Westpac Low Rate Credit Card

My rate: 
17%
 
My annual fee: 
$90
 
Transfer: 
$5,000
 
From: 
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Offer
Card features
balance transfer
purchase rate
annual fee
Money saved
Westpac Low Rate Credit Card
Apply by 27 nov 18
43 reviews
Westpac Low Rate Credit Card
0% p.a. for 24 months on balance transfers. (1% balance transfer fee applies). Reverts to variable cash advance rate.
No annual fee for the first year.
Up to 55 days on purchases
Add to comparison
24 months
0% p.a.
then 19.49%
with a 1% fee
13.49% p.a.
ongoing
$0
1st year
then $59

Pros & cons

What's good?

What's not so good?

0% p.a. for 24 months on balance transfers. (1% balance transfer fee applies). Reverts to variable cash advance rate.
No annual fee for the first year.
Enabled with Visa payWave technology for faster PIN-less purchases under $100.
Low minimum income threshold of $15,000 needed for eligibility.
Know if you’ve been approved with the quick 60 second online application.
852 branches and phone support in Australia.
The balance transfer offer is for new card applications only.
$59 p.a. annual fee for the second year.
1% balance transfer fee.

Our review

Our review of the Westpac Low Rate Credit CardReviewed by Yvonne Taylor

In the world of credit cards, 'low rate’ is a relative term. Credit card interest rates are never going to be as low as bank personal loan or overdraft rates. So, although the ongoing purchase interest rate on the Westpac Low Rate Credit Card is not low in absolute terms, and is certainly not as low as that of some of its competitors, it’s still low enough for the infrequent user of credit beyond the normal interest-free days. Bundled into a package from one of the Big Four, offering a long zero-interest balance transfer period, a high level of card security and access to over 1,400 branches and 3,850 ATMs nationwide, this card begins to look like a realistically competitive proposition.

13.49% p.a. ongoing on purchases if you need it, 0% p.a. if you don’t

Look at it this way. If you’re going to need regular, long-term credit to smooth out the bumps and troughs in your financial highway, a credit card is not the way to do it. Instead, talk to your bank manager about a loan or overdraft facility. (In the short term, however, a zero-interest balance transfer may help – see below.)

Meanwhile, extract every last bit of value from your credit card by never paying a cent in interest if you can possibly avoid it. Exploit to the full the 'Up to 55 days on purchases’ facility that comes with this card every month, by timing your regular credit card purchases and bill payments to occur at the very beginning of the statement cycle wherever possible. When the card’s payment due date arrives, a generous ‘Up to 55 days on purchases’, pay off your account balance in full and on time, and let the bank look elsewhere for its profit.

The 13.49% p.a. should be your temporary fallback position, a last resort when other finance sources are inaccessible. So lock in this lower rate because, if you miss a payment, or even if you’re a little short or a few days late, you’ll end up paying credit card interest on all your purchases from the date of each transaction for the next two months. This is the policy of most, if not all, credit cards, and in this situation you don’t want to be paying 20% p.a. or more. But there’s no need to go shopping for an even lower rate. Just plan to spend only what you can afford, pay on time, and be charged 0% p.a..

0% p.a. for 24 months on balance transfers

For those who have temporary financial problems and need time to sort them out, a zero-interest balance transfer can be a godsend. Exorbitant interest rates on existing card balances can be avoided by transferring them to this card, and 24 months of breathing space should be more than long enough for a short-term debt situation to be turned around.

There is, unfortunately, a 1% balance transfer fee to pay, but this is not unusual: more cards than ever are now adding this upfront charge on balance transfers, and many levy a much higher fee of 2% or even more. In a situation where you would save $1,918 in interest cost when compared with leaving a $5,000 balance on a card where the interest rate was 20% p.a., the $50 balance transfer fee will appear less significant.

If it’s likely to take more than 24 months to sort out, it’s a long-term problem, and once again credit card debt is not the solution but just something that will make a bad situation worse. The penalty for not clearing your debt after 24 months is the revert interest rate of 19.49% p.a., the card’s cash advance rate.

Don’t ignore the balance transfer offer, even if you don’t actually need it

Perhaps your financial affairs are well under control. This doesn’t mean that you can’t make use of an interest-free balance transfer. The major purchase that you have been planning for some time now – maybe new furniture or the latest technology – could be made on your existing card just before you transfer the balance. This will give you 24 months to squirrel away the repayments in a savings account (thus earning a little interest) so that you can clear the balance before it starts to accrue interest charges.

'SmartPlan’ repayments allow you to retain interest-free days on purchases

The major downside to having an unpaid balance transfer is that, under normal circumstances, you will sacrifice the regular 55 interest-free days granted every month, for as long as the unpaid balance sits in your credit card account. This means you’d be well advised to have another payment method – cash, or another card – available for your ongoing purchases for the next 24 months.

But Westpac have come up with a clever deal that lets you have your cake and eat it. That is, have an unpaid interest-free balance transfer, and still qualify for those 55 interest-free days on your monthly purchases. Here’s how it works:

  • Commit to monthly repayments that will see your transferred balance cleared by the end of the promotional period. For example, if you transferred a balance of $5,000 you would have to commit to monthly repayments of $5,000/24 = $209, instead of making only the required minimum repayment of 2%. (A 2% monthly repayment would start at $100 and decline as the balance was reduced.)
  • Make purchases as normal with your card and enjoy up to 55 days interest free each month, provided that at the end of each month you pay off your purchases balance in full plus the higher balance transfer repayment you have committed to.
  • You can set up a SmartPlan for your balance transfer repayments online using Westpac Live, and you may also choose to set up Card Autopay so that you never miss a repayment.
  • SmartPlan is also available for paying off a purchases balance. In this case, as well as retaining your interest-free days, you would also qualify for a discount of 1.5 percentage points on the normal purchase interest rate. i.e. the purchases interest rate reduces to 11.99% p.a. if you commit to a SmartPlan.
  • You can have up to eight current SmartPlans on your card.

Cutting-edge protection and digital capability

The card’s functionality and security does not begin and end with the piece of plastic in your wallet. Here are just some of the ways in which Westpac is employing the latest technology to keep you safe and informed when using your card account:

  • Embedded chip for extra card security.
  • Visa payWave enabled, for speeding through the checkout when a transaction is below $100.
  • Not just internet banking, but totally mobile banking with the Westpac Mobile Banking app and optional fingerprint sign-in. Use your phone to Tap and Pay, or for a quick account balance, or to temporarily lock your card if you lose it.
  • Complimentary mobile alert service: 24/7 SMS balance alerts and payment reminders, to avoid unnecessary fees and interest charges.
  • 'Verified by Visa’ sends a one-time password by SMS for secure authentication when you shop online.
  • Fraud Money Back Guarantee ensures you are reimbursed for any fraudulent transactions that were not your fault, provide they are promptly notified to Westpac.

Annual fee $59 p.a., waived first year

Although $59 p.a. is not a particularly high fee (and there’s no additional charge for a supplementary card), you may wonder why you are paying any fee at all for a card with no rewards points or complimentary insurance. Well, here’s some good news – you will in fact pay no fee at all for the first 12 months.

In subsequent years, the $59 p.a. fee will pay for the backing of a Big Four bank, with branches and ATMs almost everywhere you go, and the confidence that the card is protected by state-of the-art security as well as powered by the latest technology, including mobile wallet capability with your phone. It’s comforting to know that when the technology advances, so will your card’s features.

Consider other low-rate cards

The Big Four keep an eye on each other’s low rate credit cards. Consequently, they make very similar offers. But you will still find some differences between this Westpac card and the NAB Low Rate Card, the Commonwealth Bank Low Rate Credit Card, and the ANZ Low Rate Mastercard.

If you go to our 'Low interest’ page (under 'Save money’ in our Features section) you can compare the features of these cards, and many other low rate cards, side-by side. Simply click the 'Add to comparison’ button for each card you wish to compare, and then select 'Compare’ near the top right of the page.

Reasons to choose the Westpac Low Rate Credit Card

If you’re looking for a low-rate, secure and technologically-proficient credit card backed by a financial giant, with possibly the best combination of zero-interest balance transfer and ongoing low purchase interest rate, you’ve found it. And the SmartPlan is an innovation that makes a zero-interest balance transfer more attractive than ever.

User reviews

3.7 out of 5.0 based on 43 reviews81% of reviewers would recommend this card

Rates and fees
Rewards
Customer service
Convenience
Trust

Reviews from users

Low interest means no worries about overspending

Reviewed and recommended by Cheryl on 26 Apr 2017

It’s a card with very low interest . I don’t have to be worried about overspending when I’m doing my shopping.

I can use my card anywhere, even overseas, with a very low interest rate. My credit card is ideal for me, since sometimes I’m on a tight budget. So far, I am very happy with it.

Low rate, stress-free

Reviewed and recommended by Monica on 22 Nov 2016

I took out this credit card when I was struggling and it helped me get on top of my bills and I was able to increase my limit very easily via online banking.

The card has low fees and it is a very stress-free option for people looking to get a credit card.

The customer service team were very helpful in the original set-up of the card and helping me with any questions during the process.

Good rates and fees but no incentives

Reviewed and not recommended by Daniel on 01 Nov 2016

This card has good rates and fees, but most do. I’ve always felt secure with MasterCard, and all things being equal it’s a great option.

The thing that let me down was the service and lack of incentive to remain a customer. I would still recommend the card simply for no-nonsense functionality and clear rates, fees and terms.

No fees, but poor service

Reviewed and not recommended by Lora on 26 Sep 2016

i got this card after becoming an aged pensioner to save on the annual fee, which is zero. But regretfully, the customer service has been downright terrible, as, in my opinion, as soon as customer service gets the card’s number the call is always allocated to a junior with inadequate knowledge and training. Thus, the outcome has been unsatisfactory.

i don’t trust that customer service can make sure that all amounts which were lost by unauthorised use of my card can be refunded, as was the case on 21st January 2016 when that happened to me. That is, two amounts were not authorised by me but only the larger one was refunded, based on the implausible reason that I did not submit separate requests for each one, even though i did claim on one form for both at first as they were from the same organisation on the same date. i did, however, make two separate claims, after I was asked to do that. But Westpac claimed that only the first one was received, despite the fact that I mailed both in the same reply paid envelope, enclosed in the bank’s letter to me.

Appallingly, after four phone calls, three letters from the bank and three forms, filled correctly and posted in the bank’s reply paid envelope by me, about an event taking place on the same date, but for two different amounts immediately one after another and debited from my account by the same organisation, to add insult to injury Westpac sent me two more letters. The first letter informed me that my request for the refund of the second amount was rejected. The second letter informed me that my request form for that refund was not received by the due date, even though it was posted before the due date in their reply paid envelope by me, and I also informed them by phone that same day. i was advised that though I posted it before the due date, that particular section received and opened it after the due date.

I’m keeping all relevant information (i.e Westpac’s letters and mine as well) as the record of the saga, from 21st January 2016 up to the present date, as per the entries in my diary. I’m in the process of changing my credit card type and its provider, informing all the aged pensioners from our local senior citizens club as well as informing others via the Senior Citizens Card NSW, so that they don’t subject themselves to the above credit card service’s appalling treatment, as I did.

Suitable for daily usage, but needs more rewards

Reviewed and recommended by Faisal on 26 Sep 2016

It is very suitable for everyday usage and has low fees.

I have had good customer service also, and being able to be with Westpac is a great benefit.

I recommend using it for day-to-day purposes. Only, it is not that rewarding and I wish it had more rewards.

Basic card with low interest rate

Reviewed and not recommended by Deborah on 25 Sep 2016

This card is a basic no-frills card. It has no reward program but it does have a reasonable annual fee and the same low interest rate for purchases and cash advances.

It’s a decent card for use overseas, with an option to notify Westpac when travelling overseas so that the card is not blocked as a security measure.

Lower interest rate card

Reviewed and recommended by Avron on 21 Sep 2016

This is a good card with no frills, and the customer service is also great with Westpac. If you have any issues they resolve them quickly at onshore call centres.

The lower interest rate is a bonus. Westpac give special offers from time to time by reducing the interest rate even lower. If you are not looking for rewards this is a good option.

The original name of this card was 'Ignite’.

Excellent protection against fraud

Reviewed and recommended by Tanya on 21 Sep 2016

Fake telemarketers tried to get into my bank account. Westpac stopped it ASAP and rang to tell me. It’s happened a few times and now we have sorted it out, and it’s been reported. Customer service was so helpful, and I was so pleased to have an excellent and trustworthy company to protect my money for my four babies.

Low interest rate and good service

Reviewed and recommended by Catherine on 20 Sep 2016

The low interest rate is good, but only if you can pay off the amount quickly. Otherwise you are just paying off the interest and it’s hard to catch up.

Overall it’s a good card and Westpac are fantastic to deal with. They always provide great customer service. I recommend this card.

Great security service

Reviewed and recommended by Karly on 20 Sep 2016

Good low-rate credit card with good interest-free days. No rewards attached however, but this is the only downside.

Someone took my details recently and fraudulently started spending. Westpac contacted me within a couple of hours to advise me this had happened, and put a block on the card. Great service.

Show 33 more reviews
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed about credit cards are the reviewer's alone, and do not reflect the views of Credit Card Compare or the credit card issuer. Reviews have not been approved or otherwise endorsed by Credit Card Compare.

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
$1,000
Maximum credit limit
$25,000

Repayments

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

Balance transfers

The offer

Interest ratePeriodFeeLimitRevert rate
Balance transfers0% p.a.24 months1%80% of credit limit19.49% p.a.

Balance transfers to this card

Balance transfer earns rewards
No
Balance transfer fee payment due
First statement
Balance transfer from personal loan
No
Balance transfer processing time
10 - 14 days
Interest free days with unpaid balance
0 days
Maximum balance transfer
80% of credit limit
Available to existing customers
No

Banks you can't balance transfer from

You can't balance transfer to the Westpac Low Rate Credit Card at the promotional balance transfer rate from:

  • Westpac

Rates & fees

Promotional interest rates

Interest ratePeriodFeeLimitRevert rate
Balance transfers0% p.a.24 months1%80% of credit limit 19.49% p.a.
PurchasesN/AN/AN/AN/A N/A

Ongoing interest rates

MonthlyAnnually
Cash advances 1.62% 19.49% p.a.
Purchases 1.12% 13.49% p.a.

Fees

Annual fee
$0 p.a.
Annual fee 2nd year
$59 p.a.
Cash advance fee
2%
Dishonour fee
$9
Duplicate statement fee
$2
Foreign exchange fee
3%
Late payment fee
$15
Over limit fee
$15
Overseas ATM balance fee
$0
Overseas ATM withdrawal fee
$2.50
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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