I NEED A NEW CREDIT CARD - HELP ME | Australian Frequent Flyer
Australian Frequent Flyer

Welcome to Australia's leading independent Frequent Flyer and Travel Resource since 1998!
Our site contains tons of information that will improve your travel experience.

Joining AFF is fast, simple & absolutely free - register now and take immediate advantage of these great BENEFITS.

Once registered, this box will disappear. And you will see fewer advertisements :)

I NEED A NEW CREDIT CARD - HELP ME

Status
Not open for further replies.

Julie Williams

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2005
Messages
17
Hi Everyone

Can you help me!!!!

- We travel a lot for business and pleasure.
- We have our own Tour Company and pay all aspects of tours and business on credit card - domestic and international.
- We keep several cards as we have had the misfortune of cards not working or being away on the due date and balances not paid in time. (No fun being stuck at Eiffel Tower with $5.00 to your name in cash!!!)
- Currently have (between my husband - partner) the following cards and want to cut down for the best benefits.

1 x Amex
2 x ANZ Gold Visa (upgraded one from Blue to get higher capping)
1 x HSBC Visa
1 x Gold CBA Visa
1 x Silver CBA Visa
1 x Coles Myer Mastercard

- Combined Credit Card Limit - approx $100,000.
- Combined spending a year appriximately $400,000 a year
- We are are both Gold Qantas Frequent Flyers and redeem a lot of points for flights.
- Biggest expenses are fuel (for coaches), accommodation, Qantas flights, Telstra bills (land/fax/broadband/mobiles/foxtel), groceries.
- Changed from Mobil to Shell when ANZ / Mobil 7 points per dollar disappeared.
- Groceries mainly at Coles for Flybuys (and convenience)
- Travel products mostly through Travelworld / Qantas.
- Direct bookings normally to accommodation
- Try to pay balance at the end of each month but due to some big expenses the past 12 months have not done so every month.
- Like to Amex as it can list each card holders expenses separately - so each employees fuel expenses can be tallied and kept and eye on.

Has anyone got a suggestion on what the best reward deal is for us and best value for money cards there are.

And yes I know we need to cut done on the cards and raise the limit on the new ones to keep the anual fees down!!!!

Julie
 

NM

Enthusiast
Moderator
Joined
Aug 27, 2004
Messages
15,812
Qantas
LT Gold
Virgin
Red
Flights
My Map
Make sure you Amex is a Rewards Maximiser card and get 1.5 points per A$ spent. Can be used for most of the major things you mention, with the exception of many utilities, so keep a Visa or Mastercard for those.

I have also found Amex to have a better foriegn exchange rate than Visa and Mastercard, so it is good for overseas use.

For overseas cash advances I use a Citibank ReadiCredit card and pre-pay funds into it so I don't pay any interest. Well accepted in ATM's particularly in the USA (when I do most of my overseas travel) and no fees. Also comes with a free cheque book for the times I need to write a cheque. And if you apply now you get 4000 QF FF points (I joined just before that offer :evil: ).
 

aasz1978

Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2005
Messages
126
NM said:
I have also found Amex to have a better foriegn exchange rate than Visa and Mastercard, so it is good for overseas use.

For overseas cash advances I use a Citibank ReadiCredit card and pre-pay funds into it so I don't pay any interest. Well accepted in ATM's particularly in the USA (when I do most of my overseas travel) and no fees. Also comes with a free cheque book for the times I need to write a cheque. And if you apply now you get 4000 QF FF points (I joined just before that offer :evil: ).
I beg to differ on that account. I found AMEX is the worst credit card to spend on Non-Australian purchases because of three reason. One, their FX Conversion rate is 2.7%. Two, the last time I used them for FX purchases, they gave me about USD 2c to 2.50c less per dollar Australian thus if the NAB FX rate is 76.66 they would give as low as 74.00 and that excludes the 2.7%. And three, they delay posting transaction for up to 10 days and if somewhere within those 10 days there are bad FX rates, they'll apply that to you.

Take it from me. I import US product frequently and sometimes importing Japanese products as well. AMEX is crap.

Your suggestion on CitiReady Card may worth considering however.... :)
 

NM

Enthusiast
Moderator
Joined
Aug 27, 2004
Messages
15,812
Qantas
LT Gold
Virgin
Red
Flights
My Map
My personal experience with using Amex and Comm Bank Visa in several countries is that on the same day my transactions on Amex have been consistently processed at an exchange rate more favourable to me than the transactions on the CBA Visa.

I am not being charged 2.7% by Amex. Perhaps it is different for the Charge Card compared with Credit Card, or perhaps different rates for corporate cards to personal credit cards.

By way of qualitative example, a recent transaction of US$46.50 shows on my current Amex statement as A$61.66. That is an exchange rate of 75.41356 by my maths. On the day the transaction was processed, the A$ exchange rate according to finance.news.com.au was 76.91 at the close of the day. So again, my maths indicates I was charged somewhat less than 2.7%, and more like 1.5% which I find very acceptable and generally better than I have experience on Visa card transactions.
 

NM

Enthusiast
Moderator
Joined
Aug 27, 2004
Messages
15,812
Qantas
LT Gold
Virgin
Red
Flights
My Map
aasz1978 said:
And three, they delay posting transaction for up to 10 days and if somewhere within those 10 days there are bad FX rates, they'll apply that to you.
Again, my personal practical experience differs from yours. My transactions have ALWAYS posted within 24 hours of the transaction being processed by the merchant, and the exchange rate used has always been approx 1.5% less than the official exchange rate of that day.

So while I find the Amex card to provide good exchange rate and timely processing, I will continue to collect the 1,5 points per dollar I spend, and retain the Visa card for those places that will not accept Amex.
 

Nutcase

Active Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2005
Messages
519
This is an interesting question.

Your best bet would be to see if you can get a US$ Business card from AMEX and Visa in the USA. This would avoid FX spread losses (about 2-2.5%)

Alternatively you may want to think about AMEX as your primary card. Even Platinum charge card would be alright as you have no pre set spending limit and 1.5 points per $ up tp $200,000 per year the 1 point per dollar.

A CBA or Citibank Visa Platium with a high credit limit would also be OK as back up. (CBA is best as there is no points cap). They offer limits up to $100.000

Also, keep in mind the working capital impacts of using a card with a credit limit (rewards maximiser) as you are limitied to AUD $25,000 unless you top it up with cash. This may have a negative impact for you and defeat the purpose of using a card in the first place.

The best option is:

AMEX (Platinum or rewards Max) for as much as you can

AND

CBA/Citi Platinum Visa with $100k limit.

Also, you need to pay your bills on time so organise an automatic payment with your respective institutions especialy if you are going to spend this much money. You will scare bankers if you dont.
 

serfty

Veteran Member
Moderator
Joined
Nov 16, 2004
Messages
40,792
Qantas
Platinum
Virgin
Platinum
Flights
My Map
aasz1978 said:
... And ... they delay posting transaction for up to 10 days and if somewhere within those 10 days there are bad FX rates, they'll apply that to you. ...
I use an Amex Qantas Business (charge) card and I can tell you that, except for one supplier, all transactions generally post by the next day (if enacted before about 6pm); this includes weekends and public holidays. The ONLY transactions that do not do this are QANTAS purchases which can take 7-21 days to appear (generally 12!).
 

NM

Enthusiast
Moderator
Joined
Aug 27, 2004
Messages
15,812
Qantas
LT Gold
Virgin
Red
Flights
My Map
serfty said:
aasz1978 said:
... And ... they delay posting transaction for up to 10 days and if somewhere within those 10 days there are bad FX rates, they'll apply that to you. ...
I use an Amex Qantas Business (charge) card and I can tell you that, except for one supplier, all transactions generally post by the next day (if enacted before about 6pm); this includes weekends and public holidays. The ONLY transactions that do not do this are QANTAS purchases which can take 7-21 days to appear (generally 12!).
That implies to me that the delay is due to the merchant and not the credit provider. Maybe they process internally and then batch bill Amex on a regular cycle.
 

wleong

Intern
Joined
Jan 26, 2003
Messages
87
Flights
My Map
Reading some of the comments about exchange rates being unfavourable, I thought I point out the conditions from the CBA credit card conditions of use. Depending on the card you use and the currency involved, your transaction is converted more than once. For example HKD - USD - AUD.




17. Foreign currency transactions top

You are liable for the Australian dollar equivalent of the amount of purchases you make, permitted transactions you authorise and cash advances you obtain overseas on your card account. Each card scheme has its own method of converting foreign currency into Australian dollars. Exchange rates can fluctuate under any of the methods of conversion, until the time we debit your card account with the amount of the transaction converted into Australian dollars.

Bankcard

The New Zealand bank which processes a transaction in New Zealand dollars on your card account converts New Zealand dollars into Australian dollar equivalents on the day the bank processes the transaction in New Zealand. We debit your card account with that Australian dollar equivalent.

MasterCard

Purchases, permitted transactions and cash advances in United States dollars are converted into Australian dollar equivalents at the rates set by MasterCard International Incorporated (MCI) on the day MCI processes the purchases, permitted transactions or cash advances. We debit your card account with that Australian dollar equivalent.

Purchases, permitted transactions and cash advances made in currencies other than United States dollars are converted into United States dollar equivalents at rates set by MCI on the day the purchases, permitted transactions or cash advances are processed in the United States by MCI and then further converted into Australian dollar equivalents at the rates set by MCI on the day purchases, permitted transactions or cash advances are processed by MCI. We debit your card account with that Australian dollar equivalent.

Visa

Visa International (Visa) converts purchases, permitted transactions and cash advances in foreign currencies into Australian dollar equivalents at the rates set by Visa on the day Visa processes the purchases, permitted transactions or cash advances. We debit your card account with that Australian dollar equivalent.
 

NM

Enthusiast
Moderator
Joined
Aug 27, 2004
Messages
15,812
Qantas
LT Gold
Virgin
Red
Flights
My Map
wleong said:
Reading some of the comments about exchange rates being unfavourable, I thought I point out the conditions from the CBA credit card conditions of use. Depending on the card you use and the currency involved, your transaction is converted more than once. For example HKD - USD - AUD.
Yes, they may be "converted" twice, but the "commission" is only added once, not twice. The commission remains a percentage of the transaction amount.
 

aasz1978

Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2005
Messages
126
It is commonly known that with MasterCard (MC), any non-AUD purchases will be converted to USD then to the destination currency if not USD. Theoritically, this means people are ripped off twice as each conversion contains a margin albeit small. In my experience however, the final conversion factor (that is, the conversion b/w AUD and the final destination currency) was not as bad as I thought.

I know this because I went to Indo the other day and deliberately purchased 2 things with one using VISA and the other using MC.

VISA, however, will usually convert any O/S currency directly to AUD but as you can see below... they're changing the rules again.

"Taken from National Australia Bank Mini Visa Terms and Conditions"
"(c) Visa
Purchases, cash advances, refunds and any other
charges, incurred in currencies other than
Australian dollars are converted to Australian
dollars (directly from United States, Canadian, New
Zealand and Singapore dollars, pounds sterling,
euros and Japanese yen or, if in a currency other
than these currencies, first to United States dollars)
as at the dates they are processed by Visa
International using exchange rates determined
by them. The exchange rates used by Visa
International to convert a foreign currency
transaction to Australian dollars are wholesale
market rates selected by Visa International from
within a range of wholesale rates or the
government–mandated rate, in effect one day
prior to the Visa International Central Processing
Date. The converted Australian dollar amount
appears on your statement of account as the
transaction amount."

So the point is, I don't think using MC and VISA will make a huge difference. They both still ripped you off but if you want to make the most of C/C and their points...

My votes...

Local AUD purchases - CPA AMEX (Free Ann Fee, Free Mem Rewards, 1.5)
Local Non-AMEX purchases - Citibank VISA ($49 ann fee, 1 to 1 points)
USD purchases - CPA Amex (for Freq Fly leeching) or ANZ Rewards Visa (for better rates)
Non-USD purchases - ANZ Rewards Visa

Do not touch HSBC at all. BPAY is cash advance to them.
 

aasz1978

Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2005
Messages
126
Julie Williams said:
1 x HSBC Visa
Anyone who has been reading HSBC updated terms and conditions will realize that BPAY is a Cash Advance meaning paying your Telstra bill will attract the highest interest rate.
 

netaddict

Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2004
Messages
166
aasz1978 said:
Local Non-AMEX purchases - Citibank VISA ($49 ann fee, 1 to 1 points)
Which Citibank card are you refering to? If it's the clear visa one didn't think that had reward points?
 

NM

Enthusiast
Moderator
Joined
Aug 27, 2004
Messages
15,812
Qantas
LT Gold
Virgin
Red
Flights
My Map
Here is the definitive answer to how Amex calculates foreign currency transactions. This is taken directly from my Amex Gold Maximiser on-line statement.
All foreign currency Charges have been converted into Australian Dollars on the date we processed the Charge. Non-U.S. Dollar Charges have been converted through U.S. Dollars, by converting the Charge amount into U.S. Dollars and then by converting that U.S. Dollar amount into Australian Dollars. U.S. Dollar Charges have been converted directly into Australian Dollars.

As agreed, unless a specific rate was required by law, the American Express treasury system has used conversion rates based on interbank rates (selected from customary industry sources) from the business day prior to the processing date, increased by a single conversion commission of 2%. Any Charges converted by third parties prior to being submitted to us have been at rates selected by them.
So the official Amex conversion commission is 2% and the conversion rate used is that of the day prior to the transaction processing date. And even if dual conversions are made (via US$), only one conversion commission is charged.

In my experience, this is no worse than other cards, and is better in some cases.
 

Nutcase

Active Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2005
Messages
519
***DANGER BAD ADVICE***

Local AUD purchases - CPA AMEX (Free Ann Fee, Free Mem Rewards, 1.5)
Local Non-AMEX purchases - Citibank VISA ($49 ann fee, 1 to 1 points)
USD purchases - CPA Amex (for Freq Fly leeching) or ANZ Rewards Visa (for better rates)
Non-USD purchases - ANZ Rewards Visa

Do not touch HSBC at all. BPAY is cash advance to them
I dont think that this advice is sound for the following reasons.

1) The credit limit on the Amex and Visa cards would be grossly inadequate for the charges that will be made which would render them useless and/or seriously impact your working capital by having to pre-fund the cards.
2) CPA AMEX offer is only for CPA's
3) The $49 Citi Card card has no rewards points
4) ANZ Rewards Visa doesnt offer FF points. Go Crazy with Movie vouchers though!!!

And some of your other posts

5) The fee for OS transactions is 2% on Amex personal cards and is negotiable on corporate (usually 2.5%)
6) Visa swap USD, CAN, NZD, USD, GBP DIRECTLY to AUD. Mastercard and AMEX go through USD.
7) Fees on foreign currency transactions vary from Card to card and is determined by the BANK that issues them. EG. Virgin charge 1% and Citi 2.7%
8)Bpay payments (out) are treated as a cash advance by all banks in this way, not just HSBC. If you pay your telsta bill by phone or internet, this is treated as any other transaction.

As stated earlier. The Best option is,

AMEX Platinum/rewards Maximiser (watch the limit)
CBA/Citi Platinum.

Remember that the fees on these cards are a tax deduction if the card is used for business purposes.

aasz1978, At the risk of being contravercial,, So far you have reccomended that Frequent flyers get at NAB Mini Card, and now youre reccomending the above products to this member which are clearly not going to work. Also, your lack of knowledge about banking is remarkable yet you still dish out advice (BPAY as a cash advance only with HSBC for example)

As a banker with over 20 years experience, and having worked for major credit and charge card companies and Banks and also having been involved with Bpay since its inception, Im concerned about the advice that you are gving out.

Do your homework and please stick to what you know.
NC
 

serfty

Veteran Member
Moderator
Joined
Nov 16, 2004
Messages
40,792
Qantas
Platinum
Virgin
Platinum
Flights
My Map
contravercial

That was possibly rather controversial perhaps!
 

aasz1978

Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2005
Messages
126
It's okay to be argumentative

At the risk of being argumentative, I shall put the following rebuttal to Nutcase's case. Following your post, dude you definitely know your stuff. I admit that but I have those cards with the exception of ANZ Rewards but I have the normal ANZ Gold.

So it's pretty heartbreaking to look at the subject (*** Bad Advice ***) but it's okay to be argumentative for the forum's sake.

A)Clearly if you don't have a CPA Amex, go to any Amex that offers points. It's as simple as that even if I didn't actually say it. I have that card.

BTW, I don't know what's your first point is about. Please elaborate...

B)I did a second check and found that I should've put Citibank GOLD Visa Card at the price of $69 (that's how much I've paid for 2005/2006 subs). So I take the bad advice criticism on this one. I also have this card.

C)ANZ Rewards VISA DOES offer FF conversion from their own Rewards point. Problem is the conversion factor isn't 1 to 1. I don't have this card but I have the equivalent ANZ Gold Visa which works the same way as the ANZ Rewards Visa. ANZ Rewards Visa can also be convertible to Krismiles but I don't know the conversion factor. For this one, you are the one who should do your research with all respect.

D)I will check back at my Financial Table for the OS Transaction fees. So expect my other post. Point 6 and 7 of your post are common knowledge.

E)But post 8 is the one that really irritates me. Go and call HSBC yourself and ask them if you pay your utilities bill or any other bill, will it be a Cash Advance (ie: no 55 days, interest charged on day). I had done that calling homework, excuse me. I have that HSBC Gold Visa as well. I also have the flyer that confirms this case. If you get a person who says a different thing, let me know. I will bang his head against the flyer I've got.

But again, I appreciate your argument for the forum's sake but clearly, you're using your 20 yrs exp as a reason to be slightly know-it-all minded.
 

NM

Enthusiast
Moderator
Joined
Aug 27, 2004
Messages
15,812
Qantas
LT Gold
Virgin
Red
Flights
My Map
My BPay Experience

I have only used BPay from my CBA Savings (Streamline) and Visa accounts. I cannot comment on how other banks handle this. But for my CBA Gold Visa, the transaction can be considered as either a credit card purchase OR a cash advance depending on how the biller has setup the BPay facility.

When paying most utility bills using BPay form CBA Gold Visa, the transaction is not treated as a cash advance. No cash advance fee and no interest if paid in full by the Visa card statement date,

BUT, when initiating some BPay transactions using my CBA Gold Visa card, I receive a popup message from CBA NetBanking that says something like this: "The biller will not accept a credit card transaction for this payment. if you continue, this transaction will be treated as a cash advance". This is what you will get if you try to BPay one credit card bill from another Credit Card account! And fair enough too.

In recent times I have paid the following bills from my CBA Gold Visa without being treated as a Cash Advance:
  • Brisbane City Council rates
  • Origin Energy gass
  • Energex electricity

    BPay transactions to Diners Club and Amex to pay those CC accounts are always sourced from my savings account so as not to incur the cash advance fees and interest.
 

aasz1978

Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2005
Messages
126
That is what I was told by ANZ and NAB. They both said that if a BPAY transaction was to be considered a Cash Advance, the Internet Banking would've told me in advance.

But this is HSBC I am talking about. Check this out...

http://www.hsbc.com.au/personal/cards/pdf/visa_terms.pdf

Section 27 (or page 18 in Acrobat)

Also check Section 1 (meaning of words), and look under Cash Advance.

I told them this is crap. If I am using BPAY to pay my credit card account from another of my credit card account. Sure, this is Cash Advance. But if it is to pay bills such as utilities, services, etc, it should be purchases.

Think from the cust perspective, what would it mean to you? If you rake $1000 purchases a month, you'll be slug 18.25% pa or whatever the rates are at day 1.

That is the exact reason why I am dumping that card pretty soon.
 

NM

Enthusiast
Moderator
Joined
Aug 27, 2004
Messages
15,812
Qantas
LT Gold
Virgin
Red
Flights
My Map
The only reasons I use BPay are:
  • to pay my Amex and Diners bills from my savings account
  • to pay other bills that do not accept Amex AND I want to schedule the payment for a later date

If I am just paying immediately with Visa, then I use telephone or internet payment methods, not BPay which is not processed until the following day. But being able to schedule a bill payment for a specific date means I don't have to note in my diary to pay it on or before the day it is due, and I can't forget to pay it.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

AFF on Air Podcast

  • Air Chathams – AIR019
    Sat, 07 Sep 2019 16:41:06 AEST
      With less than two weeks until the upcoming Qantas Frequent Flyer changes, now is the time to make any last-minute Classic Flight Reward bookings! In this episode, Matt cha ...
  • Project Sunrise – AIR018
    Sat, 24 Aug 2019 16:12:31 AEST
      Later this year, Qantas will decide which aircraft it will use to operate non-stop flights from the east coast of Australia to London and New York – a feat it aims to ach ...
  • Choosing a Rewards Program – AIR017
    Sat, 10 Aug 2019 13:32:24 AEST
      If you’re new to the world of frequent flyer points – or moving to a new country – it can be difficult to know where to start. In this episode, Matt discusses the con ...
  • Travel Insurance – AIR016
    Sat, 27 Jul 2019 07:34:12 AEST
      They say that if you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel! In this episode, Matt chats to James Green about the importance of travel insurance, and ...
  • The Qantas Oneworld Award – AIR015
    Sat, 13 Jul 2019 02:07:50 AEST
      Learn how to fly around the world using your Qantas Frequent Flyer points as Matt chats to James Green, an award travel consultant at Frequent Flyer Solutions. This episode ...

Community Statistics

Threads
82,832
Messages
1,920,186
Members
50,511
Latest member
CX913
Top