GE Money 28 Degrees MasterCard

Review: GE Money 28 Degrees MasterCard

What's Hot

  • 55 interest free days on purchases
  • No annual fee
  • PayPass functionality for quick, contactless purchases

What's Not

  • No frequent flyer points
  • No insurance coverage

X-Factor

  • No international transaction fees

Introduction

GE Money has a little-known card that’s great for jetsetters, offering fee-free transactions anywhere in the world.

Although some credit cards award extra points on overseas spend, the 28 Degrees MasterCard does away with frequent flyer points entirely – instead rewarding travellers with a smaller bill when they return home.

 

Who’s it good for?

With no international transaction fees on purchases, the card is great for frequent overseas travellers who typically shop abroad where credit cards are accepted, and who don’t mind forgoing frequent flyer points in favour of a saving at the hip pocket.

A minimum credit limit of just $500 also makes the card accessible to low income earners, while occasional travellers could simply keep the 28 Degrees in a drawer until their next trip.

Fees and charges

What makes this card so attractive is the absence of those usual fees and charges.

In addition to no fees on international transactions – whether conducted online or abroad – there’s no annual card fee either.

Where you’ll be stung is at the ATM. If you’re withdrawing cash from the account, a fee of 3% or $4 applies – even if you’ve repaid more than owed on the account and have a ‘credit’ (negative) balance.

Up to 55 interest free days are available on purchases, although interest charges of 20.99% will apply if the closing balance isn’t paid in full for that statement period and the one prior.

Cash advances attract the same interest rate, although don’t qualify for interest free days, which is to be expected.

GE Money charges cardholders a $0.50 fee for every paper statement issued, although if you’d still like a carbon copy, it only amounts to $6 each year.

Insurance

In keeping with the simplistic nature of the card, insurance of any description isn’t available by default.

‘Shopper’s protection insurance’ comes as an optional add-on, comprised of both price and merchandise protection.

With the insurance, cardholders can lodge a claim for the price difference if a purchased item is subsequently reduced in price at the same retailer within a six month period, while merchandise protection covers loss, theft and damage for the same time period.

Travel insurance isn’t part of the parcel, although coverage extending to loss of income is also included as part of the insurance add-on, priced at 0.5% of the closing balance each month up to a maximum of $50 in each statement cycle.

How it compares

Devoid of the usual international transaction fees, the card is regarded as one of the best for foreign spend amongst savvy travellers.

However, if you’d rather be earning points, then this isn’t the card for you. In that case, consider the Bankwest Qantas Platinum MasterCard.

With an annual fee of $160, Bankwest’s card also waives the international transaction fees while paying out one Qantas point per dollar spent.

For non-AMEX spend on home soil, also check out the HSBC Qantas Platinum Visa and the Woolworths Everyday Rewards MasterCard. Both cards award one point per $1 spent in Australia, which are both an improvement on the 28 Degrees' earn of 0 points.

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Chris Chamberlin
Chris Chamberlin is a senior journalist with Australian Business Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!
 

5 comments

  • Colin Steven

    colin5353

    7 Apr, 2014 01:26 pm

    It was worthwhile when it had no ATM fees - but not anymore.  Citibank still has a Visa Debit card with no ATM fees, so I went with that the last trip to the USA.

    No member give thanks

  • sagidec

    sagidec

    7 Apr, 2014 01:48 pm

    It's a good backup card if your main card for international purchases have been compromised while travelling.

    No member give thanks

  • spentan

    spentan

    7 Apr, 2014 04:43 pm

    Citibank Plus is way better

    No member give thanks

  • KK

    KK

    7 Apr, 2014 05:10 pm

    I once used both cards in Europe and China, Citibank is better.

    For points, Citibank family and friends promotion offers 0 annual fee for life for their Platinum and Signature credit cards.

    No member give thanks

  • Cluffne

    Cluffne

    7 May, 2014 04:49 am

    I have a 28 Degree card and used it to book many hotels, flights and tours on my European holiday this year.   All up by using the 28 Degree card, i estimate that ive saved over $300 in fees etc, compared if i used a standard bank credit card.

    its a great product. 

    No member give thanks

Guest

21 Sep, 2018 09:00 am

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