Credit cards for temporary residents

overseasCCshutterstock copyWant to get a credit card as a temporary resident in Australia? Compare your options and learn how to apply here.

Most major credit card issuers in Australia accept applications from temporary residents. But the requirements and features of each card vary depending on factors such as the issuer, the type of visa you hold, your income and other individual details.

Here, you can compare credit cards and learn about issuers that accept applications from temporary residents in Australia. We also explain the application requirements, share key details to consider before you apply and answer frequently asked questions so you can make an informed decision when you want to apply for a credit card while living in Australia.

Compare Australian credit cards for temporary residents

Rates last updated May 30th, 2017
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee
American Express Explorer® Credit Card
Earn up to 2 Membership Rewards Points per $1 spent and receive a $400 Travel Credit every year.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $395 p.a. Go to site More info
HSBC Low Rate Credit Card
Save with 13.25% p.a. on purchases. Also enjoy exclusive offers with the home&Away Privilege Program.
13.25% p.a. 0% p.a. for 15 months with 2% balance transfer fee $55 p.a. Go to site More info
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
Earn 1 Reward Point per $1 spent and receive an annual fee refund with minimum spend.
19.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 22 months with 2% balance transfer fee $99 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Essential®  Credit Card
A no annual fee card that collects up to 1 Membership Rewards point for every $1 spent.
14.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $0 p.a. Go to site More info
HSBC Platinum Qantas Credit Card
Fly faster with up to 1 Qantas Point per $1 spent and receive bonus Qantas Points on selected Qantas products, services and partners.
19.99% p.a. $199 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. 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
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Visa Credit Card
Save with 13.24% p.a. on purchases. Also enjoy up to 55 days interest-free.
13.24% p.a. 0% p.a. for 14 months $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
BankSA Vertigo Platinum
Save with 12.74% p.a. on purchases. Also enjoy travel insurance.
12.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 14 months $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
BankSA Amplify Platinum
Earn up to 2 Amplify Rewards Points per $1 spent and receive complimentary travel insurance.
19.49% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months $99 p.a. Go to site More info
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Platinum
Save with 12.74% p.a. on purchases. Also enjoy up to 55 days interest-free.
12.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 20 months $99 p.a. Go to site More info

Which banks offer credit cards to temporary residents?

The range of credit cards available to temporary residents in Australia varies between banks. It also depends on the type of visa that you hold. For example, the conditions and requirements for people holding a 457 working visa may differ from those that apply to someone with a 417 or 462 visa.

The following table outlines the different Australian banks that offer credit cards to temporary residents, eligibility requirements and any specific cards that you can apply for.

BankEligible?What are the eligibility requirements?Available cards
American ExpressYesTo be eligible for an American Express credit card, you must:

  • Have a Business Long Stay Visa (subclass 457)
  • Minimum income requirements vary between cards but start from AUD$35,000
  • Other eligibility requirements may be outlined for individual cards
ANZYesTo apply for an ANZ credit card as a non-resident, you will need:

  • Your passport
  • Your permanent/temporary resident visa or a working permit
  • Your employment agreement with at least six months remaining

ANZ also reserves the right to decline requests for credit at its own discretion based on non-resident status.

The entire range of personal ANZ credit cards
BankwestYesTemporary residents with a valid 457 visa can apply for any personal Bankwest credit card. You will need to provide:

  • A copy of your visa and the expiry date
  • Your passport (which needs to be cited in a Bankwest branch)
  • Your last two payslips

Other requirements may be outlined for individual cards or on a case-by-case basis.

The entire range of personal Bankwest credit cards
Bank of MelbourneYesTemporary residents with a 457 visa can apply for a Bank of Melbourne credit card if they meet the following requirements:

  • You must have a regular income
  • Your visa must have a minimum of two years before expiry at the time of applying

Bank of Melbourne may also find other temporary resident visas eligible on a case-by-case basis, so you may want to call them to discuss your circumstances directly.

The entire range of personal Bank of Melbourne credit cards
CitiNoYou can only apply for Citi credit cards if you are a permanent Australian resident or recent permanent resident (at least 12 months). Citi may assess credit card applications on a case-by-case basis, so you may want to call them to discuss your circumstances directly.N/A
CommBankYesCommBank lets you apply for a credit card before you come to Australia, providing you meet the following requirements:

  • You have applied for a Commonwealth Bank transaction account
  • You have established full time permanent employment in Australia with a confirmed Australian income of more than $50,000 per annum
  • You have an eligible visa (457, Permanent Resident, temporary business visas) or hold an Australian/NZ passport
HSBCYesHSBC will consider credit card applications from temporary residents providing you have:

  • A valid 457 working visa
  • An employment contract for at least two years
  • A minimum income of AUD$50,000 per year
The entire range of HSBC personal credit cards
NABYesNAB will consider your credit card application if you meet the following conditions:

  • You must have been working in Australia for a minimum of three months
  • You must have completed any probationary period at work
The entire range of NAB credit cards
St.GeorgeYesSt.George will consider credit card applications from temporary residents who meet the following conditions:

  • You have a St.George transaction account
  • You have a valid visa with at least two years before the expiration date
  • Valid sub-class visa numbers accepted by St.George are: 100, 103, 115, 119, 120, 121, 124, 132, 134, 136, 138, 143, 151, 155, 160, 161, 162, 163, 164, 165, 175, 176, 186, 187, 188, 189, 190, 405, 457, 475, 487, 489, 801, 835, 855, 856, 857, 858, 885, 886, 887, 888, 890, 892, 893
  • You must have confirmed employment in Australia with an Australian taxable income

Temporary residents can only apply for a St.George credit card in person at a branch or by calling Customer Service on 13 33 30.

The entire range of St.George credit cards
WestpacYesWestpac accepts temporary resident credit card applications providing you meet the following requirements:

  • You have a minimum fixed salary of AUD$50,000 p.a. OR a minimum deposit of AUD$250,000 in a Westpac account OR an ongoing source of income after arriving in Australia
  • You have an employee sponsored visa, Skilled Permanent or Skilled Independent Regional visa, Business Skills, Investor or Talent visa
  • You are moving to Australia within six to eight weeks of submitting your application
  • You have an Australian residential address (excludes hotels and hostels)
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What are the eligibility requirements for getting a credit card as a temporary resident?

You can use the following list as a guide to the general conditions you should meet before applying for an Australian credit card as a temporary resident.

  • black-cards-250x250Age. You must be at least 18 years of age to apply for a credit card in Australia.
  • Employment. You must have employment in Australia or proof of upcoming employment in Australia at the time of your application. You may also have to supply details of your most recent previous employer/s. It is recommended that you get official, written confirmation of your employment contract, including details of your salary to verify these details.
  • Income and assets. You must have a regular, Australian taxable income to apply for a credit card. Minimum income conditions may also apply for certain cards. You may also be required to have a specific amount of Australian dollars in an Australian bank account.
  • Monthly expenses. You will be asked to provide details of your monthly expenses, including rent and boarding costs. You may also be asked to supply written documents to support this information.
  • Passport. You will have to supply your passport number and/or a certified copy of your passport for the application.
  • Visa status. You must have a valid, eligible visa. Depending on the credit card issuer, you may need to have a minimum amount of time left on the visa to apply (e.g. two years before expiry).
  • Address. You must have a residential address in Australia to apply for a credit card.
  • Australian bank account. You must have applied or opened an Australian bank account to get a credit card.

It’s important to remember that eligibility requirements will vary depending on the issuer and credit card you apply for, but being prepared with all of these details will help you speed up the application process.

What else do I need to know before I apply for a credit card in Australia?

Credit card issuers may consider individuals with no permanent ties to Australia as a risk for any type of credit product. So, make sure you consider the following when choosing a bank and credit card to apply for:

  • Unexplained denials. Australian credit card issuers that offer credit cards to temporary residents reserve the right to decline applications without any explanation.
  • Reference checks. You may be asked to supply names and contact information of Australian residents who can verify your financial stability. This could include the person who you rent your home from, your employer or any other individual that you have financial obligations with.
  • Utility bills. Your Australian payment history with utility companies (such as phone or electricity companies) may also be reviewed to check for late payments or defaults. If you want to qualify for a credit card in Australia as a temporary resident, you should ensure that you have excellent financial history while you are here.
  • Low credit limits. As a temporary resident, you may be granted a credit card with a lower credit limit than you would normally expect. If you use the card regularly and make your repayments on time, you may be able to apply for a credit limit increase at a later date.
  • Card costs. Most credit cards in Australia charge an annual fee. Depending on the card you choose, you could pay anywhere from $20 to $400 or more every year the account is active. Australian credit card interest rates can also be very high if you carry a balance. Remember to consider these costs before you choose a card so you can find one that suits your budget.

As the requirements that temporary residents must meet can differ between different banks and providers, it's a good idea to discuss your individual circumstances with issuers before you apply for a card. Taking this step will give you the most accurate information possible and increase your chances of approval for your chosen card.

What about my credit history?

Credit card issuers in Australia only consider your Australian credit history. This means if you have an excellent credit rating overseas (or a bad credit rating), it won't impact on your application for a credit card in Australia.

However, as a temporary resident you may not have many details on your Australian credit file, so it's important to make sure all the additional information you provide is as accurate as possible to help improve your changes of approval.

Advantages and disadvantages of getting a credit card as a temporary resident

Pros

  • Build your credit. If you plan to become a permanent resident, getting a credit card as a temporary resident will help you build your Australian credit history.
  • Flexible payments. An Australian credit card will allow you to make purchases in local stores using credit, which you can then pay off in full or over time.
  • Increased borrowing power. It may be easier to get approval for personal loans, including car loans, if you already have a credit card issued by an Australian bank.
  • Other types of credit. Once you have an Australian credit card, it could be easier to enter into other financial contracts, such as a mobile phone plan, or utilities for your residence.

Cons

  • Limited availability. Not all financial institutions offer credit cards to temporary residents, and those that do may not offer all of their products to you.
  • High rates and fees. To compensate for your residency status, you may find that you have to pay higher rates or fees for the privilege of having a credit card.
  • Income requirements. With no credit file to refer to, many banks have strict income requirements to help offset the risk of lending to you.
  • Credit history. If your application for an Australian credit card is declined, it may negatively affect your credit history here.

When you're looking at getting a credit card for temporary residents in Australia, remember that the application requirements and eligibility could be different to what's listed for permanent residents and Australian citizens. Make sure you compare cards based on their features and fees so that you can find one that suits your budget and needs while you're living in Australia.

Frequently asked questions

Banks look at the length of time remaining on the visa to ensure that you will be in Australia long enough to repay any debt accrued on the credit card.

No. Balance transfer offers are only valid on balances held by another Australian financial institution.

Collections proceedings will begin against you and will remain in place if you ever decide to return to Australia.

It depends on the circumstances. The Department of Immigration will be able to provide you with more information about your previous credit history in Australia in relation to your application. Remember that credit card debt will also affect any applications of enquiries for other credit products that you make in the future.

You might like to get in touch with the credit card issuer directly to discuss your eligibility, financial history, income and ability to repay to discuss your chances of approval before applying for the card. Please note that rejected applications will have a further negative impact on your account, so it’s wise to discuss your options or work on improving your score before you apply for a new card.

There are a few providers that offer credit cards to temporary residents, each with their own specific requirements and considerations. If you want to apply and can’t see details of your visa listed here, you can contact a provider directly to find out more based on your circumstances.

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53 Responses to Credit cards for temporary residents

  1. Default Gravatar
    Deborah | January 7, 2017

    We are retiring and moving to Australia where our son and his family live. We are applying for the contributory parent visa. Since we are retiring we won’t have jobs in Australia. We wish to get a Visa credit card and have excellent credit. How do we apply for an Australian credit card and which one should we apply for? Can we apply in the US prior to arrival ?

    • Staff
      May | January 16, 2017

      Hi Deborah,

      Thanks for your comment.

      Generally, you should be able to apply for a credit card once you arrive in Australia and have an Australian address. For a possible credit card that you can apply for, you may check first the guidelines outlined on this page on which cards are available to retired applicants. And to confirm which cards accept temporary residents, you should refer to the banks listed above.

      I would suggest that you contact the bank/credit card issuer first before you submit any application once you arrive so that you can discuss your chances of approval.

      Cheers,
      May

  2. Default Gravatar
    Nelson | October 28, 2016

    HI

    I am a 19 years old full time international student at a university. Working part time with 573 visa. Just arrived melbourne 3 months ago . Am i eligible for any credit card or loan ?

    • Staff
      May | October 28, 2016

      Hi Nelson,

      Thank you for your question.

      The banks/credit card issuers that may accept applicants on a visa are listed above. Though please note that your approval may still be on a case-by-case basis depending on the bank’s assessment of your financial circumstance, type of visa, etc.

      It would be best to contact the bank first before you submit your application to discuss your chances of approval.

      Cheers,
      May

  3. Default Gravatar
    Allan | October 5, 2016

    I have just arrived I Australia on a 489 visa ,I am in full time employment with a good income and I’m just wondering how I go about getting a credit card or if I can get credit for a car .

    • Staff
      May | October 6, 2016

      Hi Allan,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      Whilst we are not sure if you’ll be approved for a credit card or not, you can discuss your chances of approval with a bank featured above. As for a car loan, this is usually restricted to PR and citizens, but you can find a guide on loans for non-residents on this page.

      Cheers,
      May

  4. Default Gravatar
    ivan | March 21, 2016

    What are my chances of getting approved a $12,000 credit card balance transfer as I’m holding a 457 Visa for 4 years and my income is $55,000 per year? It’s a MasterCard from CBA which credit limit is $15,000 and been offered to increase it up to $20,000 two months ago

    • Staff
      Sharon | March 21, 2016

      Hi Ivan, thanks for your inquiry.

      As a financial comparison service, we’re unable to confirm whether you’d receive approval or not.

      You might like to get in touch with the credit card issuer directly to discuss your eligibility, financial history, income and ability to repay to discuss your chances of approval before applying for the card. Please note that rejected applications will have a further negative impact on your account, so it’s wise to discuss your options or work on improving your score before you apply for a new card.

      I hope this helps,

      Sharon

  5. Default Gravatar
    Mandi | October 13, 2015

    I am a international student in Sydney can i apply for small loan or credit card just for $1000 to $2000 for my university feed. Thank you….

    • Staff
      Jonathan | October 13, 2015

      Hi Mandi, thanks for your inquiry!

      Most credit cards require Australian citizen or granted eligible visa (457, Permanent Resident, temporary business visa). You may like to consider personal loan options.

      Cheers,

      Jonathan

  6. Default Gravatar
    Michelle | April 19, 2015

    Hi my partner is currently on a bridging visa and works full time. Can he get a loan for a car or credit car for work purpose as he would claim it on his business? Thanks

    • Staff
      Jonathan | April 20, 2015

      Hi Michelle, thanks for your inquiry!

      You may like to refer to the following link for more information on car loans. Please note that most loans require personal residency/ citizenship status, more information on car loans for non residents moving to Australia are available on this page.

      Cheers,

      Jonathan

  7. Default Gravatar
    George | April 13, 2015

    Hi,

    I am currently on 457 visa but I only have 11 months remaining towards the expiry(exp mar 2016). Just wondering, Is there any bank out there who can provide me a car loan or personal loan?

    • Staff
      Jonathan | April 14, 2015

      Hi George, thanks for your inquiry!

      For more information on personal loans for migrants please see this page. We have summarised the types of loans available into car loans, secured personal loans, unsecured personal loans and payday loans.

      Cheers,

      Jonathan

  8. Default Gravatar
    Mary | March 25, 2015

    Im on 820-801 visa, have a full time job. Will I be able to apply for a credit card? Thanks

    • Staff
      Elizabeth | March 25, 2015

      Hi Mary,

      Thanks for your question.

      As you can see from the page above there are a few providers who offer credit cards to temporary residents. Your best bet might be to click through to these providers pages (by clicking on their names above) and see the products they have available. You might have better luck applying for a low rate or low fee product. We indicate whether the card is available for temporary residents to apply on each of our credit card review pages. You can also call these providers directly to discuss your options.

      I hope this has helped.

      Thanks,

      Elizabeth

  9. Default Gravatar
    Louise | March 10, 2015

    I need to get a loan or 0% credit card to pay of a credit card balance I have in the uk, how do I do this on a 457 visa?
    I cant apply for a loan or credit card back in the UK unless im able to fly home and go into a bank branch with my pass port as ID

    • Staff
      Jonathan | March 10, 2015

      Hi Louise, thanks for your inquiry!

      Unfortunately balance transfers are only applicable with Australian credit cards, balances from other countries are not supported.

      Cheers,

      Jonathan

  10. Default Gravatar
    John | March 9, 2015

    Is it possible to get a loan 571 visa?

    • Staff
      Jonathan | March 9, 2015

      Hi John, thanks for your inquiry!

      For more information on credit cards for temporary residents please see this page and for more information on personal loans for temporary residents please see this page.

      Cheers,

      Jonathan

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