5 Things You Should Know About Salary Packaging Cards

By Ben Markovic

Salary packaging cards are a popular choice for employees of not-for-profit organisations. They offer an easy and convenient way to salary package. An employee’s salary packaging amount is placed on the card each pay cycle to then use on their household expenses. These include groceries, fuel, bills, general shopping, and online purchases. There is also a separate card for dining out and holiday accommodation.

Although many employers are familiar with salary packaging cards, there are often questions. So we’ve pulled together a list of top things you should know when it comes to salary packaging cards!

1. Cards aren’t the only option

Many employers see cards as a simple solution to offering salary packaging. However, it’s important to keep in mind that employees don’t need to use a card. Many employees prefer to salary package their existing expenses such as rent, mortgage, credit card repayments, car loan repayments, health insurance, school fees, and more. Such expenses may be salary packaged as reimbursements or direct payments. This is what GO Salary does – and we do it well!

2. Funds must be spent by 31 March

The salary packaging year, or the fringe benefits tax year (FBT year), runs from 1 April until 31 March. This is different from the financial year for income tax purposes. It is a Tax Office requirement that employees spend the funds on their cards by 31 March. With GO Salary’s online system, it’s easy to keep an eye on your card balance as you will have online and app access. Not only that, but GO Salary will keep you informed as 31 March approaches to make sure you can make the most of your tax-free purchases.

3. Employees can ‘pre-load’ their cards

Typically, employees will top up their cards evenly over the year, with say, 26 equal payments paid fortnightly. However, GO Salary will allow you to accelerate your payments in line with your lifestyle. For example, rather than salary package $2,650 to meal entertainment limit over 26 fortnights ($101 a pay), you can salary package $202 a pay over 13 fortnights. In that way, sufficient funds are available. This can be very useful for the summer holidays!

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4. Employees can have different cards with different employers

Employees who work at multiple charities can access salary packaging at each employer. The $15,900 expenses limit applies to each employer. So, an employee who already uses a salary packaging card at one organisation can still get one at their second (or even third) job. This can help with additional tax savings and is especially common for casual staff members. The same applies to the $2,650 meal entertainment limit. It is available for each employer.

5. Not all card providers are created equally

GO Salary’s card provider is Beyond Bank, a trusted and respected community bank with 60 years of experience. Having provided over $27M in community grants over the last 15 years, Beyond Bank is a natural fit for GO Salary. Furthermore, Beyond Bank does not provide ‘gaming cards’ unlike many of its competitors, which is another positive for our not-for-profit charities.

Want to learn more?

GO Salary has a full-service offering, with our members able to choose between salary packaging cards and their existing expenses (or even a combination). By partnering with the customer-owned Beyond Bank, GO Salary delivers an industry-leading card service that is safe and secure. The best way to learn more is to book a 20-minute demo with us!