Debit Card Finder™ – Debit Cards – Compare & Apply for an Australian Debit Card

Debit cards and credit cards may look the same, but they offer very different features. Find out more about debit cards vs. credit cards and compare your options here.

A debit card is a type of payment card that allows you to use your own money to make purchases at the checkout, over the phone or online or overseas. Most debit cards in Australia are part of the Visa or MasterCard networks, which are accepted at millions of locations around the world.

Debit cards may be linked to a transaction account, or bought as pre-paid options that allow you to load and spend cash as you need it.

In comparison, credit cards allow you to borrow money up to a certain amount and then pay it off over time, with interest charges. Here, we look at both the similarities and differences between debit cards and credit cards to help you understand how both of them work, compare your options and choose the right types of cards for your needs.

NAB Classic Banking

Debit Card Offer

The NAB Classic Bank account charges $0 monthly fees with unlimited transactions. Get three months Purchase Protection Insurance on eligible purchases.

  • Free and unlimited ATM withdrawals using NAB or RediATMs
  • Unlimited access to funds using internet and phone banking
  • Free linked NAB Visa debit card with payWave
  • No minimum deposit

    Debit Card Comparison

    Rates last updated September 28th, 2016
    $
    Monthly Account Fee Debit Card Access ATM Withdrawal Fee Fee Free Deposit p.m. Details
    St.George Complete Freedom Account
    Additional $50 to new accounts (conditions apply).
    $0 ATM withdrawal fee via St.George's Global ATM Alliance.
    Visa $0 $2,000 No account keeping fees, if you deposit $2,000 per month plus no minimum balance required. No ATM fees when using St.George, Westpac and BankSA ATMs. Open More
    NAB Classic Banking
    Tap and Pay with your Android Phone using NAB Pay.
    No minimum deposit required.
    Visa $0 $0 No monthly account fees, ever. Free use at over 3,400 NAB and RediATMs Australia wide and $0 overdrawn fees. Open More
    HSBC Day to Day Transaction Account
    Your Visa debit card unlocks special privileges worldwide with the HSBC home&Away Privilege Program.
    Visa $0 $0 $0 monthly fees. No ATM fees at over 3,000 HSBC, Westpac, St.George, Bank of Melbourne and BankSA ATMs. Open More
    ING DIRECT Orange Everyday Account
    $75 cash bonus.
    Get a competitive ongoing variable rate when linked with a Savings Maximiser.
    Visa $0 $1,000 No monthly fees, and you can use any ATM in Australia for free when you deposit $1,000 each month e.g your salary. Open More
    ANZ Access Advantage
    Apple Pay now available.
    Unlimited transactions at ANZ ATMs, EFTPOS, Internet, Mobile and Phone Banking.
    Visa $0 $2,000 No monthly account fee when you deposit at least $2,000 per month. Other fee waivers available based on your personal situation. Open More
    Bankwest Qantas Transaction Account
    Earn Qantas Points on eligible purchases and on your account balance.
    Conditions apply.
    Mastercard $0 $2,000 No monthly fees when you deposit at least $2,000 into your account each month. Free access to Bankwest and CommBank ATMs in Australia. No overseas ATM withdrawal fees (charged by Bankwest) though third party fees may apply. Open More
    Bankwest Easy Transaction Account
    Pay no ATM fees at over 10,000 ATMs in Australia (conditions apply).
    Mastercard $0 $2,000 Minimum deposit of $2,000 per month needed to waive the monthly account fee otherwise $6 monthly fee applies. No ATM fee applicable at Bankwest, CBA, NAB, ANZ, Westpac, St.George, BoM and BankSA ATMs in Australia. Open More
    Westpac Choice
    $0 ATM withdrawal fee at 50,000+ ATMs globally.
    Via Westpac's Global ATM Alliance. Get Cash without your debit card (conditions apply).
    Mastercard $0 $2,000 No ATM fees when using St.George, Westpac, BankSA or Bank of Melbourne ATMs in Australia. Deposit at least $2,000 per month and enjoy no monthly service fee. Open More
    BankSA Complete Freedom Account
    Open one in less than 5 minutes with Cardless Cash available.
    Visa $0 $2,000 No monthly account keeping fees when you deposit at least $2,000 in the account each month. Free access to BankSA, St.George, Westpac and Bank of Melbourne ATMs. Open More
    Bank of Melbourne Complete Freedom
    Get Cardless cash and shop securely with your Visa debit card. Customise SMS and email alerts.
    Visa $0 $2,000 No ATM fees when you use Bank of Melbourne, BankSA, St.George or Westpac ATMs. No monthly fees when you deposit at least $2000 into this account each month. Open More
    BankSA Express Freedom Account
    Get Cardless Cash, free SMS and email alerts.
    Visa $0 $1,000 Avoid ATM fees when using BankSA, St.George, Bank of Melbourne and Westpac ATMs. Avoid the monthly fee if you deposit $1000 into this account each month. Open More
    Bank of Melbourne Express Freedom
    Get Cardless Cash and PAYG branch and cheque services.
    Visa $0 $1,000 No ATM fees when you use Bank of Melbourne, St.George, Westpac and BankSA ATMs. No monthly fees if you deposit $1000 into your account each month. Open More

    To find out more about debit cards, have a read of our comprehensive debit card resources. Read our guide to VISA Debit Cards for an in-depth explanation and comparison between VISA Debit Cards.

    Debit cards vs. credit cards

    Almost everyone with a bank account has at least one debit card – and many people also have credit cards. While you don’t need to have both types of cards, they each provide different benefits depending on how, when and where you use them.

    With that in mind, it’s important to compare debit cards and credit cards so that you understand their similarities and differences, as well as the pros and cons of each. That way, you can decide what type of cards you want in your wallet.

    Similar features of debit cards vs. credit cards

    While a debit card is not a credit card, there are lots of similarities between these two types of cards. We’ve outlined some of the key debit card features that are similar to credit card features below.

    • The Visa and MasterCard networks.
      Debit cards issued by all the major banks in Australia are part of either the MasterCard or Visa payment network. As well as allowing you to make payments at the checkout and to get cash out at ATMs, MasterCard and Visa cards can be used for payments over the phone, online and overseas at the thousands of locations where Visa and/or MasterCard are accepted. Similarly, most credit cards issued in Australia are Visa and MasterCard options.
    • Contactless payments.
      Visa and MasterCard have both developed services that allow you to make payments at the checkout by simply waving or tapping your card against a reader. You can do this with any Visa payWave card or MasterCard PayPass product, regardless of whether it is a debit card or credit card.
    • Account fees. Many debit cards come with monthly account fees – or loading fees in the case of prepaid options. Similarly, most credit cards have annual fees. There are also cards in both categories that never charge fees, as well as some options that will waive these costs under certain circumstances. For example, most banks waive monthly fees if you have your salary deposited into the transaction account that’s linked to your debit card (and it meets the minimum amount required), or if you sign up for a new credit card that offers a $0 annual fee for the first year before charging the full amount.
    • International transaction fees. Most debit cards charge you a fee when you use it to make purchases in a foreign currency. This currency conversion fee is usually around 2% to 3% of the total transaction for debit cards. But there are some debit cards that charge low or no foreign transaction fees. In comparison, most credit card international transaction fees are between 2% and 3.5% of the transaction cost – and there are also some credit cards waive this cost.
    • Other fees. Debit cards may come with a number of other fees, including charges for using ATMs outside of the bank’s network, printed statement fees, and dishonour fees if transactions are declined. Credit cards often carry similar fees, but it’s generally easier to avoid these charges with a debit card.
    • Security features. Most debit cards now come with chip-and-PIN technology that encrypts and protects the data stored on the card. When you insert, swipe or make a contactless payment with your debit card or credit card, it is also processed via a secure network. In addition to these security measures, Visa and MasterCard products include a Zero Liability Policy to protect you against fraudulent charges. Many banks that issue both debit cards and credit cards also offer fraud monitoring services.
    • Entertainment offers. Any card that’s part of the Visa or MasterCard network will give you access to unique entertainment and dining offers through Visa Entertainment and MasterCard Priceless Cities, respectively. These programs are free for eligible cardholders to use, with offers including pre-sale and discounted tickets, restaurant bookings and exclusive shopping discounts.
    • Rewards programs. While there are more credit cards that allow you to earn reward points for your spending, there are also debit cards linked to rewards programs. The debit MasterCard that comes with the Bankwest Qantas Transaction account, for example, offers 5 Qantas Points for every purchase made. Meanwhile, debit cards from banks such as ING Direct have offered cash back when you make contactless payments (although these offers may have limited timeframes).
    Debit cardsCredit cards
    Access to your own moneyAccess to a line of credit
    No interest chargesInterest charges are applied if you carry a balance
    Multicurrency travel card optionsNo multicurrency options – overseas spending is always converted from AUD
    No credit check requiredCredit check required
    Options for children and teenagersYou must be at least 18 to get a credit card in your name
    Options for joint debit card accountsVery few credit cards offer joint accounts

    Types of debit cards

    Just as there are many different types of credit cards to compare, there is a wide range of debit cards you can choose from. We’ve outlined details for the key options below.

    Everyday debit cards

    These debit cards are typically linked to an everyday transaction account and give you access to your money. With an everyday debit card, you can spend up to the amount of money available in your account.

    Some everyday debit cards may also give you access to several linked accounts. For example, if you have both a transaction and cheque account that are linked with your bank, you may be able to use your debit card to access money from both accounts by selecting “cheque” or “savings” at an ATM or checkout.

    Most everyday debit card accounts are fee-free if you deposit a certain amount each month, such as $2,000 or your salary from work. But even if you don’t meet these requirements, the monthly fees for everyday debit cards are usually less that $10.

    Debit cards for children, teens and students

    There are a variety of debit cards available for children, teens and students. These cards are usually linked to low or no fee transaction accounts, giving young people convenient and affordable access to cash without the same “fee free” conditions of everyday debit cards for teens for adults. You can also get prepaid cards for teenagers, which could be handy as a beginners budgeting tool or for overseas holidays.

    Prepaid debit cards

    Prepaid debit cards allow you to load and use money without the need for a linked bank account. Instead, you choose how much money you want to put on the debit card, and can then spend up to that amount. Some prepaid debit cards are reloadable, which means you can use them on an ongoing basis. Others, such as prepaid debit gift cards, can only be used until the balance of the card reaches $0.

    Travel debit cards

    Travel debit cards are designed to save you money when you go overseas by limiting or waiving international transaction fees. Some travel debit cards are linked to everyday accounts, such as the Westpac Choice or Bankwest Platinum Debit MasterCard, which both offer no fees for ATM withdrawals overseas.

    But there are also prepaid travel debit cards that allow you to load and use money in multiple currencies. Known as multi-currency travel cards, these options help you save on international transaction fees and give you the chance to lock in competitive exchange rates before you go away.

    Rewards debit cards

    There are both everyday debit cards and prepaid debit cards that offer you rewards for using your card. For example, the Bankwest Qantas debit MasterCard is linked to an everyday transaction account and earns Qantas Points for spending as well as for the monthly balance of the account.

    Meanwhile, the Qantas Cash and Velocity Global Wallet are prepaid travel debit cards that are both linked to the Qantas and Velocity frequent flyer programs. These reward debit cards both offer 1 frequent flyer point per $2 spent in Australia and 1 point per $1 spent overseas. These reward earn rates are on par with many frequent flyer credit cards but don’t have the same fees.

    Business debit cards

    A wide range of business bank accounts give you the option of either Visa or MasterCard debit card. Depending on your bank, you may also be able to get additional debit cards for employees.

    Business debit cards and bank accounts offer many similar features to everyday transaction accounts. They may also offer specialised options for your business, such as itemised statements or complimentary legal and accounting services.

    While debit cards and credit cards both offer cashless ways to make payments and have many similar features, you don’t need to borrow money to use a debit card. Instead, you use your own money from a bank account or by loading it on to a prepaid card. Now that you understand more about the differences between debit cards and credit cards, you can compare your options and find the right products for all your banking needs.

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    70 Responses to Debit Card Finder™ – Debit Cards – Compare & Apply for an Australian Debit Card

    1. Default Gravatar
      Peter | July 29, 2016

      If I use a non CBA ATM in Vanuatu, what fee should I expect to pay?

      • Staff
        Chester | August 2, 2016

        Hello Peter!

        Thanks for your question,

        If you wish to use your Commonwealth bank everyday account overseas here are the following fees that may incur.

        Accessing to networks overseas like Cirrus, MasterCard or Visa Plus ATM cash withdrawal will be AUD$5.00 plus 3.00% of the transaction value. And you may also incur a International transaction fee. Also Maestro (EFTPOS) purchase or Debit MasterCard purchase that involves currency conversion will incur 3.00% of the transaction value.

        I hope I was able to answer your question and hoping you’ll have a lovely trip to Vanuatu.

        Cheers!
        Chester

    2. Default Gravatar
      al | November 10, 2015

      Hi. I have a BendigoBlue DEBIT card (mastercard) with Bendigo Bank. Problem is: If you must ask Bendigo to resolve JUST ONE dispute/chargeback (even if not malicious, just mistake), they cancel the whole card and send a replacement card which takes a week or longer, plus a load of complications with new registration, new pin etc. That is a real problem if overseas. Just one mistake and the whole card gets cancelled and is useless for the rest of the holiday…

      I did not know that before. I only found out after a harmless mistake (not malicious by anyone involved) needed to be resolved. Lucky I was not overseas that time, but I had no card for a week or more…Very disappointing.

      How do other companies deal with that? I need one that can handle a dispute/chargeback without cancelling the card completely.

      • Staff
        Jonathan | November 10, 2015

        Hi Al, thanks for your inquiry!

        Generally the card is not cancelled with a dispute/ chargeback request. Depending on the dispute it is in the individual’s best interest that the card be cancelled to avoid any further fraudulent use. Most banks will not cancel the card over a chargeback transaction. Whilst we are unable to recommend a specific product/ bank we can advise most other banks will act in the individual’s best interest. To allow us to assist you further was there a specific debit card/ product you were inquiring about today?

        Cheers,

        Jonathan

    3. Default Gravatar
      Alex | July 29, 2015

      Hi, do you have business debit cards with reward options?

      • Staff
        Sally | July 30, 2015

        Hi Alex,

        Just to confirm, you have come through to finder.com.au, not a credit or debit card issuer.

        Unfortunately, you have limited options if you’re after a debit card that is both a business and rewards card.

        However, you can compare some of your rewards debit card options here.

        I hope this has helped.

        Thanks,

        Sally

    4. Default Gravatar
      isabella | May 23, 2015

      Hi there,
      At the moment I have an account with Commonwealth bank, which is an everyday “streamline unlimited” account for everyday purchases. Online, it is also linked with my netbank saver account, and I can easily transfer between these two accounts when I need to.
      Would I be able to set up accounts like this with orange everyday account? What is the savings account you can open that is easily accessible to transfer between? Thank you.

      • Staff
        Jonathan | May 27, 2015

        Hi Isabella, thanks for your inquiry!

        ING Direct Orange Everyday accounts are linked with other accounts such as savings accounts in the online application/ interface allowing ease of transfer. Please refer to the link I have sent to your email for more information on this service.

        Cheers,

        Jonathan

      • Default Gravatar
        Jay | August 20, 2015

        Hi, I’m in the same position as Isabella. Would you be able to send me the same details you’ve emailed her? Thanks!

      • Staff
        Jonathan | August 20, 2015

        Hi Jay, thanks for your inquiry!

        Please refer to the link I have sent to your email for more information on the ING Direct Orange Everyday account service.

        Cheers,

        Jonathan

    5. Default Gravatar
      Ana | February 17, 2015

      What is the difference between a Platinum debit card from VISA and Mastercard debit cards?

      • Staff
        Jonathan | February 18, 2015

        Hi Ana, thanks for your inquiry!

        One of the major differences between Mastercard and VISA is the use of Paypass and Paywave respectively for contactless payment. Otherwise security protection for VISA and Mastercard have different approaches to combatting fraud.
        Debit cards will also vary in features depending on the lender.

        Cheers,

        Jonathan

    6. Default Gravatar
      Tanya | February 16, 2015

      Do I get instant travel insurance when I purchase a plane ticket online with a visa debit card?

      • Staff
        Jonathan | February 16, 2015

        Hi Tanya, thanks for your inquiry!

        It depends on the debit cards inclusions, for a list of debit cards that include travel insurance please see this page.

        Cheers,

        Jonathan

    7. Default Gravatar
      robin | January 27, 2015

      Can you obtain a debit card that can have American dollars deposited at today exchange rate for use in 6 months time?

      • Staff
        Jonathan | January 28, 2015

        Hi Robin, thanks for your inquiry!

        Typically any foreign exchange transaction made where you deposit a certain amount of currency for another will effectively secure the offered rate. The expiry period can vary, generally the card will be active for 1-2 years after the currency exchange has taken place. It is recommended to refer to the terms and conditions of the respective card.

        I hope this helps!

        Cheers,

        Jonathan

    8. Default Gravatar
      Joy | December 24, 2014

      Does the ING everyday card cover travel insurance

      • Staff
        Elizabeth | December 24, 2014

        Hi Joy,

        Thanks for your question.

        The Orange Everyday debit card and account does not provide any kind of travel insurance cover. If you’re looking for a debit card that offers travel insurance, you can take a look at this page.

        I hope this has helped.

        Thanks,

        Elizabeth

    9. Default Gravatar
      Dave | August 1, 2014

      Is there such a thing as a virtual debit card where I can have a number and top it up online?

      • Staff
        Shirley | August 4, 2014

        Hi Dave,

        There are few in the market, such as the Virtual V Card.

        Cheers,
        Shirley

    10. Default Gravatar
      anti-paywave/paypass | July 15, 2014

      Credit Cards without paywave / paypass can you please highlight those cards which do not have this insecure one factor authentication as a selling point in your search engine.

      • Staff
        Shirley | July 16, 2014

        Hi Anti paywave/paypass,

        Thanks for your question.

        To our knowledge some cards offered by Citibank don’t have the paywave feature, though they are starting to incorporate this feature into all cards that are currently being issued.

        Unfortunately this feature is permanent for most cards on the market and can’t be disabled. You can still dip or swipe your card if you prefer not to use paywave or paypass.

        Cheers,
        Shirely

      • Default Gravatar
        john | January 9, 2015

        Hey,
        I have been waiting for my debit card for a month now,
        Can you please help
        Thanks
        John

      • Staff
        Jonathan | January 12, 2015

        Hi John,

        Thanks for your inquiry,

        If you could please let me know which debit card issuer you applied with I will be able to assist you further, thank you.

        Cheers,

        Jonathan

    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.

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