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Westpac: Fee Free Mastercard (No Annual Fee, No Foreign Currency Fee, 12.90% p.a. Purchase Interest Rate)

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I believe Westpac has renamed their Low Rate Mastercard to a Fee Free Mastercard. Main difference is that it now offers no foreign exchange fees. This could be the first of its kind in NZ and hopefully we'll see more of these types of offerings from other banks. Also includes other benefits such as balance transfers.

Deal from last year:
https://www.cheapies.nz/node/27177

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  • +6

    May be fee free, but you'll still be paying retail forex rates. Best to stick to Wise as they're completely transparent about fees and rates.

    • Does Wise provide a psycial card?

      • yes. Costs about $15 to have it shipped but some people have been lucky and had the fee waived

        • When would the fee waive promo come around.. look forward to that.

          • @JasonJ: I don't know sorry. I don't think its a regular thing and I gave up on waiting so ended up paying the fee

      • Yes, they do provide physical card as well as digital one (apple pay)

        • The digital cards are not 'Apple Pay' - they are fully functional credit card numbers, so you can use them almost anywhere.

          • @Alan6984: Correct, although you can add the card numbers to Apple/Google pay too - even the virtual card numbers.
            This is really useful as it means you can effectively treat your digital card just like a physical one and use it for contactless transactions.

            • @bigcheese: Agreed - just didn't want people to think that they could only be used with Apple Pay, as that would make them almost pointless.

      • Yes, they have physical cards.
        I've been getting mine free although I think I heard of some people being charged $14..

        They also have virtual cards that you can create/delete from the app and add to apple/google pay which is pretty cool

        • Thanks for all the replies!

          Just googled Wise card. So basically Wise card can be used in overseas. I need to purchase the foreign current in my account as it is a debit card before using it.

          Is it worth to have one if I'm going to travel to EU and US?

          • +2

            @pacman04: The Wise cards can be used anywhere that takes Visa - so essentially almost anywhere.

            You don't have to pre-purchase the foreign currency if you don't want to. If you have the funds available in the forex (say, USD), then it will use that first, but if not, or if you don't have enough, then it will use your NZD (or another currency) balance for the remainder.

            If you don't have sufficient funds then it will be declined - they aren't giving you a line of credit.

            • @Alan6984: Pricing here:
              https://wise.com/nz/pricing/

              Limit of ATM withdrawal $350/month

              Does this link apply for something else ?

              https://wise.com/help/articles/2899986/what-are-my-spending-...

              • +1

                @Joe: It's not a limit of $350 per month for withdrawals, it's just the amount that is fee free.
                Anything over $350 in the month has a fee attached.

                Currently you pay $1.50 per ATM withdrawal (once over your $350 amount per month and/or two withdrawals) and a fee of 1.75%.
                This is being simplified from the 3rd Jan 2023 so that there will only be a fee of 1% of the balance withdrawn over $350

              • @Joe: I would think that link only applies as per the wording on the page.

                What makes you think it applies for something else?

          • +1

            @pacman04: If you decide to sign up to Wise then make sure you use the Cheapies Wise referral link
            This will give you one fee free transfer (up to $900 NZD I think).

            • @bigcheese: Yes and minimum amount transferred should be greater than $350 and the referrer can get $130 after 3 referrals.

        • just wonder how to get for free

          • @JasonJ: Get what for free?

            If you mean transfers, the first $350 pm are free?

      • Other thing, physical card is required if you want digital cards. What that means is, to activate the debit card feature you need to get the physical card. And $15 is a one time fee only.

    • How much would you reccomend a WISE card for FOREX purchases over something like a Airpoints Visa or Amex?

    • For what it's worth, this card being a MasterCard will get you better rates than a Visa based on: https://www.moneyhub.co.nz/mastercard-vs-visa.html

  • Could be a good option for those ditching rewards/airpoints cards as the benefits get culled.

    • Received email today from Westpac today.
      From 1 February 2023 if you spend $1,000 per month

      The first $1,000 you spend will earn you:
      1,500 HOTPOINTS
      TIER ONE

      The second tier will not apply to a monthly spend of this amount (need to spend 7k+)
      TIER TWO

      I have Westpac Mastercard platinum with no account fee currently . . Is there better alternatives out there for rewards?

  • Hopefully, wise will repeat the previous deal this year, as I wasn't so lucky to get it last timeđŸ˜©

  • Flight Centre has been doing forex-fee free credit cards for a few years already and you get 1.5% rewards as well.

    • The Flight Centre Mastercard has a 1.4% currency conversion fee - see here: https://www.flightcentremastercard.co.nz/fees-and-charges/

      I gather that the 0 fee thing refers to overseas ATM fees rather than currency conversion fees.

      • My overseas transaction from 3 days ago still no fee, they must have changed it without notice, thanks for the heads up.

  • No such thing as free lunch, from banks atleast.
    You’ll pay for it in exchange rates.

    As someone else recommended, Wise is the way to go.

  • Do we know what Westpac's spread on forex conversions (for this card) is?

    Also, be aware that Wise charges FROM 0.41% - it is not always and only 0.41% - not sure if they actually disclose what the fee is for any given cross?

    Disc: I am a Wise customer and use them for forex currently.

  • +2

    This works well for overseas travel where you have to withdraw cash, given the no forex fee + no overseas ATM fee. The problem with the Wise card is the transaction fee + 1.75% charge on ATM withdrawals - even though they do have slightly better forex rates.

    See here for the respective calculators:
    Wise: https://wise.com/nz/pricing/card-fees?sourceAmount=100&sourc...
    Mastercard: https://www.mastercard.com/global/en/personal/get-support/co...

    By my math - if you have to withdraw cash - Westpac one would be better. This is particularly true where you have to make multiple ATM withdrawals because of a low transaction limit = eg many countries in Asia and Africa.
    However, if you are paying with card = Wise would be best.

    • Wise fees are changing as at the 3rd Jan 2023.

      From then you can withdraw up to $350 NZD cash from an ATM for free and any amount over $350 NZD will be charged at 1% of the amount above this limit.

    • Isn't the currency converter arse about face?

      You're buying NOT selling the foreign currency.

      The fee should be added NOT subtracted.

      • Which currency converter?

          • @Peter Wyngarde: In the example that comes up by default (for me at least) you are buying Euros (selling Sterling).

            The fee is subtracted from the amount of your 'source' currency before doing the transaction, so it goes:

            Start = GBP 1,000

            Less: Fee = GBP 4.08 (0.41% if you round, but actually 0.408%)

            Now you have: GBP 995.92

            which you sell to buy Euros at a cross rate of 1.13714

            Now you have: Euros 1,132.50

            Makes sense to me?

          • @Peter Wyngarde: It’s correct.
            The fee is deducted from the amount you wish to convert before the exchange rate is applied.
            The resulting figure is the amount you will receive.

            • @bigcheese: I was asserting the UX was confusing and back to front.

              • @Peter Wyngarde: Maybe you are thinking of when you see currency boards at a bank or forex place?

                They tend to quote from their perspective, so they show you a rate at which the 'Bank Buys' or 'Bank Sells'.

                Bit like your bank statement when they used to show debits and credits - they were from the bank's perspective, not yours, so 'arse about face'.

                Regardless, the fee has to be deducted from your funds, not added, otherwise they would be paying you!

                • @Alan6984: I've purchased a good or service in foreign currency.

                  How would I calculate the cost in domestic currency?

                  • @Peter Wyngarde: Got you now - that's the opposite to what the calculator is for, which is why it is confusing you.

                    If you want a calculator to do that for you, then you'd want it to show you selling (domestic currency), not buying forex.

                    Ignoring forex, think of it this way 'down the road': When you 'buy' a bottle of milk, it is equivalent of you 'selling' NZD.

                    If you are purchasing a good or service in forex, then you are selling NZD.

                    If they had a calculator for what you want (maybe they do somewhere else), then it would need to add a fee to give you the result of your 'sale' of NZD. It does make sense if you think it through.

                    • @Alan6984: I wasn't confused but subtlety of complaint was.

                      • @Peter Wyngarde: Hi Peter,

                        Your statement:

                        The fee should be added NOT subtracted.

                        is completely wrong, and implies a lack of understanding, rather than any attempt at subtlety - the use of ALL CAPS is quite the opposite to an attempt at being subtle.

                        If you remain confused, despite your assertion to the contrary, I suggest you find someone to assist you before doing any forex transactions - better to be safe than sorry, even if it feels awkward.

                        • @Alan6984: QED on subtlety.

                          I'm doubling down on assertions.

                          Egg on face it's arse about face.

                          Work it out don't make me spell it out.

                          • @Peter Wyngarde: Hard to admit when we've been a bit foolish - don't worry, I know exactly how you feel, I've been known to do it too.

                            Best not to 'double down' in those situations though.

    • +1

      It seem this card exchange rate is comparable to Wise. How would you get cash out without incur cash advance fee as this is credit card

      • +1

        You simply transfer money into the card to have it 'in credit' prior to withdrawing money. Obviously relies upon you having a $0 account balance before you do so.

  • I have Westpac Mastercard platinum with no account fee. . Just wondering if there are better alternatives out there for rewards. I am finding as I pay no account fees, am I better off with it.

  • I use BNZ platinum that has $90=$1 cash reward every month. ANZ paid $100=$1 cash reward but it's after anniversary, which means if you cancel your card during the year, you miss out all rewards. Looking forward to better deals out there.

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