Cut the Credit Card

Cut the Credit Card

I hate bank fees and charges.

And I am sure you do too.

The banks are quite creative to get us to the bank and do business with them. Everything from personal loans, business loans, property loans and of course credit cards that offer points and rewards.

And once they have you your sucked in. My SMSF has a loan. When the loan was set up, I paid a large set up fee. And I still pay them $15 a month to operate a bank account that only has 2 transactions a month. Over the life of the loan that is $5,400. But I have no option.

Many do not know that most banks offer business accounts that are bank charge free as long as most transactions are done online. But they never tell you that.

And rarely will anyone tell you that having a credit card giving you points is really a rip off. Because they tell us that with the points we can go to Jamaica and wash down unlimited cocktails. And that makes us spend even more. I have had clients that agree to Amex surcharges on the basis that they will get points.

But, a few years ago I decided to knock out all unnecessary bank fees paid personally. I changed from ANZ bank to ING that has no charges at all. No ATM charges ever. And I cancelled personal credit cards and moved to debit cards. It means I am saving probably $1,000 in charges a year and we spend less because we always are aware that we must have adequate funds in the bank account before we spend on debit cards. And we found we are quite OK not having the points.

My business still has credit cards because it makes administrative sense. And yes, we collect points, but our business costs are controlled and necessary. And the balance is always paid off which means no interest is paid.

But the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia & New Zealand also think credit cards are not a great thing. Australia is ranked the fourth-highest country in the world for household debt, made up mostly of mortgages, investor debt, personal debt, student debt and credit card debt with credit card debt the most expensive.

So, if you have credit card debt and are unable to pay it off every month, make a plan to pay them off first and then cut the card up and move to debit cards. It has the potential to save you a small fortune.

And if you have a fear or FOMO on losing out on points, don’t. Because the points, as I said are a waste of money. If you want 4 return tickets to the UK outside school holidays on points you need to spend the equivalent of $440,000 on your credit card and still pay $2,000 in airport taxes.


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