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Coles is Money's Credit Card Issuer of the Year

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CREDIT CARD ISSUER OF THE YEAR: COLES

Once again Coles has taken out our award for Credit Card Issuer of the Year, having won last year for the first time.

When searching for a winner, Joshua Sale, research analyst at Canstar, says it was looking for a well-rounded provider that could meet a wide range of customer expectations.

Wesfarmers, which also owns Bunnings and Officeworks, has announced plans to spin off its Coles supermarkets and Liquorland stores. coles credit card mastercard

After all, there are many different reasons you might want a credit card so it's hard to find a one-size-fits-all provider.

"In this space, there are a number of institutions that offer competitive products for low-rate, low-fee, premium or rewards cards. However, very few are able to compete in all of these areas," says Sale. "Coles represents the institution that has performed well across all of the profiles."

Coles's low-rate card offers customers a competitive purchase rate of 12.99%pa. It's interesting to note that while home loan rates and rates on cash accounts have plummeted in line with the official cash rate (currently 1.5%), credit card purchase rates are at the same levels as they were in 2011.

It's made credit card debt comparatively more expensive than other types of debt, so a quality low-rate version is a great choice if you rely on your card.

This card also offers up to 62 interest-free days when you pay off your balance in full each month. Most cards usually offer around 55 days so you've got an extra week for greater budget flexibility.

All of Coles's credit cards are linked to the Coles flybuys shopper rewards program, which allows you to accrue points on your shopping using your credit card.

Both the no-annual-fee and low-rate cards earn one flybuys point per $1 spent on eligible purchases, while the Rewards MasterCard offers two points per $1.

Coles is also currently offering new credit card holders $100 off a single Coles shop when they make their first purchase (within 30 days of credit card approval).

But you'll have to be quick, as the offer ends on June 30.

Credit cards spent some time under the microscope this financial year, with the Reserve Bank cracking down on surcharges.

Interchange fee caps will be introduced on July 1 in an attempt to reduce excessive credit card surcharging.

Credit card providers rely on interchange fees to offer customers high-value rewards, so in anticipation of the changes several cards already have slashed their rewards value.

If you've got a rewards card, it's a great time to reassess your card's value and make sure you're really getting bang for your buck. Our runner-up, American Express, certainly is a strong performer in this area, with Canstar commending the provider for its frequent flyer cards and rewards cards.

"American Express performs best for their rewards program, which offers consumers both high earn rates and transfer partners to a number of airlines at favourable conversion rates," says Sale.

Commonwealth Bank comes in third with high-value rewards cards and a low-rate gold card upgrade that offers customers complimentary international travel insurance, and extra warranty and security insurance on purchases.

For a fairly low annual fee of $59, the Awards credit card pays a generous 1.5 points per $1 which can be redeemed at Myer or at Flight Centre for travel bookings.

WHY THEY WON

A great range of credit cards for different types of credit card users, including low rate, no annual fee and rewards options.

TOP PRODUCTS

No-annual-fee MasterCard and Rewards MasterCard

RANKINGS

1. Coles 2. American Express 3. Commonwealth Bank

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Comments
MFARCHER
March 15, 2018 4.02pm

Coles might have been chosen as the Credit Card Issuer of the year in 2017 when their cards, and online and app services were working well, but 2018 is another story. These online and app services have been significantly degraded as a result of a recent update. In the app, debit transactions are no longer displayed in date order and purchase and payment transactions are displayed in different places under different card numbers instead of in transaction date order. Flybuys details cannot be displayed and the online contact link does not work. In the online system, current statements for which payment is due in 3 days time, cannot be viewed. These are only some of the annoying problems being experienced by card users. See Coles Financial Services Facebook pages for further comments by other frustrated card users. Opening a Facebook account seems to be the only way to provide online feedback about these problems, Those who have managed to make contact by phone don't seem to be happy with the outcome. Something to consider before you name them Card Issuer of the year for 2018..

Undeserved
November 1, 2018 7.11pm

It was in 2017 that Coles gave me a $10,000 credit card when I submitted my application, being honest about being unemployed and earning $400/week. Money Magazine would have been aware of this reprehensible behaviour 18 months ago. I can't believe this was ever awarded

Monika
November 1, 2018 7.33pm

So you applied for a credit card when you were in no position to pay it off and it's Coles' fault? And Money mag's fault? But not your fault?

Personal responsibility. Try it.

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