Want to enjoy credit card benefits without paying fees? Learn about how no annual fee credit cards can benefit you, compare your options and find a credit card today.
No annual fee credit cards charge $0 annual fee either for the first year, for the life of the card or when you meet a spend requirement. These cards give you an easy way to save money while still getting all the benefits of a credit card. Some no annual fee cards also come with additional features such as balance transfers, rewards and frequent flyer programs. Here, we explain how a no annual fee credit card works so you can compare the benefits, features and drawbacks to help you find the credit card you’re after.
No Annual Fee Credit Card Offer
The ANZ Platinum Credit Card allows you to enjoy $0 annual fee in the first year plus $200 back to your ANZ Platinum Credit Card when you spend $500 on eligible purchases in the first three months.
- Take advantage of this ANZ Platinum Credit Card's $0 annual fee in the first year offer (which reverts back to the standard $87 rate thereafter) or $0 in each subsequent year if you make $20,000 worth of eligible purchases in 12 months.
- Receive $200 back to your ANZ Platinum credit card when you spend $500 on eligible purchases in the first three months.
- Eligibility criteria, T&Cs, fees and charges apply.
Compare the best* No Annual Fee Credit Cards in Australia
What you need to know about no annual fee credit cards
What is a no annual fee credit card?
A no annual fee credit card doesn’t charge you for yearly account maintenance. The $0 annual fee can be available for a promotional period (e.g. for the first year only), or for the life of the card. These cards can be ideal for a rainy day when you require extra credit to make payments and purchases.
Credit cards with no annual fee for life often have higher standard purchase rates than other options. They may also have fewer additional features, such as rewards programs or complimentary extras.
Will a no annual fee credit card suit your needs?
A no annual fee credit card may suit you if you:
- Rarely use a credit card or pay off your balance in full every month
- Are after a simple credit card without all the bells and whistles
- Would like access to a spare credit card in case of emergencies
- Are using more than one credit card to take advantage of interest-free days on purchases
- Want to take advantage of promotional credit card offers then cancel the credit card afterwards
- Are trying to build and improve their credit score
What to consider before you apply for a no annual fee credit card.
If you want to apply for a no annual fee credit card, here are some questions to consider:
- How often do you use your credit card? If you rarely use a credit card but still want one for unplanned expenses or emergencies, a no annual fee option will give you the features that you need without this added cost.
- Do you carry a balance? The higher interest rates typical of no annual fee credit cards can make them expensive if you carry a balance. If that’s the case, you might want to consider a low interest credit card instead.
- Do you have existing debt? If you have existing debt, getting a no annual fee credit card could tempt you into spending more money than you can afford. Aim to pay off your current debts, or consider a balance transfer credit card to save money on interest charges.
- What credit card benefits do you want? No annual fee credit cards sometimes have fewer perks than other options. If you’re interested in features such as rewards programs and complimentary insurance, make sure you look at a range of cards and consider these factors as well as the annual fee so that you can find an option that suits all your needs.
Benefits and drawbacks of 0 annual fee credit cards
- Save money on your credit card. The most obvious perk of these cards is that you won’t pay an annual fee. This could save you tens, hundreds or thousands of dollars over the life of the card.
- Practical. Without the extra perks and additional benefits, no annual fee credit cards can be ideal for emergencies and when extra credit is required.
- Promotional offers and deals. Some no annual fee credit cards come with promotional offers, frequent flyer programs and other perks that you’d regularly have to pay a yearly fee to access.
- Higher interest rates. Credit card companies may charge higher ongoing interest rates on no annual fee credit cards.
- Fewer extra features. While some no annual fee cards do come with frequent flyer programs and other benefits, they usually have fewer features than cards with a high annual fee.
Promotional offers and perks you can receive with no annual fee credit cards
Balance transfer cards with no annual fee.
Balance transfer credit cards let you move debt from an existing credit card to a new card with a low or 0% promotional interest rate. With no annual fee and a low or 0% balance transfer offer, you could have a cost-free way to consolidate your debts.
Rewards cards with no annual fee.
These cards have no annual fees plus the ability to earn rewards points for every $1 spent. This combination of features means you could be rewarded for nothing.
Frequent flyer cards with no annual fee. These cards are linked to a frequent flyer rewards program, such as Qantas Frequent Flyer or Virgin’s Velocity Frequent Flyer, and earn points without the added cost of an annual fee.
Travel credit cards with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees.
While most credit cards charge between 2% and 3.5% for transactions made in a foreign currency, travel credit cards waive this cost and also have no annual fee. Travel credit cards allow you to make purchases overseas at the daily exchange rate, which may be higher and more favourable than locking in an exchange rate at home before you leave. Since you’re likely to only be using a travel credit card during your holiday, it only makes sense that you compare one with a low or $0 annual fee.
Answers to the most popular questions about no annual fee credit cards
- Q: If I have a credit card with a promotional annual fee offer, can I cancel the card before having to pay the annual fee?
This is possible as long as you don’t have a balance on the card and cancel it before the annual fee is applied. Contact your provider to confirm exactly when the annual fee is charged so you don’t accidentally pay it before cancelling the card.
- Q: When do you normally pay the annual fee on a credit card?
The annual fee is usually charged upon account activation and payable by the first statement date or first credit card bill. Annual fees can be repaid as quickly as you choose, by making a payment to your credit card account. If you have a card with a promotional no annual fee and you don’t want to pay the annual fee when the offer ends, make sure you understand when the annual fee will be charged (you can confirm this with the bank) and cancel your card before then.
- Q: What is the best no annual fee credit card?*
There is no such thing as the one “best” no annual fee credit card. Instead, you should consider whether the $0 annual fee is a promotional offer or an ongoing feature and the other costs and features that come with the card. Make sure that the card is an affordable and functional way to manage your finances before you apply.
- Q: I want a no annual fee credit card for travel. What other features should I consider?
To keep your travel costs down, you may want to consider a credit card with no annual fee and no overseas transaction fees or a card that offers complimentary travel insurance. Also make sure that the card you’re using is accepted wherever you’re travelling and that it isn’t restricted by economic sanctions.
- Q: Is there a business credit card with no annual fee?
Business credit cards can offer no annual fee promotions. Compare business credit cards here.
- Q: Can I get a no annual fee credit card if I have lots of debt or bad credit?
Having a bad credit rating can limit your chances of being approved and getting the card. The best place to start is to learn about your options if you have a bad credit rating, by using our bad credit rating credit card guide.