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Westpac 55 Day Credit Card

My rate: 
17%
 
My annual fee: 
$90
 
Transfer: 
$5,000
 
From: 
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card features
balance transfer
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Westpac 55 Day Credit Card
APPLY BY 20 apr 17
52 reviews
Cheap credit card from Westpac with no annual fee to pay for the first year (a $30 saving).
Up to 55 days interest-free on purchases when you pay the full closing balance by the statement due date.
0% p.a. on balance transfer for 12 months.
Add to comparison
12 months
0% p.a.
then 19.84%
6 months
0% p.a.
then 19.84%
$0
1st year
then $30

Pros & cons

What's good?

What's not so good?

Simple credit card with $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year and $30 p.a. annual fee in subsequent years, when you spend $5,000 or more on purchases in the previous year using your card.
0% p.a. for 6 months on purchases.
Long balance transfer time period with no extra balance transfer fee.
The 55 day interest-free period on purchases so long as you pay the full closing balance, including any balance transfer or promotional amount, by the statement due date each month.
Visa payWave for faster checkout times.
No rewards program.

Review

Our review of the Westpac 55 Day Credit Card

How do you recognise a very basic credit card which will nevertheless be functional, easy to manage, and will cost you little or even nothing? When a card like the Westpac 55 Day Credit Card is so short of fancy (and often overpriced) features that it becomes necessary to promote it with a reminder about the 55 days of credit allowed every month.

However, Westpac could just as accurately have called it the ‘Balance Transfer Credit Card’ (because there’s a useful and lengthy zero-interest offer), the ‘Introductory Low Purchase Rate Credit Card’ (referring to the option to defer purchase repayments for 6 months and pay only 0% p.a.), or the ‘No Annual Fee Option Credit Card’ (since it’s relatively easy to avoid paying an annual fee, year after year).

What’s so special about ‘Up to 55 days on purchases’?

The monthly interest-free days attached to a credit card are the number of days that are allowed to elapse between a purchase transaction and the date a cardholder has to pay for the purchase in order to avoid incurring interest charges. In this case, purchases made on the first day of the statement cycle won’t be due for payment until ‘Up to 55 days on purchases’ later, while purchases made on the last day of the cycle will start incurring interest around 25 days later, unless full payment of the account closing balance is made.

All credit cards have a number of regular, interest-free days, otherwise they would be not a credit card but a debit card. But before you dismiss these Up to 55 days on purchases as nothing more than you would expect, take a look at the reality. Not every card comes with this many interest-free days. Many cards come with only 44 interest-free days, and while a very few have more than 55 (Coles cards, for example, with up to 62 days), 55 is near the top of the scale.

Don’t discount the value of the extra 11 days

The 11 extra days of credit each month (when compared with a 44-day card) add up to a sizeable 132 days each year. If your average monthly closing purchase balance is, say, $2,000, that’s an extra 132 days that your $2,000 can stay in the bank, earning interest or reducing your mortgage balance in an offset account. The earning or saving doesn’t amount to much in a low-interest environment (about $22 in a 3% p.a. savings account or $36 in a 5% p.a. mortgage offset account) but it’s still better in your pocket than the bank’s, and interest rates will inevitably rise one day.

Higher-fee cards often have fewer interest-free days

Many much more expensive credit cards, including Westpac’s own prestige cards (the Altitude range, with annual fees ranging from $100 to $395) actually come with a lower number of interest-free days. Westpac Altitude cards have ‘up to 45 days’ interest free. So Westpac is probably justified in putting the 55 interest-free days at the forefront of this low-fee (or no-fee) card’s features.

0% p.a. interest on balance transfers for 12 months

If you still think the Up to 55 days on purchases are a big yawn, how about a balance transfer where the interest rate sits at 0% p.a. for 12 months? There are serious savings to be made here, particularly if you have a large balance you are struggling to clear from one or more existing high-interest cards.

Suppose you have a $5,000 balance on a card where you are paying 20% p.a. in interest, and you can currently only afford the 2% minimum monthly repayments. At the end of the first month your repayment amount will be $102, but this will hardly reduce your balance because you will have been charged $83 in interest, leaving only $19 to be applied to reducing the balance owing. Although the balance will decline slightly each month, at the end of 12 months you will still owe $4,715, and you will have paid $1,297 in interest.

Contrast this with the situation where you instead transfer your $5,000 balance to the Westpac 55 Day Credit Card. Your first minimum monthly repayment will be $100, and every cent of it will be applied to reducing the balance because there is no interest charge (and, importantly, no upfront balance transfer fee either). If you maintain that $100 monthly repayment, you will reduce your debt to $3,400 after 12 months. Sticking to just the minimum 2% repayment would see the debt decline to $3,619 in the same period. Either way, you save $1,297 and you’re much closer to your goal of being debt-free.

Don’t choose this card for the ongoing interest rates

If you possibly can, strive to repay the transferred balance in full during this interest-free period, because the revert rate is a seriously unpleasant 19.84% p.a.. This is the ongoing purchase interest rate, and the cash advance rate is, as usual, even higher – 21.29% p.a.. Although these are not unusual rates in the world of credit cards, there are cards available which have much lower rates.

Choosing a credit card for its low interest rates is in fact a bad idea. The best way to use a credit card is to take full advantage of the interest-free days each month, pay off the full balance at each due date, and never pay a cent in interest. But if you think it’s likely that you will fail to do this on a regular basis, don’t choose this card. Pick one with a lower purchase interest rate, like its stablemate the Westpac Low Rate Credit Card (13.49% p.a.).

You can still use the card for purchases if you make a balance transfer

Normally, taking up a 0% p.a. -interest balance transfer option means that you can’t use the card for purchases until the balance is paid off. This is not because purchases are blocked, but because you’ll forfeit the monthly interest-free days as a result of having an unpaid balance transfer.

But in this case the lack of monthly interest-free days doesn’t matter all that much, at least not for the first 6 months. That’s because there’s an optional introductory interest rate of 0% p.a. on purchases that lasts for a year. Without this offer, any purchases made while there was an unpaid balance transfer would have interest of 19.84% p.a. applied to them, from the purchase date until the day you made a repayment to clear them. However, with this offer in place, a rate of only 1% p.a. is applied to purchases whenever there is an unpaid balance transfer or overdue purchase balance. You could leave your cash in the bank and earn slightly more interest than you would pay on your credit card.

Take note of the fact that the low purchase interest rate expires four months earlier than the zero balance transfer rate. A rate of 19.84% p.a. will apply to any purchases made from the beginning of month 13 to the end of month 16, if you still have an unpaid balance transfer. During this period, use another card for purchases, or use cash, to avoid paying interest of 19.84% p.a. applied from each purchase transaction date.

Westpac will pay for your first Uber ride

You can try out Uber for free – Westpac’s treat. Create a new Uber account, enter the promo code ‘westpac25’, download the Uber app, and get up to $25 off your first ride.

Low annual fee – or no fee at all

While the ongoing annual fee for this card is $30 p.a. (with no extra charge for a supplementary card), there’s no reason why you should ever have to pay it.

The fee is automatically waived in the first year, which makes the card very attractive if you want to try it for size. You’ll also pay no fee in any subsequent year in which you make $5,000 of purchases with the card. Given that you’ll need a minimum income of $15,000 to qualify for the card, and that the minimum credit limit is $500, it shouldn’t be too hard to spend an average of $416 per month in order to avoid the annual fee.

No stinting on technology

Although this is a basic, low-fee card, the inbuilt technology is just as up-to-date as it is for Westpac’s expensive prestige cards:

  • Embedded microchip for extra security
  • Visa payWave enabled so that you can sail through the checkout without using your PIN for transactions under $100
  • Contactless payments can be made with your smartphone (iPhone with iOS 7.0 or above, Android with Android 4.0.3 or above) after downloading the latest Westpac Mobile Banking app.
  • There’s an optional fingerprint sign-in to mobile banking

No skimping on security

The card’s state-of-the-art security features, called Cardshield, go way beyond the embedded microchip:

  • Westpac’s 24/7 Fraud Protection Service will contact you if any suspicious card activity is detected
  • All mobile payments are backed by a Fraud Money Back Guarantee
  • You can choose to enter a password for mobile payments if you prefer, or disable mobile payments at any time
  • If you temporarily misplace your card, you can lock it for up to 15 days using the Westpac Mobile Banking app
  • ‘Buy anything you like, on any website’, says Westpac, because their Online Transaction Security Guarantee means that you will not be liable for the amount of any fraudulent online transaction promptly notified to them
  • Westpac Added Online Security Service accesses the one-time SMS password system of ‘Verified by Visa’ at participating online retailers
  • Optional credit card repayment protection – you can choose to pay a monthly premium (an amount equivalent to 0.52% of your account’s closing balance, i.e. 52 cents per $100) to cover your repayments if you lose your job, or are unfit for work as a result of illness or injury

Compare other basic cards

If you’re in the market for a straightforward card like this one, essentially free to keep in your wallet, and unencumbered by expensive rewards points programs or complimentary insurance, there’s plenty of choice. Take a look at these other cards before you decide:

  • ME frank Credit Card: $0 p.a. annual fee, very low purchase and cash advance interest rates (for a credit card)
  • Virgin Money No Annual Fee Credit Card: $0 p.a. annual fee, $100 cashback, Up to 44 days on purchases.
  • Bank of Melbourne No Annual Fee Card: $0 p.a. annual fee, introductory purchase interest rate of 0% p.a. for 12 months, but very high ongoing interest rate

Or, if you’re happy to receive complimentary benefits and loyalty points which will cost you nothing:

  • The American Express Essential® Credit Card: $0 p.a. annual fee, rewards points, shopper’s insurance, $50 cashback, low purchase interest rate

However, you might choose the Westpac 55 Day Credit Card because . . .

  • There’s a long zero-interest balance transfer offer
  • There’s a 1% introductory rate on purchases
  • It can be a ‘no annual fee’ card, even after the first year
  • 55 days interest free has to be better than 44 days
  • It has all the hi-tech and robust security bells and whistles, despite being a ‘basic’ card
  • There are no complications with rewards points or complimentary insurance
  • It’s a good starter card, with a low minimum credit limit and low income requirement

Does some of this sound like you? It costs nothing to give it a try, and it could suit you for many years to come.

User reviews

3.5 out of 5.0 based on 52 reviews79% of reviewers would recommend this card.

Rates and fees
Rewards
Customer service
Convenience
Trust
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed about credit cards are the reviewer's alone, and do not reflect the views of Credit Card Compare or the credit card issuer. Reviews have not been approved or otherwise endorsed by Credit Card Compare.

Very high interest

Reviewed and not recommended by Liz on 07 Jan 2017

I keep this card for convenience only. It has extremely high interest rates and when I lost it in Bangkok the service to cancel it was appalling — no one seemed to be able to help me and the delay to cancel it was totally unacceptable. I replaced it because I bank with Westpac and my home loan is with them, not because I think it’s a good card.

Cheap card, but very slow payment processing

Reviewed and not recommended by Nat on 05 Dec 2016

There are no yearly fees, so that is the main reason I have this card. Everything else is standard, but having no rewards makes it very limiting and I am considering changing cards.

I pay into it online, where payment can be delayed for up to seven days, which in this day and age is unbelievable.

Good deal if you're happy to play the game

Reviewed and recommended by Catherine on 04 Dec 2016

We changed credit card providers so we could take advantage of an 18 months interest-free period, and this has suited our family perfectly. If we need to, we’ll change providers again once the 18 months are up. You might as well take the banks up on these interest-free offers, and as our banking is with Westpac it was a convenient change.

No points, so looking for a rewards card

Reviewed and recommended by Daniel on 03 Dec 2016

I will probably continue with this credit card as a back-up, but, as I cannot earn points on it, I will probably apply for another where I can.

I like Westpac’s online service that allows me to pay off my credit card through my main account without much fuss. It always feels secure, even travelling overseas, and as long as I notify Westpac I’ll be out of the country, I never have trouble with my credit card being frozen.

Customer service is fine. Fees are a little steep, in my opinion.

A good backup for travelling

Reviewed and not recommended by Alex on 30 Nov 2016

I got this card when I was travelling overseas, to use as a backup in case I found myself in the situation where I had no cash. I’m glad I had it.

Repayments aren’t too bad, but the interest does get quite large once that 55-day period is over, and that can be a bit of a pain to pay off.

55 days interest free is great if you pay on time

Reviewed and recommended by Lisa on 05 Nov 2016

This was the first credit card I ever had and I have always stuck with it, as I have always banked with Westpac. It has a 55 day interest-free period, which is excellent as long as you can pay off your closing balance in that time frame.

However, the interest rate is not the best — there are definitely other cards out there with better interest rates. This card also has no rewards program, but that doesn’t interest me anyway.

Another benefit is that it only has a $30 annual card fee, which is really quite low. And I feel that Westpac have very good security features, so that is an upside for me.

All in all, it’s a pretty simple card with no real rewards, but I think it’s quite good, especially for people who are strict on paying their closing balance on time.

Use this card to go on holidays

Reviewed and not recommended by Jo Anne on 23 Oct 2016

Westpac are great at helping their customers. Westpac works with your needs. I enjoy using my card and put money back on my card to save for an annual holiday with my family and friends. Westpac has helped me out in many ways. They are great people for all your needs.

Balance transfer, best decision I made.

Reviewed and recommended by Peter on 23 Oct 2016

After buying my first home, I worked up my credit card bill and had too many expenses. I was conveniently able to balance transfer my then current credit card over to Westpac and have saved thousands in annual interest. There is heaps of market competition with low rates, but Westpac’s ease and service are the winners.

Good interest rates, easy to use

Reviewed and recommended by Ash on 22 Oct 2016

Love it, great card! I have been with a variety of banks and Westpac is definitely my favourite. I have had it for a few years now and have never had any issues.

Interest rates are good and I love how easy it is to use. Thank you Westpac for creating such a great card!

Helps me with my budget

Reviewed and recommended by Claire on 14 Oct 2016

I’m almost positive this card will improve my financial lifestyle in an affordable way. Material things aren’t the most important thing in life I know, but whoever said money can’t buy happiness was wrong. My credit card will mean I don’t need to worry about irregular bills, needed groceries at the end of the pay week and random purchases, since all will be affordable and manageable to repay.

Show 42 more reviews

Basic details

About this card

Card setup
Single
Card tier
Standard
Card type
Visa
Card use
Personal
Credit rating
Any
Gambling transactions allowed
No
Joint application
Yes
Minimum age
18 years old
Minimum income
$15,000
Minimum income for pensioners
Same as standard
Pensioners
Rewards program
None
Temporary residents
Yes

Cardholders

Additional cardholders
1
Additional card fee
$0 p.a.

Credit limits

Minimum credit limit
$500
Maximum credit limit
$30,000

Repayments

Interest charged from
Purchase date
Interest free period
Up to 55 days on purchases
Minimum repayment
2%

Balance transfers

The offer

Interest ratePeriodFeeLimitRevert rate
Balance transfers0% p.a.12 months0%95% of credit limit19.84% p.a.

Balance transfers to this card

Balance transfer earns rewards
No
Balance transfer fee payment due
First statement
Balance transfer from personal loan
No
Balance transfer processing time
10 - 14 days
Interest free days with unpaid balance
0 days
Maximum balance transfer
95% of credit limit
Available to existing customers
No

Banks you can't balance transfer from

You can't balance transfer to the Westpac 55 Day Credit Card at the promotional balance transfer rate from:

  • Bank of Melbourne
  • Bank SA
  • St.George
  • Westpac

Rates & fees

Promotional interest rates

Interest ratePeriodFeeLimitRevert rate
Balance transfers0% p.a.12 months0%95% of credit limit 19.84% p.a.
Purchases0% p.a.6 monthsN/AN/A 19.84% p.a.

Ongoing interest rates

MonthlyAnnually
Cash advances 1.77% 21.29% p.a.
Purchases 1.65% 19.84% p.a.

Fees

Annual fee
$0 p.a.
Annual fee 2nd year
$30 p.a.
Cash advance fee
2%
Dishonour fee
$9
Duplicate statement fee
$7.50
Foreign exchange fee
3%
Late payment fee
$15
Over limit fee
$15
Overseas ATM balance fee
$0
Overseas ATM withdrawal fee
$2.5
Overseas emergency card replacement fee
$0
Transaction verification fee
$0

Minimum criteria for this card

What you need before applying

Be over 18 years old
You are a resident or citizen of Australia
Earn a regular income of more than $15,000 per year
You have your personal details ready to complete the online application
Have not applied for multiple credit cards recently
Joint applications are allowed
Temporary residents are eligible
Age Pension, Disability Pension, Veteran's Pension and Widower's Pension are acceptable.
Overseas Pension is not acceptable.
Austudy, Child Support Payments, Family Tax Benefits and Parenting Payments, Foster Care Allowance and Youth Allowance are acceptable.
Carer's Allowance is not acceptable.
Disclaimer: The minimum criteria pointers are intended only to be a guide. Your application may still be rejected by the bank even if you can answer 'Yes' to all the minimum criteria. The final decision regarding your application is up to the bank.

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