Recent research undertaken by the Australian Consumers Association has found that Bank of Queensland’s credit cards are among the ‘best and fairest’ currently on the market.
ACA researched 15 major credit card providers, looking at both low- and high-rate cards, and focused on what happens to customers who occasionally pay their bill late or not in full and end up accruing interest.
BOQ was rated among the fairest both for its No Interest-Free Days credit card and for its Low Rate Visa Card.
BOQ received ‘fairest’ raps for the way it calculates interest, as well as for the way it treats customers’ interest-free periods.
In terms of the way interest is calculated, in one specific example used by the ACA, one of the majors charges 70% more interest on its 17.24% card than BOQ does on its 17.25% card.
The ACA also found that BOQ offers an interest-free period on a new purchase, even if the cardholder has carried an unpaid balance from the previous month, whereas some of BOQ’s competitors would charge daily interest on a new purchase from either the transaction or the posting date.
These differences in the way card providers calculate interest and treat interest-free periods can lead to significant savings for customers.
BOQ’s General Manager, Brand and Marketing, Mark Franzmann, said it was no surprise BOQ’s credit cards were among the ‘fairest’.
“We were thrilled to see the Australian Consumers Association report on credit cards, though I must admit it was no surprise to us.
“We designed our Low-Rate Visa Card to offer ‘one simple solution’, as it is one of the very few cards on the market where the rate actually stays low (currently 9.99% p.a.), and which applies not only to balances transferred from other cards but also to new purchases and cash advances.
“The card is a great idea for those consolidating outstanding balances, as it doesn’t have the “honeymoon” rates that often get consumers into trouble,” said Mr Franzmann.
“Many people get caught after they transfer their debts onto a supposedly low rate card, only to have the interest rates – and their repayments – blow out after a short introductory period.
“By using so-called honeymoon rates, banks are able to offer unsustainably low rates for a few months, before upping rates to much higher levels, often at the top end of the market, once customers are signed up.
“This can actually leave customers worse off than when they started, with their debt steadily growing, not shrinking. In addition, these honeymoon rates generally only cover the amount transferred and don’t apply to new purchases or cash advances.
“By contrast, our Low Rate Visa Card boasts one of the best interest rates available in the market which will not jump after an introductory period.”