Westpac 55 Day Credit Card Online Exclusive Offer

My rate: 
17%
 
My annual fee: 
$90
 
Price of my purchase: 
$5,000
 
Offer
Card features
balance transfer
purchase rate
annual fee
Money saved
Westpac 55 Day Credit Card Online Exclusive Offer
Apply by 31 jan 19
Westpac 55 Day Credit Card Online Exclusive Offer
ONLINE EXCLUSIVE OFFER
0% p.a. on purchases for up to 13 months from card approval.
Cheap credit card from Westpac with no annual fee to pay for the first year (a $30 saving).
Up to 55 days interest-free on purchases when you pay the full closing balance by the statement due date.
Add to comparison
-
13 months
0% p.a.
then 19.84%
$0
1st year
then $30

Pros & cons

What's good?

What's not so good?

0% p.a. on purchases for up to 13 months from card approval.
Cheap credit card from Westpac with no annual fee to pay for the first year (a $30 saving).
Up to 55 days interest-free on purchases when you pay the full closing balance by the statement due date.
Tap and pay quickly and easily using Visa PayWave, Fitbit Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay.
No rewards program.

Our review

Our review of the Westpac 55 Day Credit Card Online Exclusive OfferReviewed by Yvonne Taylor

How do you recognise a very basic credit card which will nevertheless be functional, easy to manage, and will cost you little or even nothing? When a card like the Westpac 55 Day Credit Card is so short of fancy (and often overpriced) features that it becomes necessary to promote it with a reminder about the 55 days of credit allowed every month.

However, Westpac could just as accurately have called it the ‘Interest-free Purchases Credit Card’, and with this Online Exclusive Offer the already lengthy special offer for months of interest-free purchases becomes even longer.

It could also be called the ‘Potentially No Annual Fee Credit Card’ since there’s a way to avoid the already low annual fee every year.

What’s so special about ‘up to 55 days interest free’?

The monthly interest-free days attached to a credit card are the days that are allowed to elapse between a purchase transaction and the date the cardholder has to pay for the purchase in order to avoid incurring interest charges. In this case, purchases made on the first day of the statement cycle won’t be due for payment until 55 days later, while purchases made on the last day of the cycle will start incurring interest around 25 days later unless full payment of the account closing balance is made.

All credit cards have a number of regular, interest-free days, otherwise they would be not a credit card but a debit card. But before you dismiss these 55 interest-free days as nothing more than you would expect, take a look at the reality. Not every card comes with this many interest-free days. Many cards come with only 44 interest-free days.

Don’t discount the value of the extra 11 days

The 11 extra days of credit each month (when compared with a 44-day card) add up to a sizeable 132 days each year. If your average monthly closing purchase balance is, say, $2,000, that’s an extra 132 days that your $2,000 can stay in the bank, earning interest or reducing your mortgage balance in an offset account. The earning or saving doesn’t amount to much in a low-interest environment (about $22 in a 3 percent p.a. savings account or $29 in a 4 percent p.a. mortgage offset account) but it’s still better in your pocket than the bank’s, and interest rates will inevitably rise one day.

Higher-fee cards often have fewer interest-free days

Many much more expensive credit cards, including Westpac’s own prestige Altitude range, actually come with a lower number of interest-free days. Westpac Altitude cards have ‘up to 45 days’ interest free. So Westpac is probably justified in putting the 55 interest-free days at the forefront of this low-fee card’s features.

Introductory offer: no interest payable on purchases for 13 months

If you’re the kind of person who always pays off their purchases balance on the monthly due date, in order to avoid high interest charges, you will need to change your behaviour temporarily in order to take advantage of this offer. Instead of paying off your balance each month, you can allow it to accumulate for the first 13 months of holding the card, without incurring any interest charges.

This Online Exclusive Offer adds an extra four months to the standard offer for new cardholders.

It will require a certain amount of discipline to avoid running up a debt you can’t repay after 13 months, however. The best approach would be to put into your savings account an amount equivalent to each month’s purchases so that you have the sum available for full repayment after 13 months, plus a little interest income as a bonus.

Don’t choose this card for the ongoing interest rates

Strive to repay your accumulated purchases balance in full at the end of this interest-free period, because the revert rate (the ongoing purchases interest rate) is a seriously unpleasant 19.84 percent p.a. The cash advance interest rate is 21.29 percent p.a. Although these are not unusual rates in the world of credit cards, there are cards available which have much lower rates.

Choosing a credit card for its low interest rates is in fact a bad idea. The best way to use a credit card is to take full advantage of the interest-free days each month, pay off the full balance at each due date, and never pay a cent in interest. But if you think it’s likely that you will fail to do this on a regular basis after the 13 interest-free months have expired, don’t choose this card. Pick one with a lower purchase interest rate, like its stablemate the Westpac Low Rate Credit Card.

Use the SmartPlan repayment option after the introductory offer expires

Westpac has introduced a SmartPlan repayment option for large purchases. For individual purchases over $500 (e.g. a dishwasher, laptop, international airfare), opt into SmartPlan and commit to monthly repayments which will see your balance cleared in full by the end of an agreed period.

In return, Westpac will let you use your card for all your other purchases and still enjoy up to 55 days interest free each month. And, depending on the amount of your large purchase, you won’t be charged any interest on the large purchase balance for the first three, six or nine months. There’s an upfront credit establishment fee to pay, equivalent to 1 percent (for three-month plans), 2 percent (for six-month plans) or 4 percent (for 12-month plans) of the purchase amount.

For longer SmartPlan repayment terms, it may be possible to arrange a lower interest rate than the standard ongoing purchases interest rate

You can set up as many as eight separate concurrent SmartPlans using online banking or the mobile app. Even better, choose Autopay so that you don’t miss any repayments.

Low annual fee – or no fee at all

While the ongoing annual fee for this card is $30 (with no extra charge for a supplementary card), there’s no reason why you should ever have to pay it.

The fee is automatically waived in the first year, which makes the card very attractive if you want to try it for size. You’ll also pay no fee in any subsequent year in which you make $5,000 of purchases with the card. Given that you’ll need a minimum income of $15,000 to qualify for the card, and that the minimum credit limit is $500, it shouldn’t be too hard to spend an average of $417 per month in order to avoid the annual fee.

No stinting on technology

Although this is a basic, low-fee card, the inbuilt technology is just as up-to-date as it is for Westpac’s expensive prestige cards:

  • Embedded microchip for extra security
  • Visa payWave enabled so that you can sail through the checkout without using your PIN for transactions under $100
  • Contactless payments can be made with your smartphone (iPhone with iOS 9.0 or above, Android with Android 4.0.3 or above) or Android or Fitbit wearable device, after downloading the latest Westpac Mobile Banking app.
  • There’s an optional fingerprint sign-in to mobile banking

No skimping on security

The card’s state-of-the-art security features go way beyond the embedded microchip:

  • Westpac’s 24/7 Fraud Protection Service will contact you if any suspicious card activity is detected
  • All payments are backed by a Fraud Money Back Guarantee
  • You can choose to enter a password for mobile payments if you prefer, or disable mobile payments at any time
  • If you temporarily misplace your card, you can lock it for up to 15 days using the Westpac Mobile Banking app
  • ‘Buy anything you like, on any website’, says Westpac, because their Online Transaction Security Guarantee means that you will not be liable for the amount of any fraudulent online transaction promptly notified to them
  • Westpac Added Online Security Service accesses the one-time SMS password system of ‘Verified by Visa’ at participating online retailers

Compare other basic cards

If you’re in the market for a straightforward card like this one, essentially free to keep in your wallet, and unencumbered by expensive rewards points programs or complimentary insurance, there’s plenty of choices. Take a look at these other cards before you decide:

  • ME frank Credit Card: no annual fee, very low purchase and cash advance interest rates (for a credit card)
  • 28 Degrees Platinum Mastercard: no annual fee, no international transaction or currency conversion fees on purchases, but very high ongoing interest rate

Or, if you’re happy to receive complimentary benefits and loyalty points which will cost you nothing:

  • Coles No Annual Fee Mastercard: no annual fee, flybuys points, other benefits for shopping at Coles
  • The American Express Essential Credit Card: no annual fee, Amex rewards points, shopper’s insurance, low purchase interest rate

However, you might choose the Westpac 55 Day Credit Card because . . .

  • There’s a very long zero-interest on purchases offer
  • It can be a ‘no annual fee’ card, even after the first year
  • You can use a SmartPlan repayment plan to avoid paying interest on large purchases
  • 55 days interest free has to be better than 44 days
  • It has all the hi-tech and robust security bells and whistles, despite being a ‘basic’ card
  • There are no complications with rewards points or complimentary insurance
  • It’s a good starter card, with a low minimum credit limit and low income requirement

Does some of this sound like you? It costs nothing to give it a try, and it could suit you for many years to come.

The basics

About this card

Card setup
Single
Card tier
Standard
Card type
Visa
Card use
Personal
Credit rating
Any
Gambling transactions allowed
No
Joint application
No
Minimum age
18 years old
Minimum income
$15,000
Minimum income for pensioners
Same as standard
Pensioners
Rewards program
None
Temporary residents
Yes

Cardholders

Additional cardholders
1
Additional card fee
$0 p.a.

Credit limits

Minimum credit limit
$500
Maximum credit limit
$30,000

Repayments

Interest charged from
Purchase date
Interest free period
Up to 55 days on purchases
Minimum repayment
2%

Rates & fees

Promotional interest rates

Interest ratePeriodFeeLimitRevert rate
Balance transfersN/AN/AN/AN/A N/A
Purchases0% p.a.13 monthsN/AN/A 19.84% p.a.

Ongoing interest rates

MonthlyAnnually
Cash advances 1.77% 21.29% p.a.
Purchases 1.65% 19.84% p.a.

Fees

Annual fee
$0 p.a.
Annual fee 2nd year
$30 p.a.
Cash advance fee
2%
Dishonour fee
$9
Duplicate statement fee
$7.50
Foreign exchange fee
3%
Late payment fee
$15
Over limit fee
$0
Overseas ATM balance fee
$0
Overseas ATM withdrawal fee
$0
Overseas emergency card replacement fee
$0
Transaction verification fee
$0

Minimum criteria for this card

What you need before applying

Be over 18 years old
You are a resident or citizen of Australia
Earn a regular income of more than $15,000 per year
You have your personal details ready to complete the online application
Have not applied for multiple credit cards recently
Temporary residents are eligible
Age Pension, Disability Pension, Veteran's Pension and Widower's Pension are acceptable.
Austudy, Child Support Payments, Family Tax Benefits and Parenting Payments, Foster Care Allowance and Youth Allowance are acceptable.
Joint applications are not allowed
Overseas Pension is not acceptable.
Carer's Allowance is not acceptable.
Disclaimer: The minimum criteria are intended only to be a guide. Your application may still be rejected by the bank even if you can answer 'Yes' to all the minimum criteria. The final decision regarding your application is up to the bank.

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When you get your credit score and apply for a credit card by March 1, 2019.
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