Bendigo Bank thrives on doing things differently: a fairer approach to calculating interest and, with the Bendigo Bank Low Rate Platinum Mastercard, a new take on what kind of complimentary insurance policies customers want with a low rate platinum card.
Where most of its competitors include travel insurance, Bendigo Bank recognises that cardholders seeking a low interest rate are unlikely to be regular overseas travellers. So Bendigo Bank offers mobile device insurance instead, together with an annual fee around $10 less than most of the rest of the market.
Low interest rates on both purchases and cash advances
Regardless of the complimentary extras, the low interest rates are the primary appeal of this card, and at 11.99% p.a. for purchases and 13.99% p.a. for cash advances they are very competitive. They will appeal to anyone whose pattern of income and expenditure means that they cannot guarantee being able to pay off their card account balance in full every month.
Up to 55 days on purchases
Whenever you can manage to clear your account balance in full, you’ll be able to take advantage of Up to 55 days on purchases. This means that an item purchased on day one of the billing cycle will not attract any interest charges unless you fail to pay for it on the due date 55 days later. Even if you purchase something on the last day of the cycle, you’ll still have 25 days left before payment is due.
Interest calculation method fairer than other banks
Here’s something to consider if you’re looking at a competing card with an interest rate even lower than this one. How does the card calculate interest on overdue purchases balances?
If you fail to pay off your balance in full, or you are late with your payment, most banks will deprive you of your interest-free days instantly. You’ll pay interest on all your purchases for that month (even though you may have paid off some of the balance) and interest will be calculated from each purchase’s transaction date until your full repayment date.
Bendigo Bank, on the other hand, will only apply interest from the statement date, not the purchase date. They’ll also recognise partial payments of the balance, and only charge interest on the unpaid portion. Taken together, these two concessions could potentially save you much more than a card with a slightly lower interest rate.
Forget about travel insurance but protect your major purchases
As already noted, this platinum card has no complimentary travel insurance attached: no overseas travel or domestic air travel cover, no compensation for public transport accidents. Few people, in fact, would go to the the trouble and expense of buying a personal policy for the last two risks, and infrequent overseas travellers can cover themselves for the primary risk in overseas travel – unforeseen medical expenses – for as little as $40 per trip.
So this card’s complimentary insurance is all about protecting some of your major credit card purchases – technology, household appliances, many items that can be stolen or damaged, or stop working. They’ll be covered by:
Standard features you’ll expect
Like the vast majority of credit cards, this one comes with Tap & Go for purchases under $100, 24/7 fraud monitoring and zero liability for unauthorised purchases. Nothing too special there.
Extra features you may find useful
Not all cards come with these three extras, however. This card has them, and other low rate cards may not:
Slightly lower than average annual fee
For a platinum card combining low interest rates and complimentary insurance, a typical annual fee would be $99. Bendigo Bank has pitched this card below the market, with an annual fee of $89 p.a.
Higher than expected late payment fee
At $15, the late payment fee is surprisingly high for a low interest rate card. You can avoid it by being on time with at least the minimum whichever is greater, $10 or 3% (or $10, whichever is greater) monthly repayment.
Take a look at other platinum low rate cards
Many low interest rate cards with platinum benefits do come with complimentary travel insurance. If this is important to you you’ll need to compare them on our 'Low Interest Credit Cards’ page. (Click 'Features’ at the top right of this page, and select 'Low interest’ under the heading 'Save money’.)
A card for the shopper, not the traveller
If you use a credit card for major retail purchases, this one could suit you. The low interest rates and beneficial interest calculation method will work to your advantage if you need to spread payment of your purchases over several months. The wide array of complimentary shoppers’ insurance policies will continue to protect your purchases long after you’ve made them. And unless you intend to travel overseas regularly, you won’t be troubled by the absence of travel insurance.
|Cash advances||1.17%||13.99% p.a.|