RBA Cash Rate Decrease

Rates and Fees verified correct on April 28th, 2017

RBASepWhat does a drop in the RBA’s official cash rate mean for your finances? Find out here.

Interest rates - we all know what they mean and that they apply to financial products like home loans and savings accounts, but how do banks decide on the rate they charge their customers? What does it mean for everyday Australians when interest rates fall?

Although interest rates can seem like quite a confusing concept to wrap your head around, they’re actually quite easy to understand once you know a few basic points. The perfect place to begin any explanation of interest rates in Australia is with the Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) official cash rate.

What is a drop in the cash rate?

The RBA is Australia’s central bank that is responsible for maintaining a strong financial system and ensuring the economic prosperity and welfare of all Australians. To do this, the RBA  is responsible for Australia’s monetary policy and sets the interest rate for overnight loans that it provides to commercial banks. This is known as the official cash rate, and when the RBA makes changes to this rate, banks and financial institutions around Australia follow suit.

On the first Tuesday of every month (barring January), the RBA board meets to decide whether to raise the rate, drop it or keep it at the same level. This rate decision is based on a wide range of actors including consumer confidence, the strength of the economy, the housing market and the performance of the Aussie Dollar.

When the rate moves, it usually does so in increments of 0.25 per cent. When the RBA lowers interest rates, this is referred to as a drop in the cash rate.

What does an RBA cash rate decrease mean for me?

A decrease in the RBA’s cash rate can have a number of implications for Australian consumers, with rate drops influencing different financial products in different ways.

Home Loans

Most lenders will typically pass on the RBA’s rate cut to their own home loans, although some will be a little more tardy than others. If you have a variable rate loan and your lender passes on the rate cut, you’ll be able to enjoy a noticeable reduction in the amount of interest you have to repay toward your loan.

However, if you’re locked into a fixed rate loan, you’ll have to wait until the fixed rate period ends before you can take advantage of lower rates. When the fixed period is up, you may wish to negotiate a better rate or see if another lender might be willing to offer you a more attractive deal.

Another effect of a cash rate decrease is that more people are likely to enter the property market. As lower interest rates means home loans become more affordable, home buyers will likely experience increased competition in the real estate market. This competition can drive prices up and make it more difficult for first home buyers to get a foothold in the property market.

Compare current home loan offers

Rates last updated April 27th, 2017.

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Interest Rate (p.a.) Comp Rate^ (p.a.) Application Fee Ongoing Fees Max LVR Monthly Payment
HSBC Home Value Loan - Resident Owner Occupier only
Enjoy the low variable rate with $0 ongoing fee and borrow up to 90% LVR.
3.75% 3.77% $0 $0 p.a. 90% Go to site More info
3.74% 3.74% $0 $0 p.a. 80% Go to site More info
NAB Choice Package Home Loan - 2 Year Fixed (Owner Occupier)
A fixed rate package loan with flexible repayments options. NAB Rewards Points offer available, terms and conditions apply.
3.98% 4.97% $0 $395 p.a. 95% Go to site More info
IMB Budget Home Loan - LVR <=90% (Owner Occupier)
A competitive budget rate without any unwanted bells and whistles.
3.97% 4.02% $445 $0 p.a. 90% Go to site More info
Greater Bank Ultimate Home Loan - Discounted 1 Year Fixed LVR ≤85% ($150K+ Owner Occupier)
Discount off an already competitive interest rate for loans over $150k. NSW, QLD and ACT residents only.
3.59% 4.48% $0 $375 p.a. 85% Go to site More info
CUA Fresh Start Basic Variable Home Loan - Owner Occupier
A basic mortgage with flexible repayments options.
3.99% 4.04% $795 $0 p.a. 90% Go to site More info
Newcastle Permanent Building Society Premium Plus Package Home Loan - New Customer Offer ($150,000+ Owner Occupier, P&I)
Apply for a new owner occupier loan or refinance from another lender and receive this discounted rate.
3.94% 4.32% $0 $395 p.a. 95% Go to site More info
Greater Bank Great Rate Discount Variable with Family Pledge Home Loan - Up to 110% LVR
Discounted rate available with family pledge loans. Family pledge loans require no LMI and no deposit. NSW, Qld and ACT only.
3.89% 3.89% $0 $0 p.a. 110% Go to site More info
Credit Cards

If banks agree to pass on the interest rate cut and lower their credit card interest rates - which doesn’t always happen - this can be good news for cardholders. A lower interest rate on your card means you will have to pay less interest on the purchases you make, which means it will be more affordable to spend your money and easier to pay off your debt.

Decreases in the cash rate are designed to encourage consumer spending by making credit card purchases more affordable. However, if your bank doesn’t lower your credit card interest rates, it may be worthwhile looking for a different card that offers a better rate and other attractive features. You may even be able to take advantage of a 0% p.a. introductory rate on balance transfers to help you get out of debt quicker.

Compare credit cards

Rates last updated April 27th, 2017.

ANZ Frequent Flyer Black

A new offer of 75 Bonus Status Credit which is valid until 30 June 2017.

March 8th, 2017

Woolworths Everyday Platinum Credit Card

$100 has replaced $50 eGift Card plus BT & annual fee offers have been extended until 30 June 2017.

April 1st, 2017

Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer

1.5% BT fee has been added to the existing balance transfer offer which is valid until 15 June 2017.

April 3rd, 2017

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Jonathan Choi Jonathan
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
Velocity Rewards Credit Card with a Balance Transfer Offer*
Earn 2 Velocity Points on top of the standard earn rate per $1 spent within the first three months. Plus, save with a long-term balance transfer offer and a reduced annual fee in the first year.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 18 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee $64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
ANZ Platinum Credit Card - Exclusive Offer
Platinum Card with 0% interest rates on purchases and balance transfers
Pay a competitive annual fee and also receive 0% p.a. for 12 months on balance transfers and purchases.
0% p.a. for 3 months (reverts to 19.74% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 12 months $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($87 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
Platinum Credit Card with a Balance Transfer Offer*
HSBC Platinum Credit Card offers an annual fee refund when you spend a minimum of $6,000 per year. You can also enjoy an introductory balance transfer rate of 0% p.a. for 15 months.
19.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 15 months $149 p.a. Go to site More info
NAB Low Rate Credit Card
Low Interest Credit Card Offer *
Enjoy a long-term offer of 0% p.a. for 18 months on balance transfers combined with a low annual fee.
13.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 18 months with 3% balance transfer fee $59 p.a. Go to site More info
HSBC Low Rate Credit Card
Long-term Balance Transfer Offer*
Enjoy a balance transfer offer of 0% p.a. for 15 months and a low purchase rate of 13.25% p.a..
13.25% p.a. 0% p.a. for 15 months with 2% balance transfer fee $55 p.a. Go to site More info
NAB Premium Card
Platinum Credit Card with Balance Transfer Offer*
Enjoy Platinum benefits including complimentary travel insurance, 24/7 concierge plus a low interest rate on balance transfers.
19.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 24 months with 3% balance transfer fee $90 p.a. Go to site More info
Citi Rewards Platinum Credit Card
0% for 24 months Balance Transfer Offer*
Enjoy a low and long-term balance transfer offer and reduced annual fee for the first year.
20.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 24 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee $49 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
ANZ Frequent Flyer Black
Up to 75,000 Qantas Points*
Get up to 75,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $2,500 on eligible purchases within the first 3 months of card approval. Also enjoy 75 Bonus Status Credits when you apply by 30 June 2017, buy and fly return with Qantas by 30 September 2017.
19.99% p.a. $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($425 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
St.George Vertigo Visa
Low Rate Credit Card & Long Term Balance Transfer Offer*
Enjoy a balance transfer offer of 0% p.a. for 12 months with a low annual fee from St.George
0% p.a. for 6 months (reverts to 13.24% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 12 months $55 p.a. Go to site More info
Qantas American Express Ultimate Card
Enjoy 75,000 bonus Qantas Points when you meet the spend criteria plus 75 Bonus Status Credits when you book and fly back with Qantas. Earn up to 2.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $450 p.a. Go to site More info
Savings Accounts

If you’ve got money tucked away earning interest in a savings account, an RBA cash rate decrease may not be the news you’ve been hoping for. You’ll want your savings balance to be earning interest at the highest rate possible, so any drop in interest rates will see the speed with which you can build a sizable savings balance slow down.

However, if your funds are locked away in a term deposit, you won’t feel the effect of the rate decrease until your deposit matures and you can access your funds. Of course, the fixed nature of a term deposit means you won’t be able to enjoy the benefits of any rate hikes should they occur.

But with careful planning and a sensible approach to your personal finances, an RBA cash rate decrease doesn’t have to cause any pain for your hip pocket.

Compare Savings Accounts

Rates last updated April 27th, 2017.

Westpac eSaver

Ongoing interest rate was changed from 1.25% to 1.05%

December 23rd, 2016

Bank of Melbourne Incentive Saver

Variable rate was changed from 1.85% to 1.75%

December 23rd, 2016

Westpac Reward Saver

Introductory interest rate was changed from 1.84% to 1.74%

December 23rd, 2016

View latest updates

Debbie Mariano Debbie
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months
Maximum Variable Rate p.a. Standard Variable Rate p.a. Bonus Interest p.a. Fees Min Bal / Min Deposit Interest Earned
ING DIRECT Savings Maximiser
Ongoing, variable 3.00% p.a. when you link to an ING Orange Everyday bank account and deposit $1,000+ each month. Available on balances up to $100,000.
3.00% 1.50% 1.50% $0 $0 / $0 Go to site More
Bankwest Hero Saver
Ongoing, variable 2.65% p.a. rate when you deposit at least $200 each month and make no withdrawals. Available on balances up to $250,000.
2.65% 0.01% 2.64% $0 $0 / $0 Go to site More
RaboDirect High Interest Savings Account
Introductory rate of 3.05% p.a. for 4 months, reverting to a rate of 1.90% p.a. Available on balances below $250,000
3.05% 1.90% 1.15% $0 $0 / $1 Go to site More
ME Online Savings Account
Ongoing, variable 3.05% p.a. rate when you link to a ME Everyday Transaction account and make a weekly purchase with your Debit MasterCard using tap & go. Available on balances up to $250,000.
3.05% 1.30% 1.75% $0 $0 / $0 Go to site More
Bank Australia Bonus Saver Account
Ongoing, variable 2.60% p.a. when you deposit at least $100 and make no withdrawals. Available on the entire balance.
2.60% 0.15% 2.45% $0 $0 / $1 Go to site More
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Related Posts

HSBC Home Value Loan - Resident Owner Occupier only

Enjoy the low variable rate with $0 ongoing fee and borrow up to 90% LVR.

NAB Choice Package Home Loan - 2 Year Fixed (Owner Occupier)

A fixed rate package loan with flexible repayments options. NAB Rewards Points offer available, terms and conditions apply.

IMB Budget Home Loan - LVR <=90% (Owner Occupier)

A competitive budget rate without any unwanted bells and whistles.

Greater Bank Ultimate Home Loan - Discounted 1 Year Fixed LVR ≤85% ($150K+ Owner Occupier)

Discount off an already competitive interest rate for loans over $150k. NSW, QLD and ACT residents only.

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2 Responses to RBA Cash Rate Decrease

  1. Default Gravatar
    Anusha | January 13, 2016

    what is the impact of rate cut on shares.

    • Staff
      Shirley | January 14, 2016

      Hi Anusha,

      Thanks for your question. Please note that finder.com.au is an online comparison and information service and can only provide general advice.

      If you’re looking for personalised advice, we recommend you speak to a stock broker or financial planner.

      Generally a rate cut signifies that the economy is moving slowly towards it’s trough in the economic cycle. As a result, the share market usually loses value until the market peaks again.

      Cheers,
      Shirley

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