Cashback credit cards

Get rewarded with cash as you spend. Compare offers and apply online.

By   |   Verified by David Boyd   |   Updated 18th May 2022

Comparing cashback credit cards

Westpac Low Rate Cashback Credit Card

On Westpac's website

FeaturedApply by 30 June 2022

Westpac Low Rate Cashback Credit Card

Balance transfer

12 months at 6.99% p.a.

Purchase rate

13.74% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$59.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • Get up to $400 cashback when you apply online by 30 June 2022. $100 cashback will be awarded for every month $1000 or more is spent on eligible purchases for the first 4 statement periods from card approval. Terms and Conditions apply.
  • Low 13.74% p.a. interest rate on purchases.
  • $59 p.a. annual fee.

Pros

  • Get up to $400 cashback when you meet the criteria.
  • Low 13.74% p.a. interest rate on purchases.
  • $59 p.a. annual fee.

Cons

  • The cash advance rate for this card is 21.49% p.a.
American Express Cashback Credit Card

On American Express' website

Balance transfer

N/A

Purchase rate

20.74% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$0.00 for 1st year

Highlights

  • Get 5% Bonus Cashback in the first 3 months, up to $200 Cashback, when you apply online and are approved. No monthly fee will be charged for your first 12 months of Card Membership. New Card Members only.
  • No monthly fee for the first 12 months ($10 monthly fee thereafter).
  • Enjoy Binge Basic subscription, valued at $10 per month.

Pros

  • Earn up to 5% Bonus Cashback in the first 3 months.
  • No monthly fee for the first 12 months.
  • Complimentary Smartphone Screen Cover.
  • Free monthly BINGE subscription valued at $10/month.

Cons

  • Purchase rate is at 20.74% p.a.
American Express David Jones Credit Card

On American Express' website

Balance transfer

N/A

Purchase rate

20.74% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$99.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • Earn $200 back when you apply online by 29 June 2022, are approved and spend $1,500 at locations excluding David Jones on your new Card within the first three months. Available to new David Jones American Express Card Members only.
  • Earn up to 3 Reward Points per $1 spent at major supermarkets and petrol stations; 2 Reward Points per $1 spent at David Jones; 1 Reward Point per $1 spent elsewhere.
  • Enjoy invitations to exclusive Card Member sales previews, shopping nights and events.

Pros

  • Earn $200 back when you meet the criteria.
  • Enjoy invitations to exclusive Card Member sales previews, shopping nights and events.
  • Choose the rewards program that suits you best, Membership Rewards or Qantas Frequent Flyer.

Cons

  • Additional cards come with an annual fee, which can quickly add up.
  • You won't earn points when paying government bodies, e.g. tax at the ATO.
  • Doesn't come with access to a concierge service.
St.George Amplify Platinum Credit Card (Amplify)

On St.George's website

Apply by 30 June 2022

St.George Amplify Platinum Credit Card (Amplify)

Balance transfer

24 months at 0% p.a.

Purchase rate

19.49% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$29.00 for 1st year

Highlights

  • Earn up to 100,000 bonus Amplify Points when you spend $3,000 on eligible purchases within 90 days from card approval. Exclusions apply.
  • Score up to $27.50/month cashback on Kayo for 12 months.
  • 0% for 24 months on balance transfers with 1% balance transfer fee. Reverts to cash advance rate of 21.49% p.a.
  • $29 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. annual fee thereafter)

Pros

  • The 100,000 bonus Amplify Points.
  • Enjoy up to $27.50/month cashback on Kayo subscription for 12 months.
  • 0% for 24 months on balance transfers.
  • Additional savings with the $29 first year annual fee ($99 p.a. thereafter).

Cons

  • There is a 1% balance transfer fee. Other cards offer 0% balance transfer free.
American Express Explorer Credit Card

On American Express' website

Balance transfer

N/A

Purchase rate

20.74% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$395.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • Receive 100,000 Bonus Membership Rewards Points when you apply online, are approved and spend $4,000 on your new Card within the first 3 months. T&Cs apply. New Card Members only.
  • Receive a $400 Travel Credit each year towards any flights, hotels and car hire when you book online with this card.
  • Earn 2 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent on purchases except government bodies in Australia where you will earn 1 point per $1 spent (uncapped).

Pros

  • The 100,000 bonus Membership Rewards Points when approved and reach spend requirement within the first 3 months.
  • $400 travel credit every year.
  • Get 2 complimentary airport lounge passes per year.

Cons

  • The $395 p.a. annual fee.
The American Express Essential Credit Card

On American Express' website

Balance transfer

N/A

Purchase rate

14.99% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$0.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • Get $200 back when you apply, are approved and spend $1,500 on your card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. T&Cs apply. New Card Members only.
  • 0% p.a. annual fee.
  • Earn 1.25 Membership Rewards Gateway points for every $1 spent on everyday purchases, utilities, insurance and telecommunications.

Pros

  • Get $200 back when you meet the criteria.
  • $0 p.a. annual fee with the ability to earn points on your everyday spend.
  • Membership Rewards points can be transferred to several airlines for greater choice when redeeming for flights.
  • Comes with up to $500 of Smartphone Screen Cover.
  • Low 14.99% p.a. on purchases and up to 55 days interest-free when you clear the previous balance.

Cons

  • Doesn't come with travel insurance.
  • No access to concierge services.
  • There is no introductory balance transfer offer.
American Express David Jones Platinum Credit Card

On American Express' website

Apply by 29 June 2022

American Express David Jones Platinum Credit Card

Balance transfer

N/A

Purchase rate

20.74% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$295.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • Earn $450 back when you apply online by 29 June 2022, are approved and spend $1,500 at locations excluding David Jones on your new card within the first three months. Available to new American Express David Jones Platinum Credit Card Members only.
  • Earn 4 Reward Points per $1 spent on purchases made at David Jones and 3 Reward Points per $1 spent at major supermarkets and petrol stations.
  • Receive two complimentary entries per year to the American Express Lounge at Sydney International Airport or Melbourne International Airport

Pros

  • Earn $450 back when you meet the criteria.
  • Choose the rewards program that suits you best, Membership Rewards or Qantas Frequent Flyer.
  • Includes complimentary travel insurance.
  • Receive two complimentary entries per year to the American Express Lounge at Sydney International Airport or Melbourne International Airport.

Cons

  • The annual fee of $295 p.a.

Overview

New to earning cashback or maybe you're a seasoned pro at earning cashback and would like to get more from your credit card. Find out how cashback credit cards work, what they offer, and how to maximise their potential.

What is a cashback credit card?

A cashback credit card gives you money back as a credit on your account or as a voucher that can be redeemed at certain stores.

In Australia, it is more likely that cashback will be offered as a sign up bonus or as a voucher for hitting a spending target. Credit cards that give you back a percentage of whatever you spend are less common.

Some banks offer all their customers cashback incentives for spending at certain partner stores. For example, ANZ credit card customers can link their card with Cashrewards and earn casback at higher rates than is standard. Similarly, Westpac and CommBank users can access cashback deals at specific stores from online banking.

Different types of cashback credit card offer

Cashback credit cards gives you money back in some form or another, but how they do so differs.

  • Cashback based on spend. The most straightforward type of cashback credit card is one that pays back cash at either a fixed percentage rate (e.g. 10%) on all purchases made with the card, or a fixed amount of cash for reaching a specified spending target (e.g. $200 for spending $4,000). However, the cashback amount is almost always capped.
  • Cashback as a sign up bonus. More recently, several banks have offered cashback as a sign up bonus instead of points since some customers are unsure of the value of rewards points (or are unable to use them).
  • Cashback as vouchers. Other cashback cards may award an annual travel voucher (e.g. a voucher worth $400) to be spent with a particular airline or with a travel agency operated by or affiliated with the card issuer. This is a particularly valuable kind of cashback for regular travellers, since it is awarded every year and the amount may totally offset the card’s annual fee.
  • Cashback as a refunded annual fee. Some banks may offer to refund the annual fee every year to cardholders who reach a specified spending target (e.g. $6,000) during the year.

Cashback offers tend to change on a regular basis, so it may be the case that some of these offers are not available when you are comparing cashback credit cards.

What is the best cashback credit card?

Since there are different types of credit card cashback offers, the best cashback credit card depends on what you are looking for.

For ongoing cashback

If you want to get cashback on every $1 spent, then you'll need a card that rewards based on spend.

Check what the cashback rate is per $1 and what caps apply. The American Express Cashback Credit Card is an example of one such card.

For a welcome cash bonus

Look for cards with a cash welcome bonus. Most banks in Australia use sign up bonuses to attract new customers and incentivise them to spend. This type of cashback offer is more readily available. The welcome cash bonus can be hundreds of dollars for higher end cards.

It's quite likely that you'll need to hit a spending target in order to get the cash bonus. Note that cards with this type of offer generally do not earn cashback on an ongoing basis.

How to compare cashback credit cards

To find the right card for you, it is very important to look at all the features of cashback credit cards before applying to make sure the deal will be genuinely beneficial.

  • Annual fee. Calculate your estimated cashback and compare this figure with the annual fee. If the annual fee is greater, then you are not going to get any benefit from the card.
  • Interest rate. Cashback credit cards often feature a relatively high interest rate, which is applied to any outstanding balance on your account. If for any reason you are unable to pay your monthly bill in full, a high rate could quickly negate the savings you make on the cashback.
  • Rewards points. Many credit cards with cashback as a sign up bonus also offer ongoing rewards points or frequent flyer points on purchases. Check what the earn rate is per $1 spent.
  • Introductory offers. Some cashback cards offer a large quantity of bonus rewards or frequent flyer points as well as cashback for reaching a specified spending target within the first two or three months after card approval. For example, you could get 50,000 frequent flyer points plus $100 cashback for spending $2,000 in the first three months.
  • Balance transfers. These cards also often feature the option to transfer a balance so you can repay your existing credit card debt at a lower interest rate, or even 0% interest. You should be aware that balances transferred do not earn any cashback, and if your priority is repaying your debt, you are probably better off choosing a different type of card with a better balance transfer offer.
  • Restrictions and penalties. As well as placing a cap on the amount of cashback, banks usually impose restrictions on the type of spending that is eligible, excluding all cash equivalents such as cash advances, buying foreign currency and travellers’ cheques, balance transfers and gambling payments. There will also be penalties for missing payments or paying late. Study all the terms and conditions to ensure you can get the best return.

Considerations for choosing a cashback credit card offer

It's rarely a straight forward choice. Apart from comparing the main rates and fees, there are some additional things to think about before applying.

  • Is it worth it? Since there are spending caps in place for cards that earn cashback per $1, the amount of cashback earned simply may not be worth it for you. However, these cards tend to come with other perks (like insurance) that may make it more beneficial.
  • Can you hit the spend target? If you know you have a substantial upcoming purchase, you could hit the spending target for a welcome cash bonus and substantially offset the cost of the purchase. However, not paying off the balance will negate the cashback the longer it stays on your card.
  • If the bank gives cashback with a voucher, can you use it? Some banks use vouchers for welcome bonuses. Check whether you will be able to use it for something beneficial to you.

Cashback credit card value proposition

How much can you make from a cashback credit card? It really depends on the type of card, caps, and how much you can spend.

Ongoing cashback

Here's what you could get back on a card that earns 1% cashback capped at $200 annually with a $120 annual fee.

  • Spending $500 / month. You would earn $60 cashback for the year. The annual fee would be partially offset.
  • Spending $1,000 / month. You would earn $120 cashback for the year and completely offset the annual fee.
  • Spending $2,000 / month. You would exceed the cap and earn $200 cashback for the year, coming out $80 ahead.

While the cashback rate is important, it's the cap and monthly spend that really determines how much you can get back. Since the amount of money is not very substantial over the course of a year, it's worth taking into account other perks and benefits when deciding which to apply for.

Welcome cash bonus

This is how it would work out with a card that does not earn ongoing cashback per $1 but does have a $400 welcome bonus, which requires spending $4,000 or more within 120 days of approval, with a $50 annual fee.

  • Spending $1,000 / month. You did not spend enough to get the welcome bonus and have to pay the $50 annual fee. (You may be able to increase how much you spend and hit the target, then fall back to a lower amount per month.)
  • Spending $2,000 / month. You get the $400 welcome bonus, which offsets the annual fee entirely. You are $350 ahead over the year.

Cashback credit cards vs rewards credit cards

The main difference between cashback credit cards and rewards credit cards is the type of benefit earned from your spend.

Instead of (or sometimes as well as) earning points for rewards, cashback credit cards give you money back (or some kind of cash equivalent, such as a travel voucher) on your spending. Put simply, this means you save money on your expenses, usually for a limited time.

Learn about cashback credit cards

How to maximise the benefits and get more back.

  • FAQs

Can cashback be used to reduce an outstanding balance or pay for the annual fee?

Yes, quite often you can use it to pay off the outstanding balance or the card’s annual fee.

Can I earn cashback on balance transfers, cash advances and travellers’ cheques?

Cashback is only applicable to eligible purchases. Cash advances, buying foreign currency and travellers’ cheques, balance transfers and gambling payments do not earn any cashback.

How much cashback can I expect to earn?

Cashback paid in cash is usually limited to a few hundred dollars at most. Cashback paid in travel vouchers or travel credit or annual fee refund may vary from around $125 up to the value of a relatively long domestic return flight (e.g. Sydney to Perth).

Is there a cap on how much is paid back?

Cards delivering a cashback in the form of a percentage rebate on purchases will almost always have both a cap on the amount of rebate that can be earned and a limit to the time during which cashback can be earned.

What’s the best way to use a cashback card?

As with any other credit card, pay off your card balance in full and on time every month, otherwise the interest and late fees you pay on the outstanding balance will reduce the true value of the rewards.