Westpac’s no interest credit card: How does it compare to CommBank and NAB?

Posted: 20 October 2021 3:52 pm
News
WestpacFlexVsNABCommBank_Supplied_1800x1000

The Westpac Flex Card is coming soon, with no interest ever and a $10 monthly fee that's waived if you don't have an outstanding balance.

The features announced so far make the Flex Card similar to the NAB StraightUp and CommBank Neo, which both offer no interest and charge a flat monthly fee.

A key difference for the Westpac Flex is that it comes with only a fixed credit limit of $1,000.

Both the NAB StraightUp and CommBank Neo offer limits ranging from $1,000 to $3,000.

Table: Westpac Flex vs NAB StraightUp and CommBank Neo

FeatureWestpac FlexNAB StraightUpCommBank Neo
Interest0%0%0%
Credit limit$1,000$1,000 to $3,000$1,000 to $3000
Monthly fee$10

Waived when you pay off your previous month's balance by the due date.

$1,000 limit = $10/month
$2,000 limit = $15/month
$3,000 limit = $20/month
Waived when you don't use the card or carry a balance.
$1,000 limit = $12/month
$2,000 limit = $18/month
$3,000 limit = $22/month
Waived when you don't use the card or carry a balance.
Minimum repayments$40 per month$1,000 limit = $35/month
$2,000 limit = $75/month
$3,000 limit = $110/month
$25 or 2% of the closing balance, whichever is greater
Late payment fee$0

But if you miss the minimum repayment due date, you won't be able to use the card until you pay at least that amount.

$0$0
Foreign currency fee0%0%0%
Where can you use it?Anywhere Mastercard is accepted

No cash advances or balance transfers

Anywhere Visa is accepted

No cash advances or balance transfers

Anywhere Mastercard is accepted

No cash advances or balance transfers

BenefitsWestpac Rewards and Extras

Mastercard Priceless offers

Visa Offers + PerksCommBank Rewards

Mastercard Priceless offers

Another big difference: While NAB and CommBank's options come with a plastic card and virtual cards for your mobile wallets, the Westpac Flex will primarily be a digital card that you can start using within minutes of being approved.

There will also be the option of getting a physical card if you want one.

"We're giving customers a new way to pay, which is simple, flexible and fast, as well as a completely digital experience from start to finish," said Chris de Bruin, Westpac's chief executive for consumer and business banking.

The application process is also designed to be fast, he added, using real-time data to "assess a customer's financial position quickly while at the same time taking steps to ensure we are lending responsibly".

Flex caters for the 'on-demand' generation who want convenience and control, without the complexity.”

Chris de Bruin, Westpac

Once the application is approved, the card will be available through the Westpac App.

You can also add it to Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay or one of the other mobile wallets that support Westpac credit cards.

Below is a breakdown of the other key features:

  • Automatic payments. Your repayments are set up as direct debits from your chosen account, with a choice of 1-2 payments per month.
  • No late payment fees. Westpac said there will be "proactive payment reminders" to help keep you on track. But if you miss the minimum repayment, you won't be able to use the card until you make it.
  • No cash advances or balance transfers. You'll mainly be able to use the card for everyday spending – similar to both the NAB StraightUp and CommBank Neo.
  • Fraud protection guarantee. While all credit cards offer this, the Westpac Flex has a dynamic CVC that changes every 24 hours.

While no official launch date is available yet, you can register your interest in the Westpac Flex Card through the bank's website.

Example: How does the Westpac Flex Card compare to buy now pay later?

The different features of BNPL platforms like Afterpay and Zip Pay can make it confusing to compare them side-by-side with the Westpac Flex Card. So here's an example of how they actually work in the real world.

Say you're planning to spend $500 on Christmas shopping and you plan to pay it off in 4 weeks. Here's a breakdown of the costs with the Westpac Flex Card, Zip Pay and Afterpay:

  • Westpac Flex Card: $0, if your repayments line up with the due date on your statement. Otherwise, the $10 monthly fee kicks in when you still have a balance.
  • Zip Pay: $0, although as above, a $7.95 monthly fee applies if you still have a balance on your due date.
  • Afterpay: $0 fees, and your instalments can be repaid over 6 weeks if you'd like the extra time.

From this example, we can see that the Westpac Flex Card and Zip Pay are very similar, with Zip Pay's monthly fee slightly lower. And Afterpay is the clear winner.

But what if you want to repay the $500 over 8 weeks instead? Here's what you'd pay:

  • Westpac Flex Card: $20 – a fee of $10 per month (if you still have a balance on your statement due date).
  • Zip Pay: $15.90 – a fee of $7.95 per month (if you still have a balance on your statement due date).
  • Afterpay: Afterpay balances are supposed to be paid off in 4 instalments over 6 weeks. If you took 8 weeks, you could be charged a late fee of between $10 and $68, depending on your account balance. You also couldn't shop with Afterpay until you settle the account.

Zip Pay also has a late fee of $5, which is charged 21 days after the due date for your missed payment. And, of course, you should check the other details for each account, outside of this example. They will also be different with other BNPL plans.

In a nutshell: The longer you want to repay your spend, the more fees can start to mount up with BNPL (depending on the plan). If you want the flexibility of more time to pay it off, the Westpac Flex Card may be more suitable for you.

Interested in one of these non-traditional credit cards? Get the lowdown on how they work and compare no interest monthly fee credit cards now.

We updated this story on 21 October 2021 with an example of how to compare Westpac Flex Card to BNPL.
Images: Supplied

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