Best of the Best 2018
Now in its 17th year, Money magazine's Best of the Best 2018 issue has narrowed down Australia's best financial products, services and investments for 2018.
With thousands of products from hundreds of different institutions, Money - with the assistance of our research partners - has identified 102 gold-winning products.
Here's a taste of Money's Best of the Best 2018 categories and winners:
Cheapest Home Loans: Bank of Sydney (Bank); Reduce Home Loans (Non-Bank)
Bank of Sydney moved up a spot to take the No. 1 position for its Expect More home loan, which offers both offset and redraw. Queensland-based Reduce has picked up the top award for the third year in a row.
Best Kids Savings Accounts: Hume Bank (Bank); Select Encompass Credit Union (Non-Bank)
Hume Bank's Clancy Koala account has everything kids need: 2.75% bonus interest if they deposit just $10 a month, and no fees. The Select Encompass Credit Union's Kick Start Saver pays a generous 5% for balances up to $5000.
Best Savings Accounts: RaboDirect (Bank); Queenslanders Credit Union (Non-Bank)
The RaboDirect 90 Day Notice Saver has a base interest rate of 2.70%, no fees, and is great for people itching to spend: you can only access your money after giving 90 days' notice. The Queenslanders Credit Union GoSaver has moved up from second last year, with a 2.30% interest rate and the option of secondary accounts to earmark savings.
Best Rewards Credit Cards: HSBC (Bank); Coles (Non-Bank)
Non-banks have come up trumps on rewards cards, with the HSBC Platinum provides one point for every dollar spent on eligible domestic purchases and two points for international purchases. The Coles Rewards Mastercard notches up two points per dollar spent, rising to $3 at certain retailers.
Best-Value Mobile Plan - High Usage: Moose Mobile
Moose Mobile took first place with 10GB for $34 a month. A relatively new player, Moose has made a name for itself with no-contract, SIM-only plans with unlimited calls and texts.
Best-Value NBN Broadband Plan: Flip TV
In the first year of the NBN award, Flip TV took out the gong for its Family 25 plan, which costs just $59 a month for unlimited data, BYO modem.
Best Balanced Super Fund: Hostplus
Hostplus has returned 11.8% a year for the past five years, with 25% in Australian equities, 20% in developed markets, 13% in direct property, 8% in emerging markets, 6% in private equity, 6% in alternatives such as hedge funds, and the rest in conservative investments.
Cheapest New Car Loans: Beyond Bank (Bank); Holiday Coast Credit Union (Non-Bank)
Beyond Bank offers loans of $25,000 or more with no early payout fees and the option of a free offset account. Paying off your loan quickly should be a top priority.
"The real winners in this awards issue are consumers," says Money editor Effie Zahos.
"By working with seven of Australia's best research houses, Money has put together the ultimate guide of financial products.
"As Aussies head into the silly season there'll be plenty of splurging but also plenty of time over the summer to reflect on where they may be able to save or invest better. This issue cherry picks the very best products and services to help consumers put together their perfect suite of financial products.
"We urge consumers to take the challenge and see if their products stack up with some of these winners. Whether you're looking at big ticket items like home loans or small ones like mobile phone plans, there are savings to be made."
The December issue of Money magazine is in stores now and, in response to demand, it's also available through Magshop for the first time.
See more from Best of the Best 2018 here or grab the December issue for full coverage.