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Q: What credit card is the best to earn Qantas frequent flyer points?
A: Hi Fiona
This is a great question. There are so many credit cards linked to frequent flyer schemes, but do they necessarily provide value for money?
The first thing to consider is how much you’re likely to use it. Have a look at your annual spend on your last credit card and work out how many frequent flyer points you will accumulate.
Use a comparison site, like RateCity.com.au to help you work out the maths, but as a cheats guide look at the ‘earn rate’ ie how many points can you earn for every dollar spent. And watch out for points caps. Some cards only let you build up your frequent flyer balance to a certain level each month. Make sure you choose a card that works hard for you all the time.
Now once you have that sorted, pay particular attention to the annual fee. If you’re only earning a measly number of frequent flyer points there’s hardly any point shelling out hundreds of dollars on an exorbitant annual fee each year.
Also, consider where you want to fly. If the cost of your credit card annual fee is higher than the cost of the flight. You’ve got a problem.
With all that in mind, you can see choosing the right card really comes down to your personal circumstances.
But to give you a starting point, one of the cards we currently like is the Qantas American Express Discovery card (https://www.ratecity.com.au/credit-cards/american-express/qantas-discovery-card). It comes with no annual fee and you can earn one Qantas frequent flyer point for every dollar spent, with the exception of government bodies. The downside of this card is the interest rate is well above the market average at 20.74 per cent and you only have 44-interest free.
RateCity Money Saving Tip - Gym Membership
RateCity Money Saving Tip
I currently have a mortgage. I also have some credit card debt which i would like to move forward on. Do i have any options in regards to refinancing my home loan and include the credit card debt?
A: Hi Paul
Consolidating your debt by refinancing is a common practice that most lenders will be able to assist with.
However, it is worth considering the following before refinancing:
- Refinancing for debt consolidation may reduce your monthly repayment totals, which can help to relieve some of your short-term financial pressure. But by paying off relatively small debts over a longer period, you may ultimately pay much more in interest charges over the full term of the loan.
- If your new combined loan exceeds more than 80% of the value of the property, you may have to pay lenders mortgage insurance.
If you’d like more information, please go here: http://www.ratecity.com.au/home-loans/mortgage-news/refinancing-debt-consolidation.
Q: What's the best way to approach my bank to try and obtain a better interest rate?
A: Hey Holly
If you are unhappy with your current home loan it’s perfectly acceptable to approach your lender and ask for a better rate.
While it’s never guaranteed, one way to go about this is to look online at the rates your lender is offering new customers. You can use this as a point of negotiation, or flat out request this rate. After all, why should a loyal customer not be rewarded with the same low rates as new customers?
In addition to asking your lender for a reduction on your interest rate, also ask if they can reduce your fees or include some extra features.
Also, spend some time online to compare home loans so that you can see what rates and fees other institutions are advertising. If you find that they are lower than what you are getting, take this information to your lender to show them what their competitors are offering. http://www.ratecity.com.au/home-loans/compare
Make sure that if you say that you will take your business elsewhere that you mean it, because you may have to do this.
We have an article online that should also be able to help if you want more information - http://www.ratecity.com.au/home-loans/articles/switch-negotiate-better-rate
Q: Had a few credit issues… is there a minimum credit score you can have and still qualify for a home loan?
A: Hi Leigh
Adding to what everyone has said, there are providers that will lend to a person discharged from bankruptcy, so it should be possible.
It just depends on which lender you approach. Some lenders are more interested in your ability to service your loan than your credit score.
One way is to approach a broker, who can email your scenario to a few lenders they work with, and you’ll usually get a response as to whether they’re happy to take on the loan.
Q: I heard a radio ad promoting Australian biggest home loan sale with Rate City. Is this just marketing ploy for the banks or will they actually be able to help borrowers get people better rates.
The ad said the sale goes for 40 hours, does anyone know how it works?
A: Hi Tom
Thanks for your question.
I'm the CEO of RateCity. For the 40 hour Switch & Save Sale, which is for people who already have a home loan, there are a number of lenders who will be offering specials, exclusive to the sale. Some will cut rates and some waiving fees. It also includes some lenders who's products are only available direct, and not through intermediaries.
During the 40 hours, consumers can register to see what products are available on sale. If interested they can then proceed through to further inquire with the lender.
I agree with the two experts above, in that rate is only one of the things that needs to be considered when deciding on a suitable product. That said, there are many consumers who could potentially save a significant amount of money if they were to refinance their home loan. The Switch & Save sale is to help consumers' awareness of this.
I hope this helps.