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3-Month Pause of Repayments and Interest for Westpac, St George, Bank SA, Bank of Melbourne Credit Cards Impacted by COVID-19

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Ok I know what you're thinking - why is this a deal?

It's a great deal for those whom have westpac cards and are impacted by job loss or loss of income as you are effectively getting interest free terms for 3 months.

The support package means that for 3 months (3 statement cycles):

You will not be charged or accrue any interest on new card purchases or cash advances (note cash advance fees will still apply)
You will not be charged or accrue any interest on an existing amount owing on your card
You will not be required to make any repayments.

You can apply for the COVID-19 support package if you:

  1. held your credit card account on the 1st January 2020 and
  2. ​haven’t applied for hardship assistance on this account, or the account isn’t currently under hardship assistance​ and
  3. have been up-to-date with your minimum repayments at some point during the last 90 days and
  4. have lost your job or suffered a loss of income as a result of COVID-19.​
  • Also applies to St George, Bank SA, Bank of Melbourne (credit to Crownanchor)

Related Stores

Westpac
Westpac
Bank of Melbourne
Bank of Melbourne
BankSA (Bank of South Australia)
BankSA (Bank of South Australia)
St.George Bank
St.George Bank

closed Comments

  • Also applies to St George, Bank SA, Bank of Melbourne

  • Got a St George card but nice to know it's there if i ever need it. I'm on a zero percent interest card anyway but every bit helps I suppose

  • does it put a dink on your credit if you request for something like that?

    • Not sure but it would be bloody rough considering the current climate…

    • Banks are not negatively impacting credit scores during COVID19. If you talk to your bank and get accepted, and its agreed that you can skip payments, banks will either mark payment received or not report a missed payment. But you do need to have good credit before hand.

    • No way. Why would the bank do that? then they can't stuff anymore debt down their throat!

      Gotta use any excuse to make the average Australian consumer look creditworthy right?

      • Correct. I read "responsible lending" practices are also suspended during covid. Which literally means irresponsible lending is totally legitimate again.

  • How do you prove: 4 - have lost your job or suffered a loss of income as a result of COVID-19.​ ?

    • Generally banks just take your word for it (depending on the outcome you're looking for) - though I've found ANZ's hardship team to be dreadful to deal with.

      Deferrals don't generally impact you negatively in any way internally or externally; hardship assistance may impact internally (and honestly sometimes externally) so it's important to know which kind of assistance you're getting when you're calling in.

    • Letter from your employer advising that you have lost your job / been stood down/ had hours reduced due to Covid 19. 99% of employers will provide one.

  • I didn't lose my job but would be nice if they did it for everyone :) But at least they doing something for those who really needs it.

  • You don't know what I'm thinking. I was thinking I'm thirsty.

  • I think this is simply another tactic by the bank to make money + get new credit card customers.

    Banks generally generate their money from credit cards by counting on customers not being responsible with consistent repayments and using emotion to justify purchases that they can't afford.

    I see a lot of customers thinking wow I can buy what I want now and start racking up purchases that will result in massive interest charges after the 3 months because:
    a) they purchased things they can't afford, OR
    b) haven't been regularly managing repayments due to the freeze

    If they wanted to really help they could have frozen mortgage repayments instead.

    • well at the end of the day, they are a business. and a majority of their profit is from the fees, there's no such thing as real compassion from banks.

    • I agree. This is as much as a deal as Harvey Norman's X months interest free promotion. To be fair used for the right reason the interest freeze can help but for the most part it's just going to encourage people to spend more with no chance of paying off their newly accrued debt in 3 months.

    • true, but for us Ozbargainers aka responsible customers the bank earn their money from the merchants and interbank fees

    • They can't be trying to attract new customers, did you read the conditions:

      1 - held your credit card account on the 1st January 2020 and

      • Yes I read that!
        I'm saying this is a brand management and marketing tactic.

        It's the same situation as when every company was jumping on board to "help" with the bushfire disasters and improve their brand appeal.
        Do you really think the board of directors at these companies are genuinely trying to help people over looking out for their best interest?

    • Banks generally generate their money from credit cards

      only tiny part of it…
      Let's see:

      Your saving in bank earn 1%

      Your home loan from bank pay 5%

      1 credit card mostly max at 100k, 1 home loan minimum 250k.

      • Best straw man argument I've seen.

        Take only part of what I said and ridicule it. Good job.

    • The would benefit existing customers who need some flexibility during this difficult time. Different to cheap credit.

      Banks are not the expenditure police and if people are really feeling the pinch, would they really be spending more on discretionary stuff? Now?

      There’s also relief packages for home loans too.

  • They probably got plenty of calls regarding this and decided to make a blanket announcement to free up the phone lines.

  • I had my flexi-loan on paused for 3 months as well. Not sure about other loans, but I think you can still apply for it.

    Quote from the email sent to me:

    Details of your repayment pause:

    During the pause period the following changes will apply to your Flexi Loan contract:
    * You will not be required to make a repayment on statements that fall within the pause period.
    * You will not be required to make up any repayments missed prior to the pause period.
    * You will not be charged or accrue interest on any balance owing.
    * You will not be charged or accrue interest on additional withdrawals.
    * Late payment fees will not be applied, however, other applicable fees will continue to be charged, such as the monthly service and over limit fees.

    Hope this information helps

  • Would anyone know if it is possible to use a balance transfer offer from a credit card to pay off a personal loan?

  • Now if only they could pause the interest on home loan repayments as well..

  • If you are paying interest on credit card, you should not have one.

    • … unless you're on your own in life.

      Hold on with the value judgements there, mate. For many with discipline to keep an emergency card in a drawer, a "SHTF" credit card with a great limit is one of the best insurance policies they can pay into (as long as, of course, they don't use it UNTIL SHTF), as you only have to make the payments AFTER you've needed it. Unlike standard insurance policies, you don't pay anything until you actually need it.

      As someone with no living family and no intimate partner or crazily-close friends, I've had a high limit card for most of my life and don't EVER want to be without it, because it's kept me from homelessness 3 times and kept me from losing my job once (when my employer demanded I stop the money-saving homeless life — after I was injured and spending big bucks on survival, physio, taxis to physio, delivery food because I couldn't walk, etc. that made ALSO spending on much more expensive housing than I had been living in impossible with my cashflow — in order to keep my job.) Each of those three times I've run it up, it's taken me 2-3 years to pay it off, but I've paid it off every time.

      For those of you out there in my situation, consider it if you think you've got the self-discipline to not use it outside of emergencies and your credit rating is good enough to get one. The main down side to it is that holding a $20K credit limit card will negatively impact you when mortgage shopping, even if you're not using it and just have it in a drawer to get you out of emergencies like, cough, paying a mortgage payment during extended unemployment.

      • Pretty sure VBO was implying or meaning 'if you don't have discipline'..

      • Good on you but for every one of you there are 10,000 who have family, have a wife, have friends but still recklessly rack up huge CC debts and many of those default and do not pay it back.

        That is why the CC interest you pay is so high. If everyone was as responsible like you CC interest would probably halve.

      • Wouldn't it be better to just keep a rainy day savings fund? You could still apply for a credit card / apply for a higher limit if it looks like the savings won't cover the current emergency. And then you don't spend 3 years paying interest, allowing you to save up more for the next emergency.

    • not really… people have different approaches to financial management

  • Thanks op.

  • i have a balance transfer promo rate ending on april 26 can i call up on the day it expires and get it extended for 0% for another 4 months? what if you have a few wbc cards can you take up the offer on only 1 or it applies to them all? ref ""cash advances (note cash advance fees will still apply)" can i just log in to internet banking and simply transfer card limit into my choice account? if so what would be the fees is it only a $2.50 fee? when does this offer end by what date do you need to take it up by? anyone know of any promo codes for balance transfers for existing wbc card holders?

  • Just a heads up they will make note of this during any credit app within westpac group and most likely at any other lender as they see it as hardship internally.
    Have had ANZ credit email me saying “it is what is” in reference to a clients application who had an asset loan on pause.
    This is a good move by westpac, I mean disgusting that all banks actually went and had it accruing interest when they were given a rate cut to provide consumers with relief but that’s off topic…
    Stay positive and safe

  • This question is not related to Westpac credit card. It’s related to Westpac Homeloan.

    I have a Westpac homeloan account, I defer 3 months repayment. I heard we have to pay extra after that. Is that correct.

    Variable rate 2.97%. Planning to negotiate for more if possible.

    I cant refinance as Im on centrelink payment pension.

    • It will accrue interest, you need will need to make it up by adding to your term most likely.

      If you aren’t moving and can’t change banks you should consider fixing the loan at 2.2x% for a year or two, the saving in interest and lower repayment is worthwhile. Do that and then pause to accrue less interest

      • I was about to fix, but then if the interest will drop with next couple months, then im stuck with fix. I dont know if it’s worth to fix 1 year. If fix, then most likely do 1 year. 2 years is abit long.

  • Now hope the other big banks do the same quickly.

  • Note the word "pause", if you keep spending without regards, it's gonna come back to hit you much harder in one go.

    • The word pause was in the headline in the details it said

      “You will not be charged or accrue any interest”

  • Something for ANZ: https://www.anz.com.au/about-us/sustainability/financial-har...

    AMEX: You can call them for 2 months pause of repayments

  • yes i would like to know what other banks like amex is offering too? will a entry be made on your credit file and will that capitalise the interest at the end?

  • Do you need to call to talk to the banks? Or can we do this online? I'm dreading the long wait times on the phone that have been experienced with other call centres.

  • +3 votes

    Impact on credit score?

  • Just spoke to AMEX, they are offering this too for 3 months with interest free

  • Got citibank and virgin to match it too. Email them they'll then get in touch. Was easy but took a week. They were willing to stop repayments not interest till I told them about westpac. If you don't ask you don't get.

  • i applied onliine two weeks ago havent heard back and BT 0% ended now for westpac . how do you know if its been approved does it appear on the next statement or they send you a letter? amex was easy did via chat. good know about citibank will match it as their offer sucks as interest is capitalised.

    • got email saying approved a few days ago so all good just have the remember to pay off the full balance before the 3 statement. i wonder if they will extend it for another 3 months? i wonder if wife should take up this offer on her wbc card too but she doesnt have a balance so dont know if they will accept it? but if they did tempting to transfer the limit out into savings account and pay the $2.50 fee and invest funds for 3 months to earn about $30 probably not worth the hassle after tax but 6 months would be. btw know when this offer ends?

      • It took that long?

        • yes they are slow to process it. i done it all online and got an email saying its approved about 1 and half weeks to 2 weeks later. its not instant so i missed the ending date of my 0% BT but not the new statement date. i think T&cs say that current statement cycle fees will not be counted so hopefully i wouldn't get hit with an interest bill on the third statement.

  • Seems like a Westpac are very slow at processing these things