So you’ve just enjoyed a three-course meal at your favourite restaurant. When the bill comes, you whip out a card that allows you to tap with funds you’ve already loaded using your pre-tax salary, so it feels like you don’t even pay for dinner at all. Or you’ve just filled up the trolley at the supermarket and instead of worrying about the cost, you know your items are already paid for with your salary packaging card.
This is the beauty of a pre-paid salary packaging card – it gives you instant access to your salary packaged funds. Every time you use it, it won’t deduct money from your bank account like a debit card or increase your debt like a credit card. Also known as a salary sacrifice card, a salary packaging card has the same functionality as a regular debit card. It also comes with swipe and tap payments for convenient use online and in person.
How do you set up a new card?
Whether you already have a salary packaging arrangement or want to set one up, get in touch with your salary packaging provider. You can nominate the amount you want to transfer each pay cycle from your pre-tax salary to your card. When your deduction happens, the amount you’ve specified gets loaded onto your card for you to spend as you need. The maximum amount you can allocate will depend on your specific salary packaging benefit (and entitlement), such as Meals & Entertainment or Living Expenses.
What can you use your Living Expenses card for?
Pile up the groceries and help yourself to a second pair of shoes simply by swiping your Living Expenses card. If you’re eligible, loading your salary packaged funds onto a card gives you a stress-free method of paying for everyday essentials and some of life’s little luxuries – all while sticking to your budget. Depending on your employer, you could package up to $9,010 or $15,900 during the 2022/2023 FBT year.
Use your card whenever you are doing your food or clothes shopping just by swiping or tapping at the checkout. This type of card also allows you to purchase fuel instantly when you fill up at the station. This is an especially welcome convenience given the current economy and climbing cost of living. Many people use their Living Expenses card to pay bills such as gas, electricity, water or council rates.
Most cards have a recognised platform to deliver full functionality therefore you can use it the same way you would when using your regular card. Just be sure to use your balance before the claimable benefit resets on March 31st, also known as the end of the FBT year.
What can you buy on a Meals & Entertainment card?
If you enjoy saving on wining, dining, holidays and celebrations, you’ll love having a Meals & Entertainment (M&E) card loaded with your salary packaged funds. M&E cards can have a balance of up to $2,650 on top of your living expenses allowance in the 2022/2023 FBT year.
This card can be used to pay for meals when you’re at top restaurants, or shout everyone a bite at your local. You can use the funds whenever and wherever you like at restaurants, pubs, cafes and many other hospitality venues. M&E funds can also be used to hire venues for special events so you can celebrate and save.
To take the celebrations further, you can also use your M&E allowance on travel packages that include accommodation anywhere in Australia (remember flights are only included if it’s a package holiday). You can use your M&E card to book the flights and accommodation just as you would with a normal card facility, by entering the card details at checkout.
While there was a relaxation of compliance during COVID that allowed delivered meals to be included in M&E, this has been changed as of April 1st, 2022. Thankfully as venues have opened back up, M&E cards can be used at a range of places. They cannot however be used for food deliveries or takeaway pick-up, venue vouchers, hired entertainment or tickets such as movies or musicals, or in-flight food. It’s important to note that if you do have an M&E card, make sure you use up the balance by the end of the FBT year to maximise your benefit.
How do you get a novated leasing fuel card?
If you get a novated lease as part of a salary packaging arrangement, your salary packaging provider can supply a fuel card through a provider such as Motorpass. When you have a novated lease, your car repayments don’t just pay off the car – each repayment goes towards a range of on-road costs, including your fuel. Because these repayments come from a combination of your pre-tax and post-tax salary, you could save as much as 30% every time you fill up. Having a fuel card is particularly satisfying for anyone who has dreaded pulling up to the service station or is worried about the rising cost of fuel. Read more about saving on fuel with novated leasing here.
Apply for a salary packaging card
It’s a simple application process and you will have your card soon after the application is completed. It is easy for you to access balances and transaction history through internet banking or via a mobile app. You can also set up push notifications so you know when your pay has been deposited onto your card and is ready to spend. There are no interest rates to worry about, just easily prepaid funds on a card with tap and swipe technology.
About The Salary Packaging People
The Salary Packaging People proudly partner with Beyond Bank Australia as our card provider. To apply, call us on 03 5229 4200 or contact us online. You can also read more on the Beyond Bank Australia website.