Credit card bargain hunters don’t all have the same wishlist. Some are looking for a low ongoing purchase interest rate, while for others a long-lasting zero-interest balance transfer offer may be more important. And for many individuals, the one truly important factor is a low annual fee.
But are you out of luck if you are looking for all three of these cost-effective features? No, you are not, because the St. George Vertigo Visa combines all of these desirable components in a single card.
Inside this review
Low ongoing purchase interest rate of 13.99% p.a.
Introductory zero interest rate offers are all well and good, but when the deal is about to expire and crunch time comes, you’ll want a card with a low ongoing purchase interest rate. There may be future occasions when you need a little short-term financial wriggle room, and the low interest rate on purchases allows you to pay less interest than you would on many other cards.
30 months @ 0% on balance transfers
If you have an existing debt problem, 30 months should give you time to get your finances sorted out and accumulate enough spare cash to pay off the balance before you have to start paying the revert interest rate of 21.49% p.a. (the same high rate as applied to cash advances.)
Plan to pay off the balance within 30 months and avoid the revert rate if you possibly can, to avoid getting into a long-term debt situation.
There is, however, some more good news. Unlike many of its competitors which charge between 1% and 2.5%, this card does not impose an upfront fee on cash advances.
No interest-free days if you have a balance transfer
If you do take up the balance transfer option, one trap to be aware of is that you will not be able to rely on the normal monthly interest-free days on purchases. Having an unpaid balance transfer means that you will lose your regular interest-free days until it is paid off. Plan to use cash or another card for purchases until the transferred balance is cleared.
Low $55 annual fee after first year
While it’s certainly true that there are a few credit cards with no annual fee at all, it’s unusual to find a no-fee card which has both a zero-interest balance transfer offer and such a low ongoing purchase interest rate.
That’s the combination you are paying for with this quite low $55 annual fee (waived for the first year). When the balance transfer offer expires you will be left with a low ongoing interest rate on an extremely functional card with the following important additional features:
- Up to 55 interest-free days on purchases every month, provided you don’t have any kind of unpaid overdue balance
- One supplementary cardholder at no extra cost
- Visa payWave for speedy contactless transactions under $100
- St. George Mobile Banking app: secure fingerprint login lets you check the balance of your account quickly, and put a block on your card if you misplace it
- Verified by Visa: a system of one-time passwords delivered by SMS for extra security when shopping online
- 24/7 fraud monitoring to detect suspicious purchase transactions
Who it's for
The St.George Vertigo Visa is suitable for a number of different use cases.
- Someone who may occasionally fail to pay off their purchase balance on time, and therefore needs a low ongoing purchase interest rate.
- Someone who does not intend to use the card for cash advances, and can therefore avoid the high 21.49% p.a. cash advance interest rate.
- Someone with existing balances they are struggling to pay off, on one or more credit cards, and could make good use of a long, interest-free balance transfer with no upfront fee.
- Someone more interested in a basic, functional credit card than in rewards points or insurance they may never use.
- Someone who only wants to carry one card, and therefore needs to avoid the lower acceptance rate and possible surcharges that come with an American Express card.
If you can say ‘Yes’ to more than half the above points, the St. George Vertigo Visa may be the most appropriate card for your personal situation.
Before you decide, what can you expect from St.George Vertigo Visa’s low interest rate rivals? Check out these most competitive alternatives: the Westpac Low Rate Credit Card, the Coles Low Rate Mastercard, and the Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Visa. All of these cards have their own merits, but may not necessarily be the right card to suit your exact circumstances.