A cashback credit card gives you cash in your pocket or credit on your statement whenever you spend money. In Australia, cashback credit cards will either offer an introductory bonus or give you back a set percentage of your regular spending. Use this page to learn about cashback credit cards and compare your options to see if one is right for you.
ANZ Credit Card Offer
ANZ Frequent Flyer Black
Earn up to 130,000 bonus Qantas Points Get $150 back on your card
Eligibility criteria, terms and conditions, fees and charges apply
ANZ Credit Card Offer
Receive 100,000 bonus Qantas Points, $150 back and 75 Status Credits when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months. Plus, complimentary lounge passes.
Compare the features of the cashback credit cards below.
ANZ Frequent Flyer Black. Offers $150 cashback when you spend $3,000 on eligible purchases within the first 3 months from card approval.
Skye Mastercard. Receive up to $300 cashback (7.5% on eligible purchases, up to $100 cashback per month) for the first 3 months from account opening.
ING Orange One Platinum. Get 1% cashback on all eligible spending up to $30 each month, with a maximum cashback potential of $360 per year.
How do cashback cards work?
A cashback credit card gives you rewards in the form of dollars or credit on your account. These offers vary between cards, with some earning cashback instead of rewards points per $1 spent and others providing a one-time cashback reward offer for new customers. We've outlined the three main ways you can get cashback rewards from your credit card below:
Cashback when you make an eligible credit card purchase. If you make a credit card purchase of $1,000 and there is a 2% cashback promotion, the credit card provider will give you $20 back.
Promotional offers on sign up. Some cards have a cashback promotion for new customers. These offers usually require you to apply before a set date and spend a specific amount within the first few months that you have the card.
Using rewards points to get cash back. As well as using points for flights or merchandise, some credit card rewards programs let you redeem points for cashback on your account. Most reward programs also let you redeem points for gift cards that you can use to make purchases with specific brands or stores.
Is there a catch with cashback credit cards?
Just like other rewards credit cards, you need to meet the spending requirements or eligibility requirements to get a cashback reward from a credit card. For example, you might only get money back for eligible purchases, with common exclusions including cash advances, balance transfers and refunded purchases. Some cashback credit cards may also cap or limit the amount of money you can earn per month or year. Make sure you check the cashback reward details and read the card's product disclosure statement for more information.
How can I compare cashback credit cards?
If you are interested in getting a cashback credit card, here are the key details to look at when you're comparing different options:
The cashback amount.It will be easier to decide if you weigh the value of the cash rewards you can collect based on your spending habits against the amount you can save with the card's overall cost. If the value of the cash rewards are much lower, then you might find a $0 annual fee or 0% purchase rate card more suitable for you.
Reward caps. Some cashback cards limit the amount of money you can get from them. For example, you might be able to get 1% cashback per $1 spent but have a limit of up to $30 per month.
Introductory offer requirements. If a credit card has an introductory cashback offer, make sure you understand the terms and conditions before signing up. While offers do vary, some key details to look for include the offer expiry date, spending requirements and any participating retailers. If you are unsure about an offer's requirements, you can also ask the credit card provider for more information.
Ineligible transactions. While most everyday purchases are eligible to earn cashback rewards, transactions such as cash advances, bill payments, gambling transactions and credit card fees are usually ineligible. Check these details before you get a card to decide if it suits your spending habits.
Rewards value.If you have a rewards credit card and want to redeem its points for a cashback reward, check to see if it also includes other types of rewards (such as complimentary flights, travel upgrades or merchandise) that have a retail or regular price value that is higher than the cashback amount. This will help you get the most value out of your rewards.
Other card features. Make sure you also consider the card's standard variable purchase rate as well as any additional charges, fees and complimentary extras. Along with the rewards and annual fee, these features will help you decide if the card suits all your needs.
What are the pros and cons of cashback credit cards?
If you're thinking about getting a cashback credit card, weighing up the following pros and cons can help you decide if it's worth it for you:
Money in your pocket. This type of reward offers you the chance to get money back when you pay with plastic.
Dollar value. Instead of earning points per dollar spent, cashback credit cards offer a straightforward dollar value for the rewards you earn.
Other extra features. Credit cards with cashback promotions may offer other features such as mobile payments, complimentary travel insurance and concierge services.
High annual fees. Credit cards with cashback rewards usually charge higher annual fees than no-frills credit cards. Ideally, the value you get back from the rewards should be higher than the annual fee.
Interest rates. If the cashback offer is a feature of a more premium product, you may find that it comes with higher interest rates. If you carry a balance, the cost of interest could outweigh any cashback that you earn from the card.
Limited rewards. Some cashback credit cards may have a cap on the number of times you can redeem a cashback offer. For example, some may only allow you to receive cash back on your account once, while other cards may give you a way to earn cashback up to a capped amount each month, for a set period of time.
How to apply for a cashback credit card
If you want to get a cashback credit card, you can apply online in around 10-20 minutes. Before you apply, make sure you meet the eligibility requirements and have the necessary documents needed to complete your application. These will vary from card to card, but you can usually expect the following:
Age. Cardholders must be at least 18 years of age.
Residential status. Most credit cards require cardholders to be permanent Australian residents, though some do offer products to specific visa holders.
Minimum income. The minimum income requirement will vary between cards, but they usually start at $15,000 p.a. for low-income cards and between $60,000 and $100,000 for higher-tier products.
Documents and details
Proof of identification. You'll need to provide a copy of your driver's licence, Medicare card and/or passport for proof of identification.
Proof of income. You'll need to provide your employer's details as well as a recent tax return and/or your pay slips. If you're self-employed, you'll need to include your accountant's details.
Financial information. You will need to provide other information about your finances including debts, liabilities and expenses.
Once you have completed and submitted your application, you should receive a response from the credit card provider within 60 seconds. If you're approved, you'll receive your card in the mail within 1-2 weeks. If the card has a cashback offer, you should read the terms and conditions for collecting cashback, and check how long it will take for the cashback to be credited to you when you meet the requirements.
If you're looking for a new credit card, one that offers cashback can give you extra value for your spending. But even though cashback offers can be rewarding, they also come with terms and conditions. So make sure you understand what these are and compare your options before you apply for the card.
Popular questions about using cashback credit cards
While the cashback rate varies from product to product, most cashback returns are somewhere between 1-2% of the total value of the transaction. This figure can jump when you look at merchant and retailer bonus cashback rewards schemes or when a fixed rate of cashback is offered (such as $20 or $50 when you first use the card).
Yes, you can generally use cashback rewards to pay your card's annual fee or the outstanding balance of a credit card.
The potential value of a cashback rewards card depends many different factors, including the amount of cashback offered, the cost of the card and how often you use it. To put this in perspective, let's take a look at an example.
Say you get a credit card that offers 1% cashback on everyday purchases and has a $150 annual. If you spent $3,000 per month on this card, you would earn $30 cashback per month, or $360 per year. If you take the cost of the annual fee out of this amount, you would get $210 value from cashback rewards over a 12-month period.
But if you only spent $1,000 per month on this card, you would earn $120 cashback in a year. That is $30 less than the $150 annual fee in this scenario, which means you would be spending more on the card than what you earned from cashback rewards.
Keep in mind that this example does not consider the cost of any interest that might be charged if you carried a balance from purchases. The bottom line? You can check if a cashback credit card is worth it by looking at the annual fee, cashback offer rate, your own spending – and any other charges or perks that are relevant to you.
Amy Bradney-George is the acting editor for Finder X and a senior writer for credit cards and Finder Green. She has more than 13 years' experience as a journalist and writer, with bylines in publications including The Equity Magazine, The Sydney Morning Herald, ABC News and produce industry website FreshPlaza. Amy has a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Drama from Griffith University, and when she’s not putting (virtual) pen to paper, she spends her time as an actress.
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