Side By Side Comparison: Credit Cards vs Charge Cards

Information verified correct on October 22nd, 2016

Credit Card or Charge Card – which is better?

Even though the term credit card and charge cards are used synonymously, they have some major differences.


Credit cards allow you to carry a balance, making minimum payments against that balance, also known as revolving credit – and include interest and finance charges against your balance, depending on the amount of credit used.  You must be cautious in not going over your limit, or to rack-up a high credit balance or paying them down is difficult, the more you charge, the more the fees accrue. Search for a leading low interest rate credit card.

The benefits of credit cards are that if you are between jobs, have emergency expenses, and cannot afford to cover it all at once, it is great to have.  Some credit companies offer rewards, and even discounts on airfare, hotels and car rentals, so they can save you cash if you travel, or want to vacation.


A charge card is like a thirty-day loan, in which you can charge items during the month, but the total balance must be paid within a specific time, generally thirty days, sometimes sooner if you’re over the limit or habitually late.  Since it is not a revolving balance card, if you don’t pay the balance off, penalties and interest will be accrued, and you will be penalised and possibly have your card usage suspended.  A good example of a charge card is American Express, which offers both credit cards and charge cards.

The obvious benefit to a charge card is that you can remain debt free, and it is great for those little emergencies, right before you get paid.

Choosing the right credit card:

Here are some of the credit cards that are very popular right now in Australia, that have some very attractive incentives.

Citibank Clear Platinum

If you’re looking for all the prestigious benefits that go along with a platinum card this is an outstanding offer. Here are some of the features you’ll find on this card.

  • Balance transfer rate of 0% p.a. for 9 months
  • Low purchase rate of 0% p.a. for 9 months (reverts to 14.99% p.a.)
  • Annual fee is $99 p.a.
  • Twenty-five percent discount available on shopping, dining and selected travel with the World Privileges by Citibank program. Concierge service provided by Visa.

Choosing the right Charge Card:

If you are in a position to pay the balance in full, every month – this is a competitive charge card choice.

American Express Gold Business

  • Annual fee of $169 p.a.
  • Conveniently pay all your business expenses with the AMEX Gold Business Card.
  • Get full control of tax return deductions.
  • First year fee ZERO percent interest.

Picking out the right credit card or charge card is a learning process. When you perform a credit card & charge card comparison, take a look at all of the benefits and features on each card and decide which one is right for you. Both types of cards have their benefits and your job is to decide which one will serve you best.

Try getting one of each to begin with, with very low credit limits, because it might help you decide which card is best at keeping your debt low, and keeping your life running smoothly!

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Credit Cards Comparison

Rates last updated October 22nd, 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
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
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 3% balance transfer fee $59 p.a. Go to site More info

* The credit card offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of credit cards 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.

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