Which credit cards have the cheapest interest rate?

Information verified correct on September 28th, 2016

Save money on purchases and transactions with a low interest rate credit card

Choosing a credit card with a lower interest rate can save you a considerable amount of money in the long-run. Compare and find a credit card with lower interest to save money today.

Comparison of low interest rate credit cards

Rates last updated September 28th, 2016
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee Interest Free Period
Westpac Low Rate Card
A simple low interest rate card featuring a low ongoing rate on purchases, up to 55 days interest-free on purchases and a low annual fee.
1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 13.49% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 18 months $59 p.a. Up to 55 days on purchases Go to site More info
ME Bank frank Credit Card
A low interest rate on purchases and cash advances with no annual fee charge.
11.99% p.a. $0 p.a. Up to 55 days on purchases Go to site More info
St.George Vertigo Visa
Introductory offer of 0% p.a. for 18 months on balance transfers and 1% p.a. for 12 months on purchases, plus a low annual fee.
1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 13.24% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 18 months $55 p.a. Up to 55 days on purchases 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. Also enjoy a 0% p.a. balance transfer rate for 12 months.
14.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $0 p.a. Up to 55 days on purchases 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. Up to 55 days on purchases 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 2% balance transfer fee $59 p.a. Up to 55 days on purchases Go to site More info
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 1% p.a. for 12 months with an annual fee waiver for the first year.
1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 12.74% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 20 months $99 p.a. Up to 55 days on purchases Go to site More info
Westpac 55 Day credit card
Enjoy a balance transfer offer of 0% p.a. for 16 months, an introductory purchase rate of 1% p.a. for up to 12 months, plus a waived annual fee for the first year if applied by 11 October 2016.
1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 19.84% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 16 months $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($30 p.a. thereafter) Up to 55 days on purchases 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. Up to 62 days on purchases Go to site More info
NAB Low Fee Card
Enjoy a low introductory rate of 0% p.a. on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months.
0% p.a. for 15 months (reverts to 19.74% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 15 months with a one off 2% balance transfer fee $30 p.a. Up to 44 days on purchases Go to site More info
ANZ First Visa Credit Card - Exclusive Offer
Take advantage of this exclusive offer and enjoy 0% p.a. for the first 12 months on balance transfers and 0% p.a. for the first 3 months on purchases.
0% p.a. for 3 months (reverts to 19.74% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 12 months $30 p.a. Up to 44 days on purchases Go to site More info
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Visa Credit Card
Enjoy a low annual fee combined with 0% p.a. balance transfer offer for 18 months and 1% p.a. for 12 months on purchases.
1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 13.24% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 18 months $55 p.a. Up to 55 days on purchases Go to site More info
ANZ Low Rate
Save on your existing credit card interest with 0% for 18 months on balance transfers with a low annual fee and low ongoing purchase rate.
13.49% p.a. 0% p.a. for 18 months with 3% balance transfer fee $58 p.a. Up to 55 days on purchases Go to site More info
BankSA Vertigo Visa
A low rate credit card with 0% for 18 months on balance transfers and low ongoing purchase rate from BankSA.
1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 13.24% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 18 months $55 p.a. Up to 55 days on purchases Go to site More info
Citi Clear Platinum Card
Enjoy 0% p.a. for 9 months interest-free purchasing and 0% p.a. for 9 months on balance transfers.
0% p.a. for 9 months (reverts to 14.99% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 9 months $99 p.a. Up to 55 days on purchases Go to site More info
BankSA Vertigo Platinum
Experience Platinum card benefits with complimentary insurance policies and 24/7 Visa Platinum Concierge Service. Get 0% for 20 months on balance transfers and 1% for 12 months if you apply by 29 September 2016.
1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 12.74% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 20 months $99 p.a. Up to 55 days on purchases Go to site More info

happy girl holding a credit cardHow do credit cards with a cheap interest rate work?

Credit cards with low-interest rates work in the same way as a regular credit card. You make purchases using your card, receive your statement, and then pay part or all of the funds due.

These cards have a few general characteristics, although because of the ever-evolving market, these aren’t hard and fast rules:

  1. Lower annual fees
  2. No rewards programs
  3. Higher number of interest-free days
  4. Usually aren’t platinum cards.

Before you start looking at these types of cards ask yourself:

  • Do you regularly pay interest on your balances each month?
    Don’t simply go for the card with the lowest interest rate if you pay your card off in full each month. Cards with low or no annual fees can be a better alternative in this case.
  • Would a balance transfer be more useful? 
    The balance transfer period, how much you can actually transfer, and if you transfer from one particular lender to the other.

How to compare credit cards with low-interest rates

Compare credit cards with low-interest rates by looking at the factors listed below:

  • Interest rate. The main reason why you probably want a credit card with a low-interest rate is because you’re going to be paying interest each month. Ensure this figure is reasonable in conjunction to the annual fee.
  • The annual fee. In addition to the interest rate, the annual fee will be an indicator of how much you’ll be paying each year. You might benefit more from a card with no annual fees.
  • Current deals. Many credit cards offer low purchase rate or balance transfer rate deals as an incentive. These can be useful depending on how you’re going to use your card. If you’re getting a low interest rate card to make a big purchase when you first get your card, a low or 0% purchase rate deal might be a good option.
  • Hidden fees and charges. If you travel overseas often, using your card to make purchases in foreign currencies can incur foreign transaction fees and ATM withdrawal fees. You can also be charged fees for cash advances, late payment and more. If you’re likely to incur a number of these, you might want to find a card with lower foreign transaction fees.
  • Rewards programs. Some cards with low purchase rates may also come with a rewards program. These can add to the cost of the card through higher annual fees, so calculate the value of any rewards you’re likely to receive in a year and ensure it equals or exceeds the annual fees you’re going to pay.
  • Interest free days. Credit cards on the lower side of the interest rate spectrum are no different to regular credit cards. Some cards will come with no interest free days, whereas others will come with 55, and yet some will sit somewhere in between. How many days you need to pay each statement off depends on you.

Pros and Cons of credit cards with the cheapest interest rates

Pros

  • Pay less in interest
  • Pay less in annual fees
  • Most give you 55 days interest-free
  • Uncomplicated – it’s just you, your card and your purchases

Cons

  • No rewards programs
  • No platinum benefits e.g. concierge, discounts,
  • complimentary insurances

Things to avoid with a credit card with a cheap interest rate

As always, credit cards require discipline, and even if a credit card has a low interest rate this rule still applies. Here are some other things to avoid with this type of card:

  • Making needless purchases. Unless you have a 0% interest deal on your card, any purchase that will incur interest will cost you more than the original price. Interest, no matter how small, is something you want to avoid having to pay.
  • Paying for features you won’t use. While a rewards program may sound good, if you’re not going to be using the card for regular purchases you could just end up paying higher annual fees for a feature of little benefit.
  • Take note of your payment pattern. Likewise, if you’re paying a higher annual fee for a card with 55 days interest-free, and you pay your balances off the next day then again this feature may not be worth it.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s better, a credit card which always has a low purchase rate, or a card which has a low introductory purchase rate offer for a number of months only?

This depends on how you plan to use your card, so there’s no one answer. Spenders who plan to use their credit card to make a number of large purchases early on may benefit from a card with a rate which is initially very low or 0%. Those who wish to use their card for regular purchases may benefit from a credit card which has a low rate for the life of the card. Using our credit card interest repayment calculator may give you indication of which one is most suitable.

Is the cheapest rate the best card* to apply for?

The answer to this question depends again on how you plan to use your card. Cards come with many different features and fees. The right mix of these features, fees and interest rates will help you decide which cards will be worthwhile additions to your wallet.
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4 Responses to Which credit cards have the cheapest interest rate?

  1. Default Gravatar
    Gwen | March 22, 2016

    I am a pensioner and recently had to have 3 operations so now I am in trouble as I cannot pay it all of at once and sometimes I can only pay the required amount.I know that sometimes there is a bank that gives you 12-18 mths to pay off with no interest. Also they have no annual fee or maybe a small amount. Is there any bank at the moment who could help me. I am from Melbourne Victoria au

    • Staff
      Sharon | March 22, 2016

      Hi Gwen, thanks for your inquiry.

      Please note that finder.com.au is an online comparison service and is not in the position to recommend specific products, providers and services to you, as the best option will always depend on your individual financial needs and situation.

      You may want to check this page to check credit cards with cheap interest rates. Take time to compare credit cards to find the one that suits you. Please take note of the eligibility requirements as well at the bottom of each credit card’s review page as each submitted application will appear on your credit history.

      I hope this has helped.

      Thanks,

      Sharon

  2. Default Gravatar
    Murray | April 8, 2015

    I have an Amex Gold Credit Card ($8000.00 balance) and Aussie credit card ($24000.00 balance). I want to reduce these amounts by half within 18-14 months of today (April 2015). This would mean paying around $7-800 per month). My only other scheduled payment is for accommodation of $650 per month.

    What is my best approach and to whom should I make that approach?

Credit Cards Comparison

Rates last updated September 28th, 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
St.George Vertigo Visa
Introductory offer of 0% p.a. for 18 months on balance transfers and 1% p.a. for 12 months on purchases, plus a low annual fee.
1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 13.24% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 18 months $55 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

* 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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