A relatively new concept has gripped a nation of once loyal customers who never used to switch between banks: balance transfer credit cards. We take a closer look why this is happening.
More Australians than ever are taking to comparison websites to stump out high interest and get better deals. In some ways, this is revolutionary – yet many are still not aware of the opportunities that came in recent years and a conventional mindset is still costing the nation a fortune, benefiting a few big banks.
Roland Bleyer, the CEO of creditcard.com.au is the man behind this revolution. He said that “for too long did we face a closed market where millions of consumers acted as cash cows to a handful of banks. Today, the Australian market is as open as any other market and we help consumers to save millions collectively – with balance transfer cards being one of the most sought after solutions”.
So what exactly is a balance transfer card?
It is a new card that is issued from a new provider, when the consumer transfers a balance from an old credit card (to the new card) in order to get a lower interest rate on the balance for an introductory period. The consequence in most cases, is lower interest where debt is paid off faster.
According to Bleyer and his team, there are four main benefits that consumers consider when opting for a balance transfer card: “reducing the amount of interest payable, repaying any debt sooner, consolidating existing debt – and getting a better credit card than before”.
What the open market looks like in Australia:
Today, you can hop onto a comparison site like Creditcard.com.au, or Mozo, Ratecity, and Comparethemarket – and find attractive offers from a multitude of providers. These include Virgin Money, HSBC, Citi, WestPac, St. George Vertigo Platinum and the Bank of Melbourne. With the open market, consumers can find an alternative option within seconds. Instead of entering your details on all the various bank websites, a single platform provides a blazing fast experience that attracts offers from various providers.
Essentially, all the benefits that consumers enjoyed previously in mass-markets in Europe and America – has now come to the shores of Australia, and it is about time.
But it is not just a matter of switching to another provider. Many people lack the knowledge to truly do a better deal, so a bit of education on the matter is paramount, especially if the purpose is to make an improvement and incur savings.
Words of wisdom for anyone considering a balance transfer:
Bleyer and his team suggest that balance transfer cards should not be seen as a “magic bullet” in personal finances because that may tempt the consumer to overspend and never cease control of their situation. Instead, they argue that there are several pitfalls that should be navigated: Paying the minimum off on your debt each month is the first reason why some people end up taking longer to pay off their debt. Then, incurring more debt on their new cards is another reason people fail to get ahead. It is also necessary to pay off the transferred debt within a certain time frame in order to benefit from introductory offers – because once consumers have to pay the revert rate, it becomes expensive again. Choosing a card for its rewards and features – and letting that tempt you into spending, is another caveat for consumers, especially if that card has a high annual fee. Spending more on new cards and failing to understand what you’re in for in the fine print, can also defeat the purpose: you must control spending and really understand the terms and conditions of the card in order to benefit from it.
The Australian consumer lived through challenging times during the recent property bubble. Yes, times were not as tough as they were in some other countries – and the severity of the problem was not at a high level overall. However, Australians lost a lot of money due to a lack of understanding and old habits. The oldest habit is to think that by being loyal to your bank and being friends with your bank manager will get you the best deal. We live in a new world, where new rules define our success in the global community – and it could not be truer for personal finance and credit cards.
6 Reasons to Try Cannabis Edibles
Are you looking for a reason to try cannabis edibles? If you’re wondering if there are benefits to edibles that you can’t get with other forms of cannabis, the answer is yes. Here are some of the best reasons to try cannabis edibles.
- Some edibles are boosted
When you smoke cannabis flower, you’re only getting cannabis. That’s not a bad thing, but there are brands that sell edibles that have been boosted with other ingredients. For instance, you’ve probably seen capsules with added herbs to help you sleep – the same is true for edibles.
One of the newer enhanced cannabis edibles are the Bits adaptogen-boosted edibles. These new cannabis edibles contain just 5mg of THC per Bit so you don’t overdo anything. Each flavor is packed with a unique blend of adaptogens like ashwagandha, reishi, elderflower, lemon balm, ginseng, guarana, and rose hip.
Why adaptogens? Adaptogens have been proven to have a positive impact on the central nervous system by decreasing sensitivity to stressors. In other words, adaptogens reduce stress and anxiety and contribute to an overall sense of wellbeing. When you consume cannabis edibles boosted by adaptogens, you’re going to feel more relaxed.
- Edibles provide precise and consistent dosing
One of the best reasons to try edibles is for precise and consistent dosing. When edibles are made, the cannabis is thoroughly and evenly mixed in, so each serving has the intended dosage when the final product is made. In addition, premium cannabis brands like Verano lab test each batch to ensure quality and consistency with all of their products, including cannabis edibles.
When you smoke flower, you won’t always get the same amount of THC. It’s nearly impossible to know how much THC or CBD you’re getting from smoking flower. Even when you smoke the same strain in the same amount, the THC and other cannabinoids are distributed unevenly throughout each bud.
If precise and consistent dosing is important to you, then edibles are going to be your favorite cannabis delivery method.
- Edibles are tasty
Edibles taste good, so why not try them? It’s just like eating a snack or a treat, but with a purpose. If you’ve avoided trying cannabis tinctures or oil because you don’t like the flavor, that’s understandable. Edibles are different because the taste of cannabis itself can be easily masked.
Brands go out of their way to come up with recipes that taste good because they know some people don’t like the strong flavor of cannabis. Edibles like brownies, cookies, and chocolate bars usually just taste like any other cookie, brownie, or chocolate bar. Premium cannabis brands will also use quality ingredients to produce the best cannabis-infused gummies, hard candies, and baked goods.
- Edibles are easy to carry
If you want to carry your cannabis around discreetly, that’s easiest with edibles. They usually come in smaller packages that you can fit into a pocket or bag, and edibles are easy to eat without anyone suspecting you’re consuming cannabis.
When carrying edibles, be smart about where you bring them. Make sure you know where you can and can’t have them. If you’re headed to the airport of a government building, for example, you’ll want to leave your edibles at home.
- The effects of edibles last for a long time
Smoking flower is great when you need relief quickly, but when you want the effects to last a long time, edibles are your best option. When you ingest cannabis, it takes longer for the effects to kick in, but those effects will last for a much longer time. You also don’t need to consume as much cannabis to get these long-lasting effects.
Everyone is different, and the timing depends on a multitude of factors like our metabolism and whether you’ve eaten or have an empty stomach. However, in general, it takes between 30 minutes and 4 hours to start feeling the effects of edibles. From there, the effects can last a few hours or even up to twelve hours. This is why many people take edibles before going to bed – getting that full impact while they sleep makes them wake up feeling incredibly rested.
- Edibles are a great alternative to smoking
Although smoking cannabis is probably the most popular consumption method, it’s not for everyone. Edibles won’t expose you to the potentially harmful effects of smoking. If you’ve been avoiding trying cannabis because you thought you had to smoke it, edibles are the perfect opportunity for you to try cannabis.
Already familiar with edibles? Try something new
If you’ve been consuming cannabis edibles for a while, maybe it’s time to try something new. If you’ve always been into baked goods, branch out and try some beverages, chocolate bars, or even an adaptogen-boosted cannabis gummy for example. There are plenty of edibles to choose from so you can be sure you’ll find something new that you can enjoy.
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