Free credit cards

Free credit cards offer a cost-effective way to manage finances and build credit without the added expense of an annual fee. With the potential for rewards and benefits, low interest rates and balance transfer options, a free credit card can be a valuable financial tool when used responsibly.

By   |   Verified by David Boyd   |   Updated 3 Feb 2023

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Comparing free credit cards

Bankwest Breeze Mastercard

On website

Balance transfer

15 months at 0% p.a.

Purchase rate

15 months at 0% p.a.

Annual fee

$0.00 for 1st year

Highlights

  • Enjoy 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 15 months (0% BT fee, 9.90% p.a. thereafter).
  • 0% p.a. for 15 months on purchases (reverts to 9.90% p.a.)
  • First-year annual fee waiver. $49 p.a. thereafter.
  • New customers only. Limited time. Other fees and charges, T&Cs apply.

Pros

  • 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 15 months.
  • 0% p.a. for 15 months on purchases.
  • First-year annual fee waiver. $49 p.a. thereafter.

Cons

  • There are no rewards on this card.
The Low Rate Credit Card from American Express

On website

Balance transfer

N/A

Purchase rate

8.99% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$0.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • Enjoy a low 8.99% p.a. interest rate on purchases.
  • $0 annual fee for as long as you have the card.
  • Up to 55 days interest free.

Pros

  • Low 8.99% p.a. interest rate on purchases and $0 annual fee.
  • Comes with Card Purchase Cover and Card Refund Cover.
  • Up to 55 days interest free.

Cons

  • There are no rewards program for this card.
Bankwest Breeze Platinum Mastercard

On website

Balance transfer

15 months at 0% p.a.

Purchase rate

15 months at 0% p.a.

Annual fee

$0.00 for 1st year

Highlights

  • Enjoy 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 15 months (0% BT fee, 9.90% p.a. thereafter).
  • 0% p.a. for 15 months on purchases (reverts to 9.90% p.a.)
  • First-year annual fee waiver. $69 p.a. thereafter.
  • New customers only. Limited time. Other fees and charges, T&Cs apply.

Pros

  • 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 15 months.
  • 0% p.a. for 15 months on purchases.
  • First-year annual fee waiver. $69 p.a. thereafter.
  • No foreign transaction fees.

Cons

  • There is no rewards program on this card.
The American Express Essential Credit Card

On website

Balance transfer

N/A

Purchase rate

16.99% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$0.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • Get $100 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 Amex 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 $100 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 16.99% 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 Velocity Escape Card

On website

Balance transfer

N/A

Purchase rate

21.99% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$0.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • Earn Velocity Points and enjoy a $0 annual card fee.
  • Velocity Points earned on your card are transferred directly to your Velocity account each month and can be redeemed for a range of rewards including flights, accommodation, car hire, gift cards, and much more.
  • Earn 0.75 Velocity Points per $1 spent, except for government bodies in Australia where you will earn 0.5 Velocity Points per $1 spent.

Pros

  • No annual fee, but still earn points.
  • Earn 1.75 Velocity Points per $1 spent on purchases with Virgin Australia.
  • Get 0.5 points per $1 when paying tax to the ATO using the card.
  • 55 days interest-free on purchases when the previous balance has been cleared in full.

Cons

  • Doesn't come with complimentary travel insurance.
  • No complimentary lounge access.
  • No access to the concierge service.
  • There is no balance transfer offer for this card.
American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card

On website

Balance transfer

N/A

Purchase rate

21.99% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$0.00 for 1st year

Highlights

  • $0 annual fee in the first year, saving you $195.
  • Earn 3 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent at major supermarkets and petrol stations.
  • Enjoy $200 to spend on travel each year that can be used on eligible flights, hotels, or car hire when booked through American Express Travel.

Pros

  • $0 annual fee in the first year, saving you $195.
  • Receive $200 to spend on eligible domestic and international flights, hotels, or car hire with American Express Travel.
  • Smartphone Screen Cover for smartphone screen repairs up to $500.

Cons

  • The ongoing purchase rate of 21.99%.
Qantas American Express Discovery Credit Card

On website

Balance transfer

N/A

Purchase rate

21.99% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$0.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • Earn 1.75 Qantas Points on eligible Qantas products and services.
  • Earn 0.75 Qantas Point 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.
  • Pay no annual card fee.
  • Up to 4 Additional Cards for family members or friends with no extra fee.

Pros

  • Ongoing $0 annual fee, a rarity among rewards credit cards.
  • Earn 0.75 Qantas points per $1 spent and 0.5 Qantas points per $1 for government spend.
  • No cap on the number of points you can earn.
  • Add up to 4 additional cards for family members or friends with no extra fee.
  • Complimentary Card Purchase Cover and Card Refund Cover.

Cons

  • There is a 3% foreign transaction fee.
  • Lacks complimentary travel insurance.
  • There is no access to a concierge service.
St.George No Annual Fee Credit Card

Apply by 30 June 2023

St.George No Annual Fee Credit Card

Balance transfer

N/A

Purchase rate

12 months at 0% p.a.

Annual fee

$0.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • Enjoy 0% interest on Purchases for 12 months. Reverts to 20.74% p.a. thereafter.
  • $0 annual fee for as long as you have the card.
  • Enjoy up to 55 days interest-free period.

Pros

  • 0% interest on Purchases for 12 months.
  • $0 annual fee.
  • 55 days interest-free period.

Cons

  • No rewards program for this card.
NAB Low Rate Card

Balance transfer

32 months at 0% p.a.

Purchase rate

12.49% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$0.00 for 1st year

Highlights

  • Enjoy 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 32 months with no balance transfer fee. Reverts to variable cash advance rate of 21.74% p.a. after the promotional period.
  • $0 first-year annual card fee ($59 p.a. thereafter).
  • Get a response in 60 seconds.

Pros

  • 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 32 months.
  • No balance transfer fee.
  • The waived annual fee for the first year.
  • Additional credit card is free.

Cons

  • No rewards program for this card.
  • No insurance coverage.
NAB StraightUp Credit Card

Balance transfer

N/A

Purchase rate

0% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$0.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • Get the newest credit card from NAB - simple, cheap and most of all no interest charges!
  • No Use, No Pay. If you don't use your NAB StraightUp credit card during the whole statement period, the monthly fee will be reversed. No surprise charges!
  • Use your card to pay foreign currency and enjoy no foreign transaction fees!
  • Predictable fixed minimum payments based on your credit limit, giving you certainty of what to pay each month.

Pros

  • Charges a monthly fee based on your selected credit limit.
  • The monthly fee will be reversed if you do not have any outstanding balance or purchase.
  • No interest charges or other fees, including foreign currency fees and late payment fees.

Cons

  • No rewards program for this card.
  • No balance transfers or cash advances.
MONEYME Freestyle Virtual Card

Balance transfer

N/A

Purchase rate

14.99% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

From $0.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • Use virtual card instantly once approved (typically within 60 mins)
  • Tap n Pay with up to 55 days interest free
  • Use credit to transfer money to anyone
  • Exclusive perks & many more features
  • Thousands of 5-star customer reviews

Bank promo

  • Get MONEYME's lowest advertised rate EVER of 14.99% p.a.
  • Annual fee of $0 to $149 p.a. based on credit limit plus a monthly fee of $5 for balances over $20.
  • Be eligible for deals and credit back offers at over 1,400 participating stores thanks to MONEYME Perks, powered by Cashrewards. Terms and conditions apply.

Pros

  • Available to use immediately after approval.
  • Money can be transferred to your bank account.
  • Get cashback at participating stores with Cashrewards.

Cons

  • The maximum credit limit is comparatively low.
  • Combination of annual and monthly fees can be quite expensive for the highest credit limit.
  • There is a 1.5% withdrawal fee.
Great Southern Bank Low Rate Credit Card

Balance transfer

N/A

Purchase rate

11.99% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$0.00 for 1st year

Highlights

  • Low purchase rate of 11.99% p.a.
  • First-year annual fee waiver. $49 p.a. thereafter.
  • Enjoy up to 9 additional cards for no extra cost.

Pros

  • Indulge convenience with contactless transactions: Apple Pay and Google Pay.
  • Save on interest with interest-free days up to 55 days on purchases.
  • Comes with fraud protection.

Cons

  • There is no rewards program on this card.
Coles No Annual Fee Mastercard

Apply by 30 April 2023

Coles No Annual Fee Mastercard

Balance transfer

6 months at 0% p.a.

Purchase rate

19.99% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$0.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • Get 30,000 Flybuys bonus points when you spend $3,000 or more on eligible purchases within 90 days of approval..
  • No annual fee ever.
  • 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 6 months. Reverts to cash advance rate of 19.99% p.a.

Pros

  • Get 30,000 Flybuys bonus points when you meet the criteria.
  • 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 6 months.
  • No annual fee ever.
  • Complimentary access to your 24/7 local concierge.

Cons

  • The balance transfer rate reverts to the cash advance rate.
  • No interest-free days while you have a balance transfer.
  • Transactions made in a foreign currency incur a fee.
Citi Simplicity Card

Citi Simplicity Card

Balance transfer

6 months at 0% p.a.

Purchase rate

6 months at 0% p.a.

Annual fee

$0.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • No late fee. No annual fee.
  • Enjoy 0% interest on Purchases for 6 months. Reverts to ongoing Purchase rate thereafter.
  • Transfer your existing balance at 0% for 6 months with 0% balance transfer fee.
  • Get additional cards at $0 annual fee (up to 4 additional cardholders of at least 16 years old).

Pros

  • The ongoing $0 annual fee.
  • No late payment fees.
  • Get 10% off on selected hotel offers from Luxury Escapes until 1 March 2023 (capped at $250).

Cons

  • Balance transfer reverts to cash advance rate of 22.24% p.a. after 6 months.

Free credit cards are a popular option for managing finances and building credit. These cards typically do not charge an annual fee, making them a cost-effective choice for many consumers. However, it's important to understand the benefits and drawbacks of using a free credit card, as well as how to choose and use the card responsibly.

Types of free credit cards

There are several types of free credit cards with no annual fee available in Australia, including low rate credit cards, balance transfer credit cards, and rewards credit cards with no annual fee.

  • Low rate credit cards. generally have lower interest rates than traditional credit cards, making them a good choice for consumers who carry a balance.
  • Balance transfer credit cards. Transfer high-interest credit card balances to a card with a lower interest rate.
  • Rewards credit cards. These typically come with an annual fee, but limited versions have rewards without the annual fee to keep the account open.

Note that if you do not pay off the balance each month, you will be charged interest.

How to choose a free credit card

When choosing a free credit card, it's important to consider your spending habits and financial goals.

  • Compare ongoing interest rates, fees, and credit limits between different cards to find the option that suits best.
  • Look for additional benefits such as introductory rates, bonuses, rewards, and travel insurance.

Tips for using a free credit card responsibly

To use a free credit card responsibly, you should pay off your balance monthly to avoid interest charges. There are a handful of credit cards with no interest that operate like a credit card'ised version of buy now pay later, but generally a credit card charges interest if you don't pay it off. Therefore, it's important to keep track of your spending, stay within your budget, and make at least the minimum payment on time to avoid late fees.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • No annual fee. Save money and have access to credit for a rainy day.
  • Potential to earn rewards. Reduce the cost of your travel or other purchases.
  • Credit building opportunities. Improve your credit profile to qualify for loans or premium cards.

Cons

  • Credit limits may be lower. This can affect your credit utilisation ratio and credit score.
  • Less rewarding. Free credit cards may not offer as many benefits as credit cards that charge an annual fee.
  • Can lead to overspending if not used responsibly. Aim to avoid spending more than you can repay each month.

FAQs

What is a free credit card?

A free credit card is a type of credit card that does not charge an annual fee.

Can a credit card be free?

A credit card could be free if it has no annual fee and you do not carry a balance over.

Are there any drawbacks to using a free credit card?

While free credit cards can be a cost-effective option, you may be missing out on the higher benefits that come with more expensive cards. Additionally, some free credit cards may have a low credit limit which can be detrimental to your credit score if you have a high credit utilisation ratio.

Can a free credit card help me build my credit?

Using a credit card responsibly, such as making payments on time, keeping credit utilisation low and not maxing out the credit limit, can help you build your credit history and improve your credit score. Additionally, using a credit card responsibly can demonstrate to lenders that you can also handle other types of credit responsibly.