No Frills Credit Cards: The Benefits & Advantages

Information verified correct on July 2nd, 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 July 2nd, 2016
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee
Coles No Annual Fee MasterCard
No annual fee for the life of the card and earn 0.5 flybuys point for every $2 spent.
19.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 6 months $0 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
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
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
Commonwealth Bank Low Rate Credit Card
This card offers a low ongoing rate of 13.49% p.a. on purchases with a balance transfer offer for 5 months and an annual fee waiver in the first year.
13.49% p.a. 5.99% p.a. for 5 months $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($59 p.a. thereafter) 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 Low Rate Gold Credit Card
A low rate card that comes with up to 55 days interest-free on purchases combined a balance transfer fee offer and $0 annual fee for the first year.
13.49% p.a. 5.99% p.a. for 5 months $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($89 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
ANZ Platinum Credit Card
Receive $200 back when you spend $500 in the first 3 months. Also enjoy a $0 annual fee for the first year with platinum card benefits.
19.74% p.a. $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($87 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
ANZ First Student Card
An ideal credit card for students with 44 days interest-free on purchases with $0 annual fee in the first year. Access your account on the go with the goMoney™ app.
19.74% p.a. $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($30 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
Commonwealth Bank Low Fee Credit Card
No annual fee for the first year with low ongoing annual fee.
19.74% p.a. 5.99% p.a. for 5 months $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($29 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
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Credit Cards Comparison

Rates last updated July 2nd, 2016
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee
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
NAB Low Rate Credit Card
The NAB Low Interest Visa Card offers 0% p.a. purchase and balance transfer offers for 15 months. Also comes with a low annual fee.
0% p.a. for 15 months (reverts to 13.99% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 15 months with a one off 2% balance transfer fee $59 p.a. Go to site More info
HSBC Platinum Qantas Credit Card
Receive 40,000 bonus Qantas Points on eligible spend within 3 months. A balance transfer offer of 0% p.a. for 6 months with access to premium benefits and complimentary insurance.
19.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 6 months $199 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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