Trending News 21 June

Qantas is ‘ripping off’ frequent flyers with QFF changes

Qantas’ changes to QFF points is effectively ‘ripping hundreds of millions of dollars off its frequent flyer customers’ according to influential business columnist Terry McCrann.

500,000 QFF points were worth $38,470 yesterday (20 June) and are now worth $34,620 meaning Qantas has “snatched away $3850.”

100,000 QFF points were worth $7694 yesterday and are now worth $6924, down $770.

Yesterday 192,000 points could buy a business class return seat from Sydney to Los Angeles. Today 216,800 points is required.

Outrageous Qantas points shop pricing revealed

Qantas’ QFF points shop is charging members highly inflated prices for consumer goods they buy using their QFF points according to influential business columnist Terry McCrann.

Redeeming QFF points on domestic or international economy class flights, seat upgrades or at the Qantas points shop is a ‘spectacular rip-off’ says Terry McCrann.

Right now, an Apple iPhone 7 128GB ($917 at OfficeWorks) costs 135,190 QFF points in the Qantas Points Shop which equals about $10,300.

Converting the points to dollar value, Mr McCrann says the Qantas Points Shop is charging $17,000 for a coffee machine and $600 for a plastic takeaway coffee cup.

Westpac allows loan officers to have ‘discretion.’

Westpac will allow its credit officers to override serviceability requirements for low-risk owner-occupied home loan paying principal and interest.

Currently the bank’s loan officers must assess a mortgage application against an interest rate of at least 7.25 per cent. 

“Where a customer applying for an owner-occupied, principal and interest loan falls just outside our current serviceability guidelines,” a Westpac spokesperson told Mortgage Business, “the loan can be referred to a credit officer who will have the discretion to override.”

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority’s (APRA) is proposing to ease the serviceability requirements for home loan applications down from 7.25 per cent.

UBank goes under three per cent

Loans.com.au, ME and UBank have all announced cuts to their fixed rate home loans. ME’s new headline two-year fixed home loan rate is just 3.43 per cent.

UBank has followed Greater Mutual Bank in offering a headline home loan rate under three per cent. UBank’s new one-year fixed headline rate is just 2.99 per cent.

Loans.com.au cut two and three-year fixed headline rates by 0.29 percentage points to 3.19 per cent.

How often can debt collection agencies contact you?

Debt collectors have to stick by the rules when it comes to contacting you. They are as follows:

By phone:Collection agencies can call you three times a week, up to ten times a month, between the hours of 7.30am and 9.00am on weekdays and 9.00am and 9.00pm at weekends.

By visiting you:They can call on you once a month at the maximum, between the hours of 9.00am and 9.00pm, but only if all other attempts at contact have failed.

Debt collectors absolutely can’t use any physical force, intimidation, verbal abuse or try to intimidate or take advantage of anyone who is vulnerable, like a child or someone who’s ill or disabled.

They can’t make any false statements of any kind to get you to part with money or goods, or to frighten you. These codes of conduct come under Australian Consumer Law so if a debt collector breaks any of them, you must complain to your creditor.

Bank fee income is trending down

Aussie households paid a total of $4.2 billion in fees to their banks in the last year, according to official data from the Reserve Bank of Australia. This was down 6.5 per cent on the year before as a result of many big banks axing ATM withdrawal fees last year.

Bank fees paid by household fees are mostly credit card, home loan and deposit fees. Bank fee income from household deposits fell 19.9 per cent after the big banks and many others axed ATM fees. There has also been a continued decline in the use of ATMs.

The fall in fees on housing loans was a result of lower loan sales in 2018. Fees from credit cards continued to grow, up 2.2 per cent in the last year.

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