Credit Cards for Shopping this Christmas

Information verified correct on February 26th, 2017

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 February 26th, 2017
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee
ANZ Platinum Credit Card - Exclusive Offer
Receive a low introductory offer of 0% p.a. on purchases for 3 months and 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 12 months. Also, enjoy an annual fee waiver in the first year.
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) Go to site More info
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - 0% Interest Offer
Earn Velocity Rewards points with your purchases and pay no interest with 0% p.a. for 12 months on purchases and 0% p.a. for 6 months on balance transfers.
0% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 20.74% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 6 months $129 p.a. Go to site More info
ANZ Low Rate
$100 Back plus 0% p.a. for the first 6 months on purchases from approval.
0% p.a. for 6 months (reverts to 12.49% p.a.) $58 p.a. Go to site More info
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Visa Credit Card
Enjoy a low annual fee combined with 0% p.a. balance transfer offer for 12 months and 0% p.a. for up to 6 months on purchases.
0% p.a. for 6 months (reverts to 13.24% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 12 months $55 p.a. Go to site More info
St.George Vertigo Visa
Introductory offer of 0% p.a. for 12 months on balance transfers and 0% p.a. for 6 months on purchases, plus a low annual fee.
0% p.a. for 6 months (reverts to 13.24% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 12 months $55 p.a. Go to site More info
Westpac Altitude Card
Enjoy a balance transfer offer of 0% p.a. for 12 months and 0% p.a. on purchases for 6 months.
0% p.a. for 6 months (reverts to 20.24% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 12 months $100 p.a. Go to site More info

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
  • 50,000 bonus points after you make your first eligible purchase
  • $95 annual fee which includes a $40 annual account fee and a $55 Rewards Program service fee
  • Earn 2 Rewards Points per dollar spent on your American Express card and 1 per dollar spent on the Visa card
  • Purchase rate of 18.79% p.a.
  • International travel insurance, purchase security cover and extended warranty insurance
Coles Rewards MasterCard
  • Competitive annual fee of $89
  • 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 5,000 Membership Rewards bonus points when you spend more than $750 on your card in the first three months
  • 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 Card – Qantas Frequent Flyer

  • Make an eligible purchase within the first three months and you can enjoy 80,000 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 February 26th, 2017
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee
28 Degrees Platinum MasterCard
No foreign transaction fees on international purchases including international purchases online, together with a no annual fee.
21.99% p.a. 4.99% p.a. for 6 months $0 p.a. Go to site More info
Bankwest Breeze Platinum MasterCard
A Platinum card offer with a 0% p.a. for 21 months on balance transfers and $0 on foreign transactions. Limited time only.
12.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 21 months with 2% balance transfer fee $99 p.a. Go to site More info
ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures card
Pay no overseas transaction fee on purchases and receive complimentary domestic return flight and lounge passes each year you hold the card when you spend $500 on eligible purchases within the first three months.
20.24% p.a. $225 p.a. Go to site More info
Bankwest Qantas Platinum MasterCard
Enjoy a high credit limit with complimentary travel insurances and up to 0.50 Qantas Point per $1 spent on eligible purchases.
20.49% p.a. 2.99% p.a. for 9 months $160 p.a. Go to site More info
Coles Rewards MasterCard
Earn 2 flybuys points for every $1 spent, pay no foreign transaction fees on online and international purchases and receive $100 off a single Coles Supermarket shop.
19.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 6 months $89 p.a. Go to site More info

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.

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 February 26th, 2017
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee
NAB Premium Card
Benefit from premium credit card advantages including travel insurance, Platinum Concierge Service plus 0% p.a. for 24 months on balance transfers.
19.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 24 months with a one off 3% balance transfer fee $90 p.a. Go to site More info
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
Receive a full annual fee refund and save $149 if you meet the $6,000 spend requirement. Enjoy a balance transfer offer and platinum card benefits such as complimentary insurances and concierge services.
19.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 15 months $149 p.a. Go to site More info
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
Offers 0% p.a. interest rate on balance transfers for 18 months to help you manage your existing credit card balance. Earn 2 bonus Velocity Points in the first 3 months.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 18 months $64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
Citi Rewards Credit Card - Platinum Card
Take advantage of the introductory long term balance transfer offer and reduced annual fee in the first year.
20.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 24 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee $49 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
ANZ Platinum Credit Card - Exclusive Offer
Receive a low introductory offer of 0% p.a. on purchases for 3 months and 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 12 months. Also, enjoy an annual fee waiver in the first year.
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) Go to site More info
American Express Essential Credit Card
Receive a $50 credit on eligible spend and get Smartphone screen insurance combined with a no annual fee for life card. Also enjoy a 0% p.a. balance transfer rate for 12 months.
14.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $0 p.a. Go to site More info
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Visa Credit Card
A low rate card from Bank of Melbourne with a long term balance transfer offer of 0% p.a. for 12 months and a low introductory rate on purchases.
0% p.a. for 6 months (reverts to 13.24% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 12 months $55 p.a. Go to site More info
Virgin No Annual Fee Credit Card
No annual fee credit card with $100 cashback and a long term balance transfer offer of 0% p.a. for 18 months with 2% balance transfer fee.
18.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 18 months with 2% balance transfer fee $0 p.a. Go to site More info
Citi Simplicity Card
Take advantage of the 0% p.a. for 15 months offer on balance transfers, a low interest rate on purchases, an annual fee waiver for life, plus 5% cash back on retail purchases.
19.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 15 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee $0 p.a. Go to site More info
St.George Vertigo Visa
Introductory offer of 0% p.a. for 12 months on balance transfers and 0% p.a. for 6 months on purchases, plus a low annual fee.
0% p.a. for 6 months (reverts to 13.24% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 12 months $55 p.a. Go to site More info
Bankwest Breeze MasterCard
Enjoy an introductory rate of 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 21 months (2% balance transfer fee applies). Limited time only.
12.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 21 months with 2% balance transfer fee $59 p.a. Go to site More info
HSBC Low Rate Credit Card
This card comes with a balance transfer offer, a low interest rate and up to 55 days interest-free on purchases.
13.25% p.a. 0% p.a. for 15 months with 2% balance transfer fee $55 p.a. Go to site More info
NAB Low Fee Card
Enjoy a low annual fee card with a low introductory rate of 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 18 months.
19.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 18 months with a one off 3% balance transfer fee $30 p.a. Go to site More info
Bankwest Breeze Platinum MasterCard
A Platinum card offer with a 0% p.a. for 21 months on balance transfers and $0 on foreign transactions. Limited time only.
12.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 21 months with 2% balance transfer fee $99 p.a. Go to site More info
NAB Low Rate Credit Card
The NAB Low Rate Card offers 0% p.a. on balance transfers for the first 18 months combined with a low annual fee.
13.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 18 months with a one off 3% balance transfer fee $59 p.a. Go to site More info
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Platinum
A platinum card with a low balance transfer offer of 0% p.a. interest for 12 months and 0% p.a. for 6 months on purchases combined with complimentary insurance covers.
0% p.a. for 6 months (reverts to 12.74% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 12 months $99 p.a. Go to site More info
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ANZ Platinum Credit Card - Exclusive Offer
ANZ Platinum Credit Card - Exclusive Offer

Interest rate

19.74

Annual fee

87
American Express Essential Credit Card
American Express Essential Credit Card

Interest rate

14.99

Annual fee

0
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
HSBC Platinum Credit Card

Interest rate

19.99

Annual fee

149

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