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Compare the cheapest credit cards in March 2018

Posted: 16 March 2018 8:00 am
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From $0 annual fee to 0% purchase interest rates, these are some of the most cost-effective cards on the market.

Using a credit card can be a great way to free up your cash flow, but they often come with hefty fees that can outweigh the perks. If you're on the lookout for a cost-effective credit card this month, you should know that there is no one best card for bargain hunters. Instead, you need to compare your options based on how you plan to use the card.

To help you narrow down your options, we’ve rounded up some of the most competitive offers available through finder. This way you can find the best low cost card for you whether you’re looking for one with $0 annual fee, 0% purchase rate or low ongoing interest.

The rates, fees and features mentioned here are all correct at the time of writing.

No annual fee credit cards

  • Bankwest Zero Platinum Mastercard

If you regularly pay your balance in full or only pay on plastic for emergencies, a card with no annual fee could help you cut your costs. While some cards offer $0 annual fee for the first year, others boast no annual fee for life. This is why the Bankwest Zero Platinum Mastercard is our no annual fee pick for the month. This card has an ongoing $0 annual fee and doesn't charge any foreign transaction fees, which can help you save if you're shopping online with foreign merchants or travelling overseas.

If you pay your balance in full, you can make use of up to 55 interest-free days. If you do carry a balance from month to month, you'll collect the 17.99% p.a. interest rate on purchases. This isn't a competitive purchase rate, but it's lower than the interest rates you can expect on some other platinum cards.

You can also save with complimentary travel insurance when you meet the spend requirement and purchase insurance covers, so you can spend with peace of mind.

  • Honourable mention: Westpac Low Rate credit card

The Westpac Low Rate credit card offers $0 annual fee for the first year and reverts to $59 p.a. (which is a competitive standard annual fee compared to other cards). It comes with a low ongoing purchase rate of 13.49% p.a., which could help minimise your interest costs if you do happen to carry a balance. If you pay your balance in full, you can benefit from up to 55 interest-free days. If you’re paying off an existing debt, you can take advantage of 0% on balance transfers for the first 30 months if you apply for this card online by 28 March 2018. A 2% balance transfer fee applies when you first move the balance.

Want to save on yearly card costs? You can compare more cards with a $0 annual fee on finder.

Credit cards with 0% purchase interest rates

  • Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer card

If you struggle to repay your balance in full but need to pay on plastic, a card with 0% on purchases can help you avoid interest as you pay your balance off. This is where a card like the Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer card could come in handy. If you apply by 30 April 2018, you can save with 0% on purchases for 14 months. That’s over a year to pay off your debt interest free! At the end of the promotional period, the interest rate will revert to the much higher 20.74% p.a., so it’s best to pay your balance in full before the introductory offer ends to get full value from the card.

This card is linked to the Velocity Frequent Flyer program, so you can earn 0.66 Velocity Points per $1 spent, up to $1,500 each statement period (0.5 points per $1 spent after that). You can also save on travel costs with complimentary travel insurance and a $129 Virgin Australia gift voucher when you meet the spend requirement each year.

Although you can save on interest costs with this card, it has an annual fee of $129 (which you’ll have to pay twice if you’re using the card for the length of the promotional period). You should make sure your interest savings and the value you get out of the extra features exceeds this cost to justify applying for the card.

  • Honourable mention: NAB Low Rate Platinum

This card also offers 0% on purchases for the first 9 months. It reverts to a competitive purchase rate of 13.99% p.a., which is worth knowing if you plan to keep the card beyond the introductory offer. The NAB Low Rate Platinum has a slightly lower annual fee of $100, which could help reduce your overall costs.

Want to compare more cards with 0% on purchases? Check out our guide to interest-free credit cards for more options.

Credit cards with low ongoing purchase rates

  • Westpac Lite card

If you struggle to pay your balance in full every statement period and want to use the card longer than a promotional period, you should consider a card with a low ongoing purchase rate. The Westpac Lite card has a 9.90% p.a. purchase rate, which is one of the lowest standard interest rates on the market. The card has a $9 monthly fee (which accumulates to a $108 annual fee).

If you pay your balance in full by the statement due date, you can enjoy up to 45 interest-free days. But if you do miss a payment, you won’t be charged a late payment fee like most other cards. It’s a low frills card with credit limits that range between $500 and $4,000, which you can use to free up your cash flow without tempting you to overspend.

  • Honourable debt: ANZ Low Rate Platinum

The ANZ Low Rate Platinum card has an 11.49% p.a. purchase rate and $99 annual fee. If you’re struggling to pay off an existing debt, it offers 0% on balance transfers for the first 15 months. As a platinum card, it also comes with complimentary travel insurance and a 24/7 concierge service.

Want to keep your interest costs to a minimum? You can compare more cards with competitive purchase rates on finder.

While there is no one best credit card for Aussies looking to save on plastic costs, you should always pay attention to the purchase rates, annual fees and interest-free offers to find the right card for you.

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