11 October 2017
Consumer advocacy group, CHOICE has welcomed the Commonwealth Bank's (CBA) announcement of a low-rate credit card and new services to help people avoid fees.
"CHOICE has been calling for change to the credit card market since 2015 and it's positive to see a major bank release products that are more consumer friendly," says CHOICE's Acting Director of Campaigns and Communications Erin Turner.
"Our latest research found consumers lost $3.49 billion because credit card interest rates haven't moved in line with the cash rate."
In 2015, CHOICE awarded NAB with a Shonky Award for not only failing to pass the full 2.5% cut since 2011 but for also raising rates for its "low" rate credit card customers from 12.99% to 13.99%.
"With credit unions offerings cards with rates as low as 8.99 per cent, it's clear the majority of credit card customers who carry a balance forward are being ripped off," Ms Turner says.
"Any move by a major bank to fall into line is a positive step and we urge other banks to put their customers first by offering actual low rate credit cards and services to make it easier to avoid fees".
"Banks have been ripping off customers with their low rate cash grabs for years, and the whole sector needs to take notice".
CHOICE also welcomes the CBA's plan to introduce new notification features for credit card customers to help them avoid fees and interest payments, as well as online tools to make it easier to close an account.
"CHOICE has been pushing the banks for years to provide simple online services such as the ability to 'click to close' credit card accounts and we urge other banks to follow the CBA's lead," says Ms Turner.
To support CHOICE's campaign for a fairer banking system, visit: choice.com.au/bankpetition
Tom Godfrey, Head of Media and Spokesperson, 0430 172 669, @choice_news
Set up by consumers for consumers, CHOICE is the consumer advocate that provides Australians with information and advice, free from commercial bias. As vital today as when we were founded in 1959, CHOICE continues to fight for consumers and uncover the truth. By mobilising Australia's largest and loudest consumer movement, CHOICE fights to hold industry and government accountable and achieve real change on the issues that matter most.