For only slightly more per year than the standard Breeze Mastercard, you can have the Bankwest Breeze Platinum Mastercard.
You’ll get the same zero-interest introductory offers on balance transfers and purchases and the same low ongoing interest rate on purchases, but that extra few dollars on the annual fee will buy you a whole lot of valuable insurance cover. And you’ll probably recover even more by saving on foreign transaction fees.
In short, you’ll get platinum benefits at a lower than expected price.
This balance transfer offer is long enough to give you plenty of breathing space to repay the transferred balance, and it has an important accompanying feature that is rarely matched by other balance transfer credit cards. This valuable additional benefit is the very low revert interest rate applied to any part of the transferred balance not repaid after the introductory offer expires.
For a limited time, Bankwest are waiving their normal 2% upfront balance transfer fee. That's another plus point for this offer.
When applying for a balance transfer it’s always best to plan to repay the balance before the end of the promotional period, in order to avoid the revert interest rate – the interest rate that will be applied to any balance remaining when the offer has expired.
In many cases a card’s high cash advance interest rate will be used as the revert rate, but with this card Bankwest have chosen to use the much lower ongoing purchase interest rate, instead of its punitive cash advance rate. This will be welcome news to anyone not absolutely certain that they will have the capacity to repay their transferred balance within the introductory offer period.
Here's another feature you'll rarely encounter – a matching 0% introductory offer on purchases. This means that you can still use your new card for purchases while you're paying off your balance transfer, and there will be no interest charged on any part of your debt (unless you take a cash advance).
Just take care not to run up a purchases debt you can't afford to repay once the offer comes to an end. It would be a good idea to squirrel away in a savings account an amount equivalent to each month's purchases, so that you can repay your balance in full before interest charges kick in.
Once the 0% introductory offer on purchases expires, there's still a very low ongoing interest rate applied to any purchases balance not fully repaid by each month's payment due date. While the rate is higher than most personal loan interest rates, it’s definitely very low for a credit card.
Interest charges on purchases can be avoided permanently if you take full advantage of the up to 55 days interest free still allowed for purchase transactions after the introductory offer comes to an end, and then repay the balance in full by the payment due date. At up to 55 days, the interest-free period is more generous than that allowed by some 44-day cards.
The $6,000 minimum credit limit is not suitable for anyone who wishes to avoid the temptation to run up a credit card bill they would struggle to repay. If you need a lower limit, apply for the non-platinum Bankwest Breeze Mastercard instead. It has fewer benefits and a lower fee, and a low minimum credit limit of $1,000.
The high fee imposed if you are late with your monthly repayment is seriously unpleasant. It can be avoided by always making at least the 2% monthly repayment required, on or before the due date.
This is not the highest of credit card monthly repayment fees, but it’s higher than that charged by any of the Big Four banks.
Platinum cardholders expect platinum insurance cover, and this card will not disappoint. It has the full suite of complimentary policies, including:
In order to be covered by these policies, you must use your Bankwest Breeze Platinum Mastercard to purchase the items concerned. In the case of the interstate flight inconvenience insurance, this means the return airfares.
For overseas travel insurance there is no requirement to spend any specific amount on prepaid trip expenses in order to activate the insurance – cover is automatic. However, you can apply for upgraded benefits (extending the maximum trip time or compensation limits, for example) by applying to Bankwest and paying a premium.
There’s some really good news for anyone travelling overseas or making online purchases from a merchant not located in Australia. All your purchases will be absolutely free of foreign transaction charges and currency conversion fees. Other cards can charge a fee of up to 3.5% on these transactions.
The card can be used with Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay, to turn your smartphone into a digital wallet and payment tool. And you don’t need to wait for your new card to arrive in the mail, since you can activate it as soon as it is approved, via Bankwest’s mobile banking app.
It all adds up to a tidy platinum package – all these benefits for a very reasonable annual fee for a card of this type, and only a few dollars a year more than the standard Bankwest Breeze Mastercard (which has no insurance cover and no freedom from overseas transaction fees).
And there’s even better news. In the first year, your fee will be $0, making the card free to try out for size.
One of the reasons for the lower than anticipated annual fee is the absence of rewards points with this card. Many applicants for a platinum card will expect rewards points on their purchases.
But there are lots of different types of platinum cards available in Australia. If the card discussed here doesn’t exactly meet your needs, take a look at other platinum cards listed on our travel insurance credit cards page and our rewards credit cards page.
The Westpac Altitude Platinum Credit Card (Qantas), for example, earns Qantas Points and also has complimentary insurance and a reasonable annual fee, albeit higher than the Bankwest card's fee.
There’s no doubt that this is a card for the reasonably regular traveller with a shrewd eye for economy. The travel insurance and fee-free foreign purchases can add up to substantial savings.
Back home, it will also appeal to anyone likely to make major retail purchases, with the potential to be covered by the extended warranty, purchase protection and price guarantee policies, as well as fee savings on online overseas purchases.
Reviewed by Yvonne Taylor
Lead Product Analyst