01.Switch and save
Rising inflation, interest rates and high property prices mean that, for most of us, minimising the cost of 'staple' financial services like bank accounts and insurance is important. And when some of these services are virtually identical — apart from their cost — why wouldn’t you go for the cheapest option?
Well, one answer is because of the difficulty of changing. Flicking your bank account is harder than it should be — Australia lags behind other countries in this respect.
That’s why CHOICE has pushed for the introduction of more efficient and low-cost switching processes, which are expected to be introduced later in 2008.
But even taking the 'hassle factor' into account, CHOICE members told us it's well worth switching banks and credit cards for better fees, rates and service. And switching your insurance policy is easy, and could save you hundreds of dollars each year.
This report looks at ways to save (or get a better return) on your:
- credit cards
Government reforms welcomed
The Federal Government has just announced plans to make account switching easier for consumers — a move welcomed by CHOICE, as we have been campaigning on this issue for the past three years.
The government has announced that from November 2008, a listing and switching service will require your present bank, if requested, to provide a list of all your account's debits and credits. You can take this list to the institution you want to switch to and it'll be required to help you to reestablish those automatic payments, taking a lot of the hassle out of switching.
Please note: this information was current as of February 2008 but is still a useful guide to today's market.