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Best Australian Credit Card

From premium credit cards that offer points and other perks to 0% interest options and no-frills accounts, here’s how to find the best Australian credit card for you.

Everyone has a different opinion about which credit card is the best option in Australia. For some people, it could be a frequent flyer card that offers thousands of introductory bonus points, while for others it could be a balance transfer card that offers 0% p.a. for 24 months or more. There are also people that prefer high-end cards with premium perks, or those who think no-frills cards with low ongoing costs are ideal.

What all of these options show is that the best card actually varies depending on your goals, needs and preferences. So instead of rushing to apply for a card that someone else has singled out as the “best Australian credit card”, you can use this guide to compare different options based on your goals and find a card that works for you.

How to find the best Australian credit card for you

The key to finding the best credit card for you is to think about why you want a credit card and what you'll use it for. To get started, think about the following questions:

  • What is the main reason for getting a credit card? Is it to pay off existing debt, earn rewards or enjoy perks such as complimentary travel insurance? Once you have narrowed down your focus, you can start looking at cards that offer these particular features.
  • Will I carry a balance? Credit cards attract interest charges if you don't pay off your account at the end of each statement period. So if you want the flexibility to pay off your balance over time, you could look at cards with low ongoing interest rates to help keep costs down.
  • How much am I willing to pay in fees? As well as charging interest when you carry a balance, most Australian credit cards have an annual account fee. This could be as low as $25 or as high as $700 or more, depending on the card. So think carefully about how much you want to pay for the card and weigh this against the value you could get from any extras such as rewards or complimentary insurance.

Once you have answered these questions, you can compare credit cards based on your goals.

Compare some of the best credit cards

Rates last updated December 12th, 2018
Name Product Purchase rate (p.a.) Interest Free Period Annual fee Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Product Description
NAB Low Fee Platinum Card - Exclusive Offer
19.74% p.a.
Up to 44 days on purchases
$90 p.a.
0% p.a. for 25 months
25 Month Balance Transfer Offer
finder Exclusive: Take advantage of 0% p.a. interest for 25 months on balance transfers with no balance transfer fee. Ends 16 December 2018
More info
Citi Clear Platinum Credit Card
12.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
0% p.a. for 14 months
Platinum Credit Card with a Low Interest Rate *
Offers a 0% p.a. for 14 months balance transfer and $0 first year annual fee. Plus, insurance covers and Citibank Dining Program perks.
Qantas Premier Platinum
19.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$149 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($299 p.a. thereafter)
0% p.a. for 18 months
100,000 bonus Qantas Points with Balance Transfer Offer
Get 70,000 bonus Qantas points when you meet the spend criteria and 30,000 more when you pay the second year's annual fee (100,000 total).
ANZ Low Rate
12.49% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$58 p.a.
0% p.a. for 15 months
Long-Term Balance Transfer Offer*
Save with a 0% p.a. introductory rate on balance transfers for 15 months with no BT fee. Plus a low 12.49% p.a. interest rate on purchases.
Citi Platinum Credit Card - Exclusive Offer
0% p.a. for 13 months (reverts to 20.99% p.a.)
Up to 55 days on purchases
$49 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter)
0% p.a. for 13 months
0% p.a. Purchase & Balance Transfer Offers*
finder Exclusive:
Save with 0% interest on purchases and balance transfers for 13 months (with no BT fee). Plus, a discounted $49 annual fee for the first year.
More info
American Express Westpac Altitude Platinum Bundle - Qantas - Exclusive Offer
20.24% p.a.
Up to 45 days on purchases
$50 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($249 p.a. thereafter)
Reduced First Year Annual Fee and Bonus Points Offer*
finder Exclusive ends 12 December 2018:
Up to 90,000 bonus Qantas Points when you meet the criteria with this dual Visa (issued & serviced by Westpac) & Amex (issued & serviced by Amex).
Suncorp Clear Options Platinum Credit Card - Online Offer
20.74% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$49 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
0% p.a. for 18 months
Discounted First Year Annual Fee & Balance Transfer Offer*
Save with a 0% balance transfer offer and earn up to 60,000 Bonus Rewards Points. Plus, a discounted first year annual fee when you apply online.
HSBC Platinum Qantas Credit Card
19.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($79 p.a. thereafter)
0% p.a. for 12 months
$0 First Year Annual Fee & Balance Transfer Offer*
Save with a $0 first year annual fee and a long-term balance transfer offer. Plus, complimentary travel insurance.
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
19.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$129 p.a.
0% p.a. for 22 months with 2% balance transfer fee
Annual Fee Refund & Balance Transfer Offer*
Offers a 0% p.a. for 22 months balance transfer and an annual fee refund each year when you spend $6,000. Plus, 2 airport lounge passes every year.
Citi Simplicity Card
19.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$0 p.a.
0% p.a. for 6 months
Low Intro Balance Transfer Interest Rate with No Annual Fee
Get 0% p.a. interest for up to 6 months on balance transfers with no BT fee. Plus, a $0 annual fee for life.
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Exclusive Offer
0% p.a. for 14 months (reverts to 20.74% p.a.)
Up to 44 days on purchases
$64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
0% p.a. for 6 months
Discounted First Year Annual Fee & Purchase Offer*
finder Exclusive: Save on credit card costs with half the annual fee for the first year and a 0% p.a. interest rate on purchases for 14 months.
Bendigo Bank Low Rate Mastercard
11.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($45 p.a. thereafter)
Low Rate Credit Card Offer*
A no-frills card with a low variable purchase interest rate of 11.99% p.a. and a $0 first year annual fee.
St.George Vertigo Platinum - Online Offer
12.74% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$99 p.a.
0% p.a. for 24 months
Platinum Credit Card with Balance Transfer Offer
Save with 0% p.a. interest for up to 24 months on balance transfers with no BT fee. Plus, platinum perks. Ends 17 December 2018.
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Bonus Points Offer
20.74% p.a.
Up to 44 days on purchases
$64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
0% p.a. for 18 months
Up to 60,000 bonus Velocity Points Offer*
Earn up to 60,000 bonus points in the first 3 months and save with a $64 first year annual fee. Plus, a long-term balance transfer offer.
Qantas Premier Everyday
0% p.a. for 9 months (reverts to 19.99% p.a.)
Up to 55 days on purchases
$49 p.a.
0% p.a. for 9 months
0% Purchase and Balance Transfer & Bonus Points Offer
Take advantage of 20,000 bonus Qantas Points, a 0% p.a. purchase and balance transfer offers. Plus, complimentary overseas travel insurance.
Virgin Australia Velocity High Flyer Card
20.74% p.a.
Up to 44 days on purchases
$289 p.a.
0% p.a. for 15 months
Up to 90,000 bonus Velocity Points with Balance Transfer Offer
Take off sooner with up to 90,000 bonus Velocity Points, lounge passes and insurance covers. Plus, enjoy a 15 month balance transfer offer.
NAB Qantas Rewards Signature Card
19.99% p.a.
Up to 44 days on purchases
$295 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($395 p.a. thereafter)
0% p.a. for 6 months with 2% balance transfer fee
Bonus Qantas Points Offer*
Collect 90,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $4,000 within 60 days of account opening. Plus, a $295 annual fee in the first year.
Citi Rewards Platinum Credit Card - Online Offer
20.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$49 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter)
0% p.a. for 24 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
0% p.a. for 24 months Balance Transfer Offer*
Earn reward Points per $1 spent, take advantage of a 0% p.a. for 24 month balance transfer offer, plus complimentary international travel insurance.
St.George Amplify Signature - Qantas
19.49% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$179 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($279 p.a. thereafter)
Reduced First Year Annual Fee & Bonus Points Offer*
Enjoy 80,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $4,000 within 90 days and 2 complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations per year.
American Express Westpac Altitude Black Bundle - Qantas
20.24% p.a.
Up to 45 days on purchases
$499 p.a.
Black Card Bundle with Bonus Points
Up to 120,000 bonus Qantas Points with Mastercard (issued by Westpac) & Amex (issued & serviced by Amex). T&Cs apply.
American Express Explorer Credit Card
20.74% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$395 p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
100,000 Bonus Points*
Get 100,000 bonus Membership Rewards points, a yearly $400 Travel Credit and 2 entries per year to the American Express Lounge.
Westpac Low Rate Card
13.49% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($59 p.a. thereafter)
0% p.a. for 24 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$0 First Year Annual Fee & Balance Transfer Offer*
Offers a 0% for 24 month balance transfer option, first year annual fee waiver and a competitive purchase rate.
ANZ First Visa Credit Card
19.74% p.a.
Up to 44 days on purchases
$30 p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months with 2% balance transfer fee
Low Annual Fee and up to 44 days interest-free
Get up to 18 months interest-free on balance transfers and save with a low $30 annual fee. Plus, up to 44 days interest-free on purchases.
Virgin Money Low Rate Credit Card
11.99% p.a.
Up to 44 days on purchases
$49 p.a.
0% p.a. for 14 months
Low Purchase Rate & Balance Transfer Offer*
Offers a $49 annual fee, 10% cashback on purchases made in the first 3 months (capped at $100) and 0% p.a. for 14 months on balance transfers.
St.George Amplify Signature - Online Offer
19.49% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($279 p.a. thereafter)
$0 First Year Annual Fee & Bonus Points Offer*
Enjoy a $0 first year annual fee, 100,000 bonus Amplify Points and 2 complimentary lounge passes per year. Ends 17 December 2018.

Compare up to 4 providers

* The offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of products finder.com.au has access to and are not representative of all the products available in the market. Products are displayed in no particular order or ranking. The use of the terms "best" and "top" are not product ratings and are subject to our disclaimer. You should consider seeking independent financial advice and consider your personal financial circumstances when comparing products.

Different types of credit cards

Most credit card websites and comparison services separate cards based on different features. This can help you narrow down your search for a credit card when you know what you want. If you're still not sure what type of credit card is right for you, here's a brief rundown of some of the most popular credit card categories in Australia.

Balance transfer credit cards

If you're struggling to repay an existing credit card debt, you can transfer your balance to a card with 0% on balance transfers. You can then pay off your debt faster without paying any interest for a promotional period. The introductory period will vary from card to card, but it's not uncommon to come across cards with interest-free periods from 12 to 24 months or more.

At the end of the promotional period, any remaining debt will collect the revert rate (which is usually the standard cash advance or purchase interest rate). This means you should pay more than the minimum repayment and aim to clear the entire debt before the introductory offer ends. Please note that these cards often come with annual fees and balance transfer fees (which is usually 2%-3% of the balance transfer amount).

Frequent flyer credit cards

If you're a regular traveller and big spender, you could consider a frequent flyer credit card that'll earn points for every dollar you spend. In Australia, some of the most popular frequent flyer credit cards are linked to the Qantas Frequent Flyer program or Virgin Australia's Velocity frequent flyer scheme. Many of these cards offer thousands of bonus points on sign up and when you meet the spend requirement, which can help you boost your points balance. You'll also earn points for every $1 you spend on eligible purchases, although the specific earn rates will vary between cards. Once you've earned enough points, you can redeem them for flight rewards, flight upgrades, accommodation, travel packages and more.

Designed to suit travellers, these cards also often come with travel-centric perks including complimentary international travel insurance, airport lounge passes, travel credits or complimentary flight vouchers and concierge services. Although these cards are packed with perks, they usually come with higher annual fees and purchase rates. As such, these cards are better suited to cardholders who can earn enough points to outweigh the annual fee and can afford to pay their balance in full each month.

Rewards credit cards

Many card issuers offer rewards credit cards that are linked to the bank's own loyalty program. Similar to frequent flyer cards, these products also often come with bonus points offers and their own specific earn rates. However, you can usually redeem your points for products from the reward program online store including gift cards, merchandise, experiences and more.

Many bank loyalty programs are also partnered with frequent flyer programs, so you can transfer your points to specific airline loyalty programs. This can come in handy if you prefer your points to have a little more flexibility or if you belong to a frequent flyer program that isn't directly linked with any credit cards in Australia (such as Singapore Airlines' KrisFlyer or Air New Zealand's Airpoints). Just keep in mind that these cards also generally come with higher annual fees and interest rates, so they're not suited to cardholders who carry a balance from month to month.

Cheapest credit cards

The cheapest credit card for you will depend on how you're using the card. If you only use your card for emergencies or always pay your balance in full, you could benefit from a card with $0 annual fee. Or if you struggle to pay off your credit card in full each month, you could reduce interest costs with a card with 0% on purchases for a promotional period or a low ongoing purchase rate. To find the cheapest credit card, make sure to consider how you're going to use the card and the fees you're most likely to collect before you apply.

Choose the best card for you

With so many different options to choose from, finding the best credit card for you will depend on your personal financial situation and spending habits. To get started, check our finder's guide to the best credit cards.

Picture: Shutterstock

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Amy Bradney-George

Amy is a senior writer at finder.com.au with more than 10 years experience covering credit cards, personal finance and various lifestyle topics. When she’s not sharing her knowledge on money matters, Amy spends her time as an actress.

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Related Posts

Credit Card Offers

Important Information*
Suncorp Clear Options Platinum Credit...

Interest rate

20.74

Annual fee

49*

*$129 p.a. after first year

American Express Westpac Altitude Pla...

Interest rate

20.24

Annual fee

50*

*$249 p.a. after first year

NAB Qantas Rewards Signature Card

Interest rate

19.99

Annual fee

295*

*$395 p.a. after first year

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2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    JimMarch 20, 2013

    Which credit cards don’t charge transaction fees for international travel? If it is frequent flyer card even better.

    • finder Customer Care
      MarcMarch 20, 2013Staff

      Hello Jim,
      thanks for the question!

      This guide goes through some of the different cards in the market which don’t charge a transaction fee for international purchases, as well as tips for avoiding the other fees you may pay while travelling.

      I hope this helps,
      Marc.

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