Now into its 11th year, Money magazine’s annual Best of the Best issue has narrowed down Australia’s best financial products, services and investments for 2012. With thousands of products from hundreds of different institutions, Money – with the help of our research partners – has identified 101 gold winners to help ease your financial worries as we approach the new year.
A taste of Money’s Best of the Best awards:
Cheapest Home Loan Packages: HomeSide Lending (Bank); Newcastle Permanent (Non-Bank)
Money says: A mortgage rate discount of up to 0.8% if you’re prepared to hold a number of key financial products with the same institution – that’s the general incentive to opt for a packaged home loan.
Best Term Deposits – Short Term: UBank (Bank); Railways Credit Union (Non-Bank)
Money says: If you want the certainty of a fixed return, a term deposit can be appealing. It’s a low-risk option free from concerns about market shake-ups.
Best Savings Accounts: RaboDirect (Bank); Railways Credit Union (Non-Bank)
Money says: These accounts are typically free and convenient as you can easily transfer money from your transaction account into the online savings account.
Best Reward Credit Cards: ANZ (Bank); American Express (Non-Bank)
Money says: American Express dominates this category with four out of the six featured cards having an American Express card link.
Best Frequent Flyer Programs: American Express (International); American Express (Domestic)
Money says: The winner’s big plus is that you get a free return flight every year.
Cheapest Postpaid Mobile Plan – High Usage: Amaysim Unlimited
Money says: Known as ‘have a chat’ by family and friends? Then Amaysim’s $39.90 Unlimited plan is just the ticket.
Best Broadband Plan – Mobile: SpinTel 5GB
Money says: Statistically speaking, Australians like to be connected while they’re on the move.
Best Balanced Super Fund: REST
Money says: An industry fund’s strategy pays off as financial turmoil takes a heavy toll on sharemarket returns.
Best Feature-Packed Online-Broker: Commsec
Money says: In a competitive field Commsec is still able to lead the pack.
Lowest-Cost Super Fund: First State Super
Money says: Economies of scale and a cost-conscious culture ensure members benefit from low fees.
Best-Value Green Car: Toyota Hybrid Camry
Money says: Improved economy, performance and safety are strong points in this year’s line-up.
Cheapest Home and Contents Insurance: IMB
Money says: Recent natural disasters have underlined the need for home insurance.