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Credit cards for pensioners and retirees

Want to get a credit card when you're on a pension or retired? Compare your options and learn how to apply here.

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You can apply for most credit cards when you're on a pension or retired. To receive approval, you may be required to meet some extra conditions and provide additional documents. Before you apply for a credit card, do your research and check if the specific bank accepts applications from retirees and pensioners.

You can use this guide to learn about the Australian credit card providers that accept retired and pensioner applicants, as well as the documents you’ll need to improve your chances of approval.

ProviderRetiree and pensioner application details
American Express
  • Retired applicants: You’ll need to provide your financial details (annual income excluding superannuation, total superannuation balance, accountant details to confirm income).
  • Pensioner applicants: Your annual income (excluding superannuation) and total superannuation balance are required. An external source (such as your accountant) is also required to confirm your financial details.
ANZ
  • Retired applicants: Your income details (such as your most recent superannuation details) are required.
  • Pensioner applicants: Your income details (such as your most recent Centrelink statement) required.
Bank Australia
  • Retired applicants: If you are pre-approved, you will need to supply a superannuation income statement.
  • Pensioner applicants: Pension benefits are accepted as eligible income. You’ll need to provide evidence of your income such as your Centrelink statement.
Bankwest
  • Retired applicants: As long as the minimum income requirement is met and you have a good credit rating, you are eligible to apply.
  • Pensioner applicants: Yes. You will need to supply an income statement from Centrelink.
Bank of Melbourne
  • Retired applicants: Self-funded retirees are eligible to apply. Those on a government or age pension are also eligible. You’ll need to provide proof of your income such as your superannuation statement or Centrelink statement.
  • Pensioner applicants: The following pensions are accepted:
    • Disablement pension
    • Returned servicemen
    • Single parent
    • Unemployment pension
    • Other pension (contact Bank of Melbourne to clarify whether your specific pension is covered)
  • You’ll need evidence of your income such as your Centrelink statements.
BankSA
  • Retired applicants: If you’re a self-funded retiree, you’ll need to provide a statement from your super fund as proof of your income.
  • Pensioner applicants: Applicants on a pension will need to provide a Centrelink statement from the last 3 months.
Bank of Queensland
  • Retirees and pensioners: You’ll need to provide any of the following options: annual superannuation statement, which includes an indexed pension amount, your most recent pension statement, 3 months of personal bank statements showing regular credit or cash deposits, your most recent self-managed superannuation tax returns less than 15 months old.
Bendigo Bank
  • Retirees and pensioners: You need to provide your income, how regularly you’re paid and what type of income you receive. Examples they provide include shares, superannuation, family tax benefit and Defence Reserve payments.
Citi
  • Retirees and pensioners: You may need to provide: A letter from Centrelink showing your name and the permanent government pension amount, your three most recent bank statements showing proof of regular payments, your annual superannuation statement, which includes an indexed pension amount, or your most recent self-managed superannuation tax return (must be less than 15 months old).
Coles
  • Retired applicants: Eligibility will depend on your income. If you’re a self-funded retiree with a superannuation income, you’ll need to provide a recent superannuation statement. You'll also need to provide your term deposit statement if you have a term deposit. If you have an investment property, you can submit the three most recent rental income statements.
  • Pensioner applicants: Eligibility depends on the source of your pension. If it’s from Centrelink, you’ll need to provide a pension statement. If it’s from the Department of Veteran Affairs, you’ll need to provide statements from there.
Commonwealth Bank
  • Retired applicants: Two most recent superannuation statements.
  • Pensioner applicants: Two most recent Centrelink payment summaries.
Emirates
  • Retired applicants: Provide a letter from Centrelink showing the applicant's name and the permanent government pension amount is required, or you can provide one of the following:
  • Three most recent bank statements showing applicant's regular Centrelink payments
  • The annual superannuation statement which includes an indexed pension amount
  • One most recent self-managed superannuation tax return less than 15 months old
  • Pensioner applicants: Provide three most recent bank statements showing applicant's regular Centrelink payments.
Latitude Financial Services
  • Retired applicants: Self-funded retirees need to provide a recent superannuation statement. If you have a term deposit, you’ll need to provide your term deposit statement. If you have an investment property, provide rental income statements for 3 months.
  • Pensioner applicants: Eligibility depends on the source of your pension. If it’s from Centrelink, you’ll need to provide a pension statement. If it’s from the Department of Veteran Affairs, you’ll need to provide statements from there.
HSBC
  • Retired applicants: Your most recent superannuation statement will be required.
  • Pensioner applicants: A bank statement will be required to prove your pension claims.
Jetstar
  • Retired applicants: Details of your accountant are required.
  • Pensioner applicants: As long as you meet the application requirements.
ME Bank
  • Retired applicants: Income details required.
  • Pensioner applicants: Income details required.
NAB
  • Retired applicants: Accountant’s contact details are required.
  • Documentation: Existing NAB customers who have their pension going into the account regularly may not require supporting documentation. New NAB customers may be asked to provide their most recent pension benefit statement.
St.George
  • Retired applicants: If you’re a self-funded retiree, you’ll either need to provide information of your assets or a recent superannuation statement.
  • Pensioner applicants: St.George will require you to provide your most recent pension statement. Please note that St.George doesn’t accept all pensions as an eligible income. For example, carer’s pensions aren’t an accepted form of income, but an age pension is. You may want to contact St.George directly to confirm whether your pension is eligible.
Suncorp
  • Retired applicants: If you’re retired, you’ll need to provide a recent copy of your superannuation statement or asset details.
  • Pensioner applicants: If you’re on a pension, you’ll need to provide your most recent Centrelink statement.
Virgin Money
  • Retired and pensioner applicants: A letter from Centrelink showing applicant's name and the permanent government pension amount, three most recent bank statements showing applicant's regular Centrelink payments, your annual superannuation statement, which includes an indexed pension amount, or one most recent self-managed superannuation tax return less than 15 months old.
Westpac
  • Retired applicants: If you’re a self-funded retiree, you’ll need to provide a copy of your superannuation statement or information regarding your assets.
  • Pensioner applicants: If you’re on a pension, what you need to provide will depend on your financial situation. If you have a pension, you’ll need to provide your 2 most recent Centrelink statement.
Woolworths
  • Retired applicants: If you’re retired, you need to provide your gross annual income (before tax and including super) and provide your most recent superannuation statement.
  • Pensioner applicants: If you’re on a pension, you’ll need to provide your most recent Centrelink statement.

You'll need to meet other eligibility criteria to receive approval, so make sure to check what these first. Before you apply for a credit card with any of these providers, you may want to contact the bank to explain your financial situation, source of income and discuss whether you're eligible. This is because of any rejected credit card applications will be listed on your credit report and can hurt your credit score.

What to do before you apply for a new credit card

If you're searching for a new credit card, you should take the following steps to make sure you're applying for the right card for you.

Compare different credit cards

There are different types of credit cards to suit specific needs. If you want to pay off an existing credit card debt with no interest, you can consider transferring the amount to a 0% balance transfer credit card. Or maybe you want to spend and save with a card offering 0% interest rates on purchases for an introductory period. You can also find cards with low income requirements if you're worried about meeting this requirement or $0 annual fees if you want to keep costs low. You should only apply for one credit card at once, so it's important to spend time researching and finding the right one before you submit your application.

Check your credit score

All credit cards issuers in Australia require applicants to have a good or excellent credit score to apply. If you have a low credit score or defaults on your report (such as late payments, bankruptcies or serious infringements), it's likely that your credit card application will be rejected. You can get a free copy of your credit report and score through Finder. Even if you do have a low credit score, you can spend some time paying off existing debts and building it up before you apply for a card.

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Compare low cost credit cards

Updated April 6th, 2020
Name Product Purchase rate (p.a.) Interest Free Period Annual fee Balance transfer rate Balance transfer rate
Coles Low Rate Mastercard
12.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$58 p.a.
0% p.a. for 6 months
0% p.a. for 6 months
Save with a low purchase interest rate, earn flybuys points as you spend and get up to 55 days interest-free.
Virgin Money Low Rate Credit Card
11.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$49 p.a.
0% p.a. for 14 months
0% p.a. for 14 months
Get a $49 annual fee, 10% cashback on purchases made in the first 3 months (capped at $100) and a 14-month balance transfer.
St.George Vertigo Classic
13.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$55 p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months
0% p.a. for 18 months
Get 0% interest for up to 18 months on balance transfers with no balance transfer fee. Plus, a low annual fee and purchase rate.
ME frank Credit Card
11.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$0 p.a.
11.99% p.a.
11.99% p.a.
Save money with an ongoing $0 annual fee, the same low 11.99% p.a. interest rate on purchases and cash advances, and up to 55 days interest free.
Latitude Low Rate Mastercard
9.89% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$69 p.a.
Offers a competitively low interest rate and up to 55 days interest-free on purchases. Plus, price and purchase protection covers.
Bank First Visa Classic Credit Card
0% for 6 months, reverts to 12.79% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$0 p.a.
12.79% p.a.
12.79% p.a.
Save with a $0 annual fee for life and enjoy 0% p.a. introductory rate for 6 months on purchases and balance transfers.
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9 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    MichaelJune 13, 2018

    Bankwest declined my application ($40,000 p/a, home owner, $500,000 in Super funds)

  2. Default Gravatar
    AboudOctober 7, 2017

    Hi,,Which option is better financially to apply for a credit card ($10k)with low interest rate or to purchase an item worth approx 10k from a large retailer via their preferred financial institution advertising for their products as follow: purchase **** for 10 k with no deposit and 48 month,s interest free subject to finance application approval on line.
    Note: The item can be purchased for approx $1300 less if I pay cash, not to mentioned there is possibly a monthly on going fees and charges by the retailer financial preferred institution,,, in other words there is no such things as no free interest,,,,.
    Cheers,,,thanks,,,Aboud(Self funded retiree),,,NSW

    • Default Gravatar
      GruOctober 7, 2017

      Hello Aboud,

      Thank you for reaching out to us.

      Please note that finder is a comparison website and general information service.
      As we do not represent any of the companies featured on our pages, we can only provide you with general advice and guide you in making an informed decision.

      In terms of deciding if you should go with using a credit card with low interest rate to purchase an item or purchasing somewhere else using the merchant’s preferred institution (but at a discount) would ultimately be up to you.

      We would all want to get the best deal and save money. To really end up with the best decision financially, you would have to get all the fees and charges that both options have, compare them side-by-side and then choose the one that would best suit your needs.

      Hope this helped.

      Cheers,
      Gru

  3. Default Gravatar
    AlexAugust 18, 2017

    Hi,please could you guys list the banks that accept disability pension?as I’ve spent 5 years of debt repayment,and have a 860 credit score now,and don’t want to make any mistakes,thank you.Alex.

  4. Default Gravatar
    SharonJune 28, 2017

    I recently applied for a credit card on line and was told I do not fit the criteria As I have a self managed Super Fund retiree and take a lump sum each year. Is this the case with most banks ?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JhezJune 28, 2017Staff

      Hi Sharon,

      Thanks for your comment.

      If you are a pensioner, some credit providers may think of you as a high risk applicant. They may not take into account the income you earn from super or elsewhere, and would only see the risk that you may not be able to pay back your credit card spending and interest. The banks will take in a range of factors when looking to approve such as your assets v liabilities, income v expenses, your savings history, your credit history etc.

      You may want to check your options with the list of the banks above. Check the eligibility and the documents needed when applying.

      Regards,
      Jhezelyn

  5. Default Gravatar
    jenniferNovember 29, 2016

    Is it ok to put down a guarantor

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      DeeNovember 29, 2016Staff

      Hi Jennifer,

      Thanks for your question.

      If you are referring to having a guarantor on your credit card, yes you can do so. You can refer to this page for more information on how it works.

      At the bottom of the same page, you can also find a link to institutions that offer joint credit cards where a person can co-sign on the credit card debt or act as a guarantor for the person.

      Cheers
      Anndy

Credit Cards Comparison

Updated April 6th, 2020
Name Product Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate Annual fee
Coles No Annual Fee Mastercard
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
$0 p.a.
Earn flybuys points for your spending and save with an ongoing $0 annual fee and 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 18 months.
Qantas American Express Ultimate Card
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$450 p.a.
Get 100,000 bonus Qantas Points, a $450 Qantas Travel Credit and 2 yearly complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations. Ends 14 Apr 2020.
HSBC Platinum Credit Card - Balance Transfer Offer
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 22 months
$129 p.a.
Enjoy a balance transfer offer, yearly annual fee refund, airport lounge passes and complimentary insurance covers.
Bendigo Bank Low Rate Mastercard
11.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$45 p.a.
A no-frills credit card with a competitive annual fee and 0% p.a. interest rate on balance transfers for the first 18 months.
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* The credit card offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of credit cards finder.com.au has access to track details from and is not representative of all the products available in the market. Products are displayed in no particular order or ranking. The use of terms 'Best' and 'Top' are not product ratings and are subject to our disclaimer. You should consider seeking independent financial advice and consider your own personal financial circumstances when comparing cards.

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