BankWest Lite credit card

The credit card market today offers the most diverse range of products ever seen in terms of flexibility, diversity of reward programs and other perks and benefits. However, the common feature is still the same - customers who cannot pay their balance in full at the end of the month are penalised heavily.

The BankWest Lite MasterCard challenges the established order by offering Australia's Lowest Ongoing credit card rate, at just 11.79% p.a.

BankWest has stormed to prominence in recent years, moving outside its traditional base in Perth and making the big step to go national. The bank's product strategy is clearly to offer customers an alternative product to most other institutions. In the case of credit cards, most providers today are competing to develop the most glamorous product with the most added features and selling points, so BankWest has taken the no-frills option, providing a low-cost option for the forgotten customers, those who cannot pay their balance in full by the due date.

So just what do BankWest customers get? Well, according to their website, the Lite MasterCard offers Australia's lowest ongoing interest rate, at an almost secured rate of 11.79% p.a. That's less than the major banks will charge for a personal loan! The Lite MasterCard also offers the following benefits:

  • Limited Time 11.79% p.a. on all purchases for the first 12 months
  • Up to 55 days interest free
  • Up to 3 additional cardholders - free
  • Access to your account 24/7 via BankWest Online Banking Plus

It's useful for your typical credit card transactions like buying things, paying direct debits, and paying bills over the phone using BPAY. It does all those things you'd usually associate with a credit card.

The only catches are the annual fee of $59, which seems a little high especially in the absence of a rewards program, and the small print stating that cash advances are subject to an interest rate of 20.49% - hardly Australia's lowest.

Balance transfers are not available with the Lite MasterCard. So if you're looking for a no frills credit card and leave a significant unpaid balance each month, the interest you save with BankWest Lite MasterCard will easily outweigh any jazzy rewards program from the other providers.

Published on July 7-th, 2008 in Credit Cards
Damon Rasheed is the CEO of Rate Detective, an Australian financial service comparison sites specialising in Life Insurance, Income Protection Insurance and home loans. Damon holds a Master's Degree in Economics from the University of Melbourne and has been involved in many start-up internet businesses.

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