Best credit cards

Compare a selection of the best credit cards with 0% balance transfers, low rates, no fees and awesome rewards.

By   |   Verified by David Boyd   |   Updated 10th August 2020

Comparing best credit cards

Westpac Low Rate Credit Card

On Westpac's website

Apply by 02 December 2020

Westpac Low Rate Credit Card

Balance transfer

20 months at 0% p.a.

Purchase rate

13.74% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$59.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • Enjoy 0% p.a. for 20 months on balance transfers with 1% Balance Transfer fee. Reverts to variable cash advance rate.
  • Plus, get $200 Cashback when you spend $1,000 on eligible purchases within 90 days of card approval.
  • Enjoy up to 55 days on purchases.
ANZ Low Rate

On ANZ's website

ANZ Low Rate

Balance transfer

22 months at 0% p.a.

Purchase rate

12.49% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$0.00 for 1st year

Highlights

  • 0% p.a. for 22 months on balance transfers (1.5% balance transfer fee applies). Reverts to cash advance rate.
  • Low 12.49% p.a. ongoing rate on purchases.
  • No annual fee for the first year ($58 thereafter).
MoneyMe Freestyle Virtual Card

On MoneyMe's website

Special Offer

MoneyMe Freestyle Virtual Card

Balance transfer

N/A

Purchase rate

16.99% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

From $100.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • Apply online in minutes with an outcome on the spot.
  • No waiting days for a physical card, it's instantly accessible via your mobile wallet.
  • Tap n Pay in-store using Apple Pay or Google Pay.
  • Shop online using your virtual card details found in the MoneyMe App.
  • Shop now, pay later with up to 55 days interest-free on purchases.

Bank promo

  • Get MoneyMe's lowest advertised rate EVER of 16.99% p.a.
  • Receive a $250 credit back when you spend a minimum of $1,000 on purchases using your MoneyMe Freestyle Virtual Card within 12 months of approval. Terms and conditions apply.
Virgin Money No Annual Fee Credit Card

On Virgin Money's website

Apply by 31 August 2020

Virgin Money No Annual Fee Credit Card

Balance transfer

12 months at 0% p.a.

Purchase rate

18.99% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$0.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • $0 annual fee for the life of the card.
  • 0% p.a. for 12 months on balance transfers.
  • Up to 55 days on purchases.
Qantas Premier Platinum Credit Card

On Qantas Money's website

Apply by 30 September 2020

Qantas Premier Platinum Credit Card

Balance transfer

18 months at 0% p.a.

Purchase rate

19.99% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$199.00 for 1st year

Highlights

  • Receive up to 80,000 bonus Qantas Points. That's 20,000 points each month for four months when spending $1,500 or more on eligible purchases.
  • Get additional 75 bonus Status Credits when you make your first eligible purchase by 30 November 2020.
  • $199 p.a. annual fee for the first year, then $299 p.a..
HSBC Platinum Credit Card Balance Transfer Offer

On HSBC's website

Apply by 30 September 2020

HSBC Platinum Credit Card Balance Transfer Offer

Balance transfer

22 months at 0% p.a.

Purchase rate

19.99% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$129.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • 0% p.a. on balances transferred for 22 months, with no balance transfer fee.
  • $129 p.a. annual fee which is refundable each year when you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases.*
  • Earn 2 points per $1 spent on overseas purchases.
Citi Rewards Card Balance Transfer Offer

On Citi's website

Apply by 31 August 2020

Citi Rewards Card Balance Transfer Offer

Balance transfer

26 months at 0% p.a.

Purchase rate

21.49% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$0.00 for 1st year

Highlights

  • Enjoy 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 26 months which could help you get on top of things. A one-off 1.5% balance transfer fee applies.
  • Earn Citi Rewards points as you spend using the card: 1 point per $1 Domestic spend (capped at $10,000 per statement period); or 1 point per $1 International spend (uncapped).
  • Feel secure with the complimentary Insurances: International Travel Insurance, Transit Accident Insurance, Purchase Cover Insurance, Extended Warranty Insurance, and Guaranteed Pricing Scheme.
  • Indulge convenience with contactless payment: Mastercard® PayPass, Apple Pay, and Samsung Pay.
  • Enjoy a free bottle of wine every time you dine at any of partner restaurants.
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Visa

On Bank of Melbourne's website

Apply by 30 September 2020

Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Visa

Balance transfer

22 months at 0% p.a.

Purchase rate

7 months at 0% p.a.

Annual fee

$0.00 for 1st year

Highlights

  • 0% for 22 months on balance transfers with 1.5% balance transfer fee. Reverts to cash advance rate.
  • 0% p.a. on purchases for up to 7 months from card approval (reverts to 13.99% thereafter).
  • $0 p.a annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter).
Kogan Money Black Card

On Kogan Money's website

Apply by 31 August 2020

Kogan Money Black Card

Balance transfer

22 months at 0% p.a.

Purchase rate

20.99% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$0.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • No annual fees.
  • 0% p.a. for 22 months on balance transfers with 1% BT fee (reverts to cash advance rate).
  • Earn $50 Kogan.com Credit when you are approved and spend $1000 or more on everyday purchases in the first 60 days.
Coles No Annual Fee Mastercard

On Coles' website

Apply by 31 August 2020

Coles No Annual Fee Mastercard

Balance transfer

18 months at 0% p.a.

Purchase rate

19.99% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$0.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • No annual fee ever.
  • 0% p.a. for 18 months with a 1.5% balance transfer fee (reverts to cash advance rate).
  • Earn 1 flybuys point per $2 on eligible spend.
Bankwest Breeze Mastercard

On Bankwest's website

Bankwest Breeze Mastercard

Balance transfer

9 months at 2.99% p.a.

Purchase rate

15 months at 0% p.a.

Annual fee

$79.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • 0% p.a. on purchases up to 15 months (reverts to 12.99% thereafter).
  • 2.99% for 9 months on balance transfers with no BT fee (reverts to 12.99% thereafter).
  • Low annual fee of $79 p.a..
  • Limited time only. Fees, T&Cs apply. New Breeze Mastercard customers only.
St.George Vertigo Platinum Credit Card

On St.George's website

Apply by 30 September 2020

St.George Vertigo Platinum Credit Card

Balance transfer

12 months at 6.99% p.a.

Purchase rate

15 months at 0% p.a.

Annual fee

$49.00 for 1st year

Highlights

  • 0% p.a. on purchases for up to 15 months from card approval.
  • $49 p.a. fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter).
  • Low revert rate on Purchases of 12.99% p.a. (ongoing).
ME frank Credit Card

On ME Bank's website

ME frank Credit Card

Balance transfer

N/A

Purchase rate

11.99% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$0.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • At 11.99% p.a., this card has one of the lowest ongoing interest rates on purchases.
  • Cash advances are also cheap. Interest on these are just 11.99% p.a. ongoing, with a $4 or 2% fee (whichever is greater), which is also very low in comparison with others.
  • The perfect annual fee: $0 p.a.
Coles Low Rate Mastercard

On Coles' website

Apply by 31 August 2020

Coles Low Rate Mastercard

Balance transfer

6 months at 0% p.a.

Purchase rate

12.99% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$58.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • 0% p.a. for 6 months on balance transfers (reverts to Cash Advance rate). No interest-free days apply to retail purchases while you have a balance transfer.
  • Low fee of $58 p.a.
  • Competitive rates of 12.99% p.a. on purchases and 19.99% p.a. on cash advances.
Bankwest Breeze Platinum Mastercard

On Bankwest's website

Bankwest Breeze Platinum Mastercard

Balance transfer

9 months at 2.99% p.a.

Purchase rate

15 months at 0% p.a.

Annual fee

$99.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • 0% p.a. on purchases up to 15 months (reverts to 12.99% thereafter).
  • 2.99% for 9 months on balance transfers with no BT fee (reverts to 12.99% thereafter).
  • Low annual fee of $99 p.a.
  • Limited time only. Fees, T&Cs apply. New Breeze Platinum Mastercard customers only.
NAB Low Rate Card

On NAB's website

NAB Low Rate Card

Balance transfer

6 months at 0% p.a.

Purchase rate

6 months at 0% p.a.

Annual fee

$59.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • Enjoy 0% on purchases and 0% on Balance Transfer (2% Balance Transfer applies).
  • After 6 months, continue purchasing interest-free up to 55 days interest-free period.
  • Uses Visa payWave for making purchases contactless and faster.
  • Get a response in 60 seconds.
BankSA Amplify Platinum Credit Card (Amplify)

On BankSA's website

Apply by 30 September 2020

BankSA Amplify Platinum Credit Card (Amplify)

Balance transfer

22 months at 0% p.a.

Purchase rate

7 months at 0% p.a.

Annual fee

$0.00 for 1st year

Highlights

  • 0% p.a. for 22 months on balance transfers with 1.5% balance transfer fee. Reverts to cash advance rate.
  • 0% p.a. on purchases for up to 7 months from card approval (reverts to 19.74% thereafter).
  • $0 annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter).
Bank of Melbourne Amplify Platinum Credit Card (Amplify)

On Bank of Melbourne's website

Apply by 30 September 2020

Bank of Melbourne Amplify Platinum Credit Card (Amplify)

Balance transfer

22 months at 0% p.a.

Purchase rate

7 months at 0% p.a.

Annual fee

$0.00 for 1st year

Highlights

  • 0% p.a. for 22 months on balance transfers with 1.5% balance transfer fee. Reverts to cash advance rate.
  • 0% p.a. on purchases for up to 7 months from card approval (reverts to 19.74% thereafter).
  • $0 annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter).
BankSA Vertigo Credit Card

On BankSA's website

Apply by 30 September 2020

BankSA Vertigo Credit Card

Balance transfer

22 months at 0% p.a.

Purchase rate

7 months at 0% p.a.

Annual fee

$0.00 for 1st year

Highlights

  • 0% for 22 months on balance transfers with 1.5% balance transfer fee. Reverts to cash advance rate.
  • 0% p.a. on purchases for up to 7 months from card approval (reverts to 13.99% thereafter).
  • $0 p.a annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter).
NAB Low Fee Card

On NAB's website

NAB Low Fee Card

Balance transfer

6 months at 0% p.a.

Purchase rate

19.74% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$30.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • Low $30 p.a. ongoing annual fee.
  • Apply for additional cardholder at no extra cost.
  • Complimentary purchase protection insurance.
Bankwest Breeze Platinum Mastercard

On Bankwest's website

Bankwest Breeze Platinum Mastercard

Balance transfer

9 months at 2.99% p.a.

Purchase rate

15 months at 0% p.a.

Annual fee

$99.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • 0% p.a. on purchases up to 15 months (reverts to 12.99% thereafter).
  • 2.99% for 9 months on balance transfers with no BT fee (reverts to 12.99% thereafter).
  • Low annual fee of $99 p.a.
  • Limited time only. Fees, T&Cs apply. New Breeze Platinum Mastercard customers only.
ANZ Platinum Credit Card

On ANZ's website

ANZ Platinum Credit Card

Balance transfer

18 months at 0% p.a.

Purchase rate

20.24% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$0.00 for 1st year

Highlights

  • 0% p.a. for the first 18 months on balance transfers with a 2% balance transfer fee on amounts transferred. Reverts to 20.24% p.a..
  • Up to 55 days interest free on purchases when you pay your account in full each month.
  • $0 annual fee for the first year (save $87).
Westpac Altitude Platinum Credit Card (Altitude)

On Westpac's website

Apply by 11 November 2020

Westpac Altitude Platinum Credit Card (Altitude)

Balance transfer

18 months at 0% p.a.

Purchase rate

20.49% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$99.00 for 1st year

Highlights

  • Receive 80,000 Altitude bonus points when you spend $3,000 on eligible purchases within 90 days of card approval. Terms and conditions apply.
  • 0% p.a. for 18 months on balance transfers (1 % balance transfer fee applies). Reverts to purchase rate.
  • $99 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($150 p.a. annual fee thereafter).
Westpac Altitude Platinum Credit Card (Qantas)

On Westpac's website

Apply by 11 November 2020

Westpac Altitude Platinum Credit Card (Qantas)

Balance transfer

18 months at 0% p.a.

Purchase rate

20.49% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$99.00 for 1st year

Highlights

  • Receive 60,000 Qantas bonus points when you spend $3,000 on eligible purchases within 90 days of card approval. Terms and conditions apply.
  • Transfer your balance at 0% p.a. for 18 months (1 % balance transfer fee applies). Reverts to purchase rate.
  • $99 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($200 p.a. annual fee thereafter).
American Express Qantas Ultimate Credit Card

On American Express' website

Apply by 03 September 2020

American Express Qantas Ultimate Credit Card

Balance transfer

N/A

Purchase rate

20.74% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$450.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • Get 80,000 bonus Qantas Points and get $100 back when you spend $150 or more at Qantas Wine when you apply by 3 September 2020, are approved and spend $3,000 on your new Card within the first 3 months. New Card Members only.
  • Earn 1.25 Qantas Points for every $1 spent on Card purchases, except spend at government bodies in Australia where you will earn 0.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent.
  • $450 Qantas Travel Credit each year (conditions apply).
NAB Low Fee Platinum Card

On NAB's website

NAB Low Fee Platinum Card

Balance transfer

6 months at 0% p.a.

Purchase rate

19.74% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$90.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • 24 hour, 7 day Platinum Concierge Service.
  • 7 types of complimentary insurances including overseas travel insurance.
  • Apply for additional cardholders at no cost.
  • 6 months at 0% p.a. on balance transfers. (2% balance transfer fee applies). Reverts to cash advance rate.
Bendigo Bank Low Rate Mastercard

On Bendigo Bank's website

Apply by 30 September 2020

Bendigo Bank Low Rate Mastercard

Balance transfer

6 months at 0% p.a.

Purchase rate

11.99% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$0.00 for 1st year

Highlights

  • No annual fee for the first year ($45 p.a. thereafter).
  • Receive a $150 Woolworths Supermarket Gift Card when you spend $1,000 on eligible purchases within 60 days of account opening.
  • 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 6 months. Purchase rate applies thereafter.
St.George Rainbow Vertigo Visa

On St.George's website

Apply by 30 September 2020

St.George Rainbow Vertigo Visa

Balance transfer

22 months at 0% p.a.

Purchase rate

7 months at 0% p.a.

Annual fee

$0.00 for 1st year

Highlights

  • 0% p.a. on purchases for up to 7 months from card approval (reverts to 13.99% thereafter).
  • 0% p.a. for 22 months on balance transfers with 1.5% balance transfer fee. Reverts to cash advance rate.
  • $0 p.a annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter).
Coles Rewards Mastercard

On Coles' website

Apply by 31 August 2020

Coles Rewards Mastercard

Balance transfer

18 months at 0% p.a.

Purchase rate

19.99% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$99.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 18 months (reverts to Cash Advance rate).
  • Collect 2 points per $1 on eligible spend – that’s on top of the usual flybuys points from other partners.
  • Get $10 off your Coles Supermarket shop instantly at the checkout every time you redeem 2,000 flybuys points.
ANZ First Visa Credit Card

On ANZ's website

ANZ First Visa Credit Card

Balance transfer

18 months at 0% p.a.

Purchase rate

18.79% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$30.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • 0% p.a. for the first 18 months on balance transfers with a 2% balance transfer fee on amounts transferred. Reverts to 20.24% p.a..
  • Low annual fee.
  • Up to 55 days interest free on purchases when you pay your account in full each month.
Bankwest Zero Platinum Mastercard

On Bankwest's website

Bankwest Zero Platinum Mastercard

Balance transfer

9 months at 2.99% p.a.

Purchase rate

17.99% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$0.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • No annual fee.
  • 2.99% p.a. for 9 months on balances transferred.
  • No foreign transaction fees and complimentary international credit card travel insurance.
Bendigo Bank Qantas Platinum Mastercard

On Bendigo Bank's website

Bendigo Bank Qantas Platinum Mastercard

Balance transfer

6 months at 0% p.a.

Purchase rate

19.99% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$149.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • Earn 0.6 Qantas Points per $1 spent.
  • 180 days comprehensive travel insurance.
  • 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 6 months. Purchase rate applies thereafter.

Overview

The use of a term like “best” to describe a credit card can only be subjective. That is, a card that is best or ideal for one person may be completely unsuitable for another. And please note that the use of the terms "popular", "best" and "top" on this website are not product ratings or recommendations and are subject to our general disclaimer.

With that out of the way, let’s take a look at some of the features that make a card “best”, and who they are in fact best for.

Frequent flyer credit cards may be best for regular travellers

Anyone who travels by air regularly would be well advised to consider a frequent flyer credit card. Frequent flyer points earned on card purchases can mount up quickly and be exchanged for award flights or seat upgrades. (Other redemption options are available, but it’s generally agreed that award flights and upgrades deliver the best value per point.)

Like rewards points cards in general, frequent flyer points credit cards are only worthwhile if you are going to avoid interest charges by paying off your purchases balance in full every month.

Frequent flyer credit cards typically come with other complimentary benefits designed to assist the traveller, such as airport lounge access, travel insurance, free flights, flight discounts, travel agency credit and personal concierge service.

They come in several flavours:

  • Qantas frequent flyer credit cards
  • Virgin Australia Velocity frequent flyer credit cards
  • Emirates Skywards frequent flyer credit cards
  • Credit cards affiliated with other rewards programs, but with an option to convert rewards points into frequent flyer points with Australian and global airlines

Balance transfer credit cards may be best for anyone struggling to repay their credit card debt

There’s usually a wide choice of credit cards which allow new cardholders to transfer a debt from one or more of their existing credit or store cards, and pay 0% interest on the transferred balance for an introductory period. The introductory period could be as much as 24 months, or even more.

So a balance transfer credit card would be a good choice for anyone with existing credit card debt since they can save a lot on interest charges they would otherwise incur. It’s also an option for debt consolidation, and cards issued by Citi, Coles, Qantas Money and Virgin Money even allow personal loan debt to be transferred to a 0% balance transfer credit card.

The best way to use a balance transfer credit card is to make a serious effort to repay the debt during the introductory interest-free period, since the high revert interest rate will apply to any debt remaining after the promotional period expiry date.

Rewards points credit cards may be best for someone looking for a compensation for everyday spending

A general rewards points credit card could be a good option if you’re not a regular traveller and therefore not particularly interested in frequent flyer points. You don’t need to change your spending habits, but just aim to put through your rewards credit card as many of your purchases and bill payments as possible.

The rewards points will mount up with no extra effort on your part, and can be exchanged for benefits such as money off your supermarket shopping, gift cards to spend at national retailers, cashback on your card account, movie tickets and other entertainment, travel and accommodation, and merchandise from an online catalogue. With some rewards programs you can even choose an auto-redemption, so that a gift card (for example) will automatically be sent to you once you ave accumulated the required number of points.

Although there are some rewards points credit cards which don’t charge an annual fee, most of them will have a higher annual fee than cards with no rewards program attached. So it’s only worth paying the higher annual fee if you are going to avoid interest charges by paying off your purchases balance in full every month.

Australian credit card rewards programs (excluding specific frequent flyer programs) include:

  • American Express Membership Rewards
  • ANZ Rewards
  • Bankwest More Rewards
  • Citi Rewards
  • Coles flybuys
  • Commonwealth Bank Awards
  • NAB Rewards
  • St. George/Bank of Melbourne/BankSA Amplify Rewards
  • Westpac Altitude Rewards

0% purchases offer credit cards may be best if you’re planning major expenditure

Have you got an overseas holiday planned, or your wedding and honeymoon on the horizon? Or perhaps you need to replace tired furniture and worn-out kitchen appliances, or want to splash out on the latest technology? In that case, a credit card with a promotional interest rate offer of 0% on purchases could suit you very well.

Although all credit cards offer interest-free days every month – typically up to 44 or 55 days – those interest-free days disappear if you don’t pay off your purchases balance in full on each payment due date. But if you choose a new credit card with an introductory offer of 0% on purchases (usually for between six and 15 months) you can pay only the minimum repayment each month and yet be charged no interest on the remaining balance while the offer lasts. It means that you can spread the repayment for your major purchase over a prolonged period.

But do plan to have the cash ready for full repayment once the introductory offer expires. If you don’t clear all your debt at this point, your balance will incur interest charges at the high revert interest rate.

Dedicated business cards may be best if you run a company or have an ABN

Most card providers offer a range of cards to suit business users. They range from high-end corporate cards for major enterprises with lots of employees needing cards on a single account, to basic business cards for sole traders.

One thing they all have in common is a list of features designed to make your business life easier, which may include travel benefits like free travel insurance and airport lounge access, business accounting tools like BAS-friendly reporting and seamless integration with your accounting system, or simply a higher credit limit so that you can cover your operating expenses with credit card payments.

It’s possible to find both business credit cards and business charge cards offering rewards or frequent flyer points, or low interest business cards to smooth out the cash flow bumps if your business income and expenses fluctuate seasonally.

Low interest credit cards may be best if you don’t expect to repay your account balance in full every month

The best way to use a credit card is to pay off your accumulated balance every month, on or before the payment due date, after taking full advantage of the card’s standard monthly interest-free days. But if your income is unpredictable, or your expenses fluctuate, you may know that this is not always going to be possible for you.

In that case you need to shun rewards points and complimentary benefits, and opt for a card with a low ongoing interest rate on purchases. Instead of paying a more typical credit card interest rate of 18-21% p.a., you can find a card with a rate of 12% p.a. (which is low, for a credit card) or possibly even less.

A ‘no annual fee’ credit card may be best if you’re on a budget, or for emergencies

If finances are tight and your main reason for needing a credit card is simply the convenience of being able to make fast, secure payments while taking advantage of standard monthly interest-free days, you can choose from a range of credit cards with few bells and whistles and no annual fee. They get the job done and don’t cost you a cent if you always repay your total balance on time every month. The cost-free element is also useful if you just want to keep the card in your wallet for use in emergencies, such as car repairs, medical bills, or simply running out of cash.

But it’s still possible to get a card with no annual fee and yet earn rewards points (admittedly at a slower than normal rate) or take advantage of some limited complimentary benefits like a concierge service, free global Wi-Fi, or purchase protection insurance.

Other card features that may be ‘best’ in your case

There are other card features, not mentioned yet, which may make a particular card ‘best’ for you, overriding any of the benefits already listed. A ‘best’ card for you could be:

  • A student credit card with a low minimum income requirement, low credit limit and low or no annual fee
  • A ‘no foreign transaction fee’ credit card because you travel overseas regularly or shop online with overseas merchants
  • An instant approval credit card because you need to get your hands on that plastic in a hurry

Learn about choosing a credit card

What is it that you should look out for when comparing offers? Find out here.

  • Pros & cons
  • Tips
  • FAQs

A card that fits your lifestyle.

Taking time to review which kind of card will suit you best and compare your options will result in finding the card that matches your lifestyle and spending pattern: effectively a credit card cost-benefit analysis!

Different features in one card.

Many credit cards fit multiple feature types. E.g. a frequent flyer points credit card with a balance transfer offer, a business credit card with rewards points, a ‘no annual fee’ credit card with no foreign transaction fees.

Long-term credit cards.

Finding the ‘best’ credit card for you means that you are more likely to keep the card long-term, so you won’t be damaging your credit score with multiple applications within a short time frame.

Good features at great cost.

Sometimes the credit card that works out to be ‘best’ in every other respect could be the most expensive. Make sure that you will use enough of the complimentary benefits every year to make the high annual fee worthwhile.

Additional card that may not fit to others.

If you plan to have a supplementary card on your account – for your spouse, for example – a card that’s ‘best’ for you may not be as good for them. Make sure you take their needs into account when making your choice.

Your 'second best' credit card.

There may not be any single card that meets every one of your requirements, which means you may have to settle for ‘second best’.

Work out what ‘best’ means for you, then compare

The kind of credit card that will suit you best depends on your financial circumstances, lifestyle preferences and the general purpose that you have in mind for your credit card. Once you’ve decided what the overriding factor is that will narrow down your choices, compare the features of the cards still left on your list. Of the options that are left to you, you’ll want to get the best combination of:

  • Lowest annual fee
  • Lowest penalty fees
  • Lowest interest rates
  • Highest rewards points earning rate (if any)
  • Most useful and extensive complimentary benefits (if any)

Don’t rule out card types based on incorrect perceptions

There are lots of unsubstantiated opinions circulating about whether particular kinds of credit cards, or indeed any credit card, is worth having. Here are some common misconceptions, and the reasons they are incorrect:

  • “Credit cards are just a debt trap.” This is not the case if you use a card responsibly, only purchasing what you will be able to afford to pay for when the payment due date arrives.
  • “Rewards points cost more than you earn from them.” If you use your credit card for as much as possible of your everyday spending, you should always be able to redeem your annual points balance for something worth more than the annual fee, provided you choose a card that’s suitable for the amount you expect to spend. (i.e. Don’t choose an expensive premium card if you’re on a relatively low income.)

“Frequent flyer points are impossible to redeem.” It’s almost always possible to find award flights if you’re prepared to book well ahead (up to a year ahead for long-haul flights) and explore alternative routes for journeys with more than one flight leg.

Your choice is not set in concrete

You may choose a card that you thought was ideal for your needs, only to discover after using it for a while that it doesn’t quite meet your expectations. Alternatively, your needs may change, with the result that your chosen card is no longer ‘best’ from your point of view.

Don’t worry. You can apply for a new card and cancel your existing one once the new one is approved. Just don’t apply for too many cards in quick succession, or you’ll risk damaging your credit score.

And if you’re having trouble making up your mind about which card is best for you, why not try one of the many cards which has a first-year annual fee waiver or reduced annual fee in the first year, so that your 12-month trial period will cost you little or nothing.

How can I find the best credit cards for me?

The Australian credit card landscape is very competitive and diverse, offering all sorts of cards for all sorts of customers. Finding the best credit card depends on many factors such as what you want to use the card for, how you spend your money and the general circumstances of your finances. Our comparison tables feature cards aimed at every type of Australian, allowing you to balance up all the rates and fees, features and benefits. Once you know what type of card you are looking for there are several components that determine which card is the most suitable. Look for the best mix of low rates, low fees and rewards, convenience and best ratings by credit card reviewers.

What should I look for in a balance transfer?

You can save a lot of money if you select the right balance transfer credit card, taking advantage of the chance to repay your balance at a low interest rate during the introductory period. The features to take into consideration are the length of the introductory period and the interest rate both during the introductory period and after it expires.

If you are sure that you can repay the balance within the introductory period then a credit card with a 0% interest rate during the promotional period could be the best choice for you. If you need a little more time to repay the balance, then a credit card with a slightly higher balance transfer rate and longer introductory period could be more suitable.

When looking for the best credit cards for balance transfers it is also essential to consider what interest rates applies when the introductory period ends so you know exactly what charges any outstanding balance attracts.

What features should card have for businesses?

Good credit cards are essential tools for businesses and selecting the best one for your situation can help boost your business’ overall financial health. Business credit cards typically have a higher credit limit than personal cards. When comparing deals look for a card that has a credit limit that's high enough to cover your expenses, and one that offers good interest rates. The annual fee is an important consideration too, as are any other charges such as penalties for late payments.

Many business credit cards offer a variety of reward programs, insurance benefits and other perks. When comparing business credit cards with a rewards program, make sure that the rewards and other benefits suit you and your business operation. This could include frequent flyer programs to save money on business trips, rewards to cover business expenses and insurance policies that cover purchases and travel.

You should also look for a business credit card that provides access to excellent customer services and other features such as online banking. Keeping your finances in good order is crucial for any business, so make sure the card you choose is Business Activity Statement friendly so GST can be easily calculated, all taxes paid correctly and all your essential records kept up to date.

The best credit card for a business would have low interest rates on purchases (so that it isn't too expensive if you balance rolls over), is linked with a rewards program such as Qantas Frequent Flyer or Virgin Frequent Flyer, has a range of additional insurance including purchase protection and has a 24/7 concierge service.

How do cashback cards work and how can I compare them

Cashback credit cards can offer very beneficial rewards for the right type of spender, paying money back into your account when you make purchases. An important feature to consider is what payments are eligible for cashback. Generally, there are three types of cashback deals: flat rate, tiered and those linked with selected retailer programs. Flat rate cashback cards offer a fixed cash reward on all purchases, so you earn money every time you use the card. Tiered cashback programs reward different percentages on different size payments, so if selecting one of these cards choose one that suits the type of payments that you most regularly make.

Store-linked cashback programs offer rewards for making purchases with specific retailers. This type of card can offer high cashback when shopping with participating retailers, so can be useful if you already shop regularly at these outlets. When comparing cashback cards with this type of reward make sure the program suits your spending habits.

Apart from restrictions on what payments qualify for cashback, there are other features to compare when finding the best card. Look for a card with high percentages on cashback and one with a low interest rate. Cashback can be capped, so compare the terms and conditions to make sure you find the best deal with as high a cap as possible. As with other rewards programs, you may lose your cashback if you fail to make monthly repayments on your balance, so make sure you are aware of all restrictions when finding a card suitable for you.

What should a card have for earning frequent flyer points?

If you take plenty of flights, for business trips or simply because you enjoy travelling, a frequent flyer credit card could be a great choice. There are several points to consider when searching for the frequent flyer card that is best for you. The most important feature is that the airlines linked with the rewards program are the ones you prefer to travel with, taking you to the destinations you want or need to visit. Frequent flyer rewards schemes generally offer much more than just flights, so look into what else is on offer to find a program that suits your lifestyle.

The next aspect to examine is the small print relating to points earn rates, redeeming, capping and expiry dates. Look for a card that earns a high rate of points per dollar, and if you get bonus points for spending with reward scheme partners make sure they are places you like to shop at. Points capping, points tiers, and points expiration dates can limit how much you can earn and when you can redeem your rewards. Some frequent flyer cards feature introductory incentives with special offers during an initial promotional period. Check what extra perks you can earn, and how the reward scheme changes when the promotion expires. Other benefits to look out for are features such as purchase and travel insurance, but you should be aware that these often attract a higher annual fee.

As with any credit card offer it is essential to consider the basics of frequent flyer credit cards to find the one best for you. These include interest rates, annual fees, interest free days and any charges. Select a card that suits your spending habits and lifestyle to ensure that you get the best benefits from the frequent flyer program.

What makes a rewards credit card worth it?

Rewards credit cards offer a range of extra benefits, rewards and premium services beyond just the convenience of a basic low rate card. This type of card generally attracts a higher annual fee than a basic card, and requires that cardholders have a higher income. The rewards credit card that will possibly be best for you is one that suits your income with an annual fee that you are comfortable paying. The best rewards credit cards allow the cardholder to have a credit limit high enough to accommodate spending, tangible rewards or points earned into a rewards program matched with the lowest fees and rates.

The loyalty rewards programs linked to rewards cards usually offer a variety of things such as travel, concierge services, retail products, entertainment, bottles of wine, additional insurance packages covering travel and purchases. Be sure to consider your whole financial circumstances and choose a credit card that fits in with your spending habits and lifestyle so you get the most from the rewards and benefits.

What's the benefit of an instant approval card?

Instant approval cards offer consumer the fastest way to get a decision on a credit card application and receive a new credit card. It used to be that banks would take days or weeks to make a decision to approve or decline an application. Nowadays, some of the more progressive banks offer preliminary approval in about 60 seconds. The best instant approval card for you will depend the bank's lending criteria and approval process, your financial circumstances and credit rating. Make sure you meet all the requirements such the minimum income and credit rating to stand a chance of being approved. If you are a high earner you could qualify for a gold or platinum card; if you earn less or have a poor credit rating a more basic starter-level credit card may be better for you.

Like other type of credit cards, instant approval cards offer a mixture of low interest rates, annual fees, balance transfers and reward schemes. The best card will match your lifestyle, spending habits and how you manage your money.

What should I be looking for in a low interest card?

The Australian credit card market is highly competitive, with many providers offering very low interest rates. The best low interest rate credit cards feature minimal rates on purchases, cash advances and balance transfers. When looking for the best card you should also take into consideration the annual fee, other fees and charges, along with any available rewards schemes and other perks.

Some deals on low interest rate credit cards feature an introductory period with a low, or even 0%, rate on purchases or balance transfers. These deals can provide a great way to save money on bigger purchases or the chance to clear debts, but the interest rate will increase at the end of the promotional period. The best cards feature a low interest rate after the introductory offer. Other cards feature an ongoing low interest rate, meaning you can continue using your card with minimal extra expense on transactions. As such, the best low interest rate credit card is the one that fits in with your financial circumstances and plans.

What is a no annual fee card?

No annual fee credit cards are a great choice for people who want to reserve their card for emergencies; those who spend regularly but always pay their monthly balance in full; or cardholders who do not require the extra features associated with credit cards with annual fees.

There are different types of no annual fee credit card, so make sure the one you apply for best suited to your personal needs. ‘No annual fee for life’ cards have no annual fee for as long as the account is open. This may seem like the most attractive offer, but you should always check the terms and conditions to see if there are any other extra charges applied to the card. Other cards feature no annual fee for an introductory period such as the first year. The best cards feature a low fee when the promotion expires. When searching for a card with no annual fee always compare how the lack of a fee is balanced with low interest rates on purchases, cash advances and balance transfers and other features to find the best deal. It may work out cheaper for you to pay a small annual fee and lock in a low interest rate.

What do I get from a platinum credit card?

The platinum credit card is designed for people on high incomes with really strong credit ratings, and offer benefits including high credit limits, low interest rates and attractive rewards programs. When looking for the best platinum card, it is important to check you meet all the requirements before applying. These include a minimum income, minimum age and an impeccable credit history. If you can meet these requirements and successfully apply you can enjoy a range of prestigious benefits not available on any other type of card.

The best platinum credit cards should provide access to exclusive rewards programs with the opportunity to earn more points than standard cards. Select a card with rewards that suit your spending habits to generate the most points. The rewards scheme should suit your lifestyle, with the chance to redeem points for products and services that you can use and enjoy.

Credit card providers offer their platinum customers high credit limits and lower interest rates, but this type of card can attract a high annual fee that sometimes negates other benefits. The best platinum credit cards feature an annual fee that balances favourably with the card’s other interest rates and charges, so you can enjoy premium benefits and still save money.

Are credit card reward programs worth it?

Rewards credit cards can be a great choice for people who like to use their cards regularly, collect points and redeem them for rewards. When looking for a rewards card one of the most important considerations is whether the program offers rewards that you want to receive and will be able to use and enjoy. There is no point in collecting points if there are no rewards available that you want to use. Similarly, the best card for you will have a program that suits your spending habits. Look at how points are collected; many rewards schemes offer bonus points when you use your card with partner companies. Consider whether you are likely to shop with these bonus partners.

The best programs do not charge to sign-up (or waive the fee when signing up when applying for your new card) and have no ongoing membership fees. You should also examine the small print of the terms and conditions to see how points are capped, tiered and if they expire.

When you are comparing and searching for the best credit cards with a rewards program, it is important to find a card that you can use as a normal credit card while still earning points. Watch out for higher interest rates and annual fees – they should not be so high that they negate the benefits of the rewards scheme. The best rewards credit card will offer a beneficial scheme along with value for money on everyday card transactions.

What should students look for in a new card?

Studying at university can be one of the most exciting times of your life, but also one of the most financially challenging as you learn to manage your own money, often on a tight budget. A student credit card can be a useful tool in managing your finances and covering the expenses of studying such as books, field trips and the everyday costs of accommodation and food. Many Australian credit card providers offer cards aimed at students – finding the best one for you is a case of comparing the cards’ key features.

Student credit cards should feature low interest rates and a low (or preferably no) annual fee. The application qualifications should have low criteria for minimum income since students are unlikely to be earning big salaries during their studies and typically haven't had time to build up a credit history. The card should also have a low credit limit so monthly payments are more manageable and you can avoid getting into debt. If you are a student and are concerned about getting into debt, the best choice for you could be a prepaid card or debit card, both of which give you the peace of mind that you only spending your own money.

Is credit card travel insurance any good?

People who travel often for business and leisure can get some great benefits with credit cards that feature travel insurance as part of the overall deal. The bes travel insurance credit card for you is one that gives you the most cover for the type of travelling you do, so it is important to check the terms to make sure you are fully insured and not paying for unnecessary extras. Check exactly what you are covered for including flight cancellations, luggage loss or damage, delays, and medical. Some travel insurance also covers rental vehicles and purchases.

It is important to consider the time frame of the cover – are you insured for a weekend city break or a year travelling around the world? The length generally depends on the status of your card and the size of the annual fee, so make sure you are paying a suitable amount for the period of travel. You should also ask how much cover is included, who is covered by the policy (just the cardholder, or you and your family) and any restrictions that may invalidate the insurance.

How closely will the banks look at my credit card application?

All banks and credit card lenders will check out your personal financial situation in order to figure out if you should be approved or not. They want to make a decision that is fair, transparent and works out best for you. The bank will want to verify your age to make sure you are over 18 years old, verify your income, check your residency status, and also check your credit rating to calculate how likely you are going to repay your card each month. Some banks have stricter credit rating scorecards and require you to have no history of bad credit. Make sure you check the eligibility criteria for the credit card you're interested in before you apply.

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