Credit Card Interest Rates in New Zealand

by News Guy on October 3, 2012

(Guest post by Debbie Porter)

Have you thought about getting a credit card, but are unsure about how they work and nervous of getting into debt? Having a credit card is about being educated and sensible in the way that you manage it and the repayments you will have to make.

There are many different types of credit cards and they all come with different benefits, fees and interest rates depending on which you choose. The modern credit card allows for more secure spending with chip technology, more freedom in where you use your credit card – in a shop, online, getting cash out of an ATM or travelling abroad. These days, credit cards come with some great benefits in the way of rewards programs; you can save up for things like going to the grocery store, the movies, a trip to your favourite holiday destination, or even make donations to a much needed charity.

Choose your credit card depending on what you are looking for; more rewards points, higher spending limits, or spreading out your payments over a longer period of time. The different options of cards come with different interest rates and fees. Credit cards have interest free periods for purchases – where you have a certain amount of time to pay off what is on your card before interest starts accumulating. In New Zealand this time period is normally 44 to 55 days. If cash is withdrawn from an ATM, interest is added on straightaway – be aware of this if you withdraw money from the ATM. Minimum payments must be made each month to stay ahead and prevent consequential fees, and paying more than the minimum requirement will help you pay off your interest quicker.

Online calculators are available to assist in calculating how long it will take for you to pay off your credit card debt. You can put cash advances on your credit card so that you have your own money on the card instead of borrowing it. Credit card insurance is an extra option, in the event of an unforeseen circumstance such as redundancy you can be covered for repayments for a period of time.

Another option is debit cards; you put your own money into the account, and that is the only money you have access to. The debit card also comes with the option of a customised image. While these do not have the freedom or the rewards programs available with credit cards, you do have easier access to online banking without the risk of getting into debt.

Make sure you know what interest rate you are paying on your credit card and ensure you get the right card, interest rate and rewards points for your needs and your income. For more information on credit cards and handy tips to use them in a smart way, visit or call your local bank for a friendly informative chat.


Debbie Porter is a New Zealand based writer. She is passionate in helping people understand their financial needs, and responsible ways of financial management.

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