casual_couple_creditcard_couch_Shutterstock

Credit cards with instalment plans

Pay off your debt at a pace that works for you with credit cards that offer instalment plans.

A select range of credit cards gives you the option of paying off some or all of your balance through structured instalments. This payment plan breaks your balance down into equal instalments that you’ll make over a fixed period of time, which could make it easier to budget your repayments.

Some credit card instalment plans also offer lower interest rates when you set up this option. Use this guide to compare credit cards that offer instalment plans and learn more about this repayment feature. We also go through key factors to consider before setting up an instalment plan so that you can decide if it’s an option that will work for you.

Compare credit cards with instalment plans

Rates last updated February 22nd, 2018
Name Product Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee Product Description
Westpac Low Rate Card
13.49% p.a.
0% p.a. for 24 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$59 p.a.
Receive up to 55 days interest-free on purchases, a 24 month balance transfer offer and a low 13.49% p.a. interest rate on purchases.
Westpac Altitude Black
20.24% p.a.
$250 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($395 p.a. thereafter)
Earn 60,000 bonus Altitude points when you reach a minimum spend of $3,000 on eligible purchases. Plus, a reduced annual fee for the first year.
Westpac Lite Card
9.90% p.a.
$108 p.a.
Keep credit card costs low with a maximum credit limit of $4,000, a 9.9% p.a. purchase interest rate and no foreign transaction fees.
Westpac Low Rate - Online Offer
13.49% p.a.
0% p.a. for 30 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($59 p.a. thereafter)
Take advantage of 0% p.a. for 30 months on balance transfers with a 2% balance transfer fee when you apply online by 28 February 2018.
Westpac Altitude Platinum Card - Altitude Qantas
20.24% p.a.
$150 p.a.
Receive a bonus 60,000 Qantas Points when you meet the spend requirement, plus, 24/7 personal concierge services.
Westpac 55 Day Platinum Credit Card
19.84% p.a.
0% p.a. for 20 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($90 p.a. thereafter)
Receive a 20 month balance transfer offer, up to 55 days interest-free on purchases, a platinum concierge service and a $0 first year annual fee.
David Jones American Express
20.74% p.a.
$99 p.a.
Receive 20,000 bonus points, David Jones benefits including complimentary standard delivery, gift wrapping and invites to exclusive fashion events.
David Jones American Express - Qantas Frequent Flyer
20.74% p.a.
$99 p.a.
Fly faster with 15,000 bonus Qantas Points, up to 3 points per $1 spent and access a range of exclusive, in-store benefits at David Jones.
David Jones American Express Platinum Card
20.74% p.a.
$295 p.a.
Receive 40,000 bonus points, invitations to exclusive Season Launch Parades, complimentary priority delivery and personal shopping perks.
David Jones American Express Platinum Card - Qantas Frequent Flyer
20.74% p.a.
$295 p.a.
Fly faster with up to 3 Qantas Points per $1 spent and receive complimentary travel insurance when travel is booked on your card.

Compare up to 4 providers

How do credit card instalment plans work?

Instalment plans provide you with a structured repayment schedule for your credit card balance. So, instead of paying some or all of your balance at the end of a statement period, you’ll pay a fixed amount each time a payment is due.

Depending on the credit card, you could set up an instalment plan for your entire account balance, part of your balance or for specific purchases. For example, if you have a Westpac credit card, you could use the SmartPlan service to set up an instalment plan for either a large purchase (over $500) or for a portion of your outstanding purchase, cash advance or balance transfer balance that’s worth more than $200.

What types of credit card instalment plans are available?

While Westpac is currently the only bank that offers instalment plans for any credit card, other issuers also offer this type of repayment option for specific purchases at participating retailers. You can use this table to compare the types of instalment plans available through different credit card companies and cards.

Credit card companyEligible/cardsSummary of instalment plan options
American ExpressDavid Jones Storecard
David Jones American Express
David Jones American Express Platinum
  • Up to four years no deposit interest-free on homewares, furniture, bedding and electrical appliances at David Jones.
  • Minimum purchase of $500 in one transaction.
  • Repayable in equal monthly instalments paid over a period of 12, 18, 24, 36 or 48 months depending on the plan.
  • Fixed repayment and percentage-based repayment options (depending on each specific offer).
  • Each new interest-free instalment credit option incurs a $35 establishment fee and a $2.95 monthly account-keeping fee.
CitiAll Citi credit cards (subject to offer and eligibility)
  • Citi cardholders may be offered Fixed Payment Options for new purchases or cash advances worth at least $500 each.
  • Instalment terms can range between 3 to 36 months with a lower interest rate available and factored into the fixed monthly repayment amount.
  • The fixed repayment is included on your credit card statement as part of your minimum repayment amount.
  • You can check if a Fixed Payment Option offer is available by logging in to Citibank Online and clicking on "Offers". Alternatively, call Citi on 13 24 84.
CommBank (from mid-2018 only)All Commonwealth Bank credit cards
  • From mid-2018: CommBank credit cards will offer you the option of instalment payments for large purchases or a portion of your balance.
  • This option will mean you pay monthly instalments at a discounted rate over a fixed period of time.
Latitude Financial ServicesGem Visa
Go Mastercard
  • Instalment interest-free plans available at participating retailers.
  • Minimum spend required and varies depending on offer.
  • Equal monthly payments.
  • 0% interest offers vary by retailer and are subject to approval. Offers may also vary by card.
  • Instalment plan lengths vary between promotions and are only available during specific promotional periods.
  • Interest rates and fees may apply if you do not meet repayment requirements.
WestpacAll Westpac credit cards
  • Large Purchase SmartPlan: You can set up a Large Purchase SmartPlan for any single purchase worth $500 or more as long as you made the purchase in the past 30 days. Reduced interest rates may also be available.
  • Credit Card Balance SmartPlan: You can set up instalments for any purchase, cash advance or balance transfer balance worth more than $200. Reduced interest rates may also be available.

American Express Pay Your Way instalment plan offer

If you have an American Express card, you may be able to set up instalment plans through Pay Your Way. This service lets you pay off selected, eligible credit card purchases over a fixed period of time, with 0% p.a. interest on the debt.

Currently, you can set up instalment plans that run for 3, 6 or 12 months when you make eligible purchases worth a minimum of $300, $500 or $1,000 (based on the plan you choose). An establishment fee worth 2%, 3% or 4% of the purchase amount also applies. Pay Your Way is only available to eligible card members, so check your email or online account to see if you’ve been offered access to this service.

What are the pros and cons of instalment repayments

Pros

  • Structured repayments. You’ll pay the same amount off your card each month.
  • Easier to budget. Instalment repayments are always worth the same amount, which can make it easier for you to work out your budget.
  • Account benefits. Depending on the card you get, you may be able to enjoy benefits such as discounted interest rates or debt-tracking tools.
Cons

  • Less flexibility. If you want the convenience of being able to pay a smaller amount off your card, an instalment plan may not be ideal.
  • Different interest charges. If your instalment plan only covers part of your card balance, different interest charges may apply to some of your debt. This could make it harder to budget for these costs.
  • Additional fees. Some instalment plans may apply establishment fees or penalty charges if you miss a payment.

Example: Paying off credit card debt with an instalment plan

chic-woman-couch-Shutterstock-250x250To give you an idea of how credit card instalment plans work, let's say Teah has just used her credit card to pay for a $3,000 holiday package. She can’t afford to pay this off in one go, so she decides to set up an instalment plan to help her budget for the repayments.

Teah’s credit card gives her three different instalment terms to choose from, each showing how much the fixed repayments will be worth:

  • 6 months with repayments of $500 per month
  • 9 months with repayments of $333.33 per month
  • 12 months with repayments of $250 per month

In this case, all of the instalment options offer 0% interest on the debt as long as Teah meets the repayment terms. So after considering her budget, Teah decides to pay the debt off over 6 monthly instalments of $500.

What else do I need to know about credit cards with instalment plans?

Keep these features in mind to decide if a credit card that offers instalment plans will work for you:

  • Annual fee. Remember to weigh the credit card’s annual fee against its benefits to decide if the account will be worth it for you.
  • Interest rates. Make sure you check all the interest rates charged by the card, keeping in mind that some instalment plans may offer 0% interest for a fixed period of time before a higher rate applies. Also remember that interest may still be charged on any other balance that’s not included in the instalment plan.
  • Additional fees. Depending on the card, fees for late payments, missed payments or for establishing an instalment plan may apply.
  • Payment requirements. If you set up an instalment plan, you’ll need to make repayments at the specified rate for that plan. But if you have a balance that’s not included in your instalment plan, you may need to pay more than the fixed amount in order to cover your account’s minimum repayment requirements. So carefully read through the details of each balance and check your statement to make sure you know exactly how much you need to pay by the due date.
  • Eligible balances. Credit card instalment plans may only be available for specific types of payments or balances, such as individual purchases over $500 or balance transfer balances. This could mean not all of the balance on your credit card is included in the instalment plan. So remember to check what debts will be eligible for instalment repayments and decide whether this option will work for you.
  • Cancelling instalment plans. Each credit card that offers instalment plans will have different terms and conditions around cancelling the plan. Usually, repaying it before the end of the plan is fine. Some plans, such as Westpac’s SmartPlan, also allow you to cancel instalments at any time without additional charges.

What other repayment options can I consider?

woman_hand_calculator_pen_Shutterstock

As well as instalment plans, you could choose to pay off your credit card debt using one of the following options:

  • Regular repayments. Regular credit card repayments are due at the end of your statement period and usually require a minimum of 2-3% of your closing balance. This gives you the flexibility to vary how much you repay based on your financial needs.
  • Automatic payments. Most cards offer automatic repayments similar to direct debits. Depending on the credit card, you could choose to have the minimum amount, the total owed or a dollar amount of your choosing automatically deducted from your nominated bank account.
  • Balance transfers. If you already owe a lot on your credit card and are worried about interest costs, another option is to transfer the balance to a card that offers a promotional 0% interest rate during the introductory period. Just remember that you’ll have to budget for repayments yourself, rather than relying on an instalment plan or the minimum repayment amount. Otherwise, a higher rate will apply to the balance at the end of the introductory period.
  • Personal loan. Personal loans usually offer structured repayment plans that allow you to pay off your debt over a fixed term. This is similar to a credit card instalment plan, except that your personal loan will be closed when you have paid it in full, while your credit card account remains open until you choose to cancel it. Still, you may want to consider this option if you already owe a lot on your card and want more structure for paying off the debt.

Getting a credit card that offers instalment plans gives you another way to structure your repayments and manage your budget. Just remember to consider the requirements of the instalment plan carefully before you apply and weigh up other repayment options so that you can find one that suits your needs.

Pictures: Shutterstock

Back to top

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.

Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

Related Posts

Credit Card Offers

Important Information*
American Express Velocity Escape Card
American Express Velocity Escape Card

Interest rate

20.74

Annual fee

0
NAB Premium Card - Exclusive Offer
NAB Premium Card - Exclusive Offer

Interest rate

19.74

Annual fee

90
St.George Vertigo Platinum - Online Offer
St.George Vertigo Platinum - Online Offer

Interest rate

12.74

Annual fee

99
Westpac Low Rate - Online Offer
Westpac Low Rate - Online Offer

Interest rate

13.49

Annual fee

59

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, read the PDS or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.
Ask a question
Go to site