Helpful information about credit cards from bankingreforms.gov.au, good to know that the most expensive debts have to be paid off first:
Australian Banking Reforms - What Reforms are Next?
What reforms are next?
The next round of reforms is due to come into effect on 1 July 2012 and will affect credit cards and account switching arrangements.
Changes to credit cards will mean a fairer deal for card holders, and new account switching arrangements will make it easier for you to move your everyday transaction account from one financial institution to another – including all of those regular direct debits and credits.
Credit card reform
From 1 July 2012 changes to NEW credit card contracts mean:
- Credit card key fact sheets will provide a standardised layout of key information.
- You will have more control over the amount of credit you receive. When you apply for a credit card you will be asked to nominate a credit limit.
- Over-limit fees will be banned unless you specifically agree that your lender can charge you a fee for the service.
- You will be notified when you have exceeded your credit limit so you can decide whether to keep using your card or whether to make a payment to reduce your balance.
- Credit card providers will be required to direct repayments to the most expensive part of your credit card debt first - making it easier to reduce your debt faster.
From 1 July 2012 changes to ALL credit card contracts mean:
- Offers by card providers to increase your credit limit will be banned unless you expressly agree to receive them.
- Your monthly statements will include personalised information such as how long it would take you to pay off your entire balance if you only make minimum repayments. This will help you make more informed decisions about how much to pay off each month.
- Credit card providers will need to clearly show how their interest free periods work. This will make it easier for you to take advantage of these offers and benefit from the reduced amount of interest you are charged.