Compare student Visa credit cards

Information verified correct on October 26th, 2016
student showing her card

Manage your student costs and build your credit with a student Visa credit card.

Education is an important first step on the path to a career, but it doesn’t come cost-free. A student Visa credit card can provide you with cash flow to buy books, computers and other supplies when you need them, with the flexibility to pay it back when you have money in the bank. Student credit cards also lay the foundations for your credit history and help you learn how to manage credit. However, using a credit card for the first time isn’t always easy and it’s important to know how they work to avoid falling into debt.

This guide looks at the pros and cons of getting a student Visa credit card, how to compare different options and the key factors to consider before you apply so that you can decide if a card will benefit your studies.

ANZ First Visa Credit Card

Student Visa Credit Card

The ANZ First Visa is a great first credit card, it is a no frills credit card and you will pay $30 annual fee.

  • $30 p.a. annual fee
  • 19.74% p.a. on purchases
  • 0% p.a. for 18 months with 3% balance transfer fee on balance transfers
  • Cash Advance Rate of 21.49% p.a.
  • Up to 44 days interest free
  • Minimum Income Requirement of $15,000 p.a.

Student Credit Cards Comparison

Rates last updated October 26th, 2016.

ANZ First Student Card

Minimum income requirement has been updated from $6,000 to $15,000.

July 27th, 2016

Citi Clear Platinum Card

Balance transfer and purchase offers have been extended.

September 1st, 2016

ME Bank frank Credit Card

Interest rate changed from 9.99% p.a. to 11.99% p.a. on purchases, balance transfers and cash advanc

September 19th, 2016

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Jonathan Choi Jonathan
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee
ME Bank frank Credit Card
A great credit card option for students. No annual fee and a low interest rate on purchases.
11.99% p.a. $0 p.a. Go to site More info
Coles Low Rate MasterCard
A low rate MasterCard with a competitive rate on purchases and a low annual fee.
9.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 6 months $49 p.a. Go to site More info
Newcastle Permanent Value+ Credit Card
Enjoy a competitive annual fee and interest rates on purchases, cash advances, and balance transfers.
11.49% p.a. $49 p.a. Go to site More info
ANZ First Student Card
Student credit card with no annual fee for the first year and up to 44 days interest-free on purchases.
19.74% p.a. $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($30 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
ANZ Low Rate
$100 Back plus 0% p.a. for the first 6 months on purchases from approval.
0% p.a. for 6 months (reverts to 13.49% p.a.) $58 p.a. Go to site More info
Westpac Student Credit Card
A card designed for full-time tertiary students, enjoy $0 annual fee for the first year with a low credit limit and up to 55 interest-free days on purchases.
20.45% p.a. $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($30 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
Citi Clear Platinum Card
A low rate platinum credit card with a low interest rate on purchases and balance transfers.
0% p.a. for 9 months (reverts to 14.99% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 9 months $99 p.a. Go to site More info
Citi Simplicity Card
Enjoy up to 55 interest-free days and a low interest rate on purchases plus enjoy free bottles of wine from Citibank Dining Program. Offer ends on 31 March 2017.
11.99% p.a. for 24 months (reverts to 19.99% p.a.) $0 p.a. Go to site More info

What is a student Visa credit card?

A student Visa credit card works in a similar way to most other Visa credit cards. It provides you a line of credit that you can access at millions of locations around the world. The difference is that student credit cards are designed for cardholders who are still studying, and therefore come with lower interest rates and annual fees. You can only apply for a student Visa credit card if you’re currently enrolled in an eligible university or TAFE. These cards don’t usually come with the extra frills that other higher tier credit cards do, so they can be a useful way to manage your cash flow and build up a healthy credit history without large card costs.

Benefits of using a student Visa credit card

Student Visa credit cards come with a range of potential benefits. Some of the most popular features include:

  • International acceptance. Visa operates one of the largest payment networks in the world. Visa credit cards are accepted at millions of locations around the globe, both in-person and online.
  • Visa perks. With a Visa credit card, you also get access to perks such as Visa payWave (for contactless payments) and exclusive Visa Entertainment offers for presale tickets, movie screenings and discounts on RedBalloon experiences in Australia and New Zealand.
  • Build your credit history. If you have limited or bad credit history, getting a credit card could help you build up your credit score. For starters, it will add valuable information to your credit file by showing lenders that you have successfully applied for this type of account, which potentially lowers the risk of them approving another card or loan in the future. But more importantly, if you make payments on time and manage the account well, getting a credit card as a student could also show lenders that you are responsible and can manage other products such as a car loan or mortgage.
  • Manage your costs. If spending and repayments are managed correctly, a student Visa credit card is an effective tool to cover short-term cash flow problems. For example, if you’re waiting for a scholarship or government payment to come through, but need study supplies straight away, you could use a credit card to buy them and then pay it off as soon as the money lands in your bank account.
  • Learn how to budget. Learning how to handle credit is important. By allowing you to track your spending and providing a regular due date for repayments, a student Visa credit card can be used as an introduction to both credit and budgeting.

Features of student Visa credit cards

While there are many potential benefits to getting a student credit card, there are also a number of factors you need to consider to make sure this type of product will work for you. Key things to think about include:

  • Interest rates. You will be charged interest if you carry a balance on a credit card. Student products tend to have high standard variable interest rates for both purchases and cash advances, which means the costs can quickly add up.
  • Interest-free periods. Most credit cards offer up to a certain number of days interest-free for new purchases made during each statement period, such as “up to 44 days interest-free”. To take advantage of this feature, you must pay your balance in full by the due date on your statement.
  • Minimum payments. When you get your credit card statement, you will see a minimum payment amount that’s usually 2-3% of the closing balance. Only making the minimum payment could lead to ongoing debt and massive credit card expenses. For example, if you owed $500 on a card with an interest rate of 19.99% and a minimum payment of 2% per month, it would take you 2 years and 9 months to pay off the balance and cost an extra $152 in interest charges.
  • Annual fees. Student credit cards often come with an annual fee. But many of these products will waive the cost while you are a student, providing you meet specific requirements. For example, the CommBank Student credit card has an annual fee of $29 p.a. that is waived for new customers. Continue to receive an annual fee waiver every year if you meet the minimum spend of $1,000 on your student card in the previous year (on purchases and cash advances only) or present your active student ID in branch to request a refund. .
  • Cash advance fees. If you use your credit card to get cash out of an ATM or for other transactions that are considered as “cash substitutes” (such as gambling or even some BPAY payments), you will be charged a cash advance fee. This is usually the greater of a minimum dollar amount or 2-4% of the total transaction cost. You will also be charged interest at the cash advance rate from the time of the transaction.
  • International transaction fees. Most credit cards charge a fee of 2-4% for any transactions made in a foreign currency when you’re overseas or shopping online with international retailers. Make sure you consider this cost before using your card for foreign currency payments.
  • Late payment fees. If you don’t pay at least the minimum off your card by the due date on your statement, you could be charged a fee of around $20 to $30. Late payments will also be noted on your credit history and could negatively impact on your credit score.
  • Overlimit fees. Some credit cards charge a fee of around $20 to $30 if you go over the limit on your account. This could also lead to a black mark on your credit file. You can reduce the risk of maxing out your card by checking your balance through Internet, mobile or phone banking facilities.

How to avoid the student credit card debt trap.

How to apply for a student Visa credit card

You can apply for a student credit card online. Once you have compared a range of options, click on the “Go to site” button and you’ll be redirected to the lender’s website. Confirm your eligibility for a student Visa credit card and check what documents you need to apply before proceeding to the online application.

Eligibility criteria

  • Age. You must be over the age of 18.
  • Enrolment requirements. You must be a full-time student at an accredited Australian education institution.
  • Residency. Depending on the credit card and the provider, you must be either a permanent Australian resident or a non-permanent resident who can meet the visa requirements.
  • Minimum income. Both permanent residents and non-permanent residents will need to meet the minimum income requirements.

Required documents

  • Personal information. This includes details such as your name, address, contact numbers and driver’s licence or passport information.
  • Student information. You will be asked to include information about the university or college you’re attending and the course you’re enrolled in.
  • Income. The financial institution will want to see recent payslips to verify your income. If the credit card accepts government payments (such as those from Centrelink) as a form of income, you may also be asked to provide details of your status and the total amount of money you receive. You can provide your accountant’s details if you’re self employed.
  • Financial information. You will be asked to provide information about your assets and liabilities. This includes any investments or savings accounts, as well as regular expenses such as loan payments, rent, utilities and groceries.

Student Visa credit cards can teach you about handling credit as well as provide the benefits of credit card ownership. Although the rates of interest are higher than what you can find on a low rate credit card, the income requirements for these credit cards make them an accessible product for students.

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Credit Cards Comparison

Rates last updated October 26th, 2016
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
Enjoy a 0% p.a. balance transfer offer for 18 months and also earn 2 bonus Velocity Points in the first 3 months on everyday spend.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 18 months $64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
ME Bank frank Credit Card
Enjoy a low and consistent interest rate on purchases and cash advances, combined with no annual fee.
11.99% p.a. $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 Rate Card offers 0% p.a. on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months. This card 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 3% balance transfer fee $59 p.a. Go to site More info

* The credit card offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of credit cards 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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