Trending Financial News 28 June

Macquarie axes international card fees

Macquarie Bank has removed international transaction fees on overseas purchases made on Macquarie Bank branded credit cards. Macquarie Bank has also announced it has axed a 3 per cent fee levied on overseas cash withdrawals but the standard cash withdrawal fee still applies.

Macquarie has also reduced the cash advance interest rate on its credit cards to equal the purchase interest rate. Macquarie will cap cash advances at $1000 at the end of August.

The Macquarie Bank Platinum Visa Card with Macquarie rewards has a $99 annual fee in the first year, a current purchase interest rate of 20.70 per cent with up to 55 days interest free. The current cash advance rate on this card is 21.95 per cent.

CommBank commits to protecting customer information

The Commonwealth Bank is upgrading its privacy and security of personal information after lodging a court-enforceable undertaking to the Australian Information Commissioner and the Privacy Commissioner.

The undertaking follows investigations by the OAIC into Commonwealth Bank’s loss of up to 20 million historical customer statements in May 2016 and problems with security of personal information held by the bank in August 2018.

“Our inquiries identified deficiencies in Commonwealth Bank’s management of personal information,” said Angelene Falk, the Australian Information Commissioner and Privacy Commissioner.

“Commonwealth Bank has committed … to substantially improve their privacy practices.”

Big four banks give rate discounts – if you ask

Commonwealth Bank is reportedly giving home loan borrowers big interest rate discounts if they or their broker asks for a better rate. The Australian reports that Commonwealth Bank has given interest rate discounts of 1.6 per cent and 1.7 per cent off the CBA standard variable rate to borrowers with large loans who ask through brokers. For smaller amounts the discount is closer to 1.5 per cent. Commonwealth Bank is also giving existing borrowers discounted rates if they go looking for other options. Other big four banks are also believed to be offering discounts to borrowers.

Aussies need to save – for their health

Almost one third of Australians have less than $1,000 in savings with 20 per cent having less than $250. 23 per cent of Aussie women and almost 33 per cent of young people have less than $250 saved according to a new report from AMP Bank.

42 per cent of Aussies are uncomfortable with the amount of money they have saved while 46 per cent of Australians regularly dip into their savings.

“Having a pot of money to use when times are tough or to fund the nicer things in life such as a new home or a holiday can have a huge impact on your health and morale,” said AMP Bank CEO Sally Bruce.

Compare savings accounts from Australia’s major banks, credit unions and building societies at InfoChoice.

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