Card customers biggest gripe

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THE biggest turn off for credit card users is how much they are charged in annual fees, well ahead of whether the card has a hefty interest rate.

While some cards have no annual fees attached, others hit customers with a charge that can run to hundreds of dollars a year.

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New findings from financial comparison site creditcardfinder.com.au, which quizzed more than 2000 Australians, show 81 per cent out low or no annual fees on their priority list when choosing a card.

The sites spokeswoman Bessie Hassan says there are hundreds of cards to choose from before deciding which one to opt for but, most importantly, it comes down to how you use it.

From no annual fee cards to rewards schemes to balance transfer offers, theres a variety of different card types and features to choose from,’ she says.

Before you compare your options, consider which type of card and features will suit you best.

Hassan warns that while no annual fees can be beneficial, if you dont pay off your card in full you can be hit with interest charges above 20 per cent.

This outweighs any benefit of avoiding an annual charge on the card.

Front Row Financial Managements director Brendan Turnbull says credit cards are really only for the diligent who can pay off their balance in full every month.

The only time I set credit cards up for clients is where the specifically request it, are good with their money and I know they can (and will) pay it off each month,’ he says.

He says the much safer option is for card users to opt for debit credit cards where they are actually paying using their own cash.

The credit cards purchase rate is also important for those signing up to plastic 38 per cent consider this as one of the most important features.

But when it comes to rewards points only 18 per cent factor in the amount of frequent flyer points earned per dollar when deciding which card to choose.

@sophieelsworth