The Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Platinum Credit Card occupies an unusual place in the bank’s credit card collection. The very word 'Platinum’ indicates that it’s a prestige card, and it does indeed come with a range of complimentary insurance policies, Visa Platinum privileges, and the inevitable higher annual fee. However, it has two unusual features not normally associated with a platinum card: a low ongoing purchase interest rate and the total absence of a rewards program.
Not just a low-interest rate, but the bank’s lowest
It’s evident that the Bank of Melbourne doesn’t expect to earn a lot of interest income from its prestige customers who can afford a platinum credit card. For making that extra outlay on a higher (but not extraordinarily high) annual fee, you’ll be rewarded with the bank’s lowest ongoing purchase interest rate of 12.99% p.a.
Although platinum cardholders may not normally plan to have an interest-bearing balance on their account, a low purchase rate like this can be very useful to smooth out the bumps in the road if you have temporary cash flow problems. It also softens the blow if you happen to miss a monthly payment by accident.
Get Up to 55 days on purchases monthly
Let’s suppose that you’ve transferred a tidy sum you had outstanding on other cards, benefitting from interest savings for 0%. At the end of all this, there’s still one more bonus waiting for you, in the form of Up to 55 days on purchases each month, delivered by the card’s payment cycle providing you have no unpaid balances.
Some cards offer only 44 interest-free days monthly, but this card does not stint. Those extra 11 days of credit each month translate into 132 extra days per year. So, if you have a 4% p.a. mortgage offset bank account, those extra 132 days could save you $43 in interest per year if your average card account closing balance is around $3,000.
The full suite of insurance benefits
Although there is no opportunity to earn rewards program points with this card (and some people, who find tracking and using points a hassle, may see that as a blessing) you still get the complete set of built-in insurance policies without which no platinum card is truly complete. Here they are, all seven of them:
While some of these policies might seem superfluous, because you wouldn’t dream of paying for cover of this type, the wide-ranging travel insurance and rental vehicle excess cover will prove definite money savers for both business and leisure travellers.
Platinum lifestyle benefits
The Bank of Melbourne’s web page for the Vertigo Platinum credit card promises 'the luxury of a personal concierge service, Visa Platinum Concierge’, but the concierge service (for assistance in planning and booking your platinum lifestyle travel, entertainment events and dining) is only one small part of the Visa Premium benefits that come with the card. You’ll also get special deals, discounts and privileges such as concert tickets before the general release date or access to a 'meet and assist’ service to smooth your way through airport immigration procedures.
Peace of mind
The Bank of Melbourne subscribes to the 24/7 Falcon Fraud Monitoring service to allay any anxieties you may have about the risk of using a credit card, especially online. Verified by Visa adds an extra layer of online shopping security with one-time passwords delivered by mobile phone.
It all comes at a (relatively low) cost
There are a lot of benefits bundled into what is, on the surface, an unassuming card. Since the interest rate is low (for a credit card) you’d probably be expecting a higher-than-average annual fee, but you’d be wrong. At $49 p.a., the annual fee is relatively reasonable, because you are not helping to pay for an expensive rewards program.
You can also have up to three supplementary cardholders at no extra cost. You will, however, want to hang on to your card for more reasons than one, because, if you lose it, the card replacement fees are rather steep: – per card within Australia, $52.50 if you’re overseas, plus an extra $45 to cover courier fees if it’s an emergency.
This card is a perfect fit for . . .
. . . anyone who wants (and can afford) platinum card benefits and insurance policies without the hassle of keeping track, redeeming – and ultimately paying for – rewards program points. The zero interest on purchases should seal the deal.
I like the travel insurance that comes with this card. The purchase rate is quite low compared to other cards that have travel insurance. However, if they decided to go lower that would be even better.
I would like to be able to design my own card, to make it a bit more personalised.
I applied for this card on the 0% balance transfer offer for 12 months and it was well worth it—very easy to apply and quick approval. I am a happy Bank Of Melbourne customer already and the process was very quick.
My only one minor complaint is that they keep sending me paper statements when I requested electronic! Other than that, this is a great card if you need to consolidate debts, manage your finances, and get your debt in check.
I found them to be simple, helpful, and the whole process was done quickly online—I was accepted and received notification quickly, followed by my card and PIN. It was easy to activate, so the whole process was a pleasure! I was pleasantly surprised as I had tried other credit cards and it certainly wasn’t a simple process. I have since loaded the BPAY onto my internet banking and so my repayments are easy and effortless in my own time with no queues! I would strongly recommend them to family and friends—definitely the no fuss alternative to ordinary banking!
|Interest rate||Period||Fee||Limit||Revert rate|
|Purchases||0% p.a.||15 months||N/A||N/A||12.99% p.a.|
|Cash advances||1.79%||21.49% p.a.|