Low Income Credit Cards

Information verified correct on August 31st, 2015

People with low income can get credit cards, and even they get to choose from various options.

A number of credit card providers offer low income credit cards, aimed primarily at low income earners, and you can apply for such a card if you’re on retirement income, if you receive government benefits, and if you’re unemployed at the time of application. Bear in mind, though, that you would have to meet certain lending criteria to get a card. Most credit card providers list the minimum income requirements in the application, but typically you can look forward to applying for a low income credit card if you earn at least $15,000 p.a. As there are many low rate cards available in the market, it’s important to compare your options to find the right one for you.

St.George Vertigo Visa

Low Income Credit Card

The St George Vertigo credit card is a simple low rate credit card for making everyday purchases on. It features a low ongoing rate on purchases, a low balance transfer offer and a low annual fee. Minimum income for credit card application is per annum.

  • $55 p.a. annual fee
  • 0% p.a. for 3 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

Low income credit cards with a minimum $15,000 income

Rates last updated August 31st, 2015

Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee Cash advance rate (p.a.)
St.George Vertigo Visa
Low ongoing rate on purchases, introductory balance transfer offer, plus a low annual fee.
0% p.a. for 3 months (reverts to 13.24% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 18 months $55 p.a. 21.49% p.a. Go to site More info
Westpac Low Rate Card
A no frills credit card with a balance transfer offer of 0% p.a. for 18 months with a low rate on purchases and an annual fee of $59 p.a.
0% p.a. for 3 months (reverts to 13.49% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 18 months $59 p.a. 21.49% p.a. More info
ANZ Low Rate
Save with a low rate on purchases and balance transfers with a low annual fee and ongoing purchase rate.
13.49% p.a. 0% p.a. for 16 months with 2% balance transfer fee $58 p.a. 21.74% p.a. Go to site More info
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Visa Credit Card
Enjoy a low rate on your everyday purchases with a low balance transfer deal.
0% p.a. for 3 months (reverts to 13.24% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 18 months $55 p.a. 21.49% p.a. Go to site More info
HSBC Credit Card
No annual fee for life, plus a low balance transfer offer.
17.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 6 months $0 p.a. 21.99% p.a. Go to site More info
Bankwest Breeze MasterCard
Receive a promotional interest rate on purchases with no annual fee for the first year.
0% p.a. for 3 months (reverts to 12.99% p.a.) $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($59 p.a. thereafter) 21.99% p.a. Go to site More info
Coles No Annual Fee MasterCard
Enjoy a low balance transfer offer and a no annual fee for the life of the card.
19.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 6 months $0 p.a. 19.99% p.a. Go to site More info
Citi Rewards Credit Card - Classic Card
Enjoy a 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 18 months and up to 55 interest-free days on purchases.
20.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 18 months $89 p.a. 21.74% p.a. Go to site More info
Coles Rewards Mastercard
Enjoy a low annual fee credit card with no international transaction fees and a low interest rate.
19.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 6 months $89 p.a. 19.99% p.a. Go to site More info

What is a low income credit card?

A low income credit card, as the name suggests, is one that has a low minimum income requirement, which usually begin at around the $15,000 p.a. mark. These cards work like conventional credit cards, with most of them carrying either a MasterCard or a Visa affiliation. Such credit cards find global acceptance, so you can use your card just about anywhere in the world.

You can use such credit cards to pay for in-store purchases, and you can also use them for online and over-the-phone transactions. Depending on the card you choose, you could even use your card for cash advances and balance transfers.


How can I compare low income credit cards?

As there are many low income cards available, it is important you learn how to distinguish one from the next, and here are aspects you should compare:

  • Interest rate. Pay attention to the interest you have to pay on purchases because even a slight difference in percentage can lead to a significant difference in how much you end up paying in the long run, especially if you keep balances rolling in your account from one billing cycle to the next. If you plan to use your card for cash advances, pay attention to the cash advance rate, which is normally considerably higher than the purchase rate.
  • Annual fees. While some low income credit cards don’t charge any annual fees, some others do, so this aspect requires your attention.
  • Bonus features. Bonus features can come in the form of introductory interest rate offers on balance transfers and purchases, rewards, as well as complimentary insurance covers. These can vary from one card to the next.

What do I need to remember when applying for a low income credit card?

Getting a low income credit card might not be difficult, but it’s important that you consider the following before applying:

  • Income details. If you don’t meet the minimum income requirement, remember that lying about your income on a credit application is illegal. That said, it’s important that you list all sources of income, because the higher your income, the better your chances for approval.
  • Joint applications. If you feel you don’t earn enough, consider applying as a joint applicant with your spouse.
  • Too much debt. Your application for a new credit card depends on your ratio of assets to debts. If you’ve not had success with recent credit card applications even though you meet minimum income requirements, it’s important that you eliminate some of your existing debts before applying again.
  • Not enough money. Another way to add to your income is to actually earn it, and you can do this by getting a part-time job or a temporary second job. Listing this additional income in your application can increase the likelihood of approval.
  • Renting. If you live on rent, don’t mention rent for the entire household, mention only your share.

What are the pros and cons of a low income credit card?

Pros

  • Easy access to funds. A low income credit card can give you easy access to extra money as and when you need it. You can access funds to pay for purchases and to pay bills, and you can even use your credit card to get cash.
  • Interest-free days. Credit cards give you the ability to make purchases and not pay any interest for a given number of days. These interest-free days on purchases can vary from card to card, and to make use of these interest-free days you have to pay your account’s closing balance in full every month.
  • Interest rate offers. You can find low income cards that come with promotional interest rate offers on balance transfers and purchases. Such offers require that you pay little to no interest on specific transactions for a limited time.

Cons

  • Interest. If you don’t pay your account’s outstanding balance completely each month, the outstanding balance continues attracting interest until paid in full. By making minimum monthly payments you would end up paying a lot in the form of interest, so it’s best that you pay your balances off as soon as possible.
  • Unmanageable credit. If you end up using your card without establishing how you’re going to make repayments, you might not be able to make timely repayments, only to build debt to an unmanageable level. The impact this would have on your creditworthiness would be none too pleasing.

A low income credit card can be a good thing provided you use it in the right manner. Such a card can give you access to funds no matter where your travels take you, and you can also look forward to making purchases without having to pay any interest. Don’t forget that aspects like annual fees and interest rates can vary noticeably from one credit card to the next, so compare as many as possible before you apply.


Frequently asked questions

What eligibility criteria would I have to meet to apply for a low income credit card?

You should be over 18 years of age, you should be an Australian citizen or a permanent Australian resident, and you should not have poor creditworthiness.

I don’t earn enough but my spouse has a credit card. Can I get an additional card linked to his card?

If the card provider provides additional cards, you can think about getting one, because additional cards have no minimum income requirements. The primary cardholder, though, remains liable for all purchases made using an additional card.

If a card I choose comes with a balance transfer offer, would I have to pay balance transfer fees?

You might have to pay one to two percent of the transferred amount as balance transfer fees, but this is not necessary, and depends on the card you get.

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36 Responses to Low Income Credit Cards

  1. Default Gravatar
    Manjula | July 29, 2015

    I am Manjula I am Indian, I need credit card, my salary is 2000AED Per month. please tell me which bank will give credit cards for this salary.

    • Staff
      Sally | July 30, 2015

      Hi Manjula,

      Thank you for your comment.

      Just to confirm, you have come through to creditcardfinder.com.au, an Australian financial comparison service.

      As such, we’re unable to provide you with any information or advice regarding credit card options in India.

      I would suggest that you research some Indian low income credit cards and pay attention to the income requirements to find one that suits your needs.

      I hope this has helped.

      Thanks,

      Sally

  2. Default Gravatar
    anush | June 8, 2015

    Hello,
    I want a credit card my net salary is “X”.

    Please kindly update me

    • Staff
      Jonathan | June 9, 2015

      Hi Anush, thanks for your inquiry!

      It is important to note that the minimum required income varies depending on the lender/ bank’s policies. You may like to refer to low interest rate credit cards which can have lower income requirements.

      Cheers,

      Jonathan

  3. Default Gravatar
    kabu | February 13, 2015

    my present salary is 10000 i can get credit card

    • Staff
      Jonathan | February 13, 2015

      Hi Kabu, thanks for your inquiry!

      Generally speaking, to apply for a credit card you need to be earning more than $15,000 per year. There are credit cards which have no minimum requirements, rather you will be assessed on your ability to service the minimum credit limit. This can be found in the application requirements table at the bottom of the card’s review. The minimum income requirement for each card is available in the table of the page.

      I hope this helps!

      Cheers,

      Jonathan

  4. Default Gravatar
    soumya | January 28, 2015

    hai,
    i have an income of $8600 per month,whether am i eligible to apply for a credit card?

    • Staff
      Jonathan | January 29, 2015

      Hi Soumya, thanks for your inquiry.

      Generally speaking, to apply for a credit card you need to be earning more than $15,000 per year. There are credit cards which have no minimum requirements, rather you will be assessed on your ability to service the minimum credit limit. This can be found in the application requirements table at the bottom of the card’s review. The minimum income requirement for each card is available in the table of the page.

      I hope this helps!

      Cheers,

      Jonathan

  5. Default Gravatar
    roshan | December 24, 2014

    Hi I want to have a credit card , but I have been Australia for just a month but I have start doing a job and I earn like 500 per week after tax. MY question is am I eligible to get card now. iam a part time worker as iam student

    • Staff
      Elizabeth | December 24, 2014

      Hi Roshan,

      Thanks for your question.

      There are some card providers who offer cards to temporary residents. You can find these lender on this page. Just browse through the cards they have available and ensure you meet the eligibility requirements, and it may also be worth getting in contact with the provider before you apply to ensure your eligibility. As long as you meet the minimum income and employment criteria, though, it shouldn’t matter that you are a student.

      I hope this has helped.

      Thanks,

      Elizabeth

  6. Default Gravatar
    claudia | December 23, 2014

    I WOULD LIKE TO APPLY FOR A CREDIT CARD…MY INCOME FOR 2013 WAS 15,000 BUT IT HAS INCREASED TO APPROX 20,000 2014…HOW WILL MY CREDITORS KNOW ABOUT THIS AMOUNT IF LAST YRS INCOME WAS LOWER BUT THIS YRS INCOME HAS INCREASED..THE ONLY WAY THEYLL KNOW IS WHEN I FILE MY INCOME TAX WHICH WONT BE FOR ANOTHER FEW MONTHS…WHEN THEY CHECK MY INCOME TAX STATUS THEYLL ONLY SEE LAST YEARS AMOUNT OF EARNINGS NOT THIS YRS..

    • Staff
      Elizabeth | December 23, 2014

      Hi Claudia,

      Thanks for your question.

      When you fill out a credit card application you’re required to list your current income, so you would list $20,000 p.a. if that’s how much you’re making per year. As long as you have documents to prove that you earn this much then you will be able to claim this as your income. This doesn’t have to be your tax return but can also be payslips, etc.

      I hope this has helped.

      Thanks,

      Elizabeth

  7. Default Gravatar
    sagar | December 17, 2014

    I want to credit card my salary is 15000 per month

    • Staff
      Elizabeth | December 18, 2014

      Hi Sagar,

      Thanks for your question.

      Your income ($15,000 per month) will make you eligible for a wide range of credit cards. You can start your search on this page and decide what credit card features are important to you – rewards, low fees, low interest, etc. – and then check you meet the eligibility criteria for the card you’re interested in. This is listed on the bottom of the credit card review pages.

      I hope this has helped.

      Thanks,

      Elizabeth

  8. Default Gravatar
    suryakumar | October 10, 2014

    Dear sir/madam

    my name is suryakumar i earning monthly 15500.00 i need credit card can i apply please give me reply i am getting cheque every month of salary

    Regards
    suryakumar

    • Staff
      Elizabeth | October 13, 2014

      Hi Suyakumar,

      Thanks for your question.

      You can compare a range of credit cards using this page. You can click on the individual cards to read reviews and to see the eligibility criteria, which will usually list a minimum age, income and employment requirement.

      Hope this has helped.

      Thanks,

      Elizabeth

  9. Default Gravatar
    Aakash | September 13, 2014

    I m earning monthly 8 00 0 rs is my take home so may I able to get a credit card

    • Staff
      Shirley | September 15, 2014

      Hi Aakash,

      Thanks for your question.

      Unfortunately the cards on creditcardfinder.com.au are only available to Australian residents, or in some cases, temporary residents.

      Cheers,
      Shirley

  10. Default Gravatar
    Grace | June 18, 2014

    I am extremely low income. I make only $6,420 a year. I live in a low income apartment where I only pay $50 a month in rent. I am a single mother of 2 children. And I am going to online school. Would I qualify for anything?

    • Staff
      Shirley | June 19, 2014

      Hi Grace,

      Thanks for your question.

      Unfortunately we can’t comment on whether you may qualify for anything, you may find a product suitable on our low income credit cards page.

      Cheers,
      Shirley

Credit Cards Comparison

Rates last updated August 31st, 2015
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee Cash advance rate (p.a.)
St.George Vertigo Platinum
A platinum card with a low interest rate on balance transfers and purchases with a low annual fee.
0% p.a. for 3 months (reverts to 12.74% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 20 months $99 p.a. 21.49% p.a. Go to site More info
NAB Low Rate Credit Card
Low ongoing interest rate on purchases and balance transfers.
0% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 13.99% p.a.) 4.99% p.a. for 6 months $59 p.a. 21.74% p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Velocity Escape Card
Enjoy 7,500 bonus Velocity Points when you spend $300 within the first 3 months and up to 2.00 points for every dollar you spend, together with a $0 annual fee. Offer ends on 30 September 2015.
20.74% p.a. 0.99% p.a. for 6 months with 1% balance transfer fee $0 p.a. Go to site More info
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
Earn rewards points plus a balance transfer offer. Access to Platinum benefits including a personal concierge service and VISA Platinum reward program.
19.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 8 months $0 p.a. 21.99% 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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