Now in its 18th year, Money magazine’s annual Best of the Best issue has narrowed down Australia’s best financial products and services for 2019
With thousands of products from hundreds of different institutions, Money – with the assistance of seven research houses – has identified 106 gold-winning products.
Here’s a taste of Money’s Best of the Best categories and winners for 2019:
Cheapest Home Loans: MOVE Bank (Bank); Reduce Home Loans (Non-Bank)
MOVE Bank nails a super low rate with its Straightforward home loan that lets borrowers get ahead with fee-free extra repayments and free online redraw. Queensland-based Reduce has picked up the top award for the fourth year in a row.
Best Kids Savings Accounts: Police Bank (Bank); BCU (Non-Bank)
Police Bank pays 3% interest for balances over $500 if kids deposit $5 each week and make no withdrawals in a month, and a generous 1.5% for balances over $500 even if those conditions aren’t met. BCU’s Scoot Super Saver pays 3.5% when at least $20 is deposited each month and no more than $5 withdrawn in the same period.
Best Savings Accounts: RaboDirect (Bank); Easy Street (Non-Bank)
RaboDirect has won this award for the second year in a row, this time for the Notice Saver 31 Day account. This savings account-term deposit hybrid has a base interest rate of 2.50% and allows you to access your cash after giving 31 days’ notice. The Easy Savings Online account from Easy Street pays 2% and has no complex conditions.
Best Rewards Credit Cards: HSBC (Bank); American Express (Non-Bank)
Non-banks have again outshone banks on rewards cards. The David Jones card from American Express has risen from second place last year, offering a base rate of two points per dollar spent at David Jones and one point per dollar everywhere else.
Best-Value Mobile Plan – High Usage: TPG
TPG took first place with 10GB for $29.99 a month on Vodafone 4G. Runner-up SpinTel is charging $25.95 for 10GB of data and waiving the $10 activation fee for new users.
Best-Value NBN Broadband Plan: Exetel
Exetel’s nbn50 Unlimited plan costs $59.99 a month for unlimited data. A free modem is included but there is a $20 set-up fee. Kogan’s Internet Silver Unlimited NBN broadband plan came second.
Best Balanced Super Fund: Hostplus
Hostplus’s winning balanced super fund has been the No. 1 performer over one, three, five, seven and 15 years. The asset allocation includes 25% in Australian equities, 20% in international developed equities, 13% in direct property, 8% in emerging markets, 6% in private equity, 6% in alternatives such as hedge funds, and the rest in conservative investments. First Super’s Growth option and AustralianSuper’s Balanced option rounded out the top three.
Cheapest New Car Loans: MOVE Bank (Bank); Holiday Coast Credit Union (Non-Bank)
MOVE offers loans from $10,000 to $100,000 for vehicles up to 36 months, and you won’t be slugged with penalties if the loan is paid out early. Holiday Coast Credit Union has taken out the non-bank award for the second year in a row, allowing extra repayments and offering a redraw facility.
Putting together the perfect suite of financial products takes time, says Money editor Effie Zahos.
“That’s where this issue comes in. Best of the Best continues to take the hard work away by awarding and shortlisting the best products available for Australians to consider.”
No fewer than seven research houses are involved in bringing this special edition to readers.
“What I like about this awards issue is the transparency,” Zahos says. “The methodology is explained next to the tables, so you know exactly how we’ve come up with the Best of the Best. You may agree or disagree but either way the products in this issue have something that we believe sets them apart.
“How much are you paying for your mortgage? What about your credit card? You’d be mad not to at least have a sneak peek at some of the winners here to compare what you’re paying or earning.”
“What this edition is all about is bringing you low-cost, great-value products that can help you reach your goals,” Zahos says.
The Best of the Best issue of Money magazine is available from newsagencies and supermarkets, or you can order it online through Magshop.