply because interest calculations on the home loan also takes the balance in your offset account into consideration. For example, if you have a 100% offset account with a balance of $30,000 and the outstanding amount on your home loan is $75,000, only the difference between the two, $45,000, attracts interest.
- Linked Visa debit cards. If you're looking for a linked Visa debit card with your home loan, look for offset accounts that offer linked cards, because offset accounts help you save in the form of interest. Your other alternative is to look for a home loan package that includes a transaction account with a linked Visa debit card.
- Interest rate. Start by choosing between a fixed and variable rate home loan. While a fixed rate home loan protects you from interest rate fluctuations, you cannot benefit from a drop in interest rates during the given term, so choose carefully. The fixed rate period can vary from one to five years, after which the remaining amount attracts a standard variable rate.
- Loan term. The loan term can extend up to 30 years for home loans. While longer loan terms offer lower monthly repayments, they also end up charging more in the form of interest.
- Loan to value ratio. Some lenders allow you to borrow as much as 95% of the loan to value ratio (LVR), but in many instances you might need to get Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI) if the LVR exceeds 80%. If you're looking for a home loan as a self-employed individual, you might face further restrictions when it comes to maximum LVR.
- Repayment flexibility. With many home loans you can choose between making weekly, fortnightly and monthly repayments. A number of variable rate home loans allow you to make extra repayments without charging penalties, while some also give you the ability to redraw these funds.
James, his mortgage and his linked Visa debit card
James Chase had an outstanding balance of $63,000 on his home loan, but this home loan did not come with an offset account or give James the option to make extra repayments. James wanted to make use of $33,000 he had in his transaction account, so he decided to switch to a home loan with a linked offset account.
The problem was that James also wanted easy access to this money at all points. As he also travelled overseas frequently, he started looking for a home loan with a linked Visa debit card. He ended up finding a suitable loan that not only offered a 100% offset account but a linked Visa debit card as well, allowing him to start saving on interest from his very first repayment after the switch.
What are the pros and cons of this type of home loan?
- Easy access to funds. When you have a Visa debit card linked to an offset or transaction account you can access the money in your account in different ways. You can withdraw money through ATMs, you can make payments at merchants who use EFTPOS technology, and you can also use your card to make online and over-the-phone payments. What also helps is that your Visa debit card offers worldwide access to your funds.
- Contactless payments. The payWave technology Visa cards come with gives you the ability to make contactless payments at supporting merchants, as long as your total payment does not exceed $100.
- Secure. Visa debit cards make use of multiple security layers to ensure that you're not held responsible for unauthorised or fraudulent transactions.
- Fees. Your linked Visa debit card might attract a monthly or annual fee. In addition, you could also have to pay fees when you use ATMs to withdraw money, especially if you use an ATM that is not a part of your lender's network.
- Less money in your offset account. By using the money in your account, you'll be reducing the balance and increasing the amount of interest you pay.
If you always pay your balance back in full on your credit card, you can use your credit card for everyday purchases and leave as much as you can in your offset account. Before your interest free period is over, transfer the funds from your offset account into your credit card account.
Due to the effects of compound interest, leaving as much as you can in your offset account will mean that you pay less interest on your home loan, and you won't be charged interest on your credit card because you've met the interest free conditions.
Frequently asked questions
Will my Visa debit card attract a fee?
This varies between issuers, so it's best you find out about this before you apply.
In most cases there is a monthly fee that applies to the transaction account linked to your Visa debit card. However, if you opt for a package home loan, this is usually waived.
Where can I use my Visa debit card?
You can use your Visa debit card to shop at any merchant who accepts Visa, anywhere in the world, online and you can also use it to withdraw money through Visa-affiliated ATMs.