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Compare credit cards and personal loans

Whether you need some extra money for a once-in-a-lifetime travel opportunity or expenses for your dream wedding, it can be useful to compare credit cards and personal loans to see what option might be right for you. If you don't have the time to save up, taking out a personal loan or getting a credit card can keep your plans moving forward.

Before you enter a credit card or personal loan contract, weigh up your options carefully and work out what will suit your financial situation best. As with any kind of loan, it's important to consider how much your repayments will be and how long it'll take you to pay off.

Using a credit card

A credit card can help you pay for immediate upfront expenses and give you some financial freedom.

Interest rates, annual fees and credit limits differ depending on the type of credit card, so look at your provider's options carefully before applying for a credit card. You can use the Suncorp Credit Card Comparison table to review different options available at Suncorp Bank.

Using a credit card can be useful if you have immediate costs and don't want to go through the process of applying for a loan. However, interest rates apply to purchases that aren't paid off by the interest-free period.

Potential benefits

  • You can access the money you need immediately, giving you more financial freedom.
  • Some credit cards allow you to accrue frequent flyer points or rewards points which can be put towards redeeming products or experiences. (Take a look at Suncorp Bank Rewards).

Potential risks

  • It can be easy spend beyond your means.
  • If you don't pay off your credit card before the interest-free period, you'll pay interest on your owed amount, which can end up costing you more the long-run.
  • You may pay annual fees, and if you aren't able to pay your bill on time late fees will apply.

Using a personal loan

A personal loan is a once-off, fixed, lump sum payment that you'll pay off in equal instalments over a certain amount of time (usually 1 – 10 years).

You can get a personal loan for any reasonable purpose, such as for a holiday, consolidating debt or putting money towards medical bills. Applying for a personal loan can usually be easily done online, but you will need to show proof of your eligibility by providing personal and employment information.

Potential benefits

  • Personal loans often have much lower interest rates than credit cards. So, if you're not going to be able to pay the debt off quickly, a personal loan may work out better in the long-term.
  • A personal loan comes with set parameters which are clearly laid out for you at the time you accept the loan, so you know how much you'll need to pay back each month and for how long you'll be doing this. You can use Suncorp Bank's Personal Loan Repayment Calculator to work out your monthly repayments.
  • If you come into extra finance, you may be able to pay the loan off early without any financial penalty. Check this with your lender.
  • You can apply for a personal loan online, and you'll often hear back about approval within a few days.

Potential risks

  • Like a credit card, you should only take out a personal loan if you are sure you'll be able to make the repayments and you understand how much extra you'll pay in interest.
  • You'll pay an establishment fee, ongoing monthly fees throughout the term of the loan, and late fees will apply if you miss a payment.

Which one is right for you?

Credit cards and personal loans can both be useful ways to fund those emergency or special, once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that you can't pass up. But, before you borrow money be sure to look into your options carefully. Compare credit cards and personal loans and work out what will suit your specific needs. Read over all the conditions to work out exactly what you need to do to meet the repayment requirements.

If you want more financial freedom with quick access to smaller amounts of money, a credit card might be more suitable for you. On the other hand, if you need to take out a larger loan and want to pay it back over a longer period of time, a personal loan could provide the repayment option you're after.

For more information on your credit card and personal loan options, and to get help deciding which will be right for your needs, speak to a Suncorp Bank Personal Banking Specialist on 13 11 55 (8.30am - 6pm AEST).

Banking products are issued by Suncorp-Metway Ltd ABN 66 010 831 722 (“Suncorp Bank”).  Approved applicants only. Terms and conditions apply and are available on request. Fees and charges apply.

Citigroup Pty Limited ABN 88 004 325 080 AFSL No. 238098 (“Citigroup”) is the credit provider and issuer of Suncorp Clear Options Credit Cards. Suncorp Bank promotes and distributes Suncorp Clear Options Credit Cards on Citigroup's behalf under an agreement with Citigroup. Suncorp Bank will not guarantee or otherwise support Citigroup's obligations under the contracts or agreements connected with the Credit Cards (other than those relating to Suncorp Bank internet banking and telephone banking).

Information is intended to be of a general nature only and any advice has been prepared without taking into account any person's particular objectives, financial situation or needs. You should make your own enquiries, consider whether advice is appropriate for you and read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement or Product Information Document before making any decisions about whether to acquire a product

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