Credit cards for pensioners

If you're a pensioner or retiree, you can still get a new credit card. You just need to meet the eligibility criteria and provide the right documents when you apply.

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There are no specific credit cards just for pensioners, seniors or retirees. You can apply for most credit cards as long as you meet the application requirements. Here you can compare cards with features including low interest rates and relatively low annual fees.
Name Product Purchase rate Interest-free period Balance transfer rate Annual fee
Bankwest Breeze Classic Mastercard
0% p.a. for 15 months, reverts to 9.9% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
0% p.a. for 15 months
$0 annual fee for the first year ($49 p.a. thereafter)
Save with 0% p.a. on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months (with no BT fee). Plus, a $0 first-year annual fee.
Citi Rewards Card - Purchase and Balance Transfer Offer
0% p.a. for 14 months, reverts to 21.49% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
0% p.a. for 14 months
$49 annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter)
Save with 0% on purchases and balance transfers for 14 months with no balance transfer fee. Plus, $49 first-year annual fee.
Bendigo Bank Low Rate Credit Card
0% p.a. for 12 months, reverts to 11.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
0% p.a. for 12 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$45
Save with 0% p.a. interest on purchases and balance transfers for up to 12 months, with a one-time 2% balance transfer fee.
St.George Vertigo Card
0% p.a. for 6 months, reverts to 13.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
0% p.a. for 32 months
$0 annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
Get a 0% interest rate on balance transfers for 32 months (with no balance transfer fee) and a $0 annual fee for the first year.
Citi Clear Card - Cashback Offer
14.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
0% p.a. for 15 months
$49 annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
Get $250 cashback when you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days. Plus, free wine when you dine and purchase insurance cover.
Great Southern Bank Low Rate Credit Card
11.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
0% p.a. for 25 months
$0 annual fee for the first year ($49 p.a. thereafter)
Take advantage of a 0% p.a. balance transfer rate for 25 months, $0 first year annual fee, and a low variable 11.99% p.a. interest rate on purchases.
Westpac Low Rate Card - Cashback Offer
13.74% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
6.99% p.a. for 12 months
$0 annual fee for the first year ($59 p.a. thereafter)
Get $400 cashback when you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases within the first 120 days. Plus, a $0 first-year annual fee.
Citi Clear Card - Balance Transfer Offer
14.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
0% p.a. for 36 months
$99
Offers 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 36 months with no balance transfer fee. Plus, complimentary insurance covers.
ANZ Low Rate
12.49% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
0% p.a. for 30 months
$0 annual fee for the first year ($58 p.a. thereafter)
Now eligible for Cashrewards Max. Save with 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 30 months (with no BT fee) and $0 first-year annual fee. Plus a 12.49% p.a. purchase interest rate.
NAB Low Rate Credit Card
12.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
0% p.a. for 32 months
$0 annual fee for the first year ($59 p.a. thereafter)
Get a 0% interest rate on balance transfers for the first 32 months (with no BT fee). Plus, save with a $0 first-year annual fee.
Bankwest Breeze Platinum Mastercard
0% p.a. for 15 months, reverts to 9.9% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
0% p.a. for 15 months
$0 annual fee for the first year ($69 p.a. thereafter)
Get 0% interest on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, a $0 first-year annual fee and no foreign transaction fees.
Westpac Low Rate Card
13.74% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
0% p.a. for 28 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$0 annual fee for the first year ($59 p.a. thereafter)
Save with a $0 annual fee for the first year, plus, a 0% interest rate on balance transfers for 28 months.
ANZ Platinum Credit Card
0% p.a. for 17 months, reverts to 20.24% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
20.24% p.a.
$0 annual fee for the first year ($87 p.a. thereafter)
Now offering Cashrewards Max. Receive a 0% purchase rate offer for 17 months and a $0 first-year annual fee. Plus, complimentary overseas travel and medical insurance.
American Express Business Explorer Credit Card
3.99% p.a. for 6 months, reverts to 19.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$149
ABN holders w/ $75,000 revenue. Get 100,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months. Plus, 2 airport lounge passes.
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Card
0% p.a. for 6 months, reverts to 13.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
0% p.a. for 32 months
$0 annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
Save with a 0% interest rate on balance transfers for 32 months (with no balance transfer fee) and a $0 annual fee for the first year.
BankSA Vertigo
0% p.a. for 6 months, reverts to 13.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
0% p.a. for 32 months
$0 annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
Offers 0% p.a. for 32 months on balance transfers (with no balance transfer fee). Plus, a $0 first-year annual fee.
NAB StraightUp Card
0% p.a.
$0
Save with 0% interest charges and 0% foreign transaction fees. Plus, $0 monthly fees when you don't use the card or carry a balance.
St.George Vertigo Rainbow Card
0% p.a. for 6 months, reverts to 13.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
0% p.a. for 32 months
$0 annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
Offers 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 32 months (no BT fee). Plus, all the low cost features of the Vertigo Visa with a rainbow design in support of the LGBT community.
American Express Low Rate Credit Card
8.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$0
Get $100 Statement Credit when you spend $1,000 on eligible purchases by 31 Dec 2021. Ongoing $0 annual fee. Ends 27 Oct 2021.
David Jones American Express Card
0% p.a. for 12 months, reverts to 20.74% p.a.
Up to 44 days on purchases
$99
Get 50,000 bonus Membership Rewards Points when you spend $1,500 outside DJ in the first 3 months. Plus 0% p.a. on purchases for 12 months.
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Is it harder to get a credit card as a pensioner?

Credit card companies use the same lending criteria for all applications, whether you're a pensioner, retiree or a full-time worker. In fact, research from Finder between March 2020 and July 2021 has shown that only 2% of all people aged between 56 and 74 (the Baby Boomer generation) had their credit card applications declined. This was lower than the average across all age groups (9%), in a nationally-representative survey.

But what the research also showed was that the two biggest reasons people in this age group were declined for a card were unsteady income (44%) and age (42%).

These are two of the factors providers look at when they're assessing your ability to make repayments and keep the account in good standing, and could have an impact on your chance of getting approved.

Application requirements for people who are retired or on a pension

Even though there are no credit cards designed especially for retirees or pensioners, banks and other providers may have specific requirements you need to meet before you can get a credit card if you're retired or on a pension.

We have outlined these details in the table below to help you compare and find a card that suits your circumstances.

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'll need to provide details about your finances and one of the following forms of supporting documentation:
    • A letter from Centrelink showing your name and permanent government pension amount
    • Your 3 most recent bank statements showing proof of regular Centrelink payments
    • Your annual superannuation statement, including an indexed pension amount
    • 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.

If you have questions or want to check any details, you can also contact the credit card provider directly to discuss whether you're eligible based on your financial situation and type of income.

What else should I do before applying for a credit card?

If you want to get for a new credit card during retirement, the following three steps can help you find and apply for one that's right for you.

1. Compare different credit cards

There are a variety of credit cards that suit specific needs. For example, if you want to pay off an existing credit card debt with no interest, you could 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 a time, so it's important to spend time researching and finding the right one before you submit your application.

2. Check that you meet all the eligibility requirements

As well as the requirements listed for pensioners and retirees, you will need to meet the other eligibility requirements listed for an individual card. These vary between cards but could include:

  • Australian citizenship or residency requirements
  • A minimum annual income level
  • Credit history requirements

It's also worth noting that Australian credit cards state that applicants must be at least 18 years of age. As part of the application, you will need to verify that you meet this requirement by providing your date of birth. You also need to include details of a valid form of identification, such as your driver's licence, passport or Medicare card. Another detail to note: if you have a seniors card that you want to use to confirm your identity, you will need to check whether the provider will accept it as part of the ID check.

3. Check your credit score

While application requirements do vary, it is harder to get a credit card if you have bad credit history. Some credit cards will include specific requirements around this. For example, a card may state that you must not currently be bankrupt or that you need to have a good credit score to be able to apply.

You can get a free copy of your credit report and score through Finder. You can also use your credit score to check your chance of approval for credit cards and other credit products on Finder.

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    9 Responses

      Default Gravatar
      MichaelJune 13, 2018

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

      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

      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.

        Default Gravatar
        ArnoldAugust 18, 2017

        Hi Alex,

        Thanks for your inquiry.

        I recommend you check our list of pensioner credit cards.

        Read more for the eligibility requirements, terms, and conditions before you apply.

        Hope this information helped.

        Cheers,
        Arnold

      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

      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. We have a credit card debt accountability guide where you can read more about what it means to be a guarantor for a credit card.

        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

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