No Frills Credit Cards: The Benefits & Advantages

Information verified correct on May 27th, 2016

There are so many cards to choose from, you may be wondering why you might opt for a no frills credit card above the others.

Once upon a time, all credit cards were pretty much no frills. Now, with so much competition, there are enticements galore for the new credit card customer. So why go back to basics and choose a no frills credit card?

Types of No Frills Credit Cards Include:

A low or zero annual fee

If you do not intend to use your credit card too much, then paying an annual fee for a reward card may not be worth it. Any points you accumulate in a year may not amount to much of an exchange gift, and may even be less than the fee you paid to get such a card. With a no frills credit card that does not carry an annual fee, you can use that money for something you genuinely want, and you will not be limited by the tie-ins that accompany reward schemes. Also bear in mind that some reward schemes have a separate fee attached to them, in addition to the card’s basic annual fee.

About No Annual Fee Credit Cards

Lower interest rates

A reward scheme is a partnership between the credit card company and certain enlisted retailers, companies or airlines, whose products you ultimately exchange your points for. Credit card issuers pay a price for this, and this is often reflected in a higher interest rate for the customer. A no frills credit card with a low interest rate on purchases does not have those associated costs so it can keep its interest rate lower.

Although this may not concern the customer who always settles their bill in full every month, thus avoiding any interest, it does still provide the option of making that large purchase in the future and not being hit too hard for making just a low or minimum payment.

About Low Interest Rate Credit Cards

Less temptation to spend

Reward schemes can cause certain people to get a little carried away with their card in the pursuit of those precious points. They may even spend on items they might have by-passed without the lure of the points.

With a no frills credit card, that temptation does not exist. It is therefore easier to use the card solely for your essentials. The fact that you have a higher-spec card may even cause certain folk to hand it over as a status symbol, because having a Gold or Platinum card says something about your annual income.

A no frills credit card is about getting back to the basics of credit cards, but in a good way. It is simply there as an option should you find yourself without sufficient cash in a supermarket, for example, or if a major purchase is unavoidable and current cash flow would not allow for it.

However it is used, you will know that it is operating at a lower rate of interest. And if you don’t use it, you know that you will not be paying a high annual fee just to have it sitting in your wallet or purse. Finally, a no frills credit card may not mean exactly that; check to see if there are any attractive features attached to the card. You may be surprised.

Compare No Annual Fee Credit Cards

Rates last updated May 27th, 2016
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee
American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card
Receive 5,000 Membership Rewards Bonus Points and no annual fee for the first year. Plus, enjoy 0% p.a. for 12 months on balance transfers. Apply by 30 May 2016.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($195 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
American Express Essential Credit Card
Receive a $50 credit on eligible spend and get Smartphone screen insurance combined with a no annual fee for life card.
14.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months $0 p.a. Go to site More info
ME Bank frank Credit Card
A low interest rate on purchases and cash advances with $0 annual fee for the life of the card.
9.99% p.a. $0 p.a. Go to site More info
Coles No Annual Fee MasterCard
No annual fee for the life of the card and earn 0.5 flybuys points per dollar spent. $100 discount Supermarket offer for approved applicants.
19.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 6 months $0 p.a. Go to site More info
Virgin No Annual Fee Credit Card
No annual fee credit card with $100 cashback and a long term low rate balance transfer offer of 0% p.a. for 18 months with 2% balance transfer fee. Spend criteria applies for cashback offer.
18.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 18 months with 2% balance transfer fee $0 p.a. Go to site More info
ANZ Frequent Flyer Black
Earn up to 75,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $2,500 within the first three months and 1.5 points per $1 spent. Get complimentary airport lounge access, 24/7 concierge with $0 annual fee in the first year.
19.99% p.a. $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($425 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
Coles No Annual Fee Platinum MasterCard
Enjoy a low balance transfer offer, upgrade to a platinum card, receive $100 off a single Coles Supermarket shop and pay no annual fee. Eligible applicants only.
19.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 6 months $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
Commonwealth Bank Small Business Credit Card - Low Rate
Get $250 cash back if you apply by 30 June 2016 and spend $500 on eligible purchases before 31 July 2016. A business credit card with $0 annual fee, a low ongoing interest rate with higher credit limits.
14.55% p.a. $0 p.a. Go to site More info
28 Degrees Platinum MasterCard
No annual fee for life, up to 55 days interest-free on purchases and no foreign transaction fees.
21.99% p.a. $0 p.a. Go to site More info
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Credit Cards Comparison

Rates last updated May 27th, 2016
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee
St.George Vertigo Platinum
A platinum card with a balance transfer offer of 0% p.a. for 20 months and an introductory purchase offer of 0.99% p.a. for 4 months with a low annual fee.
0.99% p.a. for 4 months (reverts to 12.74% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 20 months $99 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Essential Credit Card
Receive a $50 credit on eligible spend and get Smartphone screen insurance combined with a no annual fee for life card.
14.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months $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
ANZ Frequent Flyer Black
Earn up to 75,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $2,500 within the first three months and 1.5 points per $1 spent. Get complimentary airport lounge access, 24/7 concierge with $0 annual fee in the first year.
19.99% p.a. $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($425 p.a. thereafter) 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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