Low rate the real card reward: Members Equity

Members Equity has launched its first credit card which plays up the virtues of NOT having a rewards program attached.

The Members Equity MasterCard offers a 9.75 per cent interest rate and up to 44 interest-free days on purchases. The card is aimed at people who don’t pay off the outstanding balance each month and keep a running balance on their accounts.

The card won't be linked to a rewards program, says CEO Anthony Wamsteker, which allows it to offer one of the lower interest rates in the card market.

Members Equity says, for example, that cardholders owing $5,000 on their credit card with an 18 per cent interest rate could save over $400 interest each year by switching the balance to the new card.

The Reserve Bank’s credit card reforms have focussed consumers’ minds on the real cost of rewards programs and Members Equity believes there's a growing number of cardholders who are willing to give up loyalty schemes for better rates and lower fees. There is also cynicism not only about earning reward points but being able to use them, the company says.

The Members Equity MasterCard charges a $30 annual fee which is waived if more than $7,500 is spent each year. There is no charge for additional cardholders; free phone and Internet banking; linking with a global ATM network and worldwide emergency replacement.

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