Your guide to the money data


The key to smart credit is to be informed about what’s on offer. Whether you’re looking for the cheapest credit card, a card loaded with bells and whistles, a cheap personal loan or a high-paying term deposit you’ll find the cream of the financial crop here.

CANSTAR (, a leading researcher on financial services, supplies the data. CANSTAR research covers more than 15,500 retail products, including mortgages and credit cards.

The products in the money data have been grouped and then ranked using variables such as the advertised rate of interest and the effective rate. Where a more complicated ranking methodology is required, CANSTAR applies its “five star” ranking system.

Star ratings take into account fees, features and flexibility. A five-star rating indicates that a product ranks in the top 5% of those available in Australia. Five-star products can be simple, low-cost products or fully featured but also reasonably priced.

What they mean

Five-star credit cards The CANSTAR credit card star ratings were arrived at in November 2012 after considering cost and a qualitative analysis of card features and associated reward programs. The relative competitiveness is indicated by the number of stars. Five stars denotes “excellent qualities”. Features and costs may have changed since the rating was decided.

Nominal rate The nominal interest rate is the simple annual interest rate. It’s the amount you would earn if you were paid interest in one lump sum at the end of the year.

Effective rate The effective rate takes into consideration interest payments during the year. If interest is paid, say, monthly, there is a “compounding” effect over the year, as interest is paid on interest. Information is correct as at April 8, 2013.


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