When I first opened my account in Australia, the minimum required monthly fee for all savings account was $5. I could get away with this as a student, thanks to the competition we can now hold accounts without any monthly fee.
ING has a 2% cashback offer for all transactions that are done using visa pay wave feature and also you have to deposit a minimum of $1000 per month into the account like salary.
I had opened an account with ING a few years back since then reaping the benefits of cashback money. When I opened the account ING was giving 5% cashback which was in a way cash cow for me as I was getting 5% of all my expenses money back, if I were to spend $2000 in a month then I would be credited $100 cashback money into my account.
This has now been dropped to 2%, they have promotional offers now and then providing 5% for the first 6 months of new accounts.
I am not sure how they do it, I think it’s the fees that ING collects when we use visa wave feature- some portion of it is refunded to its customers.
Handling $100 limitation on purchases
However there is a limitation to this card, we can’t use visa wave feature when the transaction amount is more than $100, either you need to sign or punch in your pin instead of visa wave.
In this scenario I tell the cashier at the counter, to split the payment into multiple transactions of $99 each, by doing this I am making sure I am getting cash back money.
When not use ING cashback card.
If you have any other account that’s offering more cashback or rewards than this card, you need to weigh in both and choose the right one.
Some small retailers don’t accept this card or have their visa wave option disable, it could be because of fees charged by the bank. I use this account where ever visa wave is accepted and my second preference is my Citibank credit card.
Citibank credit card offers me reward points for all purchases I make, this is my second preferable way to spend money, as the rewards are less than 2% of the spend amount. Eventually, I can convert accumulated reward points on this card into gift cards.
A cent here and a cent there…do not undermine the savings of cashback
If you are paying for a coffee ($3.5) through this card then 2% cashback is 0.07 cents, it may not seem much initially but these cents over a month and a year become quite a big amount. Earlier this year I have decided to renovate my house during that month alone I have earned a cashback of more than 200 dollars, even if you count $22.48 cashback this month, it’s $269.79 over a year’s time.
The other thing you need to consider is that this is a savings account, which means you are spending your own money, money that could have been offsetting your home loan interest.
In Australia we pay interest to our home loans at 5%, this is the interest for the whole year. To get the numbers right if I were to purchase a product for 100 dollars, that money coming from the home loan will accumulate $5 in interest in one year and approx. $0.41 cents per month.
If I choose to pay it with my savings account i.e through ING I earn $2 cash in the same month. This really beats my home loan account and so is the main driving force for me compared to offsetting or pay by credit card.
No matter what you choose to use, either credit card, visa wave, debit or any other means- there are many cashback offers and reward offers available in market compared to a few years back. Competition is getting intense among banks and small lenders, choose a product that fits your financial situation, design a solution to your needs and make sure banks are rewarding you for being loyal and using their service.