Interest free credit cards

An interest free credit card gives your bank account a break and could save you over $700 on a $2,500 purchase.

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You could save on card costs by getting a credit card that offers no interest for an introductory period on purchases, balance transfers or both. There are also cards that never charge interest and charge a monthly fee instead. Compare your options and see how much you can save.
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Name Product Purchase rate Balance transfer rate Annual fee Interest-free period Amount saved
Bankwest Breeze Classic Mastercard
0% p.a. for 15 months, reverts to 9.9% p.a.
0% p.a. for 15 months
$0 annual fee for the first year ($49 p.a. thereafter)
Up to 55 days on purchases
Save with 0% p.a. on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months (with no BT fee). Plus, a $0 first-year annual fee.
Bendigo Bank Low Rate Credit Card
0% p.a. for 12 months, reverts to 11.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$45
Up to 55 days on purchases
Save with 0% p.a. interest on purchases and balance transfers for up to 12 months, with a one-time 2% balance transfer fee.
NAB StraightUp Card
0% p.a.
$0
Save with 0% interest charges and 0% foreign transaction fees. Plus, $0 monthly fees when you don't use the card or carry a balance.
Bankwest Breeze Platinum Mastercard
0% p.a. for 15 months, reverts to 9.9% p.a.
0% p.a. for 15 months
$0 annual fee for the first year ($69 p.a. thereafter)
Up to 55 days on purchases
Get 0% interest on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, a $0 first-year annual fee and no foreign transaction fees.
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)
Up to 55 days on purchases
Now offering Cashrewards Max. Receive a 0% purchase rate offer for 17 months and a $0 first-year annual fee. Plus, complimentary overseas travel and medical insurance.
St.George No Annual Fee
0% p.a. for 12 months, reverts to 20.74% p.a.
$0
Up to 55 days on purchases
Save with a 0% p.a. interest rate offer and a $0 annual fee. Plus, a minimum credit limit of $500.
BankSA Amplify Platinum
19.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 15 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$99
Up to 55 days on purchases
Earn 80,000 bonus Amplify Points (worth $350 in eGift cards) when you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days.
BankSA No Annual Fee
0% p.a. for 12 months, reverts to 20.74% p.a.
$0
Up to 55 days on purchases
Offers 0% p.a. on purchases for 12 months and an ongoing $0 annual fee.
David Jones American Express Card
0% p.a. for 6 months, reverts to 20.74% p.a.
$99
Up to 44 days on purchases
Get 50,000 bonus Membership Rewards Points or 25,000 Qantas Points when you spend $1,500 outside DJ in the first 3 months.
David Jones American Express Platinum Card
0% p.a. for 6 months, reverts to 20.74% p.a.
$295
Up to 44 days on purchases
Earn 70,000 bonus Membership Rewards Points or 35,000 Qantas Points when you spend $1,500 outside DJ in the first 3 months.
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How do interest free credit cards work?

This term often refers to cards that offer 0% interest on purchases for an introductory period, usually from 3 to 17 months. This 0% interest period starts when you're approved for the card. If you don't repay balance by the end of this period, any remaining debt will then be charged interest at the card's purchase rate.

Interest-free deals are usually promotional, so you need to apply before an offer ends to take advantage of the 0% interest rate. You also need to make minimum repayments each month (usually about 3% of your total balance) but it's wise to pay off as much as you can. You'll usually get the most value from a 0% interest offer if you can pay off the entire account before interest applies.

How much money can I save with a 0% interest credit card?

Say you want to buy a new fridge that costs $2,000 and plan to put $200 a month towards paying it off. If you paid for it on a credit card with a 19% p.a. interest rate, it would take you 11 months to pay off the balance and cost you $194 in interest charges.

In comparison, if you had a credit card that offered 0% p.a. on purchases for 12 months, you could pay off the fridge over the course of 10 months and pay $0 in interest.

What types of credit cards offer 0% interest?

There are 4 types of cards that offer 0% interest: cards with interest-free promotions for purchases, balance transfers, or both – plus cards that charge no interest ever and have monthly fees instead.

Shopping cart with gift box and shopping bag
0% purchase credit cards

Offer 0% interest on new purchases for a promotional period, usually ranging from 3 - 17 months. Since the average rate in Australia is about 19% p.a., these interest-free offers are designed to help you save money and avoid collecting debt.

Red and yellow credit cards with arrows
0% balance transfer credit cards

Charge 0% interest on balance transfers for a promotional period, ranging from 6 months to 30 months. If you're paying the average Australian interest rate of about 19% p.a., a 0% balance transfer could save you heaps on interest.

Blue credit card
0% purchase and balance transfer credit cards

Offer a 0% interest rate for both balance transfers and purchases for a promotional period. For example, a card could offer 0% interest on balance transfers for up to 15 months and 0% interest on purchases for the first 3 months.

Red credit card with a dollar sign
No interest, monthly fee credit cards

These cards charge a monthly fee instead of interest when you use it or carry a balance. This means you'll know exactly how much you'll have to pay. Monthly fees range from $10 to $22 and is set based on your credit limit.

Pros and cons of interest free credit cards

Interest free credit cards can be a useful tool to help you save money when you buy now and pay later, as well as help you pay off existing debt and clear your balance faster. But there are some potential downsides to these offers. Make sure you consider all the pros and cons.

Pros

  • Save on interest costs. The obvious benefit of these cards is that you won't have to pay interest for the introductory period.
  • Pay off debt faster. By not paying interest on your balance, you'll be able to pay it off a lot faster because the amount won't be creeping up every month.
  • Complimentary extras. Some interest-free credit cards offer perks like travel insurance or rewards that could help you get more value out of the card.

Cons

  • Revert rate. If you don't pay off your balance in full during the introductory period, this is the interest rate you'll pay on the remaining balance.
  • Temptation to spend. Because you're putting off paying interest, it could be tempting to spend more than you can actually afford in the short-term.
  • Credit score impact. If you already have a weak credit score, another enquiry could decrease it further and you may not be approved.

How to compare interest free credit card offers

If you want to get a credit card with an interest free period, consider the following features and details to find one that's right for you:

  • Introductory period. Unless you've got a few specific short-term purchases in mind, the longer the introductory period, the better. This gives you more time to make interest free purchases and pay them back before the revert rate kicks in.
  • Purchase interest rate. This is the rate you'll pay if you don't pay off your purchases before the introductory period expires, and also the rate you'll pay ongoing. This can be as high as 24% p.a., so make sure you factor this into your comparison.
  • Interest-free days requirements. Credit cards that offer interest-free days for each statement cycle usually have specific conditions around eligible purchases and repayments. For example, cash advances are not eligible for interest-free days and you must pay your balance in full by the due date on each statement.
  • Rewards programs. Some cards earn rewards or frequent flyer points for every $1 spent on the card. These programs can provide extra value, particularly if you have an interest-free credit card for purchases.
  • Complimentary extras. Many cards offer extra perks such as complimentary international travel insurance, purchase protection, extended warranty coverage and concierge services. These perks add extra value to your card if you use them.
  • Account fees. While some cards charge $0 annual fees, others charge fees that can range from $20 to over $700 each year. And if you get a no interest credit card that charges a monthly fee instead, the costs could add up over time. Either way, make sure the savings you'll get from the interest-free period will offset the cost of these account fees. You may even want to consider a credit card with no annual fee to help save even more.

What about credit cards with interest-free days?

Many credit cards offer a certain number of interest-free days for each statement period. For example, up to 55 days interest-free on purchases.

Usually, you can get this interest-free period when you pay the total balance that's listed on your credit card statement by the due date. How many interest-free days you'll get for each purchase also depends on when it's made in your statement cycle. You can see Finder's guide to interest-free days to learn more about how this works.

When will I be charged interest?

Even if you get a 0% interest rate offer for purchases or balance transfers (or both), there are times when you may be charged interest on your account. Here are some examples for 0% purchase credit cards and 0% balance transfer cards.

On a 0% purchase credit card:

  • If you still carry a balance at the end of the introductory period. The 0% p.a. offer only applies for an introductory period and will go back to the standard purchase interest rate when the offer ends. For example, if the card offers 0% p.a. for 6 months and reverts to 17.99% p.a., the interest-free period will end 6 months after you get the card. Then, any remaining balance from purchases would be charged the 17.99% p.a. interest rate.
  • When you use your card for a transaction that isn't considered a "purchase". Most everyday spending will be eligible for the interest-free offer. But transactions such as cash advances will be charged interest at the cash advance rate from the time they are made. This usually includes ATM withdrawals, foreign currency, gambling products (eg lottery tickets) and sometimes even BPAY payments – although the definition is different between credit card providers.
  • If you don't make minimum monthly repayments. Even with an interest-free period on your purchases, you'll have to pay at least the minimum amount required by the due date on each credit card statement (usually about 3% of your total balance).

On a 0% balance transfer credit card:

  • If you make new purchases. When you make a purchase on this type of card, the interest rate for purchases will apply. Even if you pay off the purchase in full by the statement due date, you won't be eligible for interest-free days on purchases with most cards while you're paying off a balance transfer.
  • If you use your card for a cash advance or cash equivalent transaction. If you use your card for an ATM withdrawal, gambling or another cash advance transaction, you'll immediately attract the cash advance interest rate.
  • If you don't pay off your balance transfer debt by the end of the introductory period. If the introductory 0% period ends and you have an outstanding balance to pay, any remaining balance transfer debt will attract the revert rate. This is usually the cash advance interest rate.

The only time you'll never pay interest on a credit card is if you get a no interest credit card that charges a flat, monthly fee instead, such as the CommBank Neo or NAB StraightUp. But you'll still be charged fees while you're using the card and paying it off. That's why it's important to compare a few cards and choose one that works for you.

Want to get an interest free credit card now? Compare cards with 0% purchase rate offers in the table above. Or, check out Finder's guides to 0% balance transfer credit cards and no interest, flat fee credit cards.

Frequently asked questions

Do I have to make repayments during the interest-free period

Yes, no matter what type of interest-free credit card you choose, you will still need to pay at least the minimum amount required by the due date on your statement. The minimum amount will be listed on your statement and is usually around 2–3% of your account's closing balance, with a minimum dollar charge of around $20 – $30 (although sometimes these minimum amounts could be higher).

If you want to avoid ongoing debt and interest costs, you should pay more than the minimum amount whenever you can afford to do so. You can use Finder's credit card repayment calculator to help figure out how much to pay each month.

What happens if I don't repay my balance on an interest-free credit card?

With any credit card, you need to pay at least the minimum amount listed on each monthly statement by the statement's due date. If you don't, some of the issues you could face include:

  • Late payment fees. If you don't make a payment by the statement due date, a late payment fee may be applied. This can be $10 to $30 on a standard credit card, or more on a charge card.
  • Cancelled promotional interest rates. If you don't make your minimum required payment, the interest-free promotion may be cancelled. This penalty varies depending on the card, so make sure you check the terms of your offer.
  • Bad credit. Failing to make repayments could have a negative impact on your credit history – especially if your account goes into default.

If you're struggling to make a repayment by the due date on your statement, it's important to contact your credit card provider as soon as possible so they can discuss repayment options based on your individual circumstances.

What is the best interest-free credit card?

There is no one best interest-free credit card as the right one for you will depend on your financial position and what you plan to use it for. You can find a card that works for you by comparing features including the type of 0% offer, how long the interest-free period lasts, the revert rates that apply after the offer ends as well as any other fees or features that apply.

Credit cards also have eligibility criteria (such as credit history and minimum income requirements), so make sure that you check if you meet these before applying.

Can I use a 0% purchase card when I'm overseas?

Yes – as long as the promotional 0% interest rate applies (and the card is accepted overseas), your overseas purchases won't attract any interest. You may be charged a foreign transaction fee when you make a transaction in an international currency, though. Any transactions that don't count as purchases (such as withdrawing cash from an ATM or buying foreign currency) will be charged interest at the cash advance rate for your card.

What's the difference between 0% interest credit card offers and interest-free days?

A 0% purchase rate offer lasts for a limited amount of time from when you first get the new credit card. During this introductory period, you won't be charged interest on purchases as long as you pay the minimum amount listed on each statement.

In comparison, a credit card with interest-free days gives you a window of time in each statement period when you can make purchases without being charged interest. Usually, you need to pay the total amount owed on each statement to be eligible for interest-free days.

Do interest-free days apply during a 0% purchase promotion?

For the length of the 0% purchase promotion period, standard interest-free days aren't necessary. If your card comes with an interest-free days feature (say, for up to 55 days), then you'll be able to take advantage of this when the promotional period ends.

How many purchases will receive the 0% interest rate?

Once you've activated the credit card, all eligible purchases that you make will be 0% interest until the end of the promotional period. However, any purchases that haven't been repaid by the end of the introductory period will collect interest after that.

Will the credit card's annual fee be eligible for the 0% interest rate?

Credit card annual fees are usually not considered eligible purchases. So if you get a promotional 0% purchase rate credit card that also has an annual fee, you'll probably be charged interest on that part of your balance. You can contact a credit card provider to find out if this fee would be eligible for a particular interest-free promotion.

I'm planning to make a number of purchases over the next few months. How will the credit card 0% interest period work for these payments?

With a 0% purchase rate credit card offer, the promotional 0% interest rate is available for a fixed time period. For example, let's say you get a card offering no interest for 12 months on purchases from when you activate the card.

If you make a purchase on the day you get (and activate) your card, you will have 12 months to pay it off before any interest is charged. If you make another purchase after 3 months, you will have 9 months remaining for the 0% interest period, while if you make a purchase 11 months after getting the card, you'll only have 1 month interest-free for that purchase. After that, your 12-month 0% interest offer will end and the standard purchase rate will apply to new purchases.

How can I tell when the introductory 0% p.a. purchase rate period ends?

The quickest way to check when the introductory period ends is to look at your credit card statement or call your credit card provider and ask for the exact date that the 0% p.a. purchase rate period will end.

If you haven't applied for a 0% p.a. purchase rate card yet, you can check how long the introductory period is by looking at the advertised offer. For example, a card might give you 0% p.a. on purchases for 6 months, which means the introductory period would last for the first 6 months from when you get the card, or from the date you're approved for the card.

What is the interest rate after the introductory 0% purchase rate period ends?

After your 0% purchase promotion has finished, the outstanding balance will be charged interest at the card's regular purchase rate, usually known as the "revert rate". Make sure you check this interest rate before you apply. If you find yourself struggling to pay back what you owe, you can consider moving your outstanding debt to a 0% balance transfer credit card, which will give you more time to repay it interest-free.

Which credit card has the longest 0 interest period?

As of 3 September 2021, Finder's database shows that the longest 0% interest period for purchases is 17 months, offered on the ANZ Platinum Credit Card.

In general, the cards on this page usually charge 0% interest on purchases for 3 to 17 months. You can sort the credit cards by "purchase rate" in the comparison table above to see which cards offer the longest interest-free period.

Can I pay my bills or government payments with no-interest cards?

While you could be able to use your card to pay for utilities and government payments, these transactions are sometimes listed as ineligible for the 0% introductory interest rate offer. Check the offer details or contact the credit card company directly to confirm what types of transactions are eligible.

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    14 Responses

      Default Gravatar
      HayleyNovember 20, 2016

      Hi,

      I am needing an amount of $6800 and will be able to pay it back over a year. I will not be using the card for anything else but this one off overseas payment. What would be the best thing for me to do?

        Avatarfinder Customer Care
        DeeNovember 21, 2016Staff

        Hi Hayley,

        Thanks for reaching out.

        If you are looking for a credit card for overseas payment, you may want to consider reading our overseas transaction fees guide and find credit cards that may not charge foreign currency conversion fees.

        You may also want to consider cards with 0% purchase interest rate. These cards allow you to save on interest payments during the promotional period in case you don’t intend to pay your balance in full at the end of the billing period.

        Cheers,
        Anndy

      Default Gravatar
      davidFebruary 15, 2016

      if i pay out the balance in the interest free period can i then cancel the card with no fees.

        Avatarfinder Customer Care
        JonathanFebruary 15, 2016Staff

        Hi David, thanks for your inquiry!

        Yes this is generally accepted across balance transfer credit cards. Once you have repaid your outstanding balance you can cancel the credit card anytime.

        Cheers,

        Jonathan

      Default Gravatar
      sharonSeptember 8, 2015

      Good morning, I read with interest the balance transfer credit cards with no interest for a period of time. I, like many people have that problem of having not paid my CC on the due date and now have a big balance. I currently have an ANZ Platinum CC, can I apply for a balance transfer with no interest?

      Thank you

        Avatarfinder Customer Care
        JonathanSeptember 8, 2015Staff

        Hi Sharon,

        Thanks for your inquiry.

        Balance transfers can be a great way to repay an outstanding credit balance interest-free. You may like to compare balance transfer offers and cards.Select ‘Go to Site’ to head over to their website to apply. Please ensure to read through the relevant product disclosure statement and terms and conditions to ensure that you got everything covered before you apply to the card.

        Cheers,
        Jonathan

      Default Gravatar
      BillyJune 12, 2015

      Hi, I’m looking for a credit card to allow me to pay bills between payments from work. Would use it very little only when my funds are a bit tight. Any recommendations? Suggestions

        Avatarfinder Customer Care
        sally.mcmullen@hiveempire.comJune 12, 2015Staff

        Hi Billy,

        Thanks for your question.

        If you are only planning on using your credit card sporadically, you may wish to consider low interest rate credit cards or no annual fee or a low income credit card.

        Credit cards with high annual fees and rates usually come with extra features such as concierge services, complimentary insurance, and rewards programs. If you are after a credit card to use as a backup for your finances, some of these no frills options may be of interest.

        You can select the “Go to Site” button of your preferred credit card to proceed with your application. You can also contact the provider if you have specific questions. A gentle reminder, please ensure to read through the relevant product disclosure statement and terms and conditions to ensure that you got everything covered before you apply.

        I hope this has helped.

        Thanks,
        Sally

      Default Gravatar
      SarahFebruary 8, 2015

      hello,
      im looking at having stomach surgery and I have most of the money but I am still needing about another $10,000 for this and I was wondering what credit card would be the best way for me to go as I would like to pay it off with in 12 months of having surgery.

      thank you so much

        Avatarfinder Customer Care
        JonathanFebruary 9, 2015Staff

        Hi Sarah,

        Thanks for your inquiry.

        Depending on whether the surgery is billed as a purchase or cash advance (would be best to confirm with the medical company) this would determine whether an interest-free credit card would be ideal. You may refer to our page on comparing medical loans. Before applying, please ensure that you meet all the eligibility criteria and read through the details of the needed requirements as well as the relevant Product Disclosure Statements/Terms and Conditions when comparing your options before making a decision on whether it is right for you.

        I hope this has helped.

        Cheers,
        Jonathan

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