Reward yourself with extra money in your account with a cashback credit card.
While some cards reward you with points, this type of credit card gives you cash rewards for your spend. There are a few different types of cashback offers available on the Australian market, with some cards offering introductory cashback promotions and others earning cash as a percentage of your spending. Some rewards credit cards also let you get cash back in the form of gift cards or account credit. You can use this guide to compare cashback credit card options, learn how they work and discover how you can get the most value out of this type of credit card.
0% p.a. for 15 months on balance transfers
with a one-time 1.5% balance transfer fee
Offer ends 30 June 2018
Eligibility criteria, terms and conditions, fees and charges apply
Citi Credit Card Offer
Receive up to 5% cashback on all retail purchases, up to $1,000 in your first 90 days from card approval (capped at $50). Plus, no annual fee for life.
- $0 p.a. annual fee.
- 19.99% p.a. on purchases
- 0.00% p.a. for 15 months with 1.5% BT fee on balance transfers
- Cash advance rate of 19.99% p.a.
- Up to 55 days interest free
- Minimum income requirement of $35,000 p.a.
Compare cashback credit cards
The finder.com.au list of cashback credit cards
Compare the features of the cashback credit cards below.
- Citi Simplicity Card: Earn 5% cashback on eligible purchases (capped at $50 per month) for the first 90 days from card approval.
- Citi Rewards Classic Credit Card: Get 5% cashback on all retail purchases, up to $1,000, in your first 90 days from card approval (capped at $50).
- Virgin Money Low Rate Credit Card: Get $100 cashback when you spend $500 per month for the first three months from the card approval date.
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 rewards as part of an ongoing rewards program 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.
- Cashback via a credit card rewards program. As well as using points for flights or merchandise, some credit card rewards programs give you the option to redeem your points for cash. You can also redeem your reward or frequent flyer points for gift cards, which could come in handy if you'd prefer a cash reward over a flight or product.
Is there a catch?
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 read the card's product disclosure statement for more information.
Compare credit cards that allow you to redeem reward points for cashback
How can I compare cashback credit cards?
If you want to find the right cashback credit card for you, here are the key details to look at when you're comparing different options:
- The cashback amount. Weigh up the value of the cash you'll get back based on your spending habits and the overall cost of the card (such as the annual fee and purchase rate). This will help you decide if the rewards are worth it.
- 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 $20 per month.
- Introductory offer requirements. If a credit card offers cashback as a special promotion, make sure you understand the terms and conditions before signing up. Depending on the offer, you may want to look for the date the offer expires, spending requirements or participating retailers to take advantage of the cashback reward.
- 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 card that earns points and want to redeem them for a cashback reward, check to see if there are other rewards (such as 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 advantages and drawbacks of cashback credit cards?
Weighing up some of the pros and cons could help you determine whether a cashback credit card is right for you:
- Money in your pocket. This type of reward offer gives you the chance to get money back for paying 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 complimentary travel insurance, rewards programs and concierge services.
- High annual fees. Credit cards with cashback rewards charge a higher annual fee 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. Make sure you can repay the amount you've charged for the cashback (as well as other purchases) before the end of the statement period.
- 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 the cashback once, while others may allow you to take advantage of it up to a capped amount of times in a set period.
How to apply for a cashback credit card
If you've decided you want a cashback credit card, you can apply online in around 10-15 minutes through a secure web service. 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.
- Credit history. All Australian credit card issuers require applicants to have a good credit history.
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've provided all of this information and hit "submit", you should receive a response regarding your application 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 product disclosure statement to confirm the terms and conditions and when you can expect to receive the cashback credit in your account.
If you're looking for a new credit card, one that offers cashback gives 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