How do ANZ’s new low credit card rates compare?

Sally McMullen 20 February 2017 NEWS


ANZ's new credit card rates are its lowest in 13 years, but how do they stand up against Australia's other big banks?

Over the weekend, we reported that ANZ is reducing some of its credit card interest rates this week. Effective from Thursday 23 February, the interest rates on its Low Rate Platinum Card will drop by 2% to 11.49% p.a., while its Low Rate Classic card will reduce rates by 1% to 12.49% p.a. The new interest rates will apply to both new and current cardholders, meaning existing cards will automatically switch to the new rate when it goes live on Thursday.

ANZ says that the new rates are the lowest the bank has offered in the last 13 years and will save the average customer $150 a month in interest payments. In good news for credit card holders, these new low rates could incite an interest rate stand off with the other Big Four and we could a number of Australia’s big banks fueling the competition with their own rate cuts.

But as they stand now, how do ANZ’s interest rates compare to those of the other Big Four? When ANZ revealed the changes over the weekend, it compared its new rates with those of CommBank, NAB, Virgin, St.George, Bankwest and Citi. However, in its comparison it didn’t include the names of the specific cards or any of the other rates and fees (such as the annual fee), to make any sort of comprehensive comparison. To make it easier for Aussie cardholders to weigh up where the new ANZ interest rates sit in their comparison, you can compare the specific cards, their purchase rates and annual fees below.

Card type Interest rate Annual fee
ANZ Low Rate Platinum 11.49% p.a. $99 p.a.
ANZ Low Rate Classic 12.49% p.a. $58 p.a.
Commonwealth Bank Low Rate 13.24% p.a. $59 p.a.
NAB Low Rate Credit Card 13.99% p.a. $59 p.a.
Virgin Money Low Rate credit card 11.99% p.a. $99 p.a.
St.George Vertigo Platinum 12.74% p.a. (0% for the first 6 months) $99 p.a.
St.George Vertigo Visa 13.24% p.a. (0% for the first 6 months) $55 p.a.
Bankwest Breeze MasterCard 12.99% p.a. $59 p.a.
Citi Clear Platinum Card 14.99% p.a. $99 p.a.
Coles Low Rate MasterCard 12.99% p.a. $49 p.a.
Westpac Low Rate card 13.49% p.a. (0% for the first 6 months) $59 p.a.

As you can see, ANZ has based its comparison on a combination of classic and platinum low rate credit cards. However, its analysis only included the standard purchase rates and failed to mention promotional 0% interest rate periods. For example, the St.George Vertigo Platinum, St.George Vertigo Visa and the Westpac Low Rate card all have promotional purchase rates of 0% for the first 6 months. So, while both of the ANZ cards offer lower standard interest rates, you could save more on interest with a card an interest-free promotional period.

Considering the annual fee can also help applicants determine the true cost of the card. So, while the ANZ Low Rate Platinum card has the lowest interest rate on the market, it has a relatively high annual fee of $99 p.a. When you compare it to some of the other cards in the table above. As you’ll see, the Coles Low Rate MasterCard has a low annual fee of $49 p.a. And the annual fees with the low rate offers from Westpac, Bankwest, St.George and NAB sit between the $55 and $59 mark.

So, while the ANZ Low Rate Platinum and Low Rate Classic card will both boast the lowest ongoing interest rates on purchases as of this Thursday, it’s important to consider other factors such as promotional 0% offers, annual fees and the other features of the card to ensure which card offers you the most competitive deal.

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