How to see through a dud credit card deal


If you’re in the market for a credit card, chances are you’ve seen a good mix of deals and offers from a range of providers. That’s why it’s essential to do your research and shop around. But contrary to popular belief, finding the right option is only half the battle. The other part is ensuring the card is a winner. 

Because beneath the flashy or limited time offers, there’s often a catch to watch out for. So to help you avoid a nasty credit card trap, we’ve listed five features to look out for during your search for your plastic match.

A high revert purchase rate

Interested in doing some interest-free spending? Then you might be considering a 0% introductory purchase rate credit card. As the name suggests, these are credit cards that feature a 0% purchase rate for a set period, allowing you to spend without incurring interest. 

But while this might seem like a dream to any shopper, before you sign on the dotted line, make sure you check out the revert rate. This is the rate the card will revert to once the interest-free period is up, which in some cases, can soar as high as 19%. 

So if you want to keep costs low once the introductory rate expires, you might want to opt for a card that features a rate below 14%, so if you do intend to carry a balance for a while, your interest bill will be kept to a minimum.

Too many fees

When you begin your search for the right credit card, it’s not unusual to come across standard charges, like an annual fee (though it is possible to find a card with no annual fee!). But depending on the type of card you’re looking for, you may encounter a few other costs you might not have expected. 

In addition to its regular annual fee, many rewards credit cards may also come with a yearly rewards program fee, ranging from $50 to $100. While this might not seem like a lot, if you plan on keeping the card active for a long time, these small fees can start to add up over time! 

Another common charge is foreign exchange fees, which apply to overseas purchases and are generally around the 3% mark. If you plan to use the card for online shopping, try to steer clear from cards with foreign exchange fees above this.

Rewards points are capped too low or expire quickly

From free flights to flashy perks, rewards credit cards are a hot pick for many Aussies. And if you’ve got your eyes set on one of these bad boys, it’s important to make sure you choose a deal that gives you some flexibility in terms of earning and redeeming rewards points. 

The two things to be aware of when it comes to your rewards points are their expiry dates and cap amount. Although the exact period will depend on the card you choose, expiration dates for rewards points are generally around 36 months. If you plan to play the long game with your points stash, it might be in your best interest to double-check the expiration dates before applying. 

When it comes to capping points, this is typically done on a monthly or annual basis, with the maximum number of points you can earn over a set period varying from card to card. For big spenders, this may mean having to explore rewards card options that don’t ever cap points.

A high balance transfer fee

On the other hand, if you’re interested in clearing debt, you might think about taking out a balance transfer card. Aside from opting for a card that features 0% interest, you’ll also want to watch out for any balance transfer (BT) fees that may apply. These are charged as the cost to move your existing balance onto your balance transfer card. 

BT fees are generally based on a percentage of your current balance and range between 1% - 3% - so the larger your debt, the higher the fee. Of course, if you do your research and shop around, it is possible to find an option that charges no BT fees. 

Now that you’ve got a pretty good idea of what makes a great credit card deal, it’s time to start shopping around! You can compare credit cards by heading over to our credit card comparison tool or checking out the offers below.

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