I NEED A NEW CREDIT CARD - HELP ME

Discussion in 'General Credit Card Discussion' started by Julie Williams, Feb 9, 2005.

  1. Julie Williams

    Julie Williams Junior Member

    Feb 9, 2005
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    Sydney
    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.
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    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
     
  2. NM

    NM
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    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: ).
     
  3. aasz1978

    aasz1978 Member

    Jan 12, 2005
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    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.... :)
     
  4. NM

    NM
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    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.
     
  5. NM

    NM
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    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.
     
  6. Nutcase

    Nutcase Member

    Jan 29, 2005
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    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.
     
  7. serfty

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    Nov 16, 2004
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    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!).
     
  8. NM

    NM
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    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.
     
  9. wleong

    wleong Intern

    Jan 26, 2003
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    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.




     
  10. NM

    NM
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    Yes, they may be "converted" twice, but the "commission" is only added once, not twice. The commission remains a percentage of the transaction amount.
     
  11. aasz1978

    aasz1978 Member

    Jan 12, 2005
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    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.
     
  12. aasz1978

    aasz1978 Member

    Jan 12, 2005
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    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.
     
  13. netaddict

    netaddict Member

    Mar 14, 2004
    164
    4
    Adelaide, Australia
    Which Citibank card are you refering to? If it's the clear visa one didn't think that had reward points?
     
  14. NM

    NM
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    Here is the definitive answer to how Amex calculates foreign currency transactions. This is taken directly from my Amex Gold Maximiser on-line statement.
    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.
     
  15. Nutcase

    Nutcase Member

    Jan 29, 2005
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    ***DANGER BAD ADVICE***

    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
     
  16. serfty

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    contravercial

    That was possibly rather controversial perhaps!
     
  17. aasz1978

    aasz1978 Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    126
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    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.
     
  18. NM

    NM
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    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.
     
  19. aasz1978

    aasz1978 Member

    Jan 12, 2005
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    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.
     
  20. NM

    NM
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    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.
     
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