Heritage Bank CEO John Minz today urged local residents to check their credit card deal after new research revealed many Australians didn’t know the interest rate they were paying over Christmas.
An Essential Research poll on Christmas shopping habits showed Australians use credit cards to buy Christmas presents but few people know what the interest rate is.
The report commissioned by the Customer Owned Banking Association found Australian consumers could have avoided a big credit card bill by finding out more about the better rates available.
“Surprisingly, the research shows that a lot of people are unsure about the best deals and the current interest rates they pay,” Mr Minz said.
“We don’t want our customers forking out for excessively high credit card rates and paying more than they need to.
“As a mutual bank, Heritage Bank is owned by our customers. Our profits stay within the business and are returned to our customers through competitive rates and fair fees and charges.
“We offer great value through our products and were named as the winner for Cheapest Credit Card – Bank (Gold Low Rate) and Business Credit Card - Bank (Visa Business Unsecured) in Money Magazine’s 2014 Best of the Best Awards.”
The Essential Research poll of 1000 people, commissioned by COBA found:
• Australians buy 7 Christmas presents and spend $570 on average;
• More than a third describe paying for Christmas presents as “stressful”;
• 65% don’t know who has the lowest credit card interest rates;
• Around half said “Don’t know” when asked the current rate they pay.
The research found a significant proportion of younger Australians wrongly think the big four banks offer the best rates - 16% of people aged 18-34 nominated the big 4 banks compared to just 7% of those aged 55 and over.
“Customer-owned financial institutions like Heritage Bank offer competitive deals on home loans, personal loans and credit cards, so there’s simply no reason to pay high interest rates,” Mr Minz said.
“There are so many different options available so it’s important for people to shop around to compare the rates, products and customer service on offer to find the best option for their particular circumstances.”
“A little research goes a long way and could help you save a lot of money down the track."