Ever since I started reading personal finance blogs, I’ve come to realise that credit is never going to be as cheap in New Zealand as it is elsewhere. (As with food, cars, clothes, technology and pretty much anything else you can think of.)
Default credit card interest rates hover around 20%. You might see balance transfer offers around 5%. Car and personal loans around 10%.
You bloggers in the States, though (and that’s most of you)? I hear tales of 0% loans. 0% balance transfer rates. Cards without annual fees. Plus of course, you have access to so many more kinds of cards, and it’s easy to compare credit cards online.
Interest rates don’t overly fuss me, because I’m not in debt. What would be nice, though, is if there were local cards without annual fees.
I currently have one plain old Visa, and it’s with the bank I’ve banked with all my life. Luckily, it’s a pretty awesome bank with accounts that suit my needs and the single best online banking system available, IMO. It’s ridiculously easy to make instant payments onto it (because I like to pay off purchases right after making them) and the six-monthly fee of $12 is one of the lowest out there.
Recently I was tempted by Air NZ offering no joining fee on its Airpoints programme. (You know travel is number one on my list.) I could sign up for a credit card linked to Airpoints, and earn points on everyday spending.
Thing is, the fee is more than double what I currently pay – $25 every six months. And based on our annual spending, we would be lucky to rack up enough points in a year for a single domestic flight.
Maybe it’s worth it for frequent flyers, who also earn points when they book flights, but for those who are trying to save for travel, it doesn’t sound like such a hot deal.
Tell me, how many credit cards do you have? Anyone out there an Airpoints member?