Top Australian Credit Cards* Compared. Apply now and save!
This guide will aim to provide you with all you need to know to do an online credit card comparison. When it comes to the task of comparing credit cards, it is really important that you do your research first and go through a process of elimination to find the right credit card for you. We have created a top credit cards* chart for each major card type, which will help you benchmark each offer against other top rating credit cards* available in the market.
Table of Contents: Guide to Credit Card Comparison
- Top Credit Cards* Comparison
- Balance Transfer Credit Card Comparison
- Rewards Credit Card Comparison
- No Annual Fee Credit Card Comparison
- Low Interest Credit Card Comparison
Credit Card Comparison: How does your credit card compare?
If you do your comparison, you will find the St.George Vertigo Credit Card to be one of the most competitive credit card offers currently available. It offers a low interest rate on purchases, and a competitive balance transfer offer.
- $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
Top Credit Cards* Comparison
A recent survey revealed that approximately 50% of Australians applied to their own bank for a new credit card, without checking any of the other offers available on the market and only 6% claimed to have done a credit card comparison. Australia is ahead of many countries in terms of available financial products but these figures are worrying because it shows a lack of understanding, which gets people in hot water when they rack up debt with huge interest costs simply because they didn’t shop around for better deals. There is a lot of value to be had by checking around to see what offers are available on the market as well as providing you with the essential factors that should form the basis of your comparison.
Many people don’t realise that new credit card offers come onto the market regularly and, as a result, they are still using their old credit cards that might have a significantly higher interest rate. Therefore, even if you aren’t necessarily on the market for a new card, you should still regularly do a credit card comparison. Australia has many providers competing for your business, so you should take advantage of this and make sure you stay current with all the offers on the market. The more information you have, the more money you will be able to save in the long term in interest costs and fees by switching to a better card.
Balance Transfer Credit Card Comparison
As with any credit card, before you sign up for a balance transfer you need to make sure that you do your research properly and conduct a credit card comparison. Australia has a lot of lenders that would be happy to gain you as a client which is why there are so many attractive balance transfer offers. After all, they don’t do anything for nothing and their ultimate goal in offering you such a great deal is to lure you away from the competition.
When comparing balance transfer credit cards, there are a few important factors you need to look at. One is, obviously, the interest rate you will be charged for the balance transfer. You will often find that the lower the rate, the less time you have to pay off your balance transfer before it reverts to the regular rate.
Next, you should compare how long the promotional interest rate is valid for. This factor can often be more important than the interest rate because if you can’t pay off your balance transfer in 6 months at 0% interest rate, for example, it will revert to the purchase rate so you wouldn’t have achieved anything. In this case, you are probably better off choosing a longer term offer, even if the interest is slightly higher.
Also make sure to check all the fees because some cards come with high fees and if you only have a small amount of outstanding debt, you might end up spending your savings from interest costs on the annual fee of the card.
Rewards Credit Card Comparison
If your goal is to benefit from a rewards programme, one thing you need to make sure is that you aren’t using your card simply to gain more points so you can get that “free” gift they are offering you. As we’ve stated before, lenders don’t do anything for nothing, so you had better believe that their rewards program is merely an enticement to get you to use your card more and, hopefully, be unable to pay off the full amount during the grace period. Remember that a bank’s revenue comes from interest and fees, so the more interest you pay, the happier they are.
However, if you are still interested in a rewards credit card comparison, Australia, you will find, has an extensive selection. Before you jump in feet first, here are some factors to consider beforehand. First of all, you need to know exactly how you can earn points, how many you can earn, the value of a point and what can you get in exchange for them. Additionally, make sure to find out if there is cap, meaning that you are restricted from over a certain number of points for a certain period of time.
No Annual Fee Credit Card Comparison
While many lenders will tout their offer as being the *best, you need to understand that many lenders integrate into another pricing structure, so that you will still be paying the same fee but probably won’t realise it. This is why you need to pay special attention when doing your no annual fee credit card comparison. Australia has a wide range of offers when it comes to no annual fee credit cards, which is why you should do your due diligence properly.
You want to find out things like the length of the grace period for purchases. You should also compare interest rates on purchases and cash advances across the board. After all, your goal is to get the most competitive rates so you can keep your interest costs to a minimum.
Low Interest Credit Card Comparison
When you conduct a low interest credit card comparison, there are a few factors you should consider, including the obvious rate and annual fees. First of all, you should employ a healthy dose of scepticism when you do your credit card comparison. Australia has many lenders and none of them are in the game to lose money. This means that you need to triple check everything to ensure you won’t have a nasty surprise that the low interest you are being offered is only valid for a few months, as an introductory bonus.
You also need to make sure you read all the fine print and ensure that there are no hidden costs. If you travel, you also want to make sure you can use the card abroad and what the fees are on foreign transactions.
There is no doubt that, if you want to save money in interest costs, you need analyse the aforementioned factors on a regular basis and make sure to conduct a credit card comparison. Australia has a wide selection of offers when it comes to credit cards, which means stiff competition and better deals for you, as long as you are aware of them and can take advantage.
The two types of credit card users:
People who know how to manage credit cards use them as a smoothing tool throughout the year. They pay off their card in full each month and never risk the costly side effects of paying interest rates. The tool helps them to acquire new products and services while they can save up the money during the time span given between expenditure and payment of the bill.
Others yet fall prey to the vicious cycle of spending and debt – they fail to even make the minimum monthly payments on their credit card bill and end up with massive debt that accumulates every time they use their card.
Is it actually possible to live without credit cards in this day and age?
This is a good question! If you look at it from a consumer angle then the answer to this question is probably no. On the other hand, you can live without a credit card – but to be honest, it is damn hard because more and more companies basically pressure you to pay your utility bills with a card or with the help of online banking.
Fail to abide by their demands and they whack you with an expensive surcharge because you still use ‘antiquated’ payment methods such as using a telephone or a branch. So while it is possible to live without a credit card, it is inconvenient and complicated in many circumstances, let alone dangerous because you might carry large amounts of cash around.
Types of credit cards:
Choosing form the vast pool of credit cards feels often like trying to find a needle in a haystack. These days there are so many credit card providers who try to wrestle for your attention it is hard to make an informed choice on a card without doing some research first.
To help you understand each card’s meaning, let’s take a look at the following overview of what are generally considered to be credit cards:
Credit cards: Credit cards are cards that lend you money to the amount of a set maximum credit. You are required to repay the money lent each month in full, otherwise you are legally bound to pay fees and penalties such as interest rates.
These cards also vary with many features given by lenders. You can choose between a no annual fee credit card, a low fee credit card, a rewards program credit card, a premium credit card, a balance transfer card and others yet.
Important Note: If you plan on using your credit card primarily as lending tool and not pay off your debt in full each month, then you should know that if your credit card repayment is below 5 per cent of the owed balance, it’ll be a massive 25 years before you actually pay off your card in full!
Affinity Cards: Affinity credit cards are cards offered by lenders in conjunction with a non-financial group. These groups could be airlines, or non-for profit organisation giving you special points such as Frequent Flyer points or vouchers and gifts.
Store Cards: Many Australian department stores offer consumers their own branded credit cards these days. Some of them might give you special offers or extended guarantees. A typical example is the buy now – pay later offers given by many stores.
You should however be very mindful of these cards because they often attract much higher interest rates than ‘traditional’ credit cards.
Charge Cards: A charge card has to be paid off in full each month. These cards usually have higher credit limits and are attractive for consumers who are budget-wise. Not paying these type of cards in full will be costly.
Debit Cards: Debit cards are probably used by pretty much every Australian old enough to have a savings account. Opposed to a credit card where you lend the money before paying it back, a debit card draws your own money from a checking or savings account.
The new ANZ Everyday VISA Debit Card is a great debit card for the young and the young at heart.
How to choose the right card:
Choosing the right card depends entirely on your financial needs. Generally you fall under two types of card users:
- The person intending to pay off the card balance each month,
- and the person not intending to do so.
What card to choose if you want to pay off the balance each month: If you fall under this category then you probably use your card as a convenience tool. The right type of card for you in that instance is one with an interest-free period such as a 55 days interest-free period.
Your money will accumulate interest as it sits in your account helping you to make money twice (by saving credit card interest) and (by earning interest accrued on all your savings).
What card is an option when you don’t want to pay off the balance of your card each month: If you bank on using the card without repaying all of your debt, then do not choose an interest-free card.
Instead you need to look for low-interest rate cards, or if your debt is already considerably high, a personal loan or balance card.
The cost of credit cards:
Every type of credit card comes with its own set of fees and charges. A smart good way to manage any credit card is to be mindful of the extra costs and avoid them wherever possible.
Late payment fees, high interest, high annual card fees, over-the-limit fees, cash advance fees are only a few charges to be mindful off. Read the terms and conditions and familiarise yourself with hidden card costs to avoid paying through the roof for a credit card.
How to apply for a credit card:
Getting a credit card is as easy as filling out an online form, visiting your bank branch or making a mailed application. These days you can apply for a credit card within minutes, during your lunch break.
The problem starts if you current credit rating is damaged or non-existent. You can check with Baycorp Advantage to find out about your current credit rating. It is advised that any Australian old enough to hold credit of some form should check their credit file at least once a year.
The credit file will tell you where you stand with lenders in regards to financial prowess and if you frequently get credit card applications refused, you need to find steps to fix your bad credit rating.
This page lists the available credit cards from merchants VISA and MasterCard. Use this list to perform a credit card comparison, finding the right credit card for you.