Important information for Credit Card holders

We’ve made changes to our credit cards to make your banking easier

At the beginning of 2018, the Australian Government introduced legislation changing the way credit card providers handle their credit cards.

These changes take effect for all credit cards in Australia, including the Bank’s Visa Credit Card from January 1st 2019.

The Reforms.

Reform 1

Impacts the way applications for credit are handled where the applicant is applying for a new credit card, a limit increase on an existing credit card or any other applications for credit when the applicant holds a credit card.

In all these cases, the assessment of affordability must allow for the credit card repayments to pay off the credit card in 36 months. This is a higher repayment than the contracts generally require.

How you’re affected:  If you have, or are applying for a credit card, the amount you can borrow may be reduced due to our needing to assume higher repayment obligations than is currently the case. Specifically we will assess your ability to afford repayments by assuming credit cards need to be repaid within 36 months which may be more than you are required to pay.

Reform 2

Prohibits Credit card providers from making offers to increase credit limit on credit card contracts. This includes written and verbal offers and overrules any previous consent a cardholder may have provided.

How you’re affected: You will not receive offers from us to increase your credit limit.

You may request an increase to your credit limit from us. If you make an application for credit from us, we may recommend that an increase to your credit card limit is suitable for your particular circumstances.

Reform 3

Simplifies the way interest charges are applied to credit card accounts by removing the previous practice of backdating interest. This occurred if the closing balance of a statement was not paid in full by the payment due date.

How you’re affected: We are changing the way we calculate interest on purchases on your credit card. Even if you don’t pay the closing statement balance in full by the due date, we will no longer backdate the interest to the transaction date. From 1 January 2019, each new purchase transaction will obtain ‘up to 55 days interest free days’. This may mean you pay less interest.

Reform 4

Requires us to give cardholders the ability to reduce credit card limits and close their credit card accounts. This requirement must also be provided online.

In providing these services, the credit provider must not make a suggestion contrary to the consumer’s request, and must take reasonable steps to action the request as soon as practicable.

How you’re affected: The Bank has always allowed account holders to request limit reductions and close their accounts. We have added these functions to our online services to allow you to have better control of your credit card.