Bank of Melbourne wins Credit Card Issuer of the Year award

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CREDIT CARD ISSUER OF THE YEAR - BANK: BANK OF MELBOURNE

Credit cards have had to grapple with a pandemic and the conservative spending it has precipitated. Credit card lending declined in April by $300 million or 1.1%, leaving it about 20% below pre-COVID-19 levels.

But while credit card usage is down, the plastic is still holding its own against the disruption posed by buy now, pay later (BNPL).

consumer finance awards 2021 credit card issuer of the year

A survey by the comparison website Mozo found that 52% of people put their 2020 Christmas shopping on a credit card, with only 10% using BNPL.

"Although there has been a lot of hype around the popularity of buy now, pay later services, it seems that when it comes to the crunch credit cards are still one of Australia's most popular forms of payment, particularly for spreading the cost of Christmas," says Mozo director Kirsty Lamont.

The new Credit Card Issuer of the Year is Bank of Melbourne. Its Vertigo card offers a 12.99%pa variable rate on purchases and 0% interest on balance transfers for 28 months, with no transfer fee and a $55 annual fee.

Its frequent flyer Amplify credit cards, meanwhile,  give you up to 0.75 points for every dollar spent on eligible purchases.

Mark Melvin, Bank of Melbourne CEO, believes it's all about matching credit card features to customers' needs - whether it's a low-interest rate, no annual fee, a card with rewards points or a choice of points programs.

"Our customers can choose to apply for, and manage, their card in a way that suits them: either online, in a branch or over the phone or a combination of these options," he says.

"Customers also have peace of mind that access to their funds will be uninterrupted if their physical card is lost, stolen or being re-issued, by adding their card to the digital wallet of their choice, such as Apple Pay and Google Pay.

The repayment options include instalments over time using the Plan&Pay feature.

"This enables Bank of Melbourne customers to repay specific purchases over $200, or a card balance, by splitting it into instalments and making payments over a period of time."

Meanwhile, second placegetter St.George has a 12.99%pa variable rate on purchases for both its low-rate credit cards, Vertigo and Vertigo Platinum. As with Bank of Melbourne, the Vertigo credit card has a $55 annual fee.

In third place, HSBC also offers 12.99%pa on its low-rate card, with 0% interest on balance transfers for 20 months (with a  2% balance transfer fee). The card has a $99 annual fee.

WHY THEY WON

Offers transaction and balance transfers with rates starting at 14%pa in the first year.

TOP PRODUCTS

Its balance transfer credit card is its best offering.

RANKING

1. Bank of Melbourne

2. St.George

3. HSBC

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