Credit cards for temporary residents

On a visa and want to get an Australian credit card as a temporary or non-resident? Here's what you're eligible for.

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Major banks in Australia let you apply for a credit card when you are a temporary resident, non-resident or a recent immigrant. But your options could vary depending on what type of visa you hold, your income and other individual details. You can use this guide to compare credit cards and learn more about applying when you're living in Australia as a temporary resident or immigrant.

NAB Credit Card Offer

NAB Low Rate Credit Card

0% p.a. for 26 months on balance transfers
with a one-time 2% balance transfer fee

Eligibility criteria, terms and conditions, fees and charges apply

NAB Credit Card Offer

Save on card costs with a 0% balance transfer offer and no annual fee in the first year.

  • 0% p.a. on balance transfers for the first 26 months, with a one-time 2% BT fee
  • $0 annual fee for the first year (reverts to $59 thereafter)
  • Purchase rate: 12.99% p.a. | Minimum credit limit: $1,000
  • Request for an additional credit card at no extra cost
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Compare Australian credit cards for temporary residents

Name Product Purchase rate Balance transfer rate Annual fee
NAB Low Rate Credit Card
12.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 26 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$0 annual fee for the first year ($59 p.a. thereafter)
Get a 0% interest rate on balance transfers for the first 26 months (with 2% BT fee). Plus, save with a $0 first-year annual fee.
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Classic
13.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 28 months
$55
Save with a 0% interest on balance transfers for 28 months, with no balance transfer fee.
NAB Qantas Rewards Signature Card
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 6 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$295 annual fee for the first year ($395 p.a. thereafter)
Up to 110,000 bonus Qantas Points (90,000 when you spend $3,000 in the first 60 days and 20k after 12 months)
ANZ Platinum Credit Card
0% p.a. for 17 months, reverts to 20.24% p.a.
20.24% p.a.
$0 annual fee for the first year ($87 p.a. thereafter)
Receive a 0% purchase rate offer for 17 months and a $0 first-year annual fee. Plus, complimentary overseas travel and medical insurance.
American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card
20.74% p.a.
$195
Get $200 travel credit per year to spend on eligible flights, accommodation, car hire and more. Plus, earn up to 3 points per $1 on eligible spending.

ANZ Low Rate
12.49% p.a.
0% p.a. for 30 months
$0 annual fee for the first year ($58 p.a. thereafter)
Save with 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 30 months (with no BT fee) and $0 first-year annual fee. Plus a 12.49% p.a. purchase interest rate.
MoneyMe Freestyle Virtual Mastercard
16.99% p.a.
$0
Get approved quickly online and start using your card right away. Plus, the ability to transfer money to a bank account.
American Express Velocity Platinum Card
20.74% p.a.
$375
Get 50,000 bonus Velocity Points when you spend $3,000 for the first 3 months. Plus, 100 Status Credits and luxury travel perks.
American Express Velocity Escape Card
20.74% p.a.
$0
Earn 0.75 Velocity Points on your everyday purchases, uncapped, and pay $0 annual fee for the life of the card with this no-frills frequent flyer card.
BankSA Amplify Platinum
19.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 15 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$99
Earn 80,000 bonus Amplify Points (worth $350 in eGift cards) when you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days.
Bank of Melbourne Amplify Signature
19.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 15 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$279
Up to 200,000 bonus points (100k in the 1st year & 100k in the 2nd year) - worth $900 in gift cards - when you spend $12k/year for the first 2 years.
Westpac Altitude Platinum Card
20.49% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$99 annual fee for the first year ($150 p.a. thereafter)
Get 80,000 bonus Altitude Points (worth $350 in eGift cards) when you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days, and a first-year annual fee discount.
St.George Vertigo Classic Rainbow
13.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 28 months
$55
All the great low cost features of the Vertigo Visa with a rainbow design in support of the LGBT community.
BankSA No Annual Fee
0% p.a. for 12 months, reverts to 20.74% p.a.
$0
Offers 0% p.a. on purchases for 12 months and an ongoing $0 annual fee.
St.George Vertigo Platinum - Cashback Offer
12.99% p.a.
6.99% p.a. for 12 months
$99
Get $300 cashback when you spend at least $900 in the first 90 days. Plus, platinum perks and a low variable interest rate on purchases.
BankSA Vertigo Platinum - Cashback Offer
12.99% p.a.
6.99% p.a. for 12 months
$99
Enjoy a $300 cashback when you spend at least $900 in the first 90 days. Plus, a low ongoing 12.99% p.a. purchase interest rate.
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Platinum - Cashback Offer
12.99% p.a.
6.99% p.a. for 12 months
$99
Enjoy $300 cashback when you spend at least $900 in the first 90 days. Plus, a low ongoing 12.99% p.a. purchase interest rate.
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Which banks offer credit cards to temporary residents?

The 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 working visa may differ from those that apply to someone with a 417 or 462 visa.

This table looks at 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
  • Minimum income requirements vary between cards but start from AU $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)

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.

  • Age. You must be at least 18 years of age to apply for a credit card in Australia.
  • Employment. You should 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. It is recommended that you get official, written confirmation of your employment contract, including details of your salary to verify your situation.
  • Income and assets. You must have a regular, Australian taxable income to apply for a credit card. Minimum income conditions also apply for some cards. You may also be required to have a specific amount of Australian dollars in an Australian bank account.
  • 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 (for example, two years before the visa expiry date).
  • Australian 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 credit card eligibility requirements depend on the bank (or issuer) and the credit card you apply for. But being prepared with all of these details will help you speed up the application process.

Can I transfer my existing credit card to an Australian one?

This is sometimes possible, if your credit card is issued by a company that offers "moving abroad'" transfers, such as American Express. Its Global Card Relationship service allows you to seamlessly apply for an Amex card in your new country by logging in to your existing account. To do this in Australia, you would need to choose a new Amex card, log into your current account and then apply using your Australian address and contact details. Your account history may be used as part of the application, and the existing account will remain open unless you close it.

As another example, Citibank offers a range of support options for existing customers around the world if they are moving (or have recently moved) to Australia. This includes setting up a bank account for you, although you may still need to wait until you are in Australia before applying for a credit card.

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 giving you a reason.
  • Reference checks. You may be asked to supply names and contact information for Australian residents who can confirm the details you provide on your application. 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.

The credit card application requirements that you must meet as a temporary resident differ between different banks and providers. So, it's a good idea to discuss your individual circumstances with your chosen provider 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.

Establishing credit history as a recent immigrant to Australia

When you arrive in Australia, you will have to establish Australian credit history by opening and maintaining credit-based accounts. Some of the most common options include:

It's also important to open an Australian bank account once you are settled in Australia. While the details of your account will only be available to your Australian bank, you may be able to provide statements to other lenders to show that you are managing your money responsibly. If you decide to apply for a credit card with the same institution that you bank with, your transaction account details could also help improve your chances 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 as a recent immigrant or temporary resident 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

Why does the remaining time on my 457 make a difference with a credit card application?

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.

Can I transfer credit debt from my cards back home to the one issued to me in Australia?

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

What happens if I default on my credit card and leave the country?

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

Will an unpaid credit card debt affect my application for permanent residency?

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.

I am on a visa and have an Australian credit card with a $5,000 balance. Can I get a balance transfer to another Australian card?

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.

What if I don’t have a specific visa but still want to apply for an Australian credit card as a temporary resident?

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.

Can I get a secured credit card in Australia?

There are limited options if you're interested in a secured credit card in Australia. The most common alternative is to get a prepaid card that allows you to pre-load your own money onto it and then use it for your spending. However, this type of card does not provide you with extra funds the way a credit card does. It also won't add to your credit history in Australia.

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55 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    JohnJuly 4, 2017

    When applying for a credit card, the question poised for residential status, Own home outright, mortgage, renter, boarder, living with parents are the only options. We live rent free in home held in trust. How do we answer this?

      Default Gravatar
      JonathanJuly 5, 2017

      Hi John!

      That’s quite a tricky question you have! :)

      Usually boarders are those who are getting services from the owners or landlords such as cleaning services, food, etc. and can be “accessed” anytime, whereas renters are those who have exclusive possession in their place. Based on the data you shared, it is likely that you’re a renter, even if you don’t pay a rental income.

      You may need to verify the card issuers as well as the state law definition and see which one suits you.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Jonathan

    Default Gravatar
    DeborahJanuary 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 ?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MayJanuary 16, 2017Staff

      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 our page about credit cards for retired applications. You should also find a list of credit cards available to retired applicants on the same page. And to confirm which cards accept temporary residents, you should refer to the banks listed on this page.

      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

    Default Gravatar
    NelsonOctober 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 ?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MayOctober 28, 2016Staff

      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

    Default Gravatar
    AllanOctober 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 .

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MayOctober 6, 2016Staff

      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 through our website.

      Cheers,
      May

    Default Gravatar
    ivanMarch 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

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      SharonMarch 21, 2016Staff

      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

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