If you’re looking for a down-to earth rewards card that’s easy to get your head around, you may well find it in the Latitude Infinity Rewards Card, because it’s designed around three simple concepts:
That’s it. It’s totally straightforward, its $69 annual fee won’t cause a budget blowout, and its low $1,000 minimum credit limit makes it a great card for finding your feet in the world of rewards points.
Who are Latitude Financial Services?
Latitude Financial Services (formerly GE Capital Finance), the issuer of this card, is a consumer financial services provider in Australia and New Zealand. As well as credit cards they offer loans and insurance, and they are the group behind the 28 Degrees Platinum Mastercard, popular with travellers and online shoppers because it does not levy foreign transaction and currency conversion fees.
Now they’ve added a rewards card to their range of cards.
Interest rate is high, because it’s a rewards card
The card’s 20.69 percent p.a. interest rate on both purchases and cash advances won’t appeal to anyone not expecting to pay off their purchases balance every month.
But if you’re wondering why you rarely see a rewards card with a low interest rate, it’s because the two concepts – rewards points and a low interest rate – simply don’t belong on the same card. It doesn’t make sense to pay interest charges on purchases made for the sake of earning rewards points, since the cost of the points will be far greater than the value of any cash or merchandise redemptions you could make.
So if you’re looking for a low-interest starter card, check out the cards listed on our ‘Low Interest’ page instead, and come back to look for a rewards card when your budget will let you earn points without paying interest.
Up to 55 days interest free every month
Get the best value from the card by taking advantage of the up to 55 interest-free days allowed every month, provided you pay off the balance in full on or before the due date. If you time your major purchases to occur near the beginning of the billing cycle, you get the benefit of using someone else’s cash free of charge for nearly two months.
How quickly will you recover the annual fee in points redemption value?
Latitude says that you will receive $20 of value for every 2,000 points earned, which is another way of saying “Spend $2,000 and get $20 back”, or “Each point is worth 1.0 cents”. This is, in fact, a very good rate of return for a rewards card not attached to a frequent flyer program.
So to recover the $69 annual fee you would need to spend $6,900. If you were to spend $1,000 per month using the card, you would recover the fee before the end of the 7th month, and you’d be $51 ahead by the end of the year.
Latitude Infinity Rewards redemption options
The online store offers the usual range of redemption options, including:
Optional Shopper’s Protection Insurance
For a premium of 1 percent of your monthly closing account balance, you can choose to have Shopper’s Protection Insurance added to your card. A closing balance of $1,000, for example, would incur a premium cost of $10 for that particular month, providing the following cover:
Special offers for cardholders
From time to time, cardholders will be offered special privileges and discounts via the Visa network. At the time of writing, for example, the offers included accommodation discounts and free breakfast at Swissotel and Preferred Hotel branded hotels and resorts, $30 discount on skydiving, and tour discounts in Hawaii and Dubai.
Easy ways to pay your account balance
You’re certainly unlikely to see a Latitude Financial Services branch in your local shopping centre anytime soon, but that’s not a problem because there’s no shortage of easy ways to manage your account. You can pay from your bank account via the Online Service Centre, or by automated direct debit, by BPAY, by mail, or in person at an Australia Post outlet (a $2.50 fee applies for this last service).
Other low-cost rewards cards to consider
If you are looking for rewards from a card which doesn’t have too many attached complimentary benefits (such as travel insurance) to drive up the annual fee, check out the American Express Essential Credit Card and the Coles No Annual Fee Mastercard.
A great way to get started with rewards points
If you’ve never had a rewards card before, this card could be a good starting point. It has the virtue of being uncomplicated (1.0 points per dollar spent, no points cap, no points expiry) and the redemption options are not so extensive that they are bewildering.
Better still, the amount of spending required to offset the annual fee and get into positive earning territory (with gift cards) is far less than the amount required by many competing credit cards. It could turn out to be the only rewards card you’ll ever need.
|Cash advances||1.72%||20.69% p.a.|