Don’t get caught out with credit card offers

Co-Author: Michelle Norton

Credit card offers are a dime a dozen, with New Zealand banks all vying for your attention – and your spending. But not all offers are created equal, Canstar looks at the options. 

When it comes to choosing a credit card, credit card interest rates are likely to be top of mind. But for those who aren’t satisfied with their current provider, or who are looking to get their first credit card, a bit of research will help you get a better deal while you’re shopping around.

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Credit card offers on the market

In order to stay front of customers’ minds, banks will often put forward enticing credit card offers to try and get your business. Keeping in mind that you will have to pay credit card fees and interest at some point, some banks will waive that fee initially, or offer you a lower rate, to get you on board.

Have a look at credit card offers for new customers:

If your current credit card isn’t exactly cutting the mustard when it comes to credit card interest rate, fees, or rewards, have a look at some sign-up offers now available on the credit card market.

Company Product Interest Free Days Purchase Rate p.a. Annualised Fees  Sign up bonus points Bonus offer conditions
American Express Air New Zealand Platinum Card 55 19.95% $395 200 Airpoints Dollars Spend $500 within first three months.
American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card 55  

2.99% for first six months , then 19.95%

$149 20,000 Bonus Points Spend $550 within first two months.
American Express Platinum Card Charge Card $1250 80,000 Bonus Points Spend $550 within first two months.
American Express Air New Zealand Card 55 0% for first six months, then 19.95% Nil 50 Airpoints Dollars Spend $300 within first three months.

Balance transfer deals and how they can affect credit card interest ratesSign up offers current as at 14 September 2016.

Balance transfers are when you transfer the outstanding balance on your credit card to another card, usually one with a lower promotional credit card interest rate, often as low as 0.00%.

A balance transfer can one of the more beneficial credit card offers if you’re looking for a way to pay off debt accumulated from holidays throughout the year. Credit card balance transfers make monthly repayments easier if you’re carrying a debt over a number of bills.


Source: BNZ

Lower credit card interest rates won’t last forever

Just be warned, the promotional credit card interest rate usually reverts to a higher rate after a certain number of months, generally 6 to 12 months, according to the products Canstar included in the 2016 star-ratings credit card report. Make sure you pay off your debt within that timeframe, in order to avoid paying higher interest rates. Check out the credit cards available on the Canstar database to make a shortlist of products that might suit your needs.

Credit card traps to be aware of

Once you settle on one of the credit card offers, or find a credit card that suits you, remember to use your new spending powers wisely. Here are a few spending traps to be aware of:

It’s only a bargain if you would have bought it anyway                                                                                                                                                                 Credit card traps to be aware of If you are talking yourself into credit card offers and credit card rewards schemes – just because of the promotion – it’s probably not for you.
It’s only worthwhile if you can’t get a better deal  You’re still paying interest on purchases if you don’t pay the card off within the defined period. So avoid buying something purely based on an appealing promotion.
Ensure you won’t incur a surcharge In the case of credit card loyalty programmes, ensure the credit card offer doesn’t result in you paying a surcharge just to earn rewards points!

Canstar is an information provider and in giving you product information Canstar is not making any suggestion or recommendation about a particular credit product. If you decided to apply for a credit card you will deal directly with a financial institution, and not with Canstar. Rates and product information should be confirmed with the relevant financial institution. For more information, read our terms of use, important notes, and additional information.

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