In my previous articles I have shown you guys FREE Debit Cards offered by banks in Australia. The Debit Cards that are issued together with Transaction Accounts offered by Citibank, HSBC and NAB are truly FREE as you do not need to deposit or maintain a single cent in the accounts. As for Commonwealth Bank Debit Card, issued with Complete Access, well, we have to deposit a certain sum monthly or else a monthly fee will be imposed.
This article will touch on Citibank CitiGold Account where one will be rewarded with CitiGold status if one deposits or invests AUD100K with Citibank.
Well, guess what, sometime last month when I logged on to my Citibank Australia Online Account, I noted the word CitiGold mentioned at the top of every page. So I called Citibank and was informed that I have been upgraded to CitiGold status without even applying for it. I then requested for the Citibank CitiGold Debit Card :) The CitiGold Debit Card was forwarded to me about a week after I requested for it.
I remembered reading that CitiGold members are eligible to Citibank Australia Platinum credit card where the annual fee is waived as long as we have CitiGold status. So I called Citibank again to try and see if I can get their Platinum credit card without having to disclose my income. Unfortunately, the girl on the line said that I have to meet their minimum annual income of AUD35K to be eligible for their Platinum card and she was not really aware if CitiGold customers are entitled to FREE annual fees. I wanted a credit card badly and was kind of disappointed after I hung up the phone.
Anyway, for your info, I was informed by a Citibank personnel some days later that Citibank will upgrade their customer to CitiGold status if they have an average of AUD90K deposit with them.
A few days after the call to Citibank Customer Service, I was checking for Term Deposit Promos and it just so happens that Citibank was offering a 4.2% 6 Months Term Deposit promotion. So I visited my Citibank branch located at Collins Street (don't waste your time going to the Chinatown branch as their service is very limited). Now, in order to qualify for the 4.2% Term Deposit Promo, there were 3 conditions to meet. The first one is that the minimum deposit has to be AUD100K. The second condition is that one has to have a Citibank Transaction Account, i.e. Citibank Plus, which I have. And the third condition was one has to sign up for their credit card!
So guess what, I wanted the 4.2% 6 Months Term Deposit promo rate and as such I was more than happy to apply for the Citibank Platinum credit card. After about 10 days of nerve wreaking waiting, praying hard that Citibank does not reject my application, I received my first Australia credit card, i.e. the Citibank Platinum credit card :)
The Citibank Platinum credit card annual fee amounting to AUD199 is waived as long as I have CitiGold status. Like I mentioned earlier, one has to deposit or invest AUD100K to be rewarded with CitiGold status. In the event one's deposit/investment with Citibank falls below the AUD100K mark, one has up to 6 months to "top up" to AUD100K mark before the CitiGold status is revoked.
So what is good about the Citibank Platinum credit card?
- 1.25 points per $1 spent on eligible purchases in Australia.
- 3 points per $1 spent on eligible international purchases.
- A range of complimentary insurances including International Travel Insurance, Transit Accident Insurance, Extended Warranty, Purchase Cover and Guaranteed Pricing Scheme.
- Free wine every time you dine with the Citibank Dining Program at selected restaurants
The main reason I wanted a credit card was because I can earn reward points instead of paying with Cash and earn nothing in return. I will issue a supplementary card to my wife (annual fee AUD90 but it is also FREE as long as I have CitiGold status) so that we can earn Reward Points at Coles, Woolworths, Myer, Harvey Norman, etc. However it will be unwise to use credit cards at Aldi since they impose a surcharge.
Now, the Retail Purchase Rate, i.e. the interest rate imposed when one does not settle in full the Outstanding Balance prior to Due Date, is 20.99% which is ridiculous. Always settle in full and avoid being charged exorbitant interest rate.
Without further ado, here are my new CitiGold Debit Card and Citibank Platinum credit card complimentary of Citibank Australia.
And talking about Term Deposit, the interest rate for our deposits with Australia banks has been going downwards since 2012. I am sure many of you are aware most of the banks in Australia offer some kind of bonus interest rate for new online account. However after introductory period, we are stuck with lower interest rate for our deposits in the online account.
I am now going to share with you how you can get perpetual higher interest rate with online account. Go get a NAB Transaction Account called Classic Banking which is FREE where no monthly deposit is required. And then sign up for their Online Account called NAB iSaver and earn interest rate that is close or even higher than Term Deposit interest rates. After the introductory period (or just before the end) of four months, go sign up online for another NAB iSaver and get the bonus interest rate once again for another 4 months. Repeat this process to continue earning high interest rates for you savings :) The best part of the NAB iSaver is that you will will not be penalized should you make any withdrawals nor do you need to deposit monthly to enjoy the higher interest rate.
Besides earning reward points with credit card versus cash, there is also another advantage - about a week ago I was at IKEA Richmond Melbourne and eptpos was down and as such IKEA customers could not use their debit cards but had to pay in cash or surprisingly credit cards were accepted. And the reason why credit cards could be used was because IKEA cashiers could use the old fashion swipe machine. i.e. that's how credit cards transactions were performed before we have the transactions approved electronically nowadays, haha.
Click here to read my article titled The Best Spirit Prices (Whisky and Cognac) in Melbourne Australia