Credit card perks | Citi Australia
CitiHere’s how the plastic in your pocket can provide you with a stack of additional benefits.
Credit cards are one the most popular methods of payment in Australia, used to cover the cost of everything from a morning coffee to major purchases and regular household bills.
A form of loan known as a credit facility, a credit card allows you to borrow funds, up to a pre-approved credit limit. You’ll receive a credit card statement from your bank or financial institution each month with a minimum monthly repayment – the least amount you’re required to pay without incurring overdue fees.
Putting most, or even all, of your purchases on a credit card can be a great way to manage your money, provided you use it smartly and stay on top of your repayments, says Choong Yu Lum, Executive Cards and Unsecured Lending – Citi Branded Division.
“If you have healthy financial habits, using a credit card can provide significant benefits,” Lum says.
Here are a few of them.
1. Interest-free finance
Most credit cards have an interest free period of up to 55 days. This means that, provided your closing balance is paid in full by the due date, you can spread the cost of your purchases across several weeks. Some card providers also allow you to pay for large purchases in monthly instalments, at a reduced interest rate.
2. Rewards, rewards, rewards
Paying for things on a credit card can earn credits or reward points you can put towards the purchase of goods and services like flights, accommodation and concert tickets. The Citi Premier Qantas credit card, for example, comes with up to 100,000 bonus Qantas points^, which could deliver up to 18 business class upgrades on Qantas domestic routes, depending on the fare and distance travelled.
^Eligibility criteria, terms and conditions apply.
Some card issuers also offer extras like complimentary international travel insurance for flights purchased on your card, or discounts on hotels and holidays.
3. A way to track spending
Taking control of your personal finances starts with tracking your expenses. Paying with a credit card makes this easy: if it’s linked to an app, like the Citi Mobile® App, you’ll have a record of where your money is being spent in the palm of your hand.
That makes it easier to budget for future expenses and identify opportunities to save money.
4. Protection for your purchases
A credit card isn’t just a convenient means of payment; it’s a safe one too. In many circumstances, credit card issuers will reverse the transaction if the goods or services you’ve purchased aren’t delivered as agreed, or if your card has been charged without your knowledge or consent.
5. A healthier credit score
Your credit score, or rating, reflects your borrowing and payment history. It’s used by banks and financial institutions to determine your credit worthiness. This, in turn, helps them decide whether to lend you money, how much you can borrow and the interest rate you’ll pay.
Using your credit card responsibly, and making repayments on time, can help boost your credit score.
“This can make it easier for you to get approval for other forms of finance, such as mortgages or personal loans, when you need them,” Lum says.
6. Access to emergency funds
Unexpected expenses can arise at any time. When they do, you may need immediate access to funds. That’s when a credit card is invaluable.
“It will mean you don’t have the stress of applying for a loan or racing to raise the money in another way,” Lum says.
“Knowing your card is there, on standby for when you need it, is very reassuring. It provides peace of mind that you won’t be caught short if something goes wrong.”
7. Automatic payments
These days, many credit cards come with an autopay feature. This allows you to have your account balance or minimum monthly repayment transferred from your nominated bank account on the due date.
“It’s a great way to ensure you enjoy the benefits of credit card usage without the risk of incurring late payment fees,” Lum says.
Finding the right card for you
Choosing the right credit card allows you to make the most of the benefits on offer.
Citi’s Premier Qantas Card, for example, allows you to earn up to 1 Qantas Point per $1 spent on Eligible Transactions, up to 100,000 Points over a 12 month period and comes with complimentary international travel insurance and mobile phone insurance.^ Cardholders who enrol in the Priority Pass program receive two complimentary airport lounge visits each year^.
The Citi Rewards Card allows you to earn 1 Citi reward Point per $1 spent on Eligible Transactions, up to $10,000 Domestic Spend per statement period with complimentary international travel insurance and mobile phone insurance^, while the Citi Clear Card charges 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 36 months (but reverts to the cash advance rate after this). Note that no interest free days apply to retail purchases while you have a balance transfer^.
Browse the full range of Citi credit cards to help you work out which offer and benefits best meet your needs.