Credit Cards for Shopping this Christmas

Australians are expected to spend $27 billion (approximately $2,500 each) on their credit cards over Christmas this year. How much of that spending will be yours, and how much will it end up costing you in the long run?

Discover how you can make the most of your credit card this Christmas

Christmas is the time of giving. Unfortunately, for many of us, it's also the time of handing over that little piece of plastic in our wallets, shutting our eyes and hoping for. But what if this year you got in control of your Christmas spending before it took control of you? It is possible, and it's easy to do — it just starts with knowing what your options are.

What type of Christmas spender are you?

Knowing what kind of spender can help you find the ideal card to see you through the silly season. Read the descriptions below and select the one that fits your needs:


Buy now pay later: Credit cards with 0% purchase rate offers

A huge concern at Christmas time is being able to afford all the purchases you need to make. Gifts, food and even travel costs need to covered leading up to Christmas day, and this can seriously eat into your holiday budget. Credit cards that come with introductory purchase rate offers let you spend on the card for a set period of time, with any spending that is considered a purchase will not incur interest.

How can these cards help you over Christmas?
  • Make purchases and not pay any interest for a set period of time
  • Enjoy the other features of the card while you are paying down your debt
  • Organise a budget so you have your debt paid off before the end of the interest-free period. This essentially offers you a credit with no interest
  • Some cards also let you earn rewards points while you make purchases. This essentially sees you redeem rewards for your Christmas spending, for which you are paying no interest
What you need to know about purchase rate offers:
  • The interest-free period on these cards differs. Some cards may offer it for a shorter period, say around three months, while others offer a longer-term period of up to fifteen months.
  • You will need to pay the minimum payment required each statement period, which is usually around 2-3% of your outstanding balance. Also, if you have any other outstanding fees or interest charges you will need to pay these as well. These may include annual fees, cash advance fees or rates and outstanding balance transfer amounts.
  • At the end of the interest-free period, any outstanding purchase balance you have will start incurring interest. Interest is usually charged daily as per the annual card rate.
Rates last updated September 26th, 2017
$
Name Product Product Description Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee Interest Free Period Amount Saved
ANZ Platinum Credit Card - Exclusive Offer
Exclusive to finder, receive 0% p.a. interest on purchases for 3 months and 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 12 months with no balance transfer fee.
0% p.a. for 3 months (reverts to 19.74% p.a.)
0% p.a. for 12 months
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($87 p.a. thereafter)
Up to 55 days on purchases
Bankwest Breeze Classic Mastercard
Get the security of free worldwide emergency card replacement and the convenience of Mastercard PayPass.
0% p.a. for 13 months (reverts to 12.99% p.a.)
0% p.a. for 13 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$79 p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - 0% Interest Offer
Until 31 October 2017 get 0% p.a. on purchases for 12 months. Plus, up to 0.66 Velocity Points per $1 spent.
0% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 20.74% p.a.)
0% p.a. for 6 months
$129 p.a.
Up to 44 days on purchases
Bankwest Breeze Platinum Mastercard
Receive complimentary international travel insurance, extended warranty cover and 0% foreign transaction fees.
0% p.a. for 13 months (reverts to 12.99% p.a.)
0% p.a. for 13 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$99 p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases

Compare up to 4 providers


Going away this Christmas? Travel without some of the price tags...

Some credit cards can charge you excessive fees when you make overseas purchases. Along with exchange rates you could also be stuck with international transaction fees and cash advance fees that can add up very quickly. If you're in need of a credit card to travel with, and want the low-cost benefits offered by travel debit cards, there are cards that minimise the costs associated with making purchases overseas.

Features you can find with these cards

  • No international currency conversion fees or no foreign transaction fees
  • Frequent flyer and rewards points for purchases
  • Low or no annual fees

Drawbacks of these cards

  • Many of these cards have relatively high purchase rates
  • Some of the travel cards have annual fees that could negate the money you save
  • They tend to be not as 'feature-packed' as other credit cards due to their low fees for international transactions

Compare travel credit cards


Get rewarded for your Christmas spending

How does being given something for partaking in the season of giving sound? It's possible with a rewards credit card. The cards offer you points for every eligible dollar you spend on purchases with your card. These points can then be used to redeem a range of rewards with the linked card rewards program, whether that be a frequent flyer program or an independent rewards program offered by the card provider.

These cards are an option whether you're after a premium card or not — even lower cost cards come with rewards programs. Take a look at some of the cards below to see what option might be for you.

What rewards cards can I consider for Christmas?

ANZ Rewards Platinum
  • $95 annual fee which includes a $40 annual account fee and a $55 Rewards Program service fee
  • Earn 1.5 reward points per $1 spent on eligible purchases up to $2,000, then 0.5 Reward Points per $1 spent above $2,000 per statement period.
  • Purchase rate of 18.79% p.a.
  • International travel insurance, purchase security cover and extended warranty insurance
Coles Rewards Mastercard
  • Competitive annual fee of $99
  • Earn 2 points for every dollar you spend. This is in addition to flybuys points
  • You'll be charged a rate of 19.99% p.a. for purchases and cash advances
  • Free delivery on Coles Online for purchases over $100 and zero liability on purchases
American Express Platinum Edge
  • Earn 3 Membership Reward Points per dollar spent at major supermarkets and 2 points per dollar spent at major petrol stations. For other purchases you'll earn 1 point for every dollar spent and 0.5 points per $1 on all utilities, telecommunications, insurance and Government bodies
  • You'll be charged an annual fee of $195
  • Enjoy a complimentary domestic return flight every year as well as complimentary travel insurance

Jetstar Platinum Mastercard - Qantas

  • Enjoy a low annual fee in the first year and $169 thereafter.

Westpac Business Choice Rewards Platinum Card – Qantas Frequent Flyer

  • Make an eligible purchase within the first three months and you can enjoy 40,000 bonus Acquire points.
  • These points are worth a net value of $770.
  • You can enjoy these benefits for a $150 annual fee.

Compare other rewards credit cards


Credit cards for the online shopper

Looking to take advantage of competitive prices from international retailers? There's credit cards that can help keep your online shopping costs down. Similar to travel credit cards, these cards offer low or no foreign currency conversion fees. Other cards you might want to consider include those offering extended warranty, merchandise protection, and also those with interest-free offers in place.

What are some of your options for online shopping credit cards?

Rates last updated September 26th, 2017
Name Product Foreign Currency Conversion Fee (MC) Foreign Currency Conversion Fee (VISA) Overseas ATM Withdrawal Fee Overseas Cash Advance Fee Annual fee Product Description
Bankwest Zero Platinum Mastercard
0% of transaction value
$0
The greater of 2% or $4
$0 p.a.
Receive complimentary international travel insurance, access to a 24/7 concierge service and 0% foreign transaction fees.
ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures card
0% of transaction value
$0
$225 p.a.
Receive 40,000 bonus Velocity Points when you spend $500 on eligible purchases in the first three months.
28 Degrees Platinum Mastercard
0% of transaction value
$0
3% of the cash advance or $4 (whichever is greater)
$0 p.a.
Designed for travel, benefit from no international transaction fees on purchases and no currency conversion fees.
Bankwest Breeze Platinum Mastercard
0% of transaction value
$0
Greater of 2% or $4.00
$99 p.a.
Offers an introductory balance transfer rate of 0% p.a. for 13 months with a 2% BT fee, plus platinum perks.
Bankwest More Platinum Mastercard
0% of transaction value
$5
2% or $4, whichever is greater
$160 p.a.
No fees on overseas ATM withdrawal, no foreign transaction fees and earn 75,000 bonus More rewards points.

Compare up to 4 providers


Premium card perks: Take advantage of what's on offer

Platinum, gold and other types of premium cards can offer a host of benefits to frequent travellers and shoppers. Most banks and card providers offer a premium range of cards, or have at least one premium card options available. While these cards usually offer a range of lucrative perks, keep in mind that the rates and fees on these cards are generally quite high. Weigh up the cost of the card against the possible benefits you can receive. Some perks that these cards offer include:

  • Complimentary insurance covers. These can include complimentary travel insurance, extended warranty, purchase price protection, rental vehicle excess and domestic flight inconvenience cover.
  • Linked rewards program. Many cards come with a rewards program through which you can earn points for purchases. The rewards program may be a stand-alone program offered by the card provider, or it could be linked to a frequent flyer program. The card will come with a set earn rate, which tends to be more lucrative on premium cards.
  • Bonus points. If your card is linked to a rewards program you may find yourself able to earn bonus points. This may be awarded to you when you sign up to the card, given to you through spending with rewards partners, or by meeting a certain spend cap in the first few months of having the card. Some cards can see you awarded up to 80,000 bonus points.
  • Additional cardholders. Share the benefits of your card, and if you are able to earn points, earn them from your additional cardholder's spending. Some card provider's allow you to add up to nine extra cardholders to your account.

Compare Gold, Platinum and Black credit cards


Credit cards to cover emergency spending

Not everyone needs a credit card to see them through Christmas. If you think you might fall into this category, but still want a credit card just in case, you might want to a consider a 'no frills' type of credit card. These cards come with minimal features but are also low cost. This means you can keep them to use should you ever need to, and they won't burn a hole in your back pocket in the meantime. When you're looking for a credit card for emergency expenditure, you'll want a card that has:

  • No annual fee. Why pay a fee for a card you might not use?
  • A competitive purchase rate. This doesn't have to be the lowest rate, but it just needs to be competitive. Compare rates across a range of no annual fee cards to find competitive rates.
  • Easy to manage features. See if the card is widely accepted to make purchasing easy should you use it. You can also see if the card provider's products have gotten good reviews from customers online.
How to find a card for your Christmas emergencies
  1. Compare no annual fee credit cards or low purchase rate credit cards
  2. See the features that are available on these cards by clicking 'more'. Check that they are competitive
  3. See if you are eligible, and if you want to apply, click 'go to site'

Christmas hangover: Dealing with credit card debt

Try as you might, spending more than you intended is easy to do, and it can happen to anyone. If you find yourself starting the new year with less than a fresh start, you might want to look at the different strategies available to you for dealing with credit card debt.

A balance transfer credit card can help you pay down your existing credit card debt by offering you low or 0% p.a. for a set period of time. When you apply for a balance transfer credit card, you can also apply to bring over a balance from one or more credit or store card accounts.

Things to keep in mind:

  • You usually can't take up your entire credit limit with a balance transfer. Card providers usually allow you to take up 70-95% of your approved credit limit with your transferred balance
  • There may be a balance transfer fee
  • Following the end of the balance transfer period, a revert rate will be applied to any outstanding amount. This rate usually reverts to the cash advance rate, which is quite high, but may also revert to the purchase rate

Use the table to compare balance transfer credit cards below. Click 'more' to see if you are eligible and read a review of the card. When you're ready to apply, just click 'go to site'.

Rates last updated September 26th, 2017
$
% p.a.

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Name Product Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Purchase rate (p.a.) Annual fee Amount Saved Product Description
St.George Vertigo Platinum
0% p.a. for 24 months with 2% balance transfer fee
12.74% p.a.
$99 p.a.
Offers complimentary travel insurance, complimentary purchase insurance and access to a 24/7 personal concierge service.
NAB Premium Card - Exclusive Offer
0% p.a. for 24 months
19.74% p.a.
$90 p.a.
Until 1 October 2017, exclusive to finder.com.au, enjoy a no BT fee, balance transfer offer with platinum privileges, including travel insurance.
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Bonus Points Offer
0% p.a. for 18 months
20.74% p.a.
$64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
Earn up to 60,000 bonus Velocity Points in the first 3 months on eligible spend and enjoy a discounted annual fee of $64 for the first year.
Westpac Low Rate Card - Online Only Balance Transfer Offer
0% p.a. for 24 months with 2% balance transfer fee
13.49% p.a.
$59 p.a.
Take advantage of 0% p.a. for 24 months on balance transfers with a 2% balance transfer fee. Plus, use of the Westpac mobile banking app.
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
0% p.a. for 22 months with 2% balance transfer fee
19.99% p.a.
$99 p.a.
Earn 1 Reward Point per $1 of eligible spend and receive complimentary travel and purchase protection insurances.
St.George Vertigo Visa
0% p.a. for 18 months with 2% balance transfer fee
13.24% p.a.
$55 p.a.
Receive up to 55 days interest-free on purchases and the ability to make contactless payments with Visa payWave technology.
Citi Rewards Platinum Credit Card
0% p.a. for 24 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
20.99% p.a.
$49 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter)
Apply by 30 September 2017 to receive a long-term BT offer, earn Citi Reward Points and receive complimentary travel insurance.
Bankwest Breeze Platinum Mastercard
0% p.a. for 13 months with 2% balance transfer fee
0% p.a. for 13 months (reverts to 12.99% p.a.)
$99 p.a.
Receive complimentary international travel insurance, extended warranty cover and 0% foreign transaction fees.
HSBC Low Rate Credit Card
0% p.a. for 15 months with 2% balance transfer fee
13.25% p.a.
$55 p.a.
Receive up to 55 days interest-free on purchases. Also enjoy exclusive offers with the home&Away Privilege Program.
Woolworths Everyday Platinum Credit Card
0% p.a. for 14 months
19.99% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($49 p.a. thereafter)
Receive a $50 eGift Card when you apply by 31 December 2017 and make an eligible purchase by 31 January 2018.

Compare up to 4 providers

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

Interest rate

19.74

Annual fee

90
Qantas American Express Ultimate Card
Qantas American Express Ultimate Card

Interest rate

20.74

Annual fee

450
St.George Vertigo Platinum
St.George Vertigo Platinum

Interest rate

12.74

Annual fee

99
NAB Low Rate Credit Card
NAB Low Rate Credit Card

Interest rate

13.99

Annual fee

59

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