By Maria Bekiaris,
, August 2010
You might have heard of a home loan package where you get a rate discount on your mortgage, a range of fees waived and a host of other benefits all for one annual fee. ANZ’s new "Extras Package" has taken this concept and applied it to transactions accounts.
For a monthly fee of $18 customers get an everyday account with Visa debit access (normally $5 a month), an ANZ First Visa credit card with no annual fee (normally $30 a year, equivalent to $2.50 a month), an ANZ Assured credit facility up to $1000, with the monthly credit facility fee waived (normally $5 a month) and bonus 0.20%pa interest on the Online Saver (currently 4.50%pa).
There’s a range of other non-banking benefits including roadside assistance, mobile phone insurance, domestic travel insurance, and discounted shopping, wine and gifts.
The extras could be worth your while – if you regularly use them anyway. If you’re only interested in the banking component you can probably find other ways to get similar benefits. Several institutions offer fee-free every-day accounts or will waive the monthly fee if you deposit a certain amount each month.
A number of credit cards charge no annual fee – for example the Bankwest Zero MasterCard, the HSBC Credit Card and the GE Money Coles Source MasterCard, all of which have interest-free days and a similar or lower rate. You could use the credit card as an alternative to the “assured credit facility” which essentially is an overdraft. You just have to keep an eye on your spending. You could do a lot better than 4.70%pa on your savings. RaboDirect offers 6.40%pa. It might include a 1.40%pa bonus, but the 5% base rate still beats ANZ’s 4.70% including bonus.
At first glance it looks like your $18 a month, or $216 a year, is getting you a heck of a lot, but you really need to look at how many of the services you’ll actually use. If you only like the banking benefits you’ll actually be behind because those fees only add up to $12.50 a month! If you normally have roadside assistance, which ANZ estimates would normally cost $7.50 a month, adding that will see you $2 ahead. So doing your sums is vital. A calculator on the ANZ website can help you work out potential savings.
For more on insurance check out the August issue of Money
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