Credit Card Fees

Whether it’s the annual fee, currency conversion costs or balance transfer fee, find out everything you need to know to avoid credit card fees in Australia and overseas.

Credit cards have a wide range of features and benefits, but also come with many different fees and charges. These costs quickly add up and can lead to serious credit card debt when they’re left unchecked.

The good news is that you can avoid most credit card fees if you’re aware of them. Here, we outline the most common credit card fees, how much they’re worth, and what you can do to stop or minimise their impact on your card.

Annual fees

Most credit cards charge an annual fee, which can cost as little as $20 or as much as $1,200. The more features and benefits a credit card has – such as a rewards program or complimentary travel insurance – the more likely it is to have a high annual fee.

Annual fees usually start when you first activate a card, and are then applied around the same date for every year you have the card. Some cards also waive this fee in the first year, so be sure to check the ongoing rates and fees before you apply.

How to avoid it: If you take advantage of credit card perks, you could find that the value they offer outweighs the cost of the annual fee. Otherwise, you should consider a card that offers a lower fee or one that charges no annual fee for life.

How Alex avoided annual fees

Alex currently pays an annual fee of $199 for her platinum rewards credit card. While she earns 1 point per $1 spent on the card, she only spends about $12,000 per year. This is just enough points to get a $100 gift card, which means Alex is paying $99 more for the card than what she gets from the benefits.

By switching to a no annual fee rewards credit card, such as the American Express Qantas Discovery or Coles Platinum No Annual Fee Mastercard, Alex can save between $99 and $199 on the card and still get rewards.

Compare no annual fee credit cards

Rates last updated June 25th, 2017
Name Product Annual fee Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Product Description
American Express Essential®  Credit Card
$0 p.a.
14.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
Receive a $50 credit on eligible spend and get Smartphone screen insurance when you pay for your phone or contract.
Citi Simplicity Card
$0 p.a.
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 6 months
Receive access to complimentary purchase insurance and free bottles of wine with the Citibank Dining Program.
St.George Vertigo Visa
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
13.24% p.a.
0% p.a. for 14 months
Get up to 55 interest-free days on purchases and an additional card for $0.
BankSA Vertigo Visa
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
13.24% p.a.
0% p.a. for 14 months
Get up to 55 interest-free days on purchases and an additional card for $0.
ANZ Platinum Credit Card - Exclusive Offer
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($87 p.a. thereafter)
0% p.a. for 3 months (reverts to 19.74% p.a.)
0% p.a. for 12 months
Pay 0% p.a. for 3 months on purchases and receive platinum perks including complimentary travel and purchase insurance.
ANZ Frequent Flyer Black
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($425 p.a. thereafter)
19.99% p.a.
Receive 75,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $2,500 on eligible purchases within the first 3 months.
Qantas American Express Discovery Card
$0 p.a.
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
Earn an uncapped 1 Qantas Frequent Flyer point per $1 spent, plus complimentary purchase insurance.
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
$99 p.a.
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 22 months with 2% balance transfer fee
Earn 1.00 Reward Point per $1 spent and gain access to the Visa Platinum concierge service and Visa Entertainment.
ANZ Frequent Flyer Platinum
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($295 p.a. thereafter)
19.99% p.a.
Get 50,000 bonus points when you apply online, are approved and spend $2,500 on eligible purchases in the first 3 months.
ANZ Rewards Platinum
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($95 p.a. thereafter)
18.79% p.a.
Receive 50,000 bonus Reward Points when you spend $2,500 within the first 3 months from card approval.
Westpac 55 Day Platinum Credit Card
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($90 p.a. thereafter)
0% p.a. for 6 months (reverts to 19.84% p.a.)
0% p.a. for 12 months
Enjoy platinum card benefits including a 24/7 concierge service and complimentary insurance covers.
Bankwest Zero Platinum Mastercard
$0 p.a.
17.99% p.a.
2.99% p.a. for 9 months
Includes complimentary travel insurance, a 24/7 Concierge service and $0 foreign transaction fees.
Woolworths Everyday Platinum Credit Card
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($49 p.a. thereafter)
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 14 months
Receive a $100 eGift Card when you apply by 30 June 2017 and make an eligible purchase by 31 July 2017.

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Interest

Credit cards charge interest when you carry a balance. The amount you pay is based on a percentage of your balance. This percentage is represented by an annual rate, such as 19.99% p.a., but is calculated daily and charged monthly. Depending on your card, you could have any or all of the following interest rates applied to your balance:

  • Purchase rate. This is the interest rate charged for new purchases made on the card and can be anywhere from 10% p.a. to 22% p.a. (variable).
  • Cash advance rate. This is the interest rate applied for cash advance transactions, such as ATM withdrawals. It is usually between 19% p.a. and 22% p.a. (variable).
  • Balance transfer rate. This is the interest rate applied to any balance you have moved from an old card to the current card. If you get a balance transfer credit card, you will usually pay a low or 0% promotional rate for the introductory period. Standard balance transfer rates (after the intro period) are usually based on the card’s cash advance or purchase rate and can be as high as 22% p.a. (variable).
  • Promotional interest rate. This interest rate is usually offered to new cardholders for a set period of time, such as the first 12 months. If you’re looking at getting a card with a promotional interest rate for purchases or balance transfers, make sure you also check the standard interest rate that’s applied.

How to avoid it: If you pay your balance in full by the due date on your statement, you won’t be charged interest. But if you do carry a balance, aim to pay more than the minimum each month or choose a card that has a low ongoing interest rate, or a 0% promotional interest rate. These strategies will help you keep costs down, at least in the short term.

Thien's interest savings

Thien has a credit card with a $5,000 balance and an interest rate of 19.99% p.a. (variable). If he only makes minimum payments on this card, he will be charged around $955 in interest for the year.

If Thien switches to a card that offers a low ongoing interest rate of 12.99% p.a., he could save around $354 in interest over the course of the year. He could save even more money by making larger repayments. He would also be able to avoid interest charges completely if he transferred the debt to a 0% balance transfer card and paid it off before the end of the introductory period.

Compare 0% purchase credit cards

Rates last updated June 25th, 2017
$
Name Product Product Description Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee Interest Free Period Interest Saved
ANZ Platinum Credit Card - Exclusive Offer
Includes complimentary overseas medical and travel insurance and the ability to use Apple Pay and Android Pay.
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
Westpac 55 Day Platinum Credit Card
Receive complimentary overseas travel insurance and transit accident insurance, plus a 24/7 personal concierge service.
0% p.a. for 6 months (reverts to 19.84% p.a.)
0% p.a. for 12 months
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($90 p.a. thereafter)
Up to 55 days on purchases
Westpac Low Rate Card
Get an additional cardholder at no extra cost and take advantage of Visa PayWave and Samsung Pay.
0% p.a. for 6 months (reverts to 13.49% p.a.)
0% p.a. for 12 months
$59 p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - 0% Interest Offer
Earn 0.66 Velocity Rewards points per $1 on purchases and receive a $129 Virgin Australia Gift Voucher each year.
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

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Balance transfer fees

Some balance transfer credit cards charge a fee for moving your existing debt from a current card to the new account. Balance transfer fees (also known as balance transfer processing or administration charges) are usually between 1% and 3% of the total debt you move, which quickly adds up if you have thousands of dollars of debt.

How to avoid it: Compare balance transfer credit cards and look for options that don’t charge a balance transfer fee. Remember, the fee should be listed in the “Fees” section for any card you consider. You can also find out the fee by looking at a card’s Key Fact Sheet or Product Disclosure Statement.

Move your debt and save like Miranda

Miranda has seen a balance transfer credit card that offers 0% interest for 12 months and charges a 2.5% balance transfer fee. She has a $6,000 debt she wants to move, but would have to pay $150 for the transfer fee if she got this new credit card. Instead of applying, Miranda compares a range of balance transfer options and finds a different card that doesn’t charge an annual fee. This means she can transfer her debt, save money on the process and pay off her balance faster.

Rates last updated June 25th, 2017
$
% p.a.

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Name Product Product Description Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Purchase rate (p.a.) Annual fee Interest Saved
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Exclusive Offer
Earn 2 Velocity Points on top of the standard earn rate per $1 spent in the first 3 months, plus a $129 Virgin Australia Gift Voucher each year.
0% p.a. for 18 months
20.74% p.a.
$64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
Earn 1 Reward Point per $1 of eligible spend and receive complimentary travel and purchase protection insurances.
0% p.a. for 22 months with 2% balance transfer fee
19.99% p.a.
$99 p.a.
Emirates Citi World Mastercard
Earn up to 1.5 Skywards Miles for every $1 spent and indulge in carefully curated local and global experiences.
0% p.a. for 9 months
20.99% p.a.
$149 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($299 p.a. thereafter)
Bankwest More World Mastercard
Earn 2.5 More Rewards Points per $1 spent and receive complimentary travel insurance.
0% p.a. for 6 months with 1% balance transfer fee
19.99% p.a.
$270 p.a.
Bankwest Qantas World Mastercard
Earn uncapped Qantas Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases. Also enjoy no foreign transaction fees on online and overseas spend.
2.99% p.a. for 9 months
20.49% p.a.
$270 p.a.
Virgin Australia Velocity High Flyer Card - 30k Bonus Points offer
Take off sooner with up to 1 Velocity Point per $1 spent and earn up to 30,000 bonus Velocity Points. Plus, complimentary travel insurance.
1.9% p.a. for 15 months
20.74% p.a.
$144 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($289 p.a. thereafter)
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.
0% p.a. for 12 months
0% p.a. for 3 months (reverts to 19.74% p.a.)
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($87 p.a. thereafter)
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Platinum
Get a range of complimentary insurance covers, access to a 24/7 concierge and up to 55 days interest-free on purchases.
0% p.a. for 20 months
12.74% p.a.
$99 p.a.
BankSA Vertigo Platinum
Take advantage of purchase protection, extended warranty and overseas travel insurance, plus a 24/7 concierge.
0% p.a. for 14 months
12.74% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Visa Credit Card
Receive up to 55 days interest-free on purchases and the protection of Verified by Visa online purchases.
0% p.a. for 14 months
13.24% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
St.George Vertigo Visa
Receive up to 55 days interest-free on purchases and the ability to make contactless payments with Visa payWave technology.
0% p.a. for 14 months
13.24% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
St.George Vertigo Platinum
Offers complimentary travel insurance, complimentary purchase insurance and access to a 24/7 personal concierge service.
0% p.a. for 20 months
12.74% p.a.
$99 p.a.
BankSA Vertigo Visa
Get up to 55 days interest-free on purchases and be protected by 24/7 Falcon® Fraud service.
0% p.a. for 14 months
13.24% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
Virgin Money Low Rate Credit Card
Receive up to 44 days interest-free on purchases and the optional insurance coverage of CreditShield Edge.
0% p.a. for 12 months
11.99% p.a.
$99 p.a.
Citi Simplicity Card
Earn 10% cashback on eligible purchases (capped at $50 per month) for the first 4 months from card approval.
0% p.a. for 6 months
19.99% p.a.
$0 p.a.
NAB Velocity Rewards Card
This dual Amex and Visa card offers up to 0.75 Velocity Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases and special Visa Entertainment offers.
0% p.a. for 6 months
19.99% p.a.
$95 p.a.
NAB Qantas Rewards Card
A dual Amex and Visa card that allows you to earn up to 0.75 Qantas Points per $1 spent, plus complimentary purchase protection insurance.
0% p.a. for 6 months
19.99% p.a.
$95 p.a.
Woolworths Everyday Platinum Credit Card
Receive a $100 eGift Card when you apply by 30 June 2017 and make an eligible purchase by 31 July 2017.
0% p.a. for 14 months
19.99% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($49 p.a. thereafter)

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Foreign transaction fees

Most credit and debit cards apply a foreign transaction fee when you use your card overseas or when you shop online with an international merchant. This charge – also known as an “international transaction fee” or “currency conversion fee” – is usually between 1% and 3.5% of the total transaction.

How to avoid it: Look for a credit card that doesn’t apply a foreign transaction fee, such as the 28 Degrees Platinum Mastercard or any platinum Bankwest credit card. You could also consider a prepaid travel card that lets you load and use funds in several currencies, cash, traveller’s cheques or a combination of travel money options that can help reduce the fees you pay when you’re overseas or shopping online.

How Jai saved on transaction fees on holiday

Jai has just got back from a trip to Brazil, where he spent $3,000 on his credit card. He checks his statement and sees that a 3% foreign transaction fee was applied each time he used the card, adding $90 to his total bill. While Jai has to pay the fees this time, he decides to shop around for a card with no foreign transaction fee so that he saves money on all his future trips.

Rates last updated June 25th, 2017
Name Product Product Description Foreign Currency Conversion Fee (MC) Foreign Currency Conversion Fee (VISA) Overseas ATM Withdrawal Fee Overseas Cash Advance Fee Annual fee
Bankwest Zero Platinum Mastercard
Receive complimentary travel insurance for up to 6 months and up to 55 days interest-free on purchases.
0% of transaction value
$0
The greater of 2% or $4.00
$0 p.a.
Bankwest Breeze Platinum Mastercard
Offers an introductory balance transfer rate of 0% p.a. for 21 months with a 2% BT fee, plus platinum perks.
0% of transaction value
$0
Greater of 2% or $4.00
$99 p.a.
ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures card
Earn up to 1.50 Reward Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases and receive complimentary overseas travel and medical insurance.
0% of transaction value
$0
$225 p.a.
28 Degrees Platinum Mastercard
A low cost card designed specifically for travelling with up to 55 days interest-free on purchases.
0% of transaction value
$0
3% of the cash advance or $4 (whichever is greater)
$0 p.a.

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Cash advance fees

This fee is charged for “cash advance” transactions, including when you withdraw money from an ATM, buy foreign currency or pay with plastic whilst gambling. In these instances, you’ll be charged between 2% and 3.5% of the total transaction. Some cards also have a minimum cash advance fee of between $20 and $35. But this isn’t the only cost for using your credit card for cash transactions: you’ll also be charged the cash advance rate of interest from the day the transaction is made.

How to avoid it: Don’t use your credit card to get cash out. Avoid using it to buy foreign currency or for transactions in a casino. Also check with your credit card provider about other transactions where this fee applies and steer clear of them. If you need to get cash at any time, use a debit card or set up a savings account so you will have cash if you need it in an emergency.

Valentina's cash advance mistake

Valentina has run out of cash at a music festival. She isn’t sure of the balance of her everyday transaction account, so she withdraws $1,000 using her credit card. When she gets her next statement, she sees she has been charged a 3% fee worth $30. The cash advance interest rate of 21.99% p.a. has also been charged for 20 days, totalling $12, which means Valentina has paid $42 for using her credit card. In the future, she decides to keep more cash on hand and make sure she has some available on her debit card to avoid these fees.

Rates last updated June 25th, 2017
Name Product Product Description Interest Free Period Cash advance rate (p.a.) Purchase rate (p.a.) Annual fee
Bendigo Bank Basic Black Credit Card
A black card stripped of all unnecessary features to keep rates low.
Up to 44 days on purchases
12.24% p.a.
12.24% p.a.
$45 p.a.
Bank Australia No Annual Fee Visa Credit Card
A basic no fee card compatible with Apple Pay and Android Pay.
Up to 55 days on purchases
12.39% p.a.
12.39% p.a.
$0 p.a.
ME frank Credit Card
A low rate, low fee card with Mastercard PayPass.
Up to 55 days on purchases
11.99% p.a.
11.99% p.a.
$0 p.a.
Newcastle Permanent Value+ Credit Card
A low fee credit card with the protection of Visa's Zero Liability policy.
Up to 55 days on purchases
11.49% p.a.
11.49% p.a.
$49 p.a.
bcu Classic Credit Card
A low fee classic card with a low minimum credit limit.
Up to 55 days on purchases
14.80% p.a.
11.80% p.a.
$45 p.a.

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Late payment fees

If you don’t make a payment on your credit card by the due date on your statement, you could be charged a late payment fee worth anywhere from $0 to $30. Some providers charge this straight away, while others may not apply a late fee unless they have to contact you to make a payment. Note that even if a late fee is not charged, other penalties could apply and it may affect your credit history.

How to avoid it: Always make payments before the due date on your statement, and make sure you factor in processing times for the payment method you choose. You may even want to set up an automatic payment from your transaction account so that you always meet this deadline. It’s also a good idea to check your credit card Product Disclosure Statement for terms and conditions around late payments so that you know exactly how much you will pay and what else could apply.

Over limit fees

You could be charged an “over limit fee” if you max out your credit card in a statement period. Not all credit card companies apply this charge, but if they do it could be anywhere from $5 to $35 extra.

How to avoid it: Regularly check your credit card balance so that you know what your “available credit limit” is when using the card. If you regularly get close to going over the limit, you may also want to consider requesting a credit limit increase.

List of bank's late and over limit fees

Reward program fees

Some rewards credit cards charge an annual fee for choosing a particular rewards program. Usually this only applies to cards that give you a choice between standard rewards and Qantas rewards, such as the Citi Qantas Rewards program that you can opt into with a Citi Rewards card. This fee is usually between $30 and $50 and applies on top of the card’s annual fee.

How to avoid it: Carefully read the terms and conditions of any rewards program you’re considering. If a fee is charged for opting to earn Qantas rewards, make sure the value of the card will outweigh this cost (and the annual fee). You may also want to consider a Qantas frequent flyer card that doesn’t charge a reward program fee.

How Antony got the most out of his rewards credit card

Antony has opted to earn Qantas rewards on his current credit card, at a rate of 1 point per $1 spent. He pays an extra $30 per year for the program, along with an annual fee of $200. He decides to switch to the NAB Qantas Rewards card, which has an annual fee of $95 and offers 0.5 points per $1 spent on a Visa and 1 point per $1 spent on an American Express card linked to the account. This saves him $135 a year, while also giving him the opportunity to earn just as many points.

Rates last updated June 25th, 2017
Name Product Product Description Bonus Points Rewards Points per $ spent (VISA/MC) Rewards Points per $ spent (AMEX) Purchase rate (p.a.) Annual fee
ANZ Rewards Black Credit Card
Receive complimentary overseas travel and medical insurance, unlimited airport lounge access and a 24/7 personal concierge.
75,000 bonus points
2
18.79% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($375 p.a. thereafter)
ANZ Frequent Flyer Black
Receive 75,000 bonus Qantas Points when you apply online, are approved and spend $2,500 on eligible purchases in the first 3 months.
75,000 bonus points
1
19.99% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($425 p.a. thereafter)
Citi Rewards Platinum Credit Card
Consolidate your debt with a low balance transfer offer of 0% p.a. for 24 months and a host of platinum privileges.
1
0
20.99% p.a.
$49 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter)
HSBC Platinum Qantas Credit Card
Receive 60,000 bonus Qantas Points when you meet the spend requirement and earn up to 1 Qantas Point per $1 spent.
60,000 bonus points
1
0
19.99% p.a.
$199 p.a.
American Express Velocity Platinum Card
Receive a complimentary Virgin Australia return Economy domestic flight each anniversary year and complimentary travel insurance.
100,000 bonus points
0
1.5
20.74% p.a.
$375 p.a.
American Express Explorer® Credit Card
Receive a $400 Travel Credit every year and up to two entries per year to the American Express Lounge at Sydney International Airport.
50,000 bonus points
2
20.74% p.a.
$395 p.a.
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
Enjoy an annual fee refund every year if you meet the spend requirement, plus prestige services including a personal concierge service.
1
0
19.99% p.a.
$99 p.a.
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Exclusive Offer
Earn 2 Velocity Points on top of the standard earn rate per $1 spent in the first 3 months, plus a $129 Virgin Australia Gift Voucher each year.
0.66
20.74% p.a.
$64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
St.George Amplify Signature
Receive up to 60,000 bonus Amplify points on eligible spend and earn up to 3 reward points per $1 spent on eligible purchases.
60,000 bonus points
1.5
0
19.49% p.a.
$279 p.a.
ANZ Rewards Platinum
Earn up to 50,000 bonus Reward Points when you spend $2,500 in the first 3 months plus $0 in the first year.
50,000 bonus points
1.5
18.79% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($95 p.a. thereafter)
Bank of Melbourne Amplify Platinum - Qantas Rewards
Fly faster with up to 1.000 Qantas Point per $1 spent and receive complimentary overseas travel insurance.
40,000 bonus points
0.5
0
19.49% p.a.
$99 p.a.
St.George Amplify Platinum - Amplify Qantas
Fly faster with up to 1 Qantas Point per $1 spent and receive complimentary overseas travel insurance.
40,000 bonus points
0.5
0
19.49% p.a.
$99 p.a.
St.George Amplify Signature - Amplify Qantas
Fly faster with up to 1.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent and receive 2 complimentary Qantas Lounge Passes.
60,000 bonus points
0.75
0
19.49% p.a.
$279 p.a.
Qantas American Express Premium Card - Exclusive Offer
Enjoy two complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations per year, plus the protection of complimentary travel and purchase insurance.
50,000 bonus points
1.25
20.74% p.a.
$249 p.a.
Bank of Melbourne Amplify Signature - Amplify Qantas
Fly faster with up to 1.500 Qantas Point per $1 spent and receive 2 complimentary Qantas Lounge Passes.
60,000 bonus points
0.75
0
19.49% p.a.
$279 p.a.
BankSA Amplify Signature - Amplify Qantas
Fly faster with up to 1.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent and instantly become a Visa Luxury Hotel Collection member.
0.75
0
19.49% p.a.
$279 p.a.
NAB Rewards Classic Card
Earn 0.75 NAB Rewards Points per $1 spent and receive complimentary purchase protection insurance.
25,000 bonus points
0.75
19.99% p.a.
$95 p.a.
BankSA Amplify Platinum - Amplify Qantas
Fly faster with up to 1 Qantas Point per $1 spent and receive complimentary overseas travel insurance.
0.5
0
19.49% p.a.
$99 p.a.
Westpac Altitude Black
Earn 80,000 bonus Altitude points when you reach a minimum spend of $5,000 on eligible purchases. Offer ends 28 June 2017.
80,000 bonus points
1.25
3
20.24% p.a.
$195 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($395 p.a. thereafter)
BankSA Amplify Platinum
Earn up to 2 Amplify Rewards Points per $1 spent and redeem for a wide range of products including flights.
1
19.49% p.a.
$99 p.a.

Compare up to 4 providers

Credit card surcharges

This fee is actually charged by businesses rather than your credit card provider. Credit card surcharges are usually between 0.8% and 3% of the total transaction cost, but some merchants apply a flat fee that could be much higher (such as airlines).

How to avoid it: You can avoid this fee by having another payment option available – such as a debit card, cash, direct transfer or by using a service such as POLi or PayPal. Remember that all merchants legally have to notify you of a surcharge before you make a payment. It’s also important to note that the regulations around surcharges have recently changed, so the cost should be reduced if and when you do have to deal with this cost.

Other credit card fees

These credit card fees are less common, but it’s still good to know when they may apply and how you can avoid them.

  • Chargeback fee. If you need to reverse a credit card transaction through your credit card provider, you could be charged a fee of around $10–25. You can avoid this fee by trying to get a refund with the merchant before going to your credit card provider.
  • Card replacement fees. Most credit card companies don’t charge a fee if you need a replacement card in Australia. But for fast-tracking or overseas replacements, you could pay anywhere from $30 to $200 for the service. Check with your credit card company to find out about these costs, and have a backup payment option so that you don’t need to speed up the process of getting a new card if yours is lost, stolen or damaged.
  • Additional cardholder fee. Some credit cards charge an annual fee when you request an additional or supplementary cardholder for your account, usually around $5 to $35. If you know you want to share your account with a partner or family member, make sure you check for this fee, as there are many cards that don’t charge it.
  • Paper statement fee. Some credit card companies will charge you a fee if you request paper statements for your account. Usually this will be around $5 to $10, but you can avoid it by opting for paperless statements delivered to your email or via Internet banking.
  • Non-bank ATM fee. If you use your credit card to withdraw cash or check your balance at an ATM outside of your credit card provider’s network, you could be charged a fee of up to $5. There may also be additional charges from the ATM operator, so avoid getting cash out and check your balance via Internet or mobile banking instead.

While credit cards come with many different benefits, they often have just as many fees. But now that you know more about these charges, you can make informed decisions about how and when you pay with plastic to avoid them and keep your card working for you.

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American Express Velocity Platinum Card
American Express Velocity Platinum Card

Interest rate

20.74

Annual fee

375
ANZ Platinum Credit Card - Exclusive Offer
ANZ Platinum Credit Card - Exclusive Offer

Interest rate

19.74

Annual fee

87
St.George Vertigo Platinum
St.George Vertigo Platinum

Interest rate

12.74

Annual fee

99

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2 Responses to Credit Card Fees

  1. Default Gravatar
    Leanne | April 14, 2013

    I’ve recently switched credit card providers and was shocked when they charged me a cash advance fee for buying a lotto ticket online at tatts.com.au, and then interest on the cash advance fee! Their answer is that website is considered a gambling website and they will charge me extra fees for gambling online. I’ve never gambled, I always pay off my balance in full each month and never get charged any interest or extra fees until now. Can you recommend a credit card that wouldn’t charge me extra for buying a lotto ticket online? Thank you.

    • Staff
      Jacob | April 15, 2013

      Hi Leanne. Thanks for your question. Please see this page for an answer to your question. It depends on the provider as to whether the transactions is treated as a purchase or a cash advance – some providers don’t allow these types of transactions at all. Hope this has helped, let us know if you have any further questions. Jacob.

Credit Cards Comparison

Rates last updated June 25th, 2017
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Exclusive Offer
Earn 2 Velocity Points on top of the standard earn rate per $1 spent in the first 3 months, plus a $129 Virgin Australia Gift Voucher each year.
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
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
Earn 1 Reward Point per $1 of eligible spend and receive complimentary travel and purchase protection insurances.
19.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 22 months with 2% balance transfer fee $99 p.a. 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.
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
NAB Premium Card
An introductory rate of 0% p.a. for 20 months on balance transfers combined with premium benefits such as travel insurance covers.
19.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 20 months with 2% balance transfer fee $90 p.a. Go to site More info

* The credit card offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of credit cards finder.com.au has access to track details from and is not representative of all the products available in the market. Products are displayed in no particular order or ranking. The use of terms 'Best' and 'Top' are not product ratings and are subject to our disclaimer. You should consider seeking independent financial advice and consider your own personal financial circumstances when comparing cards.

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