Anyone who expects to always, or almost always, carry a balance on their credit card, and is looking for a basic card with a low interest rate and no annual fee, will find it hard to go past the Heritage Gold Low Rate Credit Card. It does almost everything a credit card is supposed to do – all the convenience and security you need with no unnecessary frills – except that it does not offer any interest-free days. If you’re the type of person who wants to avoid interest payments altogether by always paying off their balance in full every month, this card will not suit you. But if that’s not you, read on.
No annual fee at all
The $0 annual fee is a very welcome feature. It means you can even keep the card in your wallet for emergencies and unexpected bills, without it costing you anything to sit there until it’s needed. There’s also no fee for up to two supplementary cards on the account.
No interest-free days
Most credit cards offer up to either 44 or 55 interest-free days on purchases, provided you clear your debt in full every month. This is not one of those cards. Interest will be charged from the day you make a purchase or take a cash advance, until the day you repay the amount owing. It still qualifies as a credit card because the card issuer is extending credit by lending you the purchase or cash advance amount and charging you interest on the unpaid balance.
Same low interest rate on both purchases and cash advances
The interest rate you’ll pay is a truly low (for a credit card) 10.80% p.a., and this applies to both purchases and cash advances. This is in contrast to some low rate cards where the interest rate on purchases is indeed low, but the cash advance rate is 20% p.a. or more.
Low credit limits available
If you think that you’ll be paying off your balance in instalments most of the time, you may be concerned that having a credit card in your pocket will be too much of a temptation to spend. But you can put a limit on the temptation by opting for a low credit limit – as low as $1,000. Once you’ve reached the credit limit, any purchases you attempt to make with the card will be rejected.
You will be obliged to make monthly repayments of the greater of 3% of the balance owed or $30. So, if your unpaid balance stays at around $1,000, your monthly cost will be a maximum of $30.
Hefty late payment fee
If you miss the $30 minimum repayment date you’ll be charged a large late payment fee of $20, almost doubling your monthly cost. It would be a good idea to set up an automatic payment of $30 from your bank transaction account to your credit card account, to occur on or before the payment due date each month.
Joint applications are allowed
If you’d feel more comfortable sharing the responsibility for the debt with someone else, such as your partner, you can apply for the card in joint names. But be aware that you are jointly and individually responsible for any debt incurred, regardless of which one of you did the spending.
All the usual technology and security
It may be a budget card, but there’s no scrimping on technology and security. The card is enabled with Visa PayWave for speedy PIN-free transactions under $100. And every purchase is covered by Visa’s Zero Liability policy, which means you won’t be held responsible for any fraudulent transactions on your account, provided you take the usual precautions of keeping your card and PIN in a safe place (the PIN in a separate place from the card) and notify the bank immediately if you lose your card or see any suspicious activity in your account.
Online shopping is protected by a password known only to the cardholder.
Visa offers and perks
As a Visa cardholder you’ll have access to Visa offers and perks. These are subject to change, but at the time of writing included movie ticket competitions and discounts, and savings on airfares, accommodation, and online wine and fashion purchases.
Other low rate credit cards
You can find other low rate credit cards on the Low Interest page in our Features section. But be aware that most of them charge an annual fee, and some have high cash advance interest rates.
A card for emergencies or semi-permanent debt
This card is going to suit two types of cardholder.
The first is someone who wants a credit card to keep in their wallet just in case they face unexpected bills (such as car repairs or medical expenses), but without paying an annual fee for a credit facility they may use only rarely.
The second person is someone who knows that they will need to make purchases, or take cash advances, that they cannot afford immediately, and therefore expects to carry interest-bearing debt for long periods. Interest-free days of the type offered by most credit cards are therefore of no appeal since they would not be able to qualify for them, and they are prepared to lose this feature for the sake of low ongoing interest charges and not paying an annual fee.
Heritage bank is a customer-owned bank based in Queensland. It traces its history back to the foundation in 1875 of the Toowoomba Permanent Building Society. It became the Heritage Building Society in 1981, following a merger with the Darling Downs Building Society, and changed its name to Heritage Bank in 2011.
Yes. Although the bank’s head office and all of its branches and ATMs are located in Queensland (with plans to expand to Sydney in late 2019, and later Melbourne), you don’t need to live in Queensland because the bank offers online banking, telephone banking and a mobile app, plus fee-free access to major banks’ ATMs.
Yes. Heritage Bank’s head office is in Toowoomba, and there are more than 40 branches in Queensland, employing over 800 staff, plus even more ATMs. The bank has plans to open branches in Sydney and Melbourne in the near future.
You can also manage your accounts, including your credit card, via online banking and a mobile app.
Heritage Bank credit cards can be used with Google Pay, Samsung Pay, Garmin Pay and Fitbit Pay.
I have been with Heritage for years. However the lack of ATMs is horrible. Fees are expensive and there are no rewards offered for loyal customers.
Service provided is good and they were quick to call me when they saw I purchased something overseas. This is one of the only reasons I am staying with them.
Shop around. You can get a better deal.
|Cash advances||0.90%||10.80% p.a.|