Credit cards for temporary residents

Want to know which Australian credit cards are available for temporary residents? Find out more about your options here.overseasCCshutterstock copy

Temporary residents can apply for a number of different credit cards while they live in Australia, but there are some restrictions you should be aware of. The requirements and features of credit cards for temporary residents vary depending on factors such as the credit card issuer, the type of visa you hold, your income and other individual details.

This guide outlines the different credit card issuers in Australia that accept applications from temporary residents, the requirements you have to meet and other key details to help you make an informed decision when you want to apply for a credit card while living in Australia.

Which banks offer cards to temporary residents?

The range of credit cards available to temporary residents in Australia varies between banks and may also depend on the type of visa that you hold. For example, the conditions and requirements for people holding a 457 working visa may differ from those of someone with a 417 or 462 visa.

The following table outlines the different Australian banks that offer credit cards to temporary residents, eligibility requirements and any specific cards that you can apply for.

BankEligible?What are the eligibility requirements?Available cards
American ExpressYesTo be eligible for an American Express credit card, you must:

  • Have a Business Long Stay Visa (subclass 457)
  • Minimum income requirements vary between cards but start from AUD$35,000
  • Other eligibility requirements may be outlined for individual cards


ANZYesTo apply for an ANZ credit card as a non-resident, you will need:

  • Your passport
  • Your permanent/temporary resident visa or a working permit
  • Your employment agreement with at least six months remaining

ANZ also reserves the right to decline requests for credit at its own discretion based on non-resident status.

The entire range of personal ANZ credit cards
BankwestYesTemporary residents with a valid 457 visa can apply for any personal Bankwest credit card. You will need to provide:

  • A copy of your visa and the expiry date
  • Your passport (which needs to be cited in a Bankwest branch)
  • Your last two payslips

Other requirements may be outlined for individual cards or on a case-by-case basis.

The entire range of personal Bankwest credit cards
Bank of MelbourneYesTemporary residents with a 457 visa can apply for a Bank of Melbourne credit card if they meet the following requirements:

  • You must have a regular income
  • Your visa must have a minimum of two years before expiry at the time of applying

Bank of Melbourne may also find other temporary resident visas eligible on a case-by-case basis, so you may want to call them to discuss your circumstances directly.

The entire range of personal Bank of Melbourne credit cards
CitibankNoYou can only apply for Citibank credit cards if you are a permanent Australian resident or recent permanent resident (at least 12 months). Citibank may assess credit card applications on a case-by-case basis, so you may want to call them to discuss your circumstances directly.N/A
CommBankYesCommBank lets you apply for a credit card before you come to Australia, providing you meet the following requirements:

  • You have applied for a Commonwealth Bank transaction account
  • You have established full time permanent employment in Australia with a confirmed Australian income of more than $50,000 per annum
  • You have an eligible visa (457, Permanent Resident, temporary business visas) or hold an Australian/NZ passport
HSBCYesHSBC will consider credit card applications from temporary residents providing you have:

  • A valid 457 working visa
  • An employment contract for at least two years
  • A minimum income of AUD$50,000 per year
The entire range of HSBC personal credit cards
NABYesNAB will consider your credit card application if you meet the following conditions:

  • You must have been working in Australia for a minimum of three months
  • You must have completed any probationary period at work
The entire range of NAB credit cards
St.GeorgeYesSt.George will consider credit card applications from temporary residents who meet the following conditions:

  • You have a St.George transaction account
  • You have a valid visa with at least two years before the expiration date
  • Valid sub-class visa numbers accepted by St.George are: 100, 103, 115, 119, 120, 121, 124, 132, 134, 136, 138, 143, 151, 155, 160, 161, 162, 163, 164, 165, 175, 176, 186, 187, 188, 189, 190, 405, 457, 475, 487, 489, 801, 835, 855, 856, 857, 858, 885, 886, 887, 888, 890, 892, 893
  • You must have confirmed employment in Australia with an Australian taxable income

Temporary residents can only apply for a St.George credit card in person at a branch or by calling Customer Service on 13 33 30.

The entire range of St.George credit cards
WestpacYesWestpac accepts temporary resident credit card applications providing you meet the following requirements:

  • You have a minimum fixed salary of AUD$50,000 p.a. OR a minimum deposit of AUD$250,000 in a Westpac account OR an ongoing source of income after arriving in Australia
  • You have an employee sponsored visa, Skilled Permanent or Skilled Independent Regional visa, Business Skills, Investor or Talent visa
  • You are moving to Australia within six to eight weeks of submitting your application
  • You have an Australian residential address (excludes hotels and hostels)

Westpac credit cards

Westpac AltitudeWestpac Altitude GoldWestpac Altitude Platinum

Westpac Earth (no longer available)

Westpac 55 Day

Westpac 55 Day Gold

Westpac 55 Day Platinum

Westpac Low Rate

What are the eligibility requirements?

You can use the following list as a guide to the general conditions you should meet before applying for an Australian credit card as a temporary resident.

  • Age. You must be at least 18 years of age to apply for a credit card in Australia.
  • Employment. You must have employment in Australia or proof of upcoming employment in Australia at the time of your application. You may also have to supply details of your most recent previous employer/s. It is recommended that you get official, written confirmation of your employment contract, including details of your salary to verify these details.
  • Income. You must have a regular, Australian taxable income to apply for a credit card. Minimum income conditions may also apply for certain cards.
  • Monthly expenses. You will be asked to provide details of your monthly expenses, including rent and boarding costs. You may also be asked to supply written documents to support this information.
  • Passport. You will have to supply your passport number and/or a certified copy of your passport for the application.
  • Visa status. You must have a valid, eligible visa. Depending on the credit card issuer, you may need to have a minimum amount of time left on the visa to apply (e.g. two years before expiry).
  • Address. You must have a residential address in Australia to apply for a credit card.
  • Australian bank account. You must have applied or opened an Australian bank account to get a credit card.

It’s important to remember that eligibility requirements will vary depending on the issuer and credit card you apply for, but being prepared with all of these details will help you speed up the application process.

What else do I need to know before I apply?

Credit card issuers in Australia may consider individuals with no permanent ties to Australia as a risk for any type of credit product. So, make sure you consider the following when doing your research and choosing a bank and credit card to apply for:

  • Unexplained denials. Australian credit card issuers that offer credit cards to temporary residents reserve the right to decline applications without any explanation.
  • Reference checks. You may be asked to supply names and contact information of Australian residents who can verify your financial stability. This could include the person who you rent your home from, your employer or any other individual that you have financial obligations with.
  • Utility bills. Your Australian payment history with utility companies (such as phone or electricity companies) may also be looked into closely to check for late payments or defaults. If you want to qualify for a credit card in Australia as a temporary resident, you should ensure that your financial history in the country is pristine.
  • Low credit limits. As a temporary resident, you may be granted a credit card with a lower credit limit than you would normally expect. If you use the card regularly and make your repayments on time, you may be able to apply for a credit limit increase at a later date.

As the requirements that temporary residents must meet can differ between different banks and providers, it’s a good idea to discuss your individual circumstances with issuers before you apply for a card. Taking this step will give you the most accurate information possible and increase your chances of approval for your chosen card.

Advantages and disadvantages


  • Build your credit. If you plan to become a permanent resident, getting a credit card as a temporary resident will help you build your Australian credit history.
  • Flexible payments. An Australian credit card will allow you to make purchases in local stores using credit, which you can then pay off in full or over time.
  • Personal loans. It may be easier to get approval for personal loans, including car loans, if you already have a credit card issued by an Australian bank.
  • Other types of credit. Once you have an Australian credit card, it could be easier to enter into other financial contracts, such as a mobile phone plan, or utilities for your residence.


  • Limited availability. Not all financial institutions offer credit cards to temporary residents, and those that do may not offer all of their products to you.
  • High rates and fees. To compensate for your residency status, you may find that you have to pay higher rates or fees for the privilege of having a credit card.
  • Income requirements. With no credit file to refer to, many banks have strict income requirements to help offset the risk of lending to you.
  • Credit history. If your application for an Australian credit card is declined, it may negatively affect your credit history here.

Frequently asked questions

Why does the remaining time on my 457 make a difference with a credit card application?

Banks look at the length of time remaining on the visa to ensure that you will be in Australia long enough to repay any debt accrued on the credit card.

Can I transfer credit debt from my cards back home to the one issued to me in Australia?

No. Balance transfer offers are only valid on balances held by another Australian financial institution.

What happens if I default on my credit card and leave the country?

Collections proceedings will begin against you and will remain in place if you ever decide to return to Australia.

Will an unpaid credit card debt affect my application for permanent residency?

It depends on the circumstances. The Department of Immigration will be able to provide you with more information about your previous credit history in Australia in relation to your application. Remember that credit card debt will also affect any applications of enquiries for other credit products that you make in the future.

I am on a 457 visa and have an Australian credit card with a $5,000 balance. Can I get a balance transfer to another Australian card?

You might like to get in touch with the credit card issuer directly to discuss your eligibility, financial history, income and ability to repay to discuss your chances of approval before applying for the card. Please note that rejected applications will have a further negative impact on your account, so it’s wise to discuss your options or work on improving your score before you apply for a new card.

What if I don’t have a 457 visa but still want to apply for an Australian credit card as a temporary resident?

There are a few providers that offer credit cards to temporary residents, each with their own specific requirements and considerations. If you want to apply and can’t see details of your visa listed here, you can contact a provider directly to find out more based on your circumstances.

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49 Responses to Credit cards for temporary residents

  1. Default Gravatar
    Allan | October 5, 2016

    I have just arrived I Australia on a 489 visa ,I am in full time employment with a good income and I’m just wondering how I go about getting a credit card or if I can get credit for a car .

    • Staff
      May | October 6, 2016

      Hi Allan,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      Whilst we are not sure if you’ll be approved for a credit card or not, you can discuss your chances of approval with a bank featured above. As for a car loan, this is usually restricted to PR and citizens, but you can find a guide on loans for non-residents on this page.


  2. Default Gravatar
    ivan | March 21, 2016

    What are my chances of getting approved a $12,000 credit card balance transfer as I’m holding a 457 Visa for 4 years and my income is $55,000 per year? It’s a MasterCard from CBA which credit limit is $15,000 and been offered to increase it up to $20,000 two months ago

    • Staff
      Sharon | March 21, 2016

      Hi Ivan, thanks for your inquiry.

      As a financial comparison service, we’re unable to confirm whether you’d receive approval or not.

      You might like to get in touch with the credit card issuer directly to discuss your eligibility, financial history, income and ability to repay to discuss your chances of approval before applying for the card. Please note that rejected applications will have a further negative impact on your account, so it’s wise to discuss your options or work on improving your score before you apply for a new card.

      I hope this helps,


  3. Default Gravatar
    Mandi | October 13, 2015

    I am a international student in Sydney can i apply for small loan or credit card just for $1000 to $2000 for my university feed. Thank you….

    • Staff
      Jonathan | October 13, 2015

      Hi Mandi, thanks for your inquiry!

      Most credit cards require Australian citizen or granted eligible visa (457, Permanent Resident, temporary business visa). You may like to consider personal loan options.



  4. Default Gravatar
    Michelle | April 19, 2015

    Hi my partner is currently on a bridging visa and works full time. Can he get a loan for a car or credit car for work purpose as he would claim it on his business? Thanks

    • Staff
      Jonathan | April 20, 2015

      Hi Michelle, thanks for your inquiry!

      You may like to refer to the following link for more information on car loans. Please note that most loans require personal residency/ citizenship status, more information on car loans for non residents moving to Australia are available on this page.



  5. Default Gravatar
    George | April 13, 2015


    I am currently on 457 visa but I only have 11 months remaining towards the expiry(exp mar 2016). Just wondering, Is there any bank out there who can provide me a car loan or personal loan?

    • Staff
      Jonathan | April 14, 2015

      Hi George, thanks for your inquiry!

      For more information on personal loans for migrants please see this page. We have summarised the types of loans available into car loans, secured personal loans, unsecured personal loans and payday loans.



  6. Default Gravatar
    Mary | March 25, 2015

    Im on 820-801 visa, have a full time job. Will I be able to apply for a credit card? Thanks

    • Staff
      Elizabeth | March 25, 2015

      Hi Mary,

      Thanks for your question.

      As you can see from the page above there are a few providers who offer credit cards to temporary residents. Your best bet might be to click through to these providers pages (by clicking on their names above) and see the products they have available. You might have better luck applying for a low rate or low fee product. We indicate whether the card is available for temporary residents to apply on each of our credit card review pages. You can also call these providers directly to discuss your options.

      I hope this has helped.



  7. Default Gravatar
    Louise | March 10, 2015

    I need to get a loan or 0% credit card to pay of a credit card balance I have in the uk, how do I do this on a 457 visa?
    I cant apply for a loan or credit card back in the UK unless im able to fly home and go into a bank branch with my pass port as ID

    • Staff
      Jonathan | March 10, 2015

      Hi Louise, thanks for your inquiry!

      Unfortunately balance transfers are only applicable with Australian credit cards, balances from other countries are not supported.



  8. Default Gravatar
    John | March 9, 2015

    Is it possible to get a loan 571 visa?

    • Staff
      Jonathan | March 9, 2015

      Hi John, thanks for your inquiry!

      For more information on credit cards for temporary residents please see this page and for more information on personal loans for temporary residents please see this page.



  9. Default Gravatar
    Emily | December 22, 2014

    My husband is on a 457 visa we read online that NAB do credit cards for the period of the visa when we called the bank they said they don’t do it until I mentioned that there website says they do. Then they said they can do it for him. He has no defaults and has been banking with NABfor 2 years. He got a call the next day saying it was declined but they didn’t tell him why.

    • Staff
      Elizabeth | December 23, 2014

      Hi Emily,

      Thanks for your question.

      NAB does accept applications from 457 Visa holders as you mentioned, but other criteria, including income and other financial requirements, also need to be met. Card issuers often don’t tell you why your application was rejected – you can find more about it on this page.

      I hope this has helped.



  10. Default Gravatar
    Kimberley | December 9, 2014

    Is it possible to get a loan or credit card on a 417 visa?

    • Staff
      Elizabeth | December 10, 2014

      Hi Kimberley,

      Thanks for your question.

      It is possible to get a loan and credit card, but certain rules apply and the criteria differ depending on who you apply with. You can find out about loans for temporary residents on this page, you can look on the page above for some credit card options. It might be best to get in touch with the provider/lender before you apply to discuss your eligibility.

      I hope this has helped.



Credit Cards Comparison

Rates last updated October 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
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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