WARNING: Australia Post Load & Go Visa - Is it a Rip off or Scam?

Thought it is safer to shop online with a Prepaid Load and Go Visa Card from Australia Post. Safer? Control? Instead, it is a lot of trouble and hidden fees and charges that were not mentioned on the package. Is this a Rip off?

  1. After paying $6.95 for the Load and Go card on the counter, you will find out another minimum $20 MUST be loaded to activate the card. THIS IS NOT MENTIONED ON THE CARD PACKAGING.

  2. There is an expiry date on the card. You will need to pay them $15 to renew when expired. Or purchased another card - 2 years life on the card I purchased.

  3. When the card expired and if your card still has money, it goes to 'Them' - Heritage Bank and shared by Australia Post. WTF?

  4. The current options to reload the card is to pay ANYONE online or pay in Australia Post though it mentioned postbillpay option on the outside of package.

  5. Think it is smart to test with loading $2 from my bank to Load and Go account. The balance did not show up online after I transferred the money. I called on the customer service number. Was tempted to listen to transaction history. Bingo! Another $0.50 is charged to listen to balance and transaction history from an automated system. Minimum reload is $20.

Talk to Customer Service, another $4.00.

Have not even used the AUSTRALIA POST Prepaid LOAD and GO Visa Card for my shopping yet. Don't know how much of the $20 I have would be left.

Think you are safe with Prepaid? Think again with all the hidden fees and charges.
Is this a Rip off?

I will withdraw all the balance and throw the Prepaid Visa away.
Why not closing the account? It is another $15.00 fee.

Refer to your Full Product Disclosure Statement before buying your card.

Can it be refunded?

Comments

  •  

    wow, that's does seem bad!
    better to just get a new free card from the bank if u think you got scam online!

    •  

      Only is that most credit cards set a minimum credit limit. Is there a credit card that allow a $500 to $1000 minimum and no annual fees? Think Virgin maybe, but credit check is worse than getting a home loan.

      •  

        IIRC ANZ has a $1000 credit card with no annual fee. I remember the lady at the bank telling me this until I said I was a jobless uni student.

  • +1 vote

    Damn, thanks for the heads-up on that. I was considering buying these to for the dodgier bargains that I come across. Back to Visa debit card for those it seems! ;)

    •  

      How's Visa Debit for online shopping? Safe? How's the fee?

      • +1 vote

        A debit card is tied to an account and instead of giving you credit, you spend your own money in the account. You cannot spend more than you have in the account so that prevents more money than you have from been drawn. Other than that the risks of dodgy merchants are the same as credit cards—-the merchant may not deliver, there may be a dispute over the goods, etc. And of course there are no interest charges or overdue penalties. You can get a debit card from your bank or credit union.

  • +1 vote

    your own lack of attention to detail is the culprit

    all the charges and terms are details in the PDS - http://auspost.com.au/media/documents/loadandgo-pds-april-20...

    it is available on the AusPost website. a bit of reading would have saved you some headache

    •  

      Agree - all fine prints on full PDS must be understood before purchase. Only the PDS fine print is the INSIDE of the packing. Additional associated costs are not listed under Fees and Charges on the outside of packing. Yes, go onlline and read PDS before giving your money. OZBH, know you are smart but be Aware and Alert anyway!

  •  

    If you're looking for a pre-paid "credit card".

    Either go open a bank account specifically just for this kind of thing that allows debit VISA/Mastercard and only put enough money into that bank account for the item you want to buy.

    Or the best pre-paid "credit card" I've seen so far and currently using is the pre-paid mastercard from Woolies. Costs $9.95 to set up, and then you have two options to choose from:
    Option 1 - Deposit $500 or more per month and there's no monthly fee otherwise it's $1 for every month that you don't deposit.
    Option 2 - Pay $1 everytime you load the card at a woolies (if you load by direct deposit I don't think you get charged that fee, well I haven't so far at least)

    Other fees
    $4.95 to renew the card
    $4.95 to replace the card
    $5 to cancel the card
    $4.95 every month after the expiry date until the balance hits zero or you cancel the card
    $2.50 international ATM fee
    For transactions processed overseas there's a 2.5% of the Australian value charged

    •  

      Thank you TranceNDance for the info. Excuse my ignorance on fees and charges of prepaid.

      Welcome to the new world of 'pre-paid' where no fees no charges and rewards from post paid credit card are thing in the past.

      I will give prepaid a 'Flick'. What do you think?

      • +1 vote

        Yep, I reckon the VISA/Mastercard debit card option is the way to go for you to evade the fees. All of the gain with none of the pain IMHO! ;)

      • +3 votes

        I think bank account with debit card.

  •  

    Wouldn't these cards be good for somewhere to stash away one's 'mattress money' without the tax man knowing about it! Just saying :)

    •  

      Not necessarily cause the pre-paid one from woolies still requires ID to create and not sure if the bank account that you deposit money into is linked to you or Woolies but I know for sure that the bank account is held with Westpac.

    •  

      You can already do that with real money, stash it that is. You are taxed on income and when you spend (GST). That's where they tax you. If you have a need to avoid scrutiny on large amounts of cash in hand consult ozmobster.com.au for information on laundering money. :)

  •  

    Read few post online wonder if this load and go is good for money transfer and good for overseas. One thing is this Load and Go has a minimum $20 and maximum $1000 when reload. If you lose the card, the money will be gone unless you have it registered. Mobile number is needed for registration. Check PDS to confirm.

  •  

    Actually I think this is a great deal! I already have post pay credit cards and wanted one for online use, which is only occasional and something I can plan ahead.

    My credit union charges $3 a month for a visa debit card. Other banks or credit unions probably have other fees that allow a visa debit card to appear "free". Most postpaid credit cards either have a fee or no/few interest free days or high interest rate. I have checked out other prepaid visa cards and most don't allow recharge. The ones that do, as mentioned by our Woolies friend above, have higher fees than this one. I do the balance check online which costs nothing.
    There is no such thing as a free lunch. All visa and mastercards will have fees or high interest, even if hidden. You have to pick ones that suit your needs.

    •  

      I know at least two banks that don't charge for Visa debit cards. They are attached to transaction accounts which means no interest, but you just have to get online and transfer money from a savings account into it. Even if you don't do that and leave large amounts in the transaction account, the interest foregone is insignificant compared to the costs of these prepaids.

      As for regular credit cards I know of at least 3 with no annual fee and a good number of interest free days.

      All that info is out there if you search.

    •  

      If you really need a pre-paid credit card.
      Woolies Prepaid MasterCard is the one I'd pick.

    •  

      You can get a transaction account with a Visa debit card and no monthly fees (irrespective of student status, minimum deposit, etc) from at least NAB, citibank, Suncorp, HSBC & ING Direct.

      Unless you really want something disposable or one-off, these are far better value than prepaid cards.

      •  

        Also Commsec & MEBank I believe.

  •  

    Yeah, don't buy those topup cards, they are ripoffs

  •  

    Australia Post Go & Load visa has been advertsing a lot in the Australia Post and TV lately. Australia Post staff who I have spoken to do not and should not have much product training on this Australia Post prepaid product and its Product Disclosure Statement. The Google search of this ozbargain link was initially on the top 3 search return. Now this is bumped to the second page. The packaging of this prepaid Australia Post Go And Load Product has not been changed. So it is important for potential Ozbargainers to visit Australia Post Go and Load Visa Website to read the PDS Product Disclosure Statement carefully and make the decision if this is a product for them. Especially think of using to go overseas. It will be too late when getting unexpected troubles.

  •  

    Seriously, get yourself a visa debit card from NAB or one of the others mentioned by ctd - they are a free transaction account. As long as you stick to using their own atms you won't incur fees. Unless you're too young for them to give you one, that is.

  • +1 vote

    Unsatisfactory customer service is what I have experienced with the Load & Go card. When I recently lost my wallet, I called the 1300 665 054 number as listed for custmor service, the number rings and rings during business hours AEST. Over eight days and approx six to eight calls per day, I finally managed to get through at 514pm on a Friday, the call centre was in Scotland and the line quality was appaling - lots of intermittent static. The card arrived at my post office box 11 days later. Then the whole process again (multiple unanswered calls, over a week) to activate the replacement card. I had a credit balance of $460 approx in the card and I am lucky I had other sources of money. If I had been relaying on Auspost to get access to this money, it would have been completely unsatisfactory, I feel sorry for backpackers or people that may be relying on this product as their sole account.

    The experience I have had is appaling and I will follow up with relevant ombudsman & the Federal Minister responsible for APRA as APRA are clearly sleeping at the helm. APRA employees should be made to use this product as punishment.

  •  

    just go and get a smart everyday access account from cba, fees waived if you're under 21 and add debit mastercard….

  •  

    I made an account just to state my dissatisfaction with the card.

    Not only do they charge ridiculous fee's you can't check your current account balance because it doesn't update properly on the website or using the phone service.

    I had to pay $4 just to find out how much money I had left on my card.

    You're better off shooting yourself in the foot.

    Stick with VISA DEBIT Fck Post&Go, absolute sht!

  •  

    bankwest has a student edge mastercard.

    spiel from the bankwest website - "On top of that, you pay no monthly fees and can make as many electronic withdrawals as you want, all for free! You also have the choice of a black or pink bank card! As if that wasn’t enough you also have Debit MasterCard® access so you can shop online, over the phone or overseas. Be the first of your friends to buy your movie and gig tickets online!

    sweet discounts 
    choice of black or pink card
    no monthly account fees
    EFTPOS, ATM, Internet banking
    no minimum opening balance
    Debit MasterCard access"
    

    you can use commonwealth bank ATMs with no fees. card sounds reasonable.

  •  

    I got this card as I was looking at buying some stuff off Alibaba/Aliexpress before deciding not to. Anyhow I've made 4 purchases two in foreign currency, the rest Aus $, all from OS sellers. I've also disabled all the SMS options through their website.

    Besides the .09c per transaction fee and 3% (of the Aus $ price) currency conversion fee. Are there other fees I could be hit with because the numbers don't seem to be right but none of the purchases have shown up in the transaction history yet.

  •  

    Application of multiple credit cards within short period of time can affect credit rating. Regardless of the amount. Choose wisely.

  •  

    both… or none… or one? the only way you can tell, is to look in your heart

  •  

    My suggestion is to avoid this Aust Post Load&go card like the plague especially if you want to use it while overseas. I tried on a number of occasions, the transactions were rejected but the amount of each attempted purchase was frozen by Austpost for weeks so the claim of immediate access to your cash is bogus. It then costs you more money to resolve the problems created by Load& Go. The card is an embarrassment to use when your payments are rejected. This is a money making scam for Aus Post. I have a free Visa card from Westpac and they are fantastic people to deal with.

  • -2 votes

    Never used it overseas so no comment there. But for petes sake what card on earth doesn't charge some sort of fee??? I have one I use in oz and think its safe as and great. Yeah it takes a day or so for your transactions to show up but realistically if you dont know how much money you have versus how much you spend your either a mug or have too much money to worry about my familys on a tight budget and I know what I've spent where I spent it and how much money I have left, also great and easy for kids to use and teach them how to spend wisely. I have several credit cards and the charges,fees and interest far outway the downsides of auspost load and go and if you look it is a SERVICE card auspost offer its actually owned and most fees go to HERITAGE BANK so why not whinge about them instead of aus post? Telstra,optus,vodaphone,etc all big companies have problems when they start something new give em a break!!!(no I dont work or in no way am associated with auspost just think you are whinging about wrong company!)Bet you all get mail,parcels etc. through auspost and would sure be whinging if auspost shutdown altogether how about appreciating what services we do get from them its one of the best mail systems in the world GROW UP PEOPLE!

    • +2 votes

      I have several credit cards and the charges,fees and interest

      Hmm, are you really an OzB'er? Lots of us have CCs with no annual fees and interest free days. Also debit cards with no annual fees. All the info is out there. Speaking for myself I have nothing against Auspost, just pointing out that better alternatives could be available.

      PS: Heard of things called paragraphs?

  •  

    Never said they didn't have interest free days again I'll point out Heritage bank owned not aus post miss that part cause of no paragraphs? Sorry didn't know paragraphs were so important noted!

    •  

      Who cares whether it's Heritage or Auspost owned. It's just an unattractive deal to me and to others, that's the main point. You seem to be touchy re Auspost. We are not anti-Auspost, only anti-this-card.

  •  

    I LOVE Load & Go cards, I have bought several, each of my kids have one so I can just transfer their pocket money on to it and Ive bought a couple to use for budgeting for specific things. I REALLY dont see how anyone could incur all the fees mentioned above. Following the inital purchase, the ONLY fees we get charged are the 25c per deposit, understandable as they text you when funds are cleared into the account, and 9c for each purchase. Its easy to look up at NO CHARGE on the internet to see exactly what the balance is so each of the kids and I have access to each of their accounts and its impossible for them to spend more than they have available. I REALLY dont see how anyone could have a problem with these, just sent 1 interstate to my elderly mum as they are that cheap and easy!

    •  

      There are free alternatives with no fees ever for this kind of thing (at least until your kids are 21+, by which time they can easily close the account).

      Such alternatives include a Commonwealth Bank Youthsaver account. I had one for years as a kid, got a [free] debit keycard with it when I was about 14 to have access to whatever money was in it at the time (ie. pocket money).

      No deposit fees (in this day & age.. it requires no labour or anything to do a deposit online so idk why you would want to be charged $0.25), account keeping fees, card issuing fees, etc.

      Also they are covered much more than load & go cards, which (if I recall correctly) are to be treated as cash if lost or stolen, so you can say goodbye to any money on them if the kids lose it, rather than calling the bank and getting a new card issued (for free, btw).

  • +1 vote

    Load and go cards are great.

    Sure, there are fees to talk to a person or use phone banking but there it's free to use the internet banking option, which incidentally protects your funds if the card is lost (because by registering for internet services you are registering the card).

    No deposit fees to the card by pay anyone or in person at an auspost branch.

    They do charge an additional 3% for foreign currency transactions and while that may be a touch high, it's not much over what the banks charge and if you look at the spread of buy/sell at any currency conversion place (including the banks) it will be about 3% so it would have cost you that much anyway.

    So far I am super happy with the Load and Go card. It's far from a scam, as long as you read the instructions any pay bloody attention. Just like anything else (I'm looking at you people who buy Jetstar tickets on the cheap and get pissy about the T&Cs :-P)

    •  

      I have been using the Load and Go from Aus Post for a couple of months now. All their fees are listed on their website. The no deposit fee was what made me get this card opposed to some others.

      I only use this when shopping online at sites which i have some concern on, I just top up as and when required and about to shop. Their only fees I have seen is around $0.09 when the transaction is in AUD and obviously currency conversion fees when in other currency.

      I am not sure how good it will work out as a main CC but as a backup I find it more than happy with. The word SCAM seems to be really pushing it as far as this card goes.

    •  

      How long does it normally take to deposit to L&G card by Pay Anyone? In the past experience I had, it is not instant and takes few days to clear fund. This was what their staff confirmed over the phone.

      •  

        Usually a couple of business days, depending on the bank. Usually mine are done in that time frame. It's just like transferring to someone else's bank account by Pay Anyone, it takes a couple days.

  •  

    This is silly you obviously didn't read the instructions and terms. Of course there would be a $20 minimum load on because what money do you want to put on there? $2? What are you going to use the card for below twenty dollars and most place dont except card for purchases below ten dollars. My card will last 4 years so obviously you were ignorant and didn't actually look at the back of the card.

    •  

      Absolutely correct. $2 is sometimes what it needs to buy a few things online like Meritline. Regular OZbargainers would know.

  •  

    Another crap website just dumped me halfway through typing something to help others and encourage them not to buy Load and Go Auspost CRAP travel card.
    Short story, before this piece of crap dumps me too.
    I incurred a $2500 telephone bill whilst trying to access my load and go ripoff card account. WHY?
    Basically I just couldn't log on. It kept getting locked. WHY?
    EVENTUALLY, after about a half a dozen or more sessions of begging to find my account through one of the girls in Scotland, Hi Sheryl, Hi Rebecca, Hi Wilma, I was told by a superior that Auspost Load and Go travel Visa card doesn't work from any Apple device!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!W. T. F. ???????
    Nobody knew! There's nothing on the website, No warning, or hint that it's not just a website hiccup, (which I was initially told) It just won't work. Meanwhile, me on my locked Telstra phone which I can't get a local sim for. Was stupidly and blindly phoning up to see if the website glitch was fixed. (This was after pulling my hair out trying to log on with my Ipad) I should have guessed there was an issue when the supposed "emails" which were supposed to be sent to my "registered" email account never came. They came as sms.
    The service is a piece of crap. The hidden charges which aren't gazetted on the packaging are a raut.
    Congratulations Australia, we've been fu@$ed up the arse once again.

  •  

    By the way, I was in Europe! DON'T PUT YOURSELF AT FINANCIAL OR PHYSICAL RISK WHILST OVERSEAS BY TRUSTING AUSPOST LOAD AND GO TRAVEL CARDS. They will jeopardize your safety.

    •  

      How do they manage to jeopardise your safety?

  •  

    i disregard this thing and went out to bought the darned card, now i regret it. it is the worse piece of crap ever. very hard to take out the money if you don't want card no more, run by thieves, the only + is that it activates immediately.

    go out and by only1gift.com its much better, post office has it as well, it takes 24 hours to activate but at least it doesn't have all this screwed up service.

    •  

      yup it's not foolproof is it?

  •  

    I have been using the Load and Go card for app purchases on our Android tablets/phones and now my window phone. Don't use it for anything else. So far work without any issues. Have been doing so for the past 1 year. Luck I guess.

  •  

    I have had similar problems with an Australia Post Load and Go Travel card. Prior to my recent overseas trip I purchased one and deposited AU$3,000 into it. Unfortunately I was unable to withdraw any money from it, either through merchants such as hotels/shops/restaurants etc. or from ATMs whilst abroad. My SMS messages to Aus Post were not returned and it was only after my return to Australia, two and a half months later, that I was able to withdraw my $3,000 from the card.

    Despite innumerable calls to Aus Post's call centre (in Scotland!), six weeks later, my complaint has still not been addressed. However I have just made contact with a Ms Penny of the Service department of Heritage Bank (who is the financial provider behind the card) on telephone number 131 422. Penny appeared to be very sympathetic and professional and assured me that she would immediately take up my complaint with Australia Post.

    I suggest that anyone who has had similar problems contact Penny personally on (07) 4694 9896 or email Penny at info@heritage.com.au to lodge their dissatisfaction with the card

  •  

    I totally agree an absolute rip off - and what if you had $1000 dollars in there and didnt realise your card was out of date — they take the lot thats just plain robbery. If they were fair dinkum theyd reactivate your card for $6.95 but oh no — criminals! This sort of thing makes me so angry!

  •  

    The terms and conditions for Load & Go cards are readily available on-line. The information you get with the card refers you to this info. (And no, I am not an apologist for Australia Post and I have no connection to any bank or financial institution, unlike I suspect some of the posters on this thread.)

    If you don't like it, don't buy it. Some posters seems to think this card should be the equivalent of a full-blown Visa credit card. It's not. Its best use is for purchases of goods over the internet, because it guarantees a maximum loss (whatever you've loaded up) if you're scammed, and for use in places where you think scamming might be a problem.

    I'm very happy with my Load & Go card, which I bought in June 2012 with an expiry date of 07/15. The claim of 'Airscape' is bollocks. I've loaded up my card and made purchase on my Mac, my iPad and my iPhone with no trouble whatsoever. And clockon, if you're stupid enough to load your Load & Go with $1000 at a time (and by the way that is in fact not possible under the terms and conditions, so I guess you haven't read them), then you might just say 'mea culpa' when your card expires on the date embossed on it, eh? But since you haven't obviously read the terms and conditions, let me enlighten you, via http://auspost.com.au/money-insurance/load-and-go-reloadable...
    'Unclaimed funs on expired card – $1 per month until zero or funds are claimed'.
    So what you have claimed is simply rubbish. A troll you are? I think so.

    My son used a Travel Load & Go in Europe in 2013 (UK, France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy) and had no trouble whatsoever, so I don't understand the gripes posted here, unless they are just from trolls working for other providers.

    Good luck to all.

  •  

    P.S. 'eatwell365', those of us on this thread who have actually bought a Load & Go card know you didn't buy one over the counter, because you could not buy it without also paying the $20 compulsory minimum loading fee at the time of purchase. So I guess you were/are a troll for some other provider. Or just a dill.

    Kind regards,

    Demagorgon.

  •  
    1. Do believe it does say you have to load a minimum of $20 onto the card. It says that on the prepaid Woolworths cards so I would imagine it would on these AusPost cards.
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