No Frills Credit Cards: The Benefits & Advantages

Information verified correct on September 4th, 2015

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, on top of 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 providers 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 September 4th, 2015
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee Cash advance rate (p.a.)
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
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 Credit Card
No annual fee for the life of the card plus a competitive 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
American Express Qantas Discovery Card
A no annual fee frequent flyer credit card from American Express. Earn 1.000 Qantas Frequent Flyer point per $1 spent.
20.74% p.a. 0.99% p.a. for 6 months with 1% balance transfer fee $0 p.a. Go to site More info
Coles No Annual Fee MasterCard
Receive $100 off a single Coles Supermarket shop, 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
ANZ Platinum Credit Card
A low interest rate offer on balance transfers with a $0 annual fee for the first year.
19.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 16 months with 2% balance transfer fee $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($87 p.a. thereafter) 21.49% 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
28 Degrees Platinum MasterCard
Benefit from no international transaction fees on purchases, no currency conversion fees and no annual fee.
20.99% p.a. $0 p.a. 20.99% p.a. Go to site More info
Virgin No Annual Fee Credit Card
Enjoy a balance transfer offer of 0.9% p.a. for 15 months.
18.99% p.a. 0.9% p.a. for 15 months $0 p.a. 20.99% p.a. Go to site More info
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Credit Cards Comparison

Rates last updated September 4th, 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
Citi Rewards Credit Card - Platinum Card
Consolidate your debt with a low balance transfer of 0% p.a. for 24 months and a long purchase rate offer plus a host of platinum privileges. Earn up to 1.25 Citibank Reward points for every $1 spend.
20.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 24 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee $199 p.a. 21.74% p.a. Go to site More info
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Visa Credit Card
One of the lowest rate balance transfer deals combined with a low on-going purchase rate.
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

* 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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