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Low fee, or no fee? Which is best?
It all depends on how much built-in value you expect from your credit card. While it’s not difficult to find a credit card charging no fee at all, a no-fee card is often a 'no benefits’ card too. If you want your credit card to deliver some inexpensive perks as well as just being a convenient line of credit, you may want to compromise with a low-fee card, rather than one that is completely free. The NAB Low Fee Card has a zero-interest introductory offer on balance transfers, complimentary purchase protection insurance, the added advantages that come with a Visa card, plus the latest speedy payment and transaction security technology.
0% p.a. on balance transfers for 16 months
Although NAB’s standard balance transfer rate is 0% p.a. for six months, you can currently take advantage of a very special offer. You can transfer a balance from your existing non-NAB credit card (or cards, if you have more than one) and pay no interest on the outstanding amount for 16 months. This will give you some breathing space to get your financial life in order if you are having difficulty repaying your balance and are currently being charged interest of 20% p.a. or more.
Use a balance transfer to reduce your mortgage cost
Even if your finances are perfectly organised and you can afford to pay off your balance immediately, you could still take advantage of a balance transfer by depositing the cash in a bank account instead of paying off the balance, allowing you to earn interest on it instead.
Better still, put it in your mortgage offset account and reduce the balance on which you are paying mortgage interest at around 4% p.a. If you put $3,000 in a mortgage offset account instead of using it to clear your balance, you could reduce your mortgage interest cost by around $164 over a 16 months period.
Use a balance transfer to finance a major purchase
Alternatively, you might want to make a major purchase on your existing card, then transfer the balance to your NAB card and take your time paying it off without incurring interest. Don’t do this kind of thing too often, though. Switching credit cards too frequently may have an adverse effect on your credit history and rating.
Balance transfer risks
Unfortunately, NAB have now introduced a balance transfer fee, so you’ll find that a 2% charge is added to your transferred balance. Transfer a $3,000 balance and you’ll end up having to repay $3,060.
Having an unpaid balance transfer on your account also means you’ll forfeit the Up to 44 days on purchases that you would normally be entitled to every month. So for the first 16 months you’d probably want to use another card, or cash, for purchases.
If you can’t pay off the transferred balance in full after the 16 months interest hiatus, you’ll come crashing down to earth when the revert rate of 21.74% p.a. is applied to your balance.
'Low fee’ does not mean 'low rate’
Remember that this is a low-fee card but not a low-rate card. The ongoing purchase rate of 19.74% p.a. and the cash advance rate of 21.74% p.a. are both near the top end of credit card interest rates. If you think there is a possibility that you will have credit card debt (other than the interest-free balance transfer) for more than a few weeks at most, choose a low rate card instead.
Complimentary purchase protection insurance
Shop with confidence knowing that most new items for your personal use, purchased using the card, are protected against loss, theft or damage for three months. Motor vehicles and boats are not covered, however, and the maximum claim for jewellery, watches and artworks is $2,500. The cover is otherwise very extensive, with a generous annual claim limit of $100,000.
Built-in Visa benefits
Although this is not a platinum card, it still comes with several advantages provided by Visa:
More security from NAB Defence
When you have a credit card issued in your name, you are expected to take normal precautions, like keeping it in a safe place, not disclosing your PIN, and advising the bank or Visa immediately if the card is lost or stolen.
But even the most careful people can fall victim to credit card fraud. That’s where NAB Defence comes in. NAB will monitor your account, looking for high-risk transactions. They’ll advise you of any suspected fraud, and investigate it. And they’ll reimburse you 100% of any fraudulent transactions that were not your fault.
Latest payWave technology
A low-fee card does not have to be a low-tech card. For purchases under $100 you can sail through the checkout in seconds, courtesy of the 'tap and go’ embedded chip which cuts out the need for either swiping or inserting the card and entering a PIN. You can still tap for transactions over $100, but you will need to enter your PIN.
Digital wallet enabled for smartphone users
There are two things you can do to access even more hi-tech features: download the NAB app and install NAB Pay for Android. This will allow you to:
A couple of shortcomings
Unfortunately, most of NAB’s credit cards come with 'Up to 44 days on purchases’ instead of the more generous 'up to 55 days interest free’ that many card issuers offer. The NAB Low Fee Card is one of the 44-day cards, so you will receive 132 fewer interest-free days each year when compared with a 55-day card. That’s 132 days less for your cash to spend in a savings or mortgage offset account. In the current low-interest environment it doesn’t make an enormous amount of difference (about $43 per year in lost interest income if your average monthly balance is $3,000), but it’s something you’ll need to think about before making your decision.
Another drawback is the $100 overseas emergency card replacement fee, which is certainly on the steep side. The message here is that you should keep a tight hold of your card when travelling.
A lot of freedom from interest plus peace of mind for $30 p.a. per year
So, what do you get for paying this card’s very low $30 p.a. annual fee? First of all, you’ll get a supplementary card free of charge. Then you’ll get the interest-free balance transfer option. And every year you can experience the extra security of a purchase protection insurance policy, the convenience of a digital wallet, and the confidence of using your card without worrying about fraud because both NAB and Visa are taking care of that situation.
Competing low fee cards
There are other low annual fee cards with comparable benefits.
Although they have other redeeming features, neither of these cards has complimentary purchase protection insurance.
Ticks most boxes for a low annual cost
The NAB Low Fee Card would make a great starter card for anyone embarking on their financial life – perhaps a student or someone in their first full-time employment. It costs very little, does everything expected of an up-to-date card, and unlike some 'no-fee’ cards it provides a few extra benefits to give you the feel of what a credit card can do for you beyond handling everyday transactions.
You could test the water with this basic card without making a major cost commitment, before upgrading to a more expensive card with additional features such as broader insurance cover or even rewards points. On the other hand, you may decide to stick with the NAB Low Fee Card because it more than justifies its low cost, without the need for any further complications.
Important information *Offer commences 1 June 2017. For approved applicants who apply for a new NAB Low Fee Card by 1 October 2017. The balance transfer interest rate will apply for a 16 month statement period from account opening. After the 16 month period, any unpaid balance transfers will attract the standard cash advance rate (currently 21.74% p.a. as at 1 June 2017). Interest rates are subject to change and available at nab.com.au.
Special promotion balance transfer must be applied for at the point of full card application. The one off balance transfer fee of 2% is calculated on the amount transferred and is charged to your NAB credit card account when your balance transfer is processed. Interest free days on purchases do not apply while you have a balance transfer. Minimum monthly repayments must be made by the due date each month. Offer is not available when closing/transferring from another NAB credit card account or in conjunction with any other NAB credit card offer.
^ After 6 months, any unpaid balance transfers will attract the standard cash advance rate (currently 21.74%p.a as at 1 June 2017). Interest rates are subject to change and available at nab.com.au. Interest free days on purchases do not apply while you have a balance transfer. Minimum monthly repayments must be made by the due date each month. The one off balance transfer fee of 2% is calculated on the amount transferred and is charged to your NAB credit card account when your balance transfer is processed. Standard balance transfer rate and term may be varied or withdrawn at any time. Not available in conjunction with the Balance transfer Special offer.
1. Interest free days on purchases applies if you pay your account in full by the due date each month. You won’t receive interest free days on purchases if you have a balance transfer.
2. A qualifying purchase is required to get the benefits of the complimentary insurance. Terms, conditions and exclusions of the complimentary insurances are specified in the NAB Card Insurance Policy Information booklet (PDF, 391KB) and in the NAB Purchase Protection Insurance Policy Information Booklet (PDF, 924KB) and may be amended. The complimentary insurances are issued by QBE Insurance (Australia) Limited ABN 78 003 191 035 to NAB. Access to the benefit of cover under the NAB card insurances is provided to eligible NAB cardholders by operation of s48 of the Insurance Contracts Act 1984 (Cth).
Credit Card Terms and conditions available here. Fees and charges are payable. Approval and credit limit is subject to NAB’s credit assessment criteria. Information, including interest rates and fees subject to change. Correct as at 1 June 2017 and subject to change. ©2017 National Australia Bank Limited ABN 12 004 044 937 AFSL and Australian Credit Licence 230686.
I had previously obtained this card because I have been through NAB for a number of years, and it was offered. At first I was questioning whether or not I wanted a credit card, because we all know they can be tricky little things to have. I researched and researched I weighed up pros and cons (not that there were many) and decided I’d give it a go.
It was my first credit card, and I could not have been happier. NAB has been such a blessing to deal with — friendly staff that offer to help as much as possible, they talk to you like a person and not just a customer. They help you find what product is best suited for your needs. I recommend NAB to everyone I know. However, since obtaining this card I have paid the outstanding balance and requested it to be closed, because I was always finding it too tempting to buy the latest technology, or the little decor touches that make a house feel like home. Things that were unimportant and I didn’t need them.
Got to love a bank that doesn’t keep its customers waiting. It’s a great card with no frills, just a low rate. I would recommend the NAB, and this card is definitely worth looking into getting, simply due to the low fees they charge compared to other cards and banks. Service is great too.
It’s never failed to satisfy me. I always need it and it’s very convenient to use. I have had to use this card to buy Christmas presents online, as well as for upcoming Boxing Day sales and birthdays. They always seem to be clumped at the start of the year for me, so it would usually be a struggle without it.
This isn’t a credit card packed full of rewards but it has one HUGE thing going for it — a 12 month (or more) interest-free period! Thanks to the interest-free period I was able to consolidate my debts and pay them all off within the year, without paying a cent of interest. If you can be strict with yourself and need to make a large one-off purchase or consolidate debts, then this card is as good as an interest-free loan.
Remember though, this is not free money. After 12 months the normal interest rate applies, so if you have reached your limit and paid nothing off you will feel it. This is a great card for those putting a plan in place for their budget.
The customer service team is good and always ready to help. It’s a good, reliable card and I have never had issues. There are no hidden costs and charges and it’s a great online banking system which is user-friendly.
NAB has an always-accessible customer service team ready to assist over the phone and online. I would recommend this card, but more importantly, NAB customer service is outstanding .
This card is easy to work with and makes transferring and receiving money easy, especially through the NAB app. The card is also PayPass enabled, making it easy to pay for things on the go and making shopping easy.
The card and account are very secure and transactions can easily be monitored and viewed.
This was my first credit card with my major bank. I have had no troubles with them over the years and fees and charges remain competitive and low. Linking to my main bank account makes keeping on top of everything easy.
They have also offered exceptional Australian-based customer service when issues have come up. I have never been left feeling like I was not a valued customer.
I would not go with any other bank. These guys always keep me informed about interest rates, etc. I love my NAB credit card.
I got nine months interest free, and the interest is still low.
I have this card for things that pop up that I might not think about, like fixing my spare tyre and booking a trip home really quickly. Credit cards are wicked.
I would tell my friends about this for sure — well, actually I do.
The credit card is great for using online, or when there’s a bargain and pay day is too far away.
It’s also good for when something breaks and needs to be repaired or replaced in a hurry, for example your fridge or freezer, which has actually happened to me. So having this card in my purse can be a life saver at times.
It’s easy to use, monthly repayments are in the middle range between high and low, and it has a low interest rate. I have this card because it comes in handy in case of emergencies or if anything unexpected happens. I don’t generally carry cash on me unless i know i am buying something.
i would recommend NAB to everyone as I always get great customer service.
|Interest rate||Period||Fee||Limit||Revert rate|
|Balance transfers||0% p.a.||16 months||2%||90% of credit limit||21.74% p.a.|
You can't balance transfer to the NAB Low Fee Card at the promotional balance transfer rate from:
|Interest rate||Period||Fee||Limit||Revert rate|
|Balance transfers||0% p.a.||16 months||2%||90% of credit limit||21.74% p.a.|
|Cash advances||1.81%||21.74% p.a.|
Valuation based on the assumption of making a $200 claim once every 5 years. There is no retail market for this type of insurance, so no premium saving.
|Total estimated value||$40|
|Net customer value||$10|