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Posts in Lifestyle

Health insurance is costing more 1 April 2019. Are you on the right policy?

March 11th, 2019 Posted by Lifestyle 0 thoughts on “Health insurance is costing more 1 April 2019. Are you on the right policy?”

The Federal Government has introduced a new tiered system of private hospital insurance which will begin rolling out from 1 April, 2019. Under this new system health funds will have to classify hospital policies into four tiers – Gold, Silver, Bronze and Basic, by 1 April, 2020. Private health insurance is an important issue to many Australians, with 55 per cent of the
population covered by some form of private health insurance. We’ve seen our policy premiums rise sharply over the years with more exclusions and gaps introduced. Many policies have become ‘junk’ status and not even worth having. It’s important that we review what policy cover we currently have and how this change may affects us.

The new tiers should, in theory, make choosing a policy simpler, however Choice  says that insurers could label their products as ‘Plus’, creating more categories; literally billions of versions of potential policies. The reforms may not reduce product confusion.

The federal government has created a factsheet to explain what treatments are included in Gold, Silver, Bronze and Basic policies. It’s good to examine your policy changes with your insurer and shop around.

 

 

Travelling tips from tourism expert Susie.

November 28th, 2017 Posted by Case Studies, Lifestyle, Time Management, Travel 0 thoughts on “Travelling tips from tourism expert Susie.”

 

Gobbill interviews travel expert Susie Sheldrick who works in tourism about her tips and tricks to make travelling a breeze.

You travel all the time for work. How do you manage being away so often and keeping up with friends at home? Do you just use your mobile to keep in contact?

Social media makes it easier. I have friends around the country as well as the world, so it is super easy to stay in contact on social media, especially if most people are on the one platform. Smart phones help as well. All the info I need is stored or accessible through my phone. I love how it is all cloud based these days as well, so if something happens to my phone I can log onto another device and get what I need.

What’s the best way you make the most of your time while travelling?

Do some research but keep plans flexible. It is good to know what the main things are you want to see and do. But the best experiences are always the ones that happen spontaneously that no amount of research and planning can facilitate.

I like to have an idea of where I am visiting, what the local food is, what attractions I want to see and any local quirks to be aware of like siestas…then ask a local, get exploring and let the adventure unfold.

If I am travelling for work I try to make the most of the contacts I have for work. Most people love talking about their city, favourite foods and places. You get the insider tips and it also helps develop that relationship.

 

What can’t you travel without?

Ohh. Good question. I am literally writing this on my phone mid flight so I suppose a smart phone these days… but I do remember the days of travelling without one so a better answer would be scarf (which I am wearing because I always find flights chilly!)

Scarfs are too versatile not to bring. I’ve used them in all types of destinations. I always have a light cloth one handy that is a decent size so that it can be used for everything. They can also pack up small and light so they are never an inconvenience. Over the years I have used a scarf as:

  • Clothing
  • Blanket especially if there is aircon
  • Makeshift carry thing
  • Towel
  • Picnic rug
  • Pillow
  • Pillow case (regrettable hostel)
  • Eye mask
  • Head covering for sacred places

I also always pack swimmers. It might be a little optimistic, a swimsuit. You never know when a pair of swimmers will come in handy.

 

Can you give our users some travel advice?

Don’t underestimate how far a smile and a bit of kindness can go. It transcends language and can get you far in a lot of places.

How do you manage other currencies overseas? Use a travel card?

I use a credit card with no international transaction or conversion fees for most things, then I just withdraw from my regular eftpos card when I need cash. I found currency cards don’t convert the cash at a good enough rate to be worth the hassle, especially if you aren’t using a major currency ie heading to a country that uses a currency that you can’t convert to directly like Norwegian Krones. And avoid currency exhange as much as possible. Most airports have an atm you can withdraw cash from as soon as you land.

It helps to do some research about the money norms in the location you are visiting. Not everywhere is as credit card friendly as Australia, even places that you would expect. I got caught out in Paris one time thinking all cabs accepted cards.

How do you keep up with bills back home while you’re travelling?

Gobbill!

Also a little bit pf planning. Not too many bills come out of the blue or a surprising amount, so it is possible to plan and budget.

Anything else you want to include?

Travel often!

Radio program Talking Technology interviews Gobbill’s CEO

November 27th, 2017 Posted by Business Management, Financial Management, Gobbill News, Lifestyle 0 thoughts on “Radio program Talking Technology interviews Gobbill’s CEO”

Radio program Talking Technology’s  Trever Long and Nick Bennett interviews Gobbill’s CEO about bill payments and making it easier to switch banks and service providers.

 

Listen to the recording.

 

 

Talking Lifestyle is a commercial radio station in Sydney, Australia owned by Macquarie Radio Network. It currently broadcasts from studios in Greenwich, New South Wales in Sydney’s North Shore. Former call sign 2UE 954 covering Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane & Perth.

Free holiday? Yes please. Learn how from our experts.

August 22nd, 2017 Posted by Financial Management, Lifestyle, Time Management, Travel 0 thoughts on “Free holiday? Yes please. Learn how from our experts.”

Everyone deserves a free holiday, and with the right rewards credit card you can accumulate enough points to travel for next to nothing. Want to learn how? The first step is to find the right credit card for you. Steve Mickenbecker from Canstar shares his expertise with Gobbill.

Know yourself before you fly into a rewards credit card
Choosing a credit card is one of the earliest financial decisions many young Australian adults will make. Rewards cards are one of the options that should be considered – but they are not right for everyone. Choosing the right credit card is not just about knowing about the cards on offer. It is also about knowing yourself and your financial behaviours.

Do you lose control of your credit card? For some people, no credit card will be right. If you struggle to save because the plastic in your pocket makes spending too easy, stick with a debit card and save before you spend.

Do you leave a debt balance on your card most months? Having passed the “qualify for a credit card test”, now you need to answer a question about your repayment behaviour. If you struggle to repay the full balance every month and end up leaving a debt on your card, you will be paying interest. Typically rewards cards carry higher interest rates, in the order of double that of the lowest rates on the market. The rewards you earn are unlikely to compensate you for the higher interest you are paying. A low rate card is may be a better option.

If you repay in full every month, which type of rewards are for you? If you are a regular payer of the full balance on your credit card then a rewards cards is an option. But you are now faced with the choice of frequent flyer cards or cards that earn you shopping coupons, merchandise or cash back. Frequent flyer rewards take a long time to earn if you spend less than $1,000 per month on your credit card. Shopping coupons and the like can be earned earlier and more frequently, and potentially pay their way as you go rather than waiting years for a flight.

For bigger spenders though, there is something satisfying about paying for flights for an overseas holiday every couple of years or for the odd long weekend at Noosa.

Whether flights or vouchers, don’t pay too high an annual fee
With some cards you pay a fee for the card and a fee for the rewards programme. There are a few free rewards cards, some quite low cost, lots around $400 and a few a lot more than that. What is too much however, depends on how much you spend on your card and the rate at which your card earns rewards.

If your spend is $1,000 per month, the rewards you earn will not cover a high cost card, so you may benefit by looking at the lower end of the scale. However, if you are spending $10,000 per month, a high cost card can be the right choice if it earns high rewards and other benefits.

So now that you understand about you, how do you choose a specific card?

In a nutshell the choice of a specific rewards card comes down to five sets of factors:

  1. What type of rewards do I prefer – flights, merchandise, shopping coupons, etc.
  2. For my level of spend, what dollar value of rewards do I earn.
  3. What is the annual fee for the card
  4. What other benefits will I use – travel insurance, concierge, airline lounge entry, etc.
  5. What are the underlying credit card conditions

Easy to say fast but a lot to consider when you see the myriad of cards on the market. Canstar compares over 200 credit cards from 64 providers on its website, meaning that the consumer has no shortage of choice ….. but in some ways too much choice.

Acknowledgments to

Steve Mickenbecker, Canstar Group Executive, Financial Services.

 

www.canstar.com.au 

Free holiday? Yes please. Learn how from our experts.

August 20th, 2017 Posted by Financial Management, Lifestyle, Time Management, Travel 0 thoughts on “Free holiday? Yes please. Learn how from our experts.”

Source: Photo – Singapore Airlines First Class

“It’s our pleasure to upgrade you to first class. Have a lovely flight.” These are the words that we’d all like to hear on a 23 hour flight to London, but it rarely happens. Everyone deserves an upgrade once in a while. Maybe even a free holiday…

A sure way to feel like royalty while travelling is to earn and spend reward points wisely. Earning reward points is like money on the ground, but most people just don’t have the time (or the insider knowledge) to pick it up. In addition, the reward scheme and how you spend points can determine whether points are valuable.

The first step is to find the right credit card to earn points. So we asked several experts for their advice. Our expert this week is Steve Hui.


Steve Hui is the CEO of iFlyFlat, a Sydney based travel concierge service that helps people to fly business and first class using points. We asked Steve for a few tips…

What should you look for in a credit card that earns reward points?
Remember that not all cards are created equal. There’s a range of different cards out there earning different kinds of points. The first step to picking the right card is understanding what kind of points you need to collect, and that comes from decided which destination you would like to travel to. For every destination, different airlines require different points to fly there – so pick the right points for the right destinations.
Then you can compare cards within that range to find which one will earn you the most points per dollar.

 

Are there good ways to find and compare cards?
As we know, there’s a range of airlines and cards to choose from. Once you have chosen what type of points to collect based on your travel intentions, it’s time to compare the card benefits. There’s a number of factors to consider;
1) Based on your spending habits, can you pay with mostly with AMEX or only VISA/Mastercard? (AMEX cards may earn more airline points per dollar)
2) Is the card capped as to a certain number of points?
3) Are there bonus points for certain retailers that you regularly use (e.g. Specific supermarkets and petrol stations)?
4) With my spending, will this card help me achieve my travel goal?

Which card do you use and what do you use it for?
Most of my points come from both a personal and business American Express card with each AMEX card earning between 2x to 3x points on every single dollar. The benefit of AMEX points is the increased flexibility. My AMEX points can be transferred to 10 different airline partners including Qantas, Emirates, Singapore and Virgin. Further, my points do not expire and are uncapped, so I can earn as much as I spend.

Remember to choose the card that works for your situation. Pay close attention to the points per dollar earnings and any caps/restrictions. Personally, I don’t worry about the annual fees very much, because the value of flights I redeem with my points far exceed the annual fee by a factor of 10x.

Great insights from Steve at iFlyFlat. In addition, paying expenses online with a reward-friendly credit card is a great way to get those points moving. Using Gobbill, you can link your credit card to make payments automatically. This can earn you reward points much faster and, of course, you don’t have to spend time actually paying the bills.

Gobbill also makes changing credit cards to earn bonus points a breeze. Want to pay one biller with a different credit card? Easy just change the details in Gobbill. In no time, you’ll be enjoying your free flight upgrade or holiday.

Acknowledgments to Steve Hui, Chief Executive, www.iFLYflat.com.au – The Points Whisperer.