Who has the cheapest credit card interest rate?

Information verified correct on September 1st, 2015
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A credit card with an extremely low interest rate may be easier to find than you think.

One of the most basic financial tools most Australians have in their arsenal is the credit card, and one of the most basic charges you’ll be familiar with if you have one is interest.

Finding a credit card with a relatively low interest rate can be a money saver for the right type of spender.

Credit cards with some of the lowest interest rates

Rates last updated September 1st, 2015.

NAB Low Rate Credit Card

0% for 12 months purchase rate offer extended to 11 October 2015

April 19th, 2015

Citi Clear Platinum Card

Balance transfer and purchase offer changed now to 0% for 9 months.

July 9th, 2015

ANZ Low Rate Platinum Credit Card

This balance transfer offer has been extended by ANZ for the foreseeable future.

September 1st, 2015

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Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee Cash advance rate (p.a.)
NAB Low Rate Credit Card
A credit card which offers a low rate introductory offer on purchases and a low annual fee.
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
Coles Low Rate Mastercard
A low interest rate credit card along with a low annual fee.
12.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 6 months $49 p.a. 19.99% p.a. Go to site More info
Citi Clear Platinum Card
Enjoy the benefits of Visa Platinum, with a low annual fee and a great introductory offer on purchases and balance transfers.
0% p.a. for 9 months (reverts to 13.99% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 9 months $49 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter) 21.74% p.a. Go to site More info
BoQ Low Rate Visa Credit Card
A credit card with a low annual fee, plus low rate on balance transfers and purchases.
13.49% p.a. 0% p.a. for 6 months $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter) 21.49% p.a. Go to site More info
ANZ Low Rate
Save with a low rate on balance transfers with a low annual fee and ongoing purchase rate.
13.49% p.a. 0% p.a. for 16 months with 2% balance transfer fee $58 p.a. 21.74% p.a. Go to site More info
ANZ Low Rate Platinum Credit Card
Platinum card features including overseas medical and travel insurance together with a low interest rate on purchases.
13.49% p.a. 0% p.a. for 16 months with 2% balance transfer fee $99 p.a. 21.74% p.a. Go to site More info
ME Bank frank Credit Card
A low interest rate on purchases and cash advances with no annual fee charge.
9.99% p.a. $0 p.a. 9.99% p.a. Go to site More info

How 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.

Have a look at cards with no annual fees

  • 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.

Check out cards with balance transfer offers

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.
  • 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 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

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 patterns - 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.
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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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2 Responses to Who has the cheapest credit card interest rate?

  1. 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 1st, 2015
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee Cash advance rate (p.a.)
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 Citibank Reward points for every $1 spend.
20.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 24 months with 2.5% balance transfer fee $199 p.a. 21.74% 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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