BOQ & ME Bank should follow


Virgin Money today launched its new ‘digital bank’, featuring a transaction account that allows you to earn reward points and redeem them for cash. There is also a new savings account with a rate that places it among the best bonus savings rates in Canstar’s database.




Virgin Money has launched a new digital bank. Image provided.




Virgin Money Australia is going beyond its existing credit card, insurance and retirement product offerings, today launching a transaction account, two savings accounts and a rewards program.




This was made possible by the launch of Virgin Money’s new digital bank, which runs on the Temenos cloud-based banking platform.




The new technology is expected to allow customers to access their credit cards, transaction accounts, savings accounts and loyalty program details, all in one place, hosted in a new mobile app.




Virgin Money home loans will soon be added to the Temenos platform and will continue to be guaranteed by the Bank of Queensland (BOQ), owner of Virgin Money.




Virgin Money is the first of the BOQ group brands to switch to the new digital platform, with BOQ itself to follow. A BOQ spokesperson told Canstar that ME Bank would join shortly after, once the recent announcement acquisition of ME Bank by BOQ is complete.




Here are some more details about the three new banking products available from Virgin Money and how the new rewards program works.




Virgin Money Go Transaction Account




According to Virgin Money, the features of this account will include:




  • No monthly fees
  • Earn eight Virgin Money Rewards points per transaction on daily purchases, when monthly criteria are met (see below)
  • Access to transact with Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay
  • A debit card issued by Visa.




The rate of earning rewards on the Go transaction account competes with Bankwest, which also offers rewards on debit card purchases. Bankwest offers three Qantas points per transaction compared to Virgin Money’s eight, although Bankwest’s offering also allows customers to earn Qantas points based on their account balance.




Canstar financial expert Steve Mickenbecker said it was “rare” to have loyalty points on spending through a transaction account, which was typically reserved only for credit card spending.




Monthly criteria to earn 8 Virgin Money Rewards points per transaction:




  • If you are 25 or over, deposit $ 2,000 or more to your Go account from an external account and make at least five debit card, direct debit, or BPAY payments in the previous month that settle this month there (not pending).
  • If you are between 18 and 24 years old, deposit $ 1,000 or more to your Go account from an external account and make at least five debit card, direct debit, or BPAY payments in the previous month that settle for this. month (not pending).
  • If you are between 14 and 17 years old, no monthly criteria apply to earn Rewards points.




Virgin Money Boost Saver Account




Virgin Money says that it will automatically open a Boost Saver account for you if you open a Go transaction account. Features of the Boost Saver include:




  • A total interest rate of 1.20% (composed of a base rate of 0.10% + a premium rate of 1.10% available when the monthly criteria are met)
  • Set up to nine personalized savings goals
  • Joint account available
  • Deposits guaranteed up to $ 250,000 by the government guarantee.




The interest rate of the Boost Saver account is the neobank 86400 bonus rate of 1.20%, although the 86400 Save account only requires a deposit of $ 1000 per month and has no requirement for card purchase to earn the full rate (see Virgin Money bonus criteria below).




Westpac and BOQ still have the highest bonus savings rates in the Canstar database, at 3% for 18-29 year olds with a Westpac Life Account and the same rate for 14-24 year olds with a BOQ Fast Track Starter account, assuming the bonus criteria are met. ING follows at 1.35% with its Savings Maximiser account, then the AMP Bank Saver Account (1.25%) and 86,400 and Virgin Money accounts (1.20%).




Monthly criteria to earn bonus interest on the Boost Saver account:




  • If you are 25 or over, deposit $ 2,000 or more to your Go account from an external account and make at least five debit card, direct debit, or BPAY payments in the previous month that settle this month there (not pending).
  • If you are between 18 and 24 years old, deposit $ 1,000 or more to your Go account from an external account and make at least five debit card, direct debit, or BPAY payments in the previous month that settle for this. month (not pending).
  • If you are between 14 and 17 years old, no monthly criteria apply to earn bonus interest.




Virgin Money Grow Saver Account




Virgin Money states that the features of this account include:




  • 0.65% total interest (0.10% base rate + 0.55% bonus rate available when monthly criteria are met)
  • No transaction account required
  • Set up to nine personalized savings goals
  • Joint account available
  • Deposits guaranteed up to $ 250,000 by the government guarantee.




Monthly criteria to earn bonus interest on Grow Saver account:




  • Make at least one deposit to your Grow Saver account.
  • Do not make more than one withdrawal per month (including internal transfers or Pay Someone transfers) from your Grow Saver.




Virgin Money Rewards




The Virgin Money Rewards program is powered by customer loyalty business Ascenda and allows customers to convert their rewards points into cash or use their points to book accommodation or purchase gift certificates online. The main features of the program include:




  • Earn eight Virgin Money Rewards points per transaction on daily purchases, when monthly criteria are met (see Go account criteria above).
  • Earn and redeem points with over 100 partners, including: Menulog, THE ICONIC, HelloFresh and Virgin Active.
  • Get 5,000 bonus points when you sign up for a new Go account and make a purchase paid within the first 30 days – offer valid until June 30, 2021, and terms and conditions apply.
  • Redeem your points for cash in your Go, Boost Saver or Grow Saver account.
  • Use your points to “clear” a recent purchase and replenish your account with the equivalent amount of cash, within 90 days of the transaction.
  • Buy instant online gift certificates from Ascenda gift card partners.
  • Earn points for your birthday or for reaching a milestone.
  • Book a hotel stay and earn five points at check-out for every dollar spent on the reservation.




The new Virgin Money digital banking app is now available for download through the App Store and Google Play.




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