Purchases, cash advances and balance transfers usually attract different interest rates, but that’s not the case with this selection of credit cards.
Most credit cards have separate interest rates for purchases, cash advances and balance transfers. For example, a card could charge 17.99% p.a. for purchases and 21.99% p.a. for cash advances. If you get a card with a balance transfer offer, you could even end up with three different interest rates on your account.
All these different interest rates can make it difficult to keep track of your account charges if you use your credit card for a variety of transactions. But there are some cards that apply the same rate of interest to all transactions. This guide looks at a range of cards that currently offer one interest rate for account charges, how to compare these options and what else you need to consider to choose a credit card that’s affordable for you.
Credit card providers that offer the same interest rate for all charges
While it’s more common for credit card providers to apply separate interest rates for different types of balances on your account, there is a select number of banks, credit unions and independent issuers that have just one standard variable interest rate. Here, we look at 10 key credit card providers and the products they offer which charge the same interest rate for all transactions.
Bank Australia is a customer-owned financial institution that offers low-rate, rewards and no annual fee credit cards.
- Bank Australia Visa. This no annual fee credit card charges a standard variable interest rate of 12.39% p.a. for purchases and cash advances.
- Bank Australia Low Rate Visa. This card has a competitive standard variable rate of 9.39% p.a. and an annual fee of $59.
- Bank Australia Platinum Rewards Visa. The premium Bank Australia Platinum Rewards card charges 18.24% p.a. for purchases and cash advances. It has an annual fee of $189 and offers Qantas Points for everyday spending, plus complimentary insurance.
Community First is the largest community-based credit union operating throughout the Sydney and Central Coast region, and consists of 15 Financial Services Stores and 76,000 members. It offers two low-cost credit cards, including a charity option.
- Community First Low Interest Rate Black Visa. This credit card has a standard variable rate of 8.99% p.a. and an annual fee of $40. It also offers an introductory rate of 4.99% on purchases, balance transfers and cash advances for the first 8 months.
- McGrath Pink Visa. The McGrath Pink has similar features to the Community First Low Interest Rate Black, but donates half of the annual fee to help fund McGrath Breast Care Nurses in communities across Australia.
Heritage Bank is Australia's largest customer-owned bank, and offers a selection of credit cards designed to suit different spending habits and needs.
- Heritage Bank Classic Credit Card. This no-frills card offers a standard variable interest rate of 17.99% p.a.
- Heritage Bank Freedom Visa Credit Card. The Freedom Visa has a standard variable interest rate of 17.99% p.a. and a low annual fee of just $18.
- Heritage Bank Gold Low Rate Credit Card. This card has a competitive standard variable interest rate of 11.8% p.a. and $0 annual fee.
- Heritage Bank Platinum Credit Card. As well as a standard variable interest rate of 17.99% p.a., this card offers rewards for everyday spending and complimentary insurance.
Horizon Credit Union
Horizon Credit Union is based in NSW and offers one credit card with a competitive rate for purchases, balance transfers and cash advances.
- Horizon Credit Union Visa. This credit card has a standard variable interest rate of . It also offers an introductory rate of for the first months on purchases and balance transfers (but not cash advances).
ME Bank is 100% owned by industry super funds and offers a credit card that’s designed to be simple and affordable.
- ME Bank frank. This card has a competitive standard variable rate of 11.99% p.a. for all transactions. It also has a $0 annual fee.
Newcastle Permanent is a building society based in NSW. It offers both personal and business credit cards, and currently applies the same standard rate across transactions on its personal credit card.
- Newcastle Permanent Value+ Credit Card. This credit card has an interest rate of 11.99% p.a. (variable) and a competitive annual fee of $49.
Formerly known as Qantas Credit Union, Qudos Bank’s range of credit cards offers low-rate, no annual fee, platinum and rewards options.
- Qudos Bank Lifestyle Credit Card. This basic credit card has a standard variable interest rate of 12.34% p.a. and a $0 annual fee.
- Qudos Bank Lifestyle Plus Credit Card. The Lifestyle Plus has a standard rate of 15.85% p.a. (variable) and a $0 annual fee. It also offers up to 46 days interest-free when you pay your balance in full by the due date on your statement.
- Qudos Bank Visa Platinum Credit Card. This platinum credit card has a standard variable interest rate of 18.99% p.a. and an annual fee of $195. It also offers 1 Qantas Point per $1 spent and complimentary insurance.
Who is this type of credit card suited to?
Here are some of the reasons you may be interested in a credit card that charges the same interest rate for purchases, cash advances and balance transfers.
Is this type of card suited to me?
- If you use credit for cash advance transactions. As most cards charge a high interest rate on cash advances, if you often use a credit card to get cash out (or for other cash advance transactions), this type of card will help you budget for interest charges. Some of these cards also offer lower standard variable rates than those charged by cards with different interest rates for purchases and cash advances.
- If you want a long-term balance transfer. At the end of an introductory period, most credit cards will apply a higher interest rate to balance transfers. This means that if you still have debt left over at the end of a balance transfer introductory period, you could be charged two different interest rates – one for purchases and one for your balance transfer balance. A card that has just one standard interest rate eliminates this confusion.
- If you use a credit card for bill payments. Many credit cards charge the cash advance rate of interest for bill payments. By getting a credit card that offers a low rate for both purchases and cash advances, you’ll save money when you make these types of payments.
Important factors to consider when comparing cards with the same interest rate for all balances
Consider the following details before choosing a credit card that charges the standard interest rate for all balances.
- Rate changes. Credit card interest rates are variable, which means that your provider could update them at any time. In some cases, a change could mean different rates are applied for purchases, cash advances and balance transfers.
- High interest rates. There’s no guarantee that the interest rate charged for all transactions will be low. Make sure you consider this before you apply for any credit card so that you know it will be affordable.
- Interest-free days. While it’s common for credit cards to offer interest-free days if you pay your balance in full by the due date on each statement, some of the cards that have one interest rate don’t provide this feature.
- Annual fees. Remember to consider the annual cost of any card you choose, so that you can find an option that has affordable rates and fees based on your circumstances.
- Cash advance fees. Most credit cards charge a fee worth 2–4% of each cash advance transaction you make. So even if you have a card that charges the same interest rate for all transactions, you’ll still have to pay a fee for cash advances.
- Complimentary extras. Perks such as rewards or complimentary extras can give you a way to get more value out of the card you choose, but make sure you consider whether these benefits will outweigh the cost of the annual fee.
- Balance transfer offers. Many of the credit cards that offer one standard rate don’t provide introductory balance transfer offers, and those that do are usually not as competitive as other balance transfer cards.
- Other fees. Credit cards may apply fees in a range of other circumstances. Some of the most common include foreign transaction fees, late payment fees, overlimit fees and additional cardholder fees.
- Branch access. The credit unions and other smaller providers listed on this page tend to have fewer branches than major credit card issuers, and may only operate in limited geographic areas.
Getting a credit card that charges the same interest rate for purchases, cash advances and balance transfers can make it more affordable to manage different balances you may carry on the account. But remember to compare a range of cards and consider other features so that you can find an option that suits your needs.Back to top