Westpac launches Westpac Lite card with single-digit interest rate

Sally McMullen 30 June 2017

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The Westpac Lite card boasts one of the lowest purchase rates on the market.

Good news, savvy spenders! After dropping hints about a new low-rate product in February, Westpac has launched its Westpac Lite card designed to keep card costs low. Available from today, the Lite card currently boasts the bank's lowest purchase rate of 9.90%, which is also the lowest purchase rate you'll find among any of the Big Four banks. If you pay your balance in full by the end of the statement period, you'll also enjoy up to 45 interest-free days.

It also has no annual fee, although a $9 card fee will apply each month. This would bring your total card costs to $108 a year. It's an interesting move, but Westpac says this fee structure is a response to customer feedback that monthly fees are more manageable than bulk annual fees.

Catering for cardholders looking for a no-frills card to suit everyday costs and encouraging responsible spending, the card has a credit limit range of $500 to $4,000. To help cardholders avoid high-interest rates, the card also doesn't support cash advances or balance transfers. The card could also come in handy if you have plans to travel overseas or if you frequently shop online as it doesn't charge any foreign transaction fees, which usually float around 3% on most other credit cards.

Another way this card stands out is that it doesn't come with any late payment fees, which are usually applied when you fail to pay your minimum repayment by the due date. While this could help cut your card costs, it might be risky if this fee usually deterred you from failing to pay your credit card bills on time.

In the theme of helping cardholders manage and lower their card costs, Westpac has also launched a new online account management tool called SmartPlan. The self-service tool allows customers to manage their credit card balances by paying down their credit card balance or individual large purchases by instalments. Some cards will even offer a reduced purchase rate when you pay in instalments, which could help cardholders reduce their overall interest costs.

Given that the Westpac Lite has a single-digit purchase rate and ANZ also dropped purchase rates on platinum and low-rate cards earlier this year, it will be interesting to see if the other Big Four banks jump on the low-interest trend in the coming months.

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Picture: Westpac

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