Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.
It’s a low-annual-fee card, and it has the potential to be an ongoing ‘no annual fee’ card, even though it has quality platinum benefits and an introductory 0% p.a. interest rate on purchases. It’s the Westpac Low Fee Platinum Credit Card and if used wisely it will cost you nothing to keep in your wallet.
Already low annual fee is waived in the first year
The $90 annual fee is waived altogether in the first year, so it will cost you nothing to try out the card for 12 months. And in subsequent years the fee will continue to be waived if you spend at least $10,000 using the card during the preceding 12 months. That’s an average spend of just $833 per month, so all you really need to do is to pull out your card, instead of cash, for all your everyday expenses – however small, because they all contribute to the total. During a month most people will have no trouble spending $400 on groceries, $200 on travel, $150 on utilities, $50 on phone/internet and $33 on a takeaway meal and a few coffees. The result? A free credit card.
There’s also no fee charged for an additional cardholder on the account.
0% p.a. on purchases for the first nine months
Although there’s no introductory balance transfer offer, there is an introductory interest rate on purchases, allowing you to make only the 2% minimum repayment for the first nine months, without being charged any interest on the remaining purchases balance.
You can use this period to get your finances in order (maybe pay off the balance owing on your existing card as quickly as possible), but try to avoid the temptation to spend too much on your new card just because you don’t have to repay it for a while. It would be a good idea to deposit in a savings account an amount equal to your monthly purchases, to make sure that you’ll have enough cash on hand after nine months to cover what will be, by then, a sizeable repayment – probably at least $9,000.
The revert interest rate, if you can’t repay the purchases balance after nine months, is 20.09% p.a. You’ll want to avoid paying this, because it could be the starting point for a debt that takes months, if not years, to clear.
Up to 55 days interest free once the introductory offer expires
Smart credit card users will take advantage of the card’s normal interest-free days on purchases, which kick in after nine months when the introductory interest rate offer has expired. It means that if you make a purchase right at the beginning of the billing cycle, you won’t have to pay for it until 55 days later, and you won’t be charged any interest provided you pay for all your purchases on or before the payment due date. Purchases made at the very end of the billing cycle still don’t have to be paid for until about 25 days later.
This is a good deal compared with some other cards which offer only up to 44 interest-free days. Your repayment cash can stay in your savings account for 11 days longer each month, an extra 132 days a year for it to earn interest. Although savings account interest rates are very low, earning a little interest is better than nothing.
Free travel and shopper’s insurance policies
Everyone can use insurance protection, especially if it’s free – truly free if you can avoid paying the annual fee from the second year onwards by spending $10,000 per year using the card. Westpac identifies this card as a ‘Platinum A’ card, which means you’ll access top-tier cover and claims limits. The policies you’ll receive are:
The overseas travel insurance will be activated when you use the card to pay for at least $500 of the trip’s prepaid expenses (flights, accommodation, tours, car hire, &c). For the other travel policies, you’ll be covered when you pay your fares with the card. For the purchase, warranty and price guarantee policies, use the card to purchase the item to be insured.
Complimentary personal concierge service
Get the feel of a platinum card without the normal price tag by using the card’s free concierge service. Whether you’re travelling or in your home town, the service is just a phone call away, and can assist with recommendations and bookings for travel, accommodation, dining, entertainment and event planning.
If you need to make a major purchase (such as technology, white goods, furniture, an overseas trip) that you’d rather pay for in instalments, you can access Westpac’s SmartPlan repayment program. Provided you commit to (and stick to) repaying in equal monthly instalments (over three, six or 12 months, depending on the initial purchase amount) you will be charged a lower interest rate (currently 0% p.a.) on the balance outstanding. There is an upfront loan establishment fee to pay: 1% of the purchase amount for a three month plan, 2% for six months and 4% for 12 months.
One of the really good features of SmartPlan is that you will still keep your monthly interest-free days for your ongoing purchases, even though there’s a balance owing on your card beyond the end of the billing cycle.
You can also use SmartPlan to pay off a balance of $200 or more that you may have accumulated on your card, not just an individual large purchase over $500. The entire SmartPlan process can be set up online.
Nothing special about the interest rates
Don’t choose this card, however, if you don’t want to commit to SmartPlan repayments and are looking for a low ongoing interest rate on credit card debt. The interest rates are typical of a platinum credit card – 20.09% p.a. for overdue purchases payments and 21.49% p.a. immediately for cash advances.
The latest payment technology
You’ll expect Tap & Go for PIN-free purchases under $100, and you’ll get it. But you can also choose to pay using your mobile smart device, using Google Pay, Samsung Pay or Fitbit Pay.
Just to be sure, check out competing cards
Even if this card sounds like just what you are looking for, it’s worth making a quick comparison with other no-fee or low-fee cards with platinum benefits. Check out the Citi Clear Platinum Credit Card, the Qantas American Express Discovery Credit Card and the ANZ Platinum Credit Card.
The potential for zero cost and platinum benefits
The major appeal of this card is that it offers the kind of top-tier platinum benefits that are usually associated with a high annual fee, and you can get away with paying no annual fee at all, year after year. You’ll have to be prepared to sacrifice the possibility of earning rewards points, but that is balanced out by the benefit of the low-cost longer term credit offered by the SmartPlan repayments program.
While the interest rate is high, I have found that Westpac’s credit card insurance is good.
They provide alerts when a charge is atypical and they promptly investigated when I told them that a thief had placed certain charges against my card. Much to my relief, they investigated the dodgy business, reported it to the police who also investigated the matter, and removed the incorrectly charged amounts on my credit card.
I have had the Westpac 55 Day Platinum Visa Card for about five years now and have no complaints whatsoever. It wasn’t always the platinum card but I received an offer from Westpac not long ago to upgrade to platinum at no cost to me. Of course I accepted.
The card comes with all the extra benefits you expect from platinum, such as complimentary travel insurance.
I love my Westpac Platinum Visa and would not consider changing for anything.
I travelled to the Mediterranean for a holiday and I ended up in hospital with a mild stroke. The travel insurance I got with my card would have come in handy for my expenses, but fortunately Malta has an agreement with Australia. For the first six months in the country, medical care is free. But QBE insurance company were going to support me all the way if needed.
The points on this card are capped at 7500. I have one credit card with a limit of $3100. I will be deleting this card soon as the debt (even with full balance available) is seen as a liability, and it outweighs any rewards. If the rewards were higher, I would consider keeping it.
This is my very favourite Visa card. I use it all the time as my major credit card and have all my direct debit payments made from this card. Their consumer support is second to none and the very few problems I have had have been sorted very quickly by courteous and knowledgeable staff.
I particularly like the complimentary travel insurance too. Some of the other cards have this insurance, but only for international travel. My card covers me for inter-state travel and I use it a lot. Great card!
For what it is, there are no frills, but there are no extras to pay for either. There is a basic annual fee, there’s the added security of insurance, and there’s the 55 day interest-free period. There is no rewards package, but that is all made very apparent in the documentation from the bank. Very useful.
This card has no annual fees and payWave. I’ve never had an issue with it. I always pay back within the 55 days, so it costs me nothing! What more can I ask for?
I don’t really care for rewards, but they are offered. If I was more proactive I could probably get even more value from this card.
It’s a good card. 55 days interest-free really helps me. There are no fees for me because I have my home loan with them. Service is good and it does what I need it to. I’m doing lot of interest-free shopping—quite happy with that. Thanks, awesome!
Well it’s the lightest purse to go shopping with – just slip it in my back pocket and off I go. The greatest thing about it is that I can use it anywhere and everywhere, and later when I get home I can log on to my mobile banking app to check my daily use of the card that day for any incorrect charges or surcharges that aren’t right. It’s much better than cash, coins, and wasted time at checkouts. It’s also great for online shopping, booking concerts, etc.
I have this card cause it makes my life simpler.
I use the card in a smart way as I pay onto it straight away to avoid the fees. This card comes with a Visa and an American Express, which I must admit is a little annoying as that means I now have two cards.
The American Express card earns higher qantas points (1 point per $1) than the Visa (0.5 points per $1), which is annoying as this comes with a surcharge and not always accepted everywhere. Other than that I am very happy with this credit card
|Interest rate||Period||Fee||Limit||Revert rate|
|Purchases||0% p.a.||9 months||N/A||N/A||20.09% p.a.|
|Cash advances||1.79%||21.49% p.a.|