Australian Credit Cards

Information verified correct on September 28th, 2016
Australian Credit Cards

Each person has their own specific needs when it comes to finances and it’s important to match the right credit card with your credit card needs.

Everyone uses their credit card differently. One person might only want a card for emergencies while another may choose to pay for absolutely everything with their plastic. Some people are use their cards to earn rewards while others use them to get out of debt or control their spending. Regardless of how you plan to use your card, the truth is they’re very handy. They can be useful to reserve hotel rooms and shop online. And even though Australia lacks some of the credit card offers we’ve seen overseas, there’s bound to be a card to suit your lifestyle and budget.

Australian credit cards come in all different shapes and sizes. It still pays to be aware of what types of credit cards are available here and how they’re used.

St.George Vertigo Visa

Low Interest Rate Credit Card

Enjoy a low rate balance transfer offer. The card also features a low ongoing purchase rate and a low annual fee.

  • $55 p.a. annual fee
  • 1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 13.24% p.a.) on purchases
  • 0% p.a. for 18 months on balance transfers
  • Cash Advance Rate of 21.49% p.a.
  • Up to 55 days interest free

Comparison of Australian Credit Cards

Rates last updated September 28th, 2016
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
Earn bonus Velocity Points in the first 3 months. 0% p.a. for 18 months on balance transfers.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 18 months $64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
American Express Essential Credit Card
Receive a $50 credit on eligible spend and get Smartphone screen insurance combined with a no annual fee for life card. Also enjoy a 0% p.a. balance transfer rate for 12 months.
14.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $0 p.a. Go to site More info
St.George Vertigo Visa
Introductory offer of 0% p.a. for 18 months on balance transfers and 1% p.a. for 12 months on purchases, plus a low annual fee.
1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 13.24% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 18 months $55 p.a. Go to site More info
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
Receive a full annual fee refund and save $149 if you meet the $6,000 spend requirement. Enjoy a balance transfer offer and platinum card benefits such as complimentary insurances and concierge services.
19.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 15 months $149 p.a. Go to site More info
St.George Vertigo Platinum
A platinum card with a balance transfer offer of 0% p.a. for 20 months and an introductory purchase offer of 1% p.a. for 12 months with an annual fee waiver for the first year.
1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 12.74% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 20 months $99 p.a. Go to site More info
Citi Qantas Signature Credit Card
Earn up to 70,000 bonus Qantas Points on eligible spend, plus enjoy a 0% p.a. for 6 months offer on balance transfers.
20.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 6 months $99 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($395 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
ANZ First Visa Credit Card - Exclusive Offer
Take advantage of this exclusive offer and enjoy 0% p.a. for the first 12 months on balance transfers and 0% p.a. for the first 3 months on purchases.
0% p.a. for 3 months (reverts to 19.74% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 12 months $30 p.a. Go to site More info
Westpac Low Rate Card
A no frills credit card with an introductory rate of 0% p.a. for 18 months on balance transfers and 1% p.a. for 12 months on purchases.
1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 13.49% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 18 months $59 p.a. Go to site More info
ME Bank frank Credit Card
Enjoy a low and consistent interest rate on purchases and cash advances, combined with no annual fee.
11.99% p.a. $0 p.a. Go to site More info
ANZ First Visa Credit Card
Enjoy a low annual fee, interest-free days on purchases and a low minimum credit limit.
19.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 18 months with 3% balance transfer fee $30 p.a. Go to site More info
ANZ Platinum Credit Card - Exclusive Offer
Receive $200 back when you spend $500 in the first 3 months. Also enjoy a $0 annual fee for the first year.
19.74% p.a. $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($87 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
NAB Low Rate Credit Card
The NAB Low Rate Card offers 0% p.a. on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months. This card also comes with a low annual fee.
0% p.a. for 15 months (reverts to 13.99% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 15 months with a one off 2% balance transfer fee $59 p.a. Go to site More info
HSBC Platinum Qantas Credit Card
Receive 60,000 bonus Qantas Points on eligible spend within 3 months. Enjoy access to premium benefits and complimentary insurance.
19.99% p.a. $199 p.a. Go to site More info
Virgin No Annual Fee Credit Card
No annual fee for the life of the card with $100 cashback and a 0% p.a. offer on balance transfers for 18 months. Spend criteria applies for cashback offer.
18.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 18 months with 2% balance transfer fee $0 p.a. Go to site More info
ANZ Platinum Credit Card
Enjoy platinum card benefits with $0 annual fee in the first year and complimentary overseas travel and medical insurance.
19.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 18 months with 3% balance transfer fee $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($87 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info

What type of Australian credit card is *best for you?

Before you can choose the right piece of plastic for your wallet you have to know what it is you want from your card. Part of figuring this out is understanding your own spending habits and your budget. Most cardholders fall into a few categories. By answering a few simple questions you can determine which type of spender you are and then which kind of card would suit your needs.

  • Are you only going to use your credit card for emergencies?
    Even though card use is convenient and secure, some people are most comfortable using cash to pay for everything possible. If this describes you then a credit card that costs little to own, like a no frills and no annual fee option may be an ideal choice.
  • Are you going to put everything on your card and pay it off each month?
    Those who will take the route of building up and paying off their debts regularly can earn big benefits with rewards cards. You can compare rewards cards on this page. They can cost a bit in the way of annual fees so be sure to check this out when comparing. If you’re paying your balance in full each month, the purchase rate of interest will also be of little consideration due to interest free days. There’s a number of interest free day offers with credit cards – from up to 44 to 65 interest free days on purchases. If you pay your balance in full each month, you won’t get charged interest on purchases you’ve made with the card.
  • Do you think you will revolve your balance from month to month?
    One of the biggest costs of using plastic are the rates of interest on purchases and cash advances. Each month you will incur interest on the remaining balance. As the debt revolves you will be charged interest on your total balance which may include the interest you were charged in previous months. Those who anticipate revolving a balance will get the most benefit by using low interest credit card option.
  • Do you have old card debt that you are paying high interest on each month?
    One way to relieve your debt is to get a balance transfer deal. These cards offer low interest rates for an introductory period of time. A balance transfer deal allows you to pay down the debt at a much lower cost because of this reduction in interest. The lower cost will also lead to paying off your balance faster, which can save even more money.
Back to top

Types of Australian credit cards

Understanding the type of spender that you are is only the beginning of your search for the right credit card. Even if you say that you want a no annual fee card there are loads of different options within that type of card. Along with knowing the type of card that you would like to own you also need to familiarise yourself with the terms and potential options from different issuers. That way you can get the right type of card from the right company that is perfect for your needs.

  • No annual fee card

    It might sound pretty simple and straightforward but the words ‘no annual fee’ have a few different meanings in the world of credit cards. There are some that actually mean no annual fee ever for the life of the credit card. These cards are a good choice if you’re not spending much or will spend, but pay off your debt each month. They tend to have higher interest rates to make up for the lack of an annual fee so if you will revolve a balance they are probably not the best financial choice.

    There are also some products that have a promotional discounted or waived annual fee for just the first year. If you choose this option make sure that the fee will revert to something reasonable and that the card is worth owning once you have to start paying that fee. A third type of no annual fee plastic is the special offer variety. This is when your annual fee is waived if you meet specific criteria. It may be once you meet a certain spending minimum or if you have a linked account from the issuer. Make certain that you can meet the requirements without adding cost to your bottom line if you choose this type of no annual fee deal.

    What characteristics does a no annual fee card have?

    A no annual fee is usually a low cost card with minimal features. Here’s what you can expect with a no annual fee credit card.

    • No rewards programs
    • No perks like complimentary insurance and
    • Can have less interest free days.

    Further information and comparison of $0 Annual Fee Credit Cards

  • Rewards card

    The rewards card is one of the most prestigious but often misunderstood of all forms of plastic. A lot of consumers think that owning one is a simple process of spending and earning points and then reaping all sorts of fancy perks. While this is mostly true there are also some drawbacks to these that you should be aware of before you put one in your wallet.

    The first thing to note is that in most cases in order to get big rewards you also have to spend big money. Not only will the card that has the better rewards redemption options be more expensive in terms of the annual fee you will also have to spend a lot to get anything measurable in return. It’s estimated that the average consumer needs to spend approximately $20,000 per year in order to offset the cost of owning their card in terms of rewards value. That is a significant amount of spending, however if you can do it there are some pretty great benefits.

    Rewards can be anything from cash backs to gift cards to frequent flyer miles depending on which card you choose. Gold or platinum cards usually have added benefits like complimentary travel insurance, purchase cover, and concierge services too.

    What characteristics does a rewards card have?

    Rewards cards are generally feature-heavy cards. Here’s what you can expect with a rewards credit card.

    • A higher annual fee
    • The possibility of bonus points on sign up
    • Generally a higher required income than a low interest or no annual fee card and
    • Complimentary insurance policies.

    Further information and comparison of Rewards Credit Cards

  • Low interest card

    Many consumers go for a card in this category because a great number of us do not pay our bill in full at the end of each month. Instead, we use the credit card as a form of financing and make purchases that we know we will need a month or two to pay off. If you’re this type of consumer then you should first consider cards with a low interest rate.

    By getting the lowest possible interest rate you can, you can finance your purchases at a lower cost and save more of your money. While these cards might have a bit of a higher annual fee it’s usually worth it to get an ongoing low interest rate. Like the no annual fee choice they don’t usually come with many added benefits and perks. Also, be sure to note if the low interest rate is standard or if it’s merely an introductory offer. Those introductory offers can be great in the short term, just make sure your ongoing rate remains low so you do not wind up deep in debt.

    What characteristics does a low interest card have?

    Low interest cards are similar to no annual fee cards in that they are low cost, minimal-feature cards. In general a low interest credit card will have:

        • A high number of interest free days each statement cycle
        • Low or discounted annual fees and
        • No complimentary insurance policies.

    Further information and comparison of Low Interest Rate Credit Cards

  • Balance transfer card

    If you have never heard of a balance transfer then you might be missing out on one of the cheapest and easy ways to clear out high interest debt. The premise is simple, you transfer the debt from one or several cards to a new card that has a lower interest rate for a limited time period.

    By doing this you are able to start paying down your debt faster because more of your payments go to the principle instead of just to interest fees. There are many different levels of balance transfer deals based on the interest rate and the length of time that rate lasts.

    Typically the lower the rate the shorter the term. For example, many zero percent balance transfers last between three and six months. Generally, as the interest rate increases, so does the balance transfer promotional period.

    To decide which one is ideal for your situation you first have to consider how much time you will need to completely pay off your balance and then look for the offer with the lowest interest rate for that length of time.

    A balance transfer card can be tricky, so your best bet is to use it for nothing other than the initial transfer until the balance is paid off. Also, be sure to always pay your bill on time or you might wind up having that great interest rate withdrawn.

    What characteristics does a card with a balance transfer promotion have?

    A card with a balance transfer rate can come from any of the above categories. Balance transfer offers are generally used as an incentive, so it’s possible that many cards, from platinum or gold, to rewards cards and low interest cards can features a balance transfer offer.

    Further information and comparison of balance transfer credit cards

Back to top

Using an Australian credit card

An Australian credit card can be used in stores, over the phone or online, making them very versatile. It should be noted that this same versatility can be found on a debit card, so if you’re looking for a way to use your own money with the same flexibility as a credit card this could be your answer.
Australian credit cards can also be used for:

  • Paying bills - Many credit cards allow you to use BPAY to pay your bills. BPAY is a bills payment system which allows you to pay bills over the phone or the internet.
  • Paying bonds for hotel stays - Often a credit card will be used as security for a hotel when staying in one of their rooms. This ensures that if the room is damaged or there are any unpaid charges, they can still receive payment.
  • Getting complimentary insurance when travelling Many platinum or gold credit cards offer complimentary travel insurance when going overseas or even travelling domestically.

Generic features of an Australian credit card

An Australian credit card has some basic features which you should get to know,this is how you will ensure you get the most out of it.

          • Card number - This is your personal card number, and is used to identify your account when making payments or enquiring about your account with your bank.
          • Security PIN - A security Personal Identification Number (PIN) is used as an alternative to signing your name, and is the number needed to authorise a payment using your card.
          • Security chip - This is the metallic chip located on the front face of your credit card, and securely holds your card details.
          • Signature strip - This is usually found underneath the magnetic strip on the back of the card, and is used by merchants to ensure your signature is correct when signing for a payment.
          • Magnetic strip -This is the strip found on the back of the card, and is used when swiping the card to make a purchase. It also holds your card details, but is widely seen as less secure than a security chip.

Start a comparison today

Knowing what’s in the credit card market means you’re better positioned to choose the right card when you need one.

Keep up-to-date with current offers and compare the cards in your chosen category today. This will help your finances work for you.

Compare Credit Cards

Back to top
Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

Related Posts

Ask a Question

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Disclaimer: At finder.com.au we provide factual information and general advice. Before you make any decision about a product read the Product Disclosure Statement and consider your own circumstances to decide whether it is appropriate for you.
Rates and fees mentioned in comments are correct at the time of publication.
By submitting this question you agree to the finder.com.au privacy policy, receive follow up emails related to finder.com.au and to create a user account where further replies to your questions will be sent.

2 Responses to Australian Credit Cards

  1. Default Gravatar
    andrew | August 19, 2013

    Hi. I am wanting to start a online business and need a credit card to finish a computer course I am doing. I am looking for a credit card that has rewards has low interest rates, low annual fees and lets me use my card for whatever I want. I am on a pension and need about $10 000 and would like to pay it off as I go.I have never had a credit card before and am looking for a card that will work for me.

Credit Cards Comparison

Rates last updated September 28th, 2016
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
Enjoy a 0% p.a. balance transfer offer for 18 months and also earn 2 bonus Velocity Points in the first 3 months on everyday spend.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 18 months $64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
ME Bank frank Credit Card
Enjoy a low and consistent interest rate on purchases and cash advances, combined with no annual fee.
11.99% p.a. $0 p.a. Go to site More info
St.George Vertigo Visa
Introductory offer of 0% p.a. for 18 months on balance transfers and 1% p.a. for 12 months on purchases, plus a low annual fee.
1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 13.24% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 18 months $55 p.a. Go to site More info
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
Receive a full annual fee refund and save $149 if you meet the $6,000 spend requirement. Enjoy a balance transfer offer and platinum card benefits such as complimentary insurances and concierge services.
19.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 15 months $149 p.a. Go to site More info

* The credit card offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of credit cards CreditCardFinder.com.au has access to track details from and is not representative of all the products available in the market. Products are displayed in no particular order or ranking. The use of terms 'Best' and 'Top' are not product ratings and are subject to our disclaimer. You should consider seeking independent financial advice and consider your own personal financial circumstances when comparing cards.

Ask a question
feedback