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Although it may be hard to believe, it is possible to get a low–interest credit card, loaded with platinum benefits and issued by a prestigious financial giant, for a relatively low annual fee. It’s called the Citi Clear Platinum Credit Card and it can be yours provided you can demonstrate a moderate annual income of at least $35,000 per year.
Low ongoing purchase rate
There is good news for anyone whose income fluctuates, and who might sometimes struggle to repay their purchase balance in full at the end of the month. The ongoing purchase interest rate is 14.99% p.a., a low interest rate for a credit card. If you expect that there may be occasions when you are running an unpaid purchase balance of, say $5,000, the difference between 14.99% p.a., and a more normal rate of around 20% p.a., would reduce your monthly interest bill by $20.
There are competing cards available with an even lower interest rate – the ME frank Credit Card for example, with an ongoing purchase rate of 11.99% p.a. – but they do not normally come with the Citi card’s platinum benefits.
Standard cash advance interest rate
There’s nothing special, however, about the cash advance interest rate of 21.74% p.a. Use the cash advance facility sparingly, if you must.
Up to 55 days on purchases every month
This isn’t a card which cuts corners, so it comes with a full complement of Up to 55 days on purchases, not the meagre 44 days of some other cards. Since purchases do not have to be paid for until the end of the monthly billing cycle, transactions made on the first day of the cycle do not have to be cleared from your account for 30 days, and do not attract any interest in that time. The card issuer then adds a grace period of either 14 or 25 days (25 days in this case) before the monthly payment is due.
Those extra 11 days of credit each month add up to 132 extra days each year, worth about $43 if your average monthly balance is $3,000 and you leave the cash in a 4% p.a. mortgage offset account.
Useful complimentary insurance cover
Although this is a platinum card, Citi obviously do not consider the annual fee to be high enough to encompass a ‘free’ multi-trip overseas travel insurance policy for a family, which many platinum cards include. But four other types of insurance cover come automatically with the card:
Free wine with Citibank dining program
As long as you are prepared to dine at restaurants on Citibank’s extensive list, you need never pay for wine with your meal again. There are currently over 300 participating establishments, mostly located in Sydney and Melbourne, but the other state capitals and regional areas do have some coverage.
When you arrive, mention that you are a Citibank cardholder, and order a minimum of one main course per person, or spend at least $50 on food for a sharing menu such as pizza or tapas. Then select your bottle of wine from the Citi list, with an average value said to be around $35. Pay with your Citi card and your bottle of wine is free, and if you used it only six times a year you’d be ahead by $210.
Visa Platinum / Visa Premium
In addition to the exclusive Citibank dining privileges, cardholders also qualify for the Visa Platinum program. It provides a personal concierge service (by phone or online) as well as giving access to special offers and preferential booking for concerts and other entertainment events, plus travel and accommodation deals.
The cost – less than you might expect
It’s a bundle of privileges that’s a little out of the ordinary: no rewards points, no international travel insurance, but lots of advantages in the form of other insurance, Visa Platinum privileges and free wine. For this you will pay an annual fee of $99 p.a.. You can have up to four supplementary cardholders (they must be over 16 years of age) for no extra cost. Given the benefits, it’s a reasonable deal.
An unusual card for the extraordinary cardholder
Clearly, this Citi card is not a run-of-the-mill card for a standard platinum cardholder who may be looking for rewards points and international travel insurance. Instead, it appears to be aimed at the local spender, someone who can more than justify the moderate annual fee in return for free wine and complimentary insurance cover directed at domestic rather than international travellers and shoppers.
The Citibank Clear Platinum Visa Card has high interest rates.
If you miss a payment by the due date you get harassment calls and daily fees until monthly instalments are paid. Citibank customer service staff are not willing to assist you if in a dire situation and you have to pay the monthly payment.
On top of all the fees and charges there is also a fee for account-keeping, and now i see Citibank’s latest television ad saying that if you transfer money from another card to a new Citibank card there is a “one-off” fee of 1.5%. They get you no matter what you do.
The only problems that I have had with Citibank Platinum was the procedure to replace a lost card overseas. The long distance calls kept falling out (not Citibank’s fault) but the procedure meant that each subsequent call had to start again from scratch. The card was replaced but the long distance phone calls were astronomic. Not be able to receive PIN overseas was also a problem.
The card is convenient and offers some rewards. However, their dining rewards are at limited locations and I haven’t had a chance to use any. Advantage is a free overseas travel insurance. Major draw back is a poor customer service from overseas and high annual fee attached to the package with which the card was offered.
Rewards are interesting and online transactions are smooth. Also quite useful on international travel. I personally benefited from the rewards program a lot. The dining offers are a great way to use points too. Good interest rates and fees. Customer service can be better, i.e. administering your account at a bank branch.
When I was looking for a credit card with a good interest rate I came across this one where it was 4.9% for the life of the balance transfer great savings on interest. This card has great rewards like free wine at certain restaurants that accept the card.
I got the card whilst earning good money, but had to change when I lost my job. After re-entering the workforce on lower wages I had to beg and plead to change to a lower interest rate card. Even with the lower interest fee, monthly total fees outstripped half my payment. I had difficulty speaking to customer service because their English is hard to understand. Credit Card Compare showed me that by changing to a new credit card I could take advantage of huge savings and also paying cheaper purchase/ cash out fee.
Although paying over $200 P/FN, monthly fees come to just over $100 so am always struggling to get ahead on repayments. Although now on a disability pension, I got the card when I was on good wages, but maxed out the card when I got divorced. Now am just making repayments, not using card.
I was reluctant to sign up to a card but I am very happy with this product and would recommend it to anyone considering an easy-to-use, value-for-money card.
I enjoy the rewards offered as well — wine is always a great perk.
It’s not too expensive fee-wise either. Enjoy your shopping!
The Citi Clear Platinum card has a lower rate of interest than many other cards, but it is not connected to any 'free’ rewards program.
You get the benefits of being a Platinum member with a free bottle of wine at some restaurants, free concierge service, and free travel insurance when booking international flights via the card. The annual fee is still $95, but the security is amazing as it is backed by a well known international bank.
This card was very easy to apply for online. It is accepted everywhere. I have had no problems with it. It is easy to keep check on my account online and pay with bpay. They send payment reminders by email so it is nearly impossible to miss a payment, great bank to deal with.
|Cash advances||1.81%||21.74% p.a.|