Stop paying annual fees: Compare credit cards with $0 and low annual fees
Lower your credit card fees and save on yearly costs with a no annual fee credit card. This guide will walk you through how a no annual fee credit card works and how you can compare the benefits, features, and drawbacks to find the right card for you.
Although no annual fee credit cards typically have higher interest rates and may not offer the same extras as a premium card with a high annual fee, this type of card could be a useful way to manage your finances simply and without large costs. Some no annual fee cards also come with additional features such as balance transfers, rewards and frequent flyer programs. Whether the no annual fee is a promotional offer or an ongoing feature that’s available for the life of the card, you can start comparing your options to discover whether a no annual fee credit card is right for you below.
No Annual Fee Credit Card Offer
The American Express® Platinum Edge Credit Card offers a complimentary domestic return flight every year, no annual fee for the first year and up to 3 points per $1 on your everyday spend.
- $0 annual card fee for the first year ($195 thereafter). New card members only.
- Complimentary domestic and international travel insurance cover.
- 0% p.a. on balance transfers for the first 12 months with a one-off 1% credit plan establishment fee.
- Up to 4 Supplementary Cards with no annual fee.
Apply by 30 May 2016. Conditions apply. See website for details.
Compare types of No Annual Fee Credit Cards available
How do you compare using this table?
No annual fee credit cards provide a range of benefits including 0% on purchases and balance transfers, rewards and frequent flyer benefits.
- To compare all no annual fee credit cards: use the ‘Compare No Annual Fee Credit Cards‘ table
- To repay your credit card/ personal loan debt with 0% interest: use the ‘No Annual Fee & Balance Transfer‘ table
- To earn rewards points per $1 spent and redeem for various benefits: use the ‘No Annual Fee with Rewards‘ table
- To earn frequent flyer points per $1 spent and enjoy flight and travel perks: use the ‘No Annual Fee with Frequent Flyer‘ table
What you need to know about no annual fee credit cards
What is a no annual fee credit card?
A no annual fee, 0 annual fee or $0 annual fee credit card is a card that waives this annual fee charge, either for a promotional period or for the life of the card. If the card only has a low annual fee for a set period, make sure you know when it finishes and what the fee will revert to if you want to avoid any surprises.
No annual fee credit cards can suit to those people who reserve the use of their credit card for emergencies or cardholders who are able to clear their balance each month. This is because that the low annual fee is often offset by high interest rates on purchases. It’s important to ensure that the savings you make from the $0 annual fee aren’t counteracted by the other costs of the card, otherwise you’re not getting full value from the feature.
Benefits and drawbacks of no annual fee credit cards
- Save money on annual fees
- Beneficial for infrequent credit card users who repay their balance in full
- Some cards can come with offers and rewards you’d expect to pay for
- Higher ongoing interest rates
- As with many credit cards, the late payment fees can be quite steep
- Less features and rewards than paid equivalents
Who are no annual fee credit cards suited to?
- You clear your balance every month. If you are not going to pay interest on an unpaid balance, then a higher interest rate is neither here nor there if it means you avoid paying an annual fee.
- You only use your card for emergencies. If you’re only using your card for emergency purchases, you might want to avoid paying annual fee.
- You’re without debt. Again, if you’re not in debt and unlikely to fall in debt, the higher interest rates of a no annual fee card shouldn’t have too much of an impact on your balance. This means that you’ll enjoy the full benefit of a no annual fee card.
Types of credit cards that don’t charge an annual fee
No annual fee credit cards can provide various features such as interest-free days on purchases, balance transfer offers, reward points earnings and frequent flyer/ travelling benefits. There are some more or less suited to your needs and intended purpose. Discovering which features are applicable to your lifestyle and personal situation will allow you to find the most suitable no annual fee credit card.
- With no annual fees and a low or 0% balance transfer offer, you could have a cost-free way to consolidate your debts.
Why should you get one of these cards?
- Pay 0% p.a. interest on your debt. If you have existing credit, store or charge card debt, you can bring this debt over to a new card and pay 0% p.a. interest for an extended period of time. This means that you can repay your debt faster without the cost of interest.
- Don’t pay anything extra while you’re getting your debt under control. When it comes to paying off a debt you want to give yourself the best chance possible at paying it off, and that’s where keeping your costs low can help. With no annual fee, you won’t have any ongoing costs to maintain except for your repayments.
- Low-cost line of credit. A no annual fee card can offer you a convenient line of credit once your balance transfer is paid off. Check to see how competitive the standard interest rates on the card are to determine whether it’s an affordable option for everyday expenses.
Virgin Money Balance Transfer Credit Card Offer
Take advantage of a card with a no annual fee and 0% p.a. for 18 months balance transfer offer, plus a $100 cashback offer (spending criteria applies). Furthermore, you can enjoy up to 44 interest free days on purchases.
- $0 p.a. annual fee
- 18.99% p.a. on purchases
- 0% p.a. for 18 months with 2% balance transfer fee on balance transfers
- Cash Advance Rate of 20.99% p.a.
- Up to 44 days interest free
- Minimum Income Requirement of $25,000 p.a.
Compare no annual fee balance transfer cards
- These cards have no annual fees plus the ability to earn rewards points, so you could be rewarded for nothing.
The benefits are obvious, so what are the things you need to watch out for?
- What rewards program is it linked to? Does this program offer rewards that you’re interested in redeeming? For example, is it a travel-focused program but you don’t travel often? Does it require you to spend with specific stores to earn points? Make sure the program aligns with your existing spending habits.
- Is the earn rate competitive? How many points can you earn per dollar? Consider how much you’ll be spending and calculate whether the potential rewards outweigh the costs.
- What other costs are associated with the card? Aside from the annual fee, confirm the card’s standard rates including the purchase rate, balance transfer, rate, cash advance fee and any other fees involved.
Coles No Annual Fee Credit Card Offer
Coles No Annual Fee Mastercard offers a low introductory interest rate on purchases. Plus no annual fee and earn flybuys points everywhere you spend. Every 2,000 flybuys points earns you $10 off your Coles Supermarket shop.
- $0 p.a. annual fee
- 19.99% p.a. on purchases
- 0% p.a. for 6 months on balance transfers
- Cash Advance Rate of 19.99% p.a.
- Up to 62 days interest free
- Minimum Income Requirement of $15,000 p.a.
Comparison of no annual fee cards with rewards
- These cards offer no annual fees while allowing you to earn frequent flyer points
How do you compare no annual fee frequent flyer cards?
- Frequent flyer program. Choosing a frequent flyer program that caters to your needs will enable you to spend your hard earned points on the things that matter. Learn more about frequent flyer credit cards with our full guide.
- Earning points. There are two main ways to earn points, directly or indirectly. Direct earn credit cards allow you to earn points with the frequent flyer program, whereas indirect earning requires transferring from a standalone rewards program to the frequent flyer program. Credit cards also offer different earning rates. Check whether your card has a cap on the amount of points you’re able to earn and how often the points expire.
- Interest rates and other fees. Frequent flyer cards tend to come with less competitive rates than other standard credit cards, so ensure that the rewards offset the cost. Check if there are fees to join the rewards program or any other ongoing fees associated with the card or rewards account.
- Extra features. Some of these cards offer you additional features, such as complimentary insurances, promotional rates on purchases or balance transfers and even complimentary airport lounge passes. See what’s possible with these cards and how it can benefit you.
American Express Frequent Flyer Credit Card Offer
The Qantas American Express Discovery Card is a frequent flyer credit card that allows you to earn Qantas Points with a $0 Annual Fee.
- $0 p.a. annual fee
- 20.74% p.a. on purchases
- 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee on balance transfers
- Up to 44 days interest free
- Minimum Income Requirement of $35,000 p.a.
Compare no annual fee frequent flyer cards
- These are cards with no annual fees plus no foreign transaction fees, which can come in handy if you’re planning an overseas trip.
What you need to know about these credit cards
- What foreign transaction fees might apply? Some fees you can expect when using your card overseas includes currency conversion fees, foreign exchange fees, overseas ATM withdrawal fees and foreign transaction fees.
- What other features come with the card? Do you have any other features that you want from your credit card? Rewards points, travel insurance, purchase protection and other premium features can all be yours, depending on the card you choose.
- Is the card competitively priced? What will you be paying in interest if you don’t pay back your balance in full? Does the card offer any promotional rates for purchases or balance transfers? Look at how much the card will cost you to own — as a no annual fee product, it shouldn’t cost you much.
Bankwest Zero Platinum
Bankwest offers no annual fee with the Zero Platinum card, ideal for shopping online and as a travel credit card. There are no international transaction charged when you make a purchase or cash withdrawal in a foreign currency.
- $0 p.a. annual fee
- 17.99% p.a. on purchases
- 2.99% p.a. for 9 months on balance transfers
- Cash Advance Rate of 21.99% p.a.
- Up to 55 days interest free
A comparison of no annual fee cards with no foreign transaction fees
How do you compare no annual fee credit cards?
- Annual fee. Check whether the $0 annual fee is a promotional offer for the first year or an ongoing deal.
- Interest rate. When looking at the interest rate, check the interest rate on purchases, balance transfers and cash advances. You want to make sure that the cost of the interest doesn’t outweigh the savings you’ve made from paying no annual fee.
- Additional benefits. No annual fee credit cards can include a range of benefits and features including balance transfers, frequent flyer benefits and rewards programs. A common offer from banks is to provide the annual fee waiver only for the first year, so make sure you check the terms around the no annual fee offer.
- Interest-free days. Along with an annual fee waiver, interest-free days can be an ideal feature to help you manage your monthly expenses. You receive interest-free days if you pay your balance in full.
Q&As about no annual fee credit cards from our users
When is the annual fee charged and is there a catch?
If I have a credit card with a promotional annual fee offer, can I cancel the card before having to pay the annual fee?
As long as you don’t have a balance on the card and cancel the card before the annual fee is applied, you should be able to cancel your card without incurring a fee. You might want to contact your provider to confirm exactly when the annual fee is charged so you don’t accidentally pay it and then cancel the card.
Will I ever have to pay an annual fee with a no annual fee card?
If the annual fee is a promotional offer, you’ll have to start paying an annual fee once the promotion ends. Make sure you know what the annual fee will revert to and when it will be charged to avoid any surprises.
When do you normally pay the annual fee on a credit card?
The annual fee is charged upon account activation and is payable by the first statement date/ first credit card bill. Annual fees can be repaid as quickly as you choose, by making a payment to your credit card account.
Q&As about comparing no annual fee credit cards
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 fees that come with the card. Make sure that the card is an affordable and functional way to manage your finances.
Are there any hidden fees or charges?
Are there any other hidden fees that make up for the free cost?
There aren’t any “hidden fees”, but no annual fees sometimes come with higher interest costs. Also, if the annual fee is only in place for a promotional period, you can expect a higher fee to kick once the offer finishes.
No annual fee credit cards for travelling
Which no annual fee credit cards are suitable for travel?
Travel credit cards offer benefits such as no currency conversion fees, no ATM withdrawal fees and complimentary travel insurance.
Can I get complimentary overseas travel insurance on a no annual fee credit card?
Yes, some cards offer this great money saving feature. Usually this cover is triggered by paying for part or all of the trip on your card. See your card’s terms and conditions for details.
Other Q&As about no annual fee credit cards
Is there a business credit card with no annual fee?
Business credit cards can offer no annual fee promotions. See this page for comparing business credit cards.
Can you get a no annual fee credit card with bad credit?
Having a bad credit rating can hinder 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.
At what point does paying a credit card annual fee become worth it?
Calculating the points earned from your credit card spending and the value you are receiving against the annual fee, will assess whether you are breaking even with the cost of receiving the frequent flyer benefits on the card.
Can I get a card that charges no annual fee, interest or charges if I don’t use the card?
Yes, this is what no annual fee credit cards are all about. They don’t charge you money if you don’t use the card which is perfect for infrequent credit card users.