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Low income credit cards

There are credit cards available to people with low income in Australia. Use this guide to look at your options and decide if one is right for you.

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Some credit cards in Australia have relatively low minimum income requirements of $15,000 to $35,000 per year. These cards provide people in lower-income brackets, students and retirees with access to credit. They may also offer competitive rates and fees that can help keep your account costs down.

If you want a credit card and have low income, you can use this guide to compare types of low-income credit cards. Before applying for any card, be sure to check the minimum income requirements and other eligibility criteria. We also go through the different features available and answer frequently asked questions so you can get a credit card that suits your circumstances.

What are the features and benefits of a low income credit card?

  • Lower minimum income requirements. As the name suggests, low income credit cards usually have lower minimum income requirements between $15,000 and $35,000 per year. You'll need to provide proof of your income with recent payslips and bank statements. You may also need to confirm your place of employment and provide your employer's contact details (when relevant to your circumstances).
  • Competitive annual fee. Low income credit cards usually come with lower annual account keeping fees than more premium cards. You might even be able to find a low income card that doesn't charge ongoing annual fees or has a $0 annual fee promotional offer.
  • Lower interest rates. Some low income cards also double as low rate cards. This means you could get a card that charges a purchase rate of less than 13% p.a. Look out for low income cards with low or 0% promotional interest rates as well.
  • Interest-free days. Most low income cards offer interest-free days on purchases, though the number of days (such as up to 55 days) would vary from card to card. To take advantage of these interest-free days, you have to pay your account’s closing balance completely every month.
  • No frills features. Most low-income credit cards don't offer expensive extras like rewards, concierge services, travel perks and included insurance covers.
  • Build credit. If you're using a low income credit card with low interest rates, you could use the card to build up a healthy credit score if you pay off your debt each statement period. With good creditworthiness, you'll have increased chances of approval when applying for other loans in the future.

Can I apply for a low income credit card if I have a low credit score?

You'll need to have a good credit score to be approved for a credit card in Australia. If you don't know what your credit score is, you can get a free copy of your credit report through Finder. If your score is low, spend some time repaying any existing debts and demonstrating good credit habits to build your score before applying for a credit card. This is because rejected credit card applications are listed on your credit history and can hurt your score.

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What should I consider when comparing low income credit cards?

If you want to apply for a low income credit card, here are the key factors to consider when you're weighing up your options.

  • Minimum income requirements. Not all cards have the same minimum income requirement. While some allow applications from individuals who earn at least $15,000 p.a., others have requirements of $25,000 or more. Keep in mind that your income is assessed against your expenses. So if you meet the minimum income, but your expenses are too high in relation, your application may still be declined.
  • Source of income. Most lenders will require that you report at least one source of income on your application. If you are unemployed or do not earn a regular salary, other types of income may be considered. Depending on the provider and the card, this could include government benefits and Centrelink payments, child support, superannuation, rental income and other types of income specified by the provider. These requirements vary between providers, so it's a good idea to check the eligibility criteria or contact a provider directly if you have questions about your income and eligibility.
  • Credit history. If you have a low credit score, work on repairing it before applying as mentioned above. You can consider getting a temporary part-time job to increase your monthly income. Making sure you provide all the required information in your application also increases chances of approval. If you don't know your credit score, you can get it for free on Finder.
  • Affordability. Before you apply for the card, make sure you've confirmed that you can afford it. If you end up borrowing more than you can repay and get into unmanageable debt, this will have a negative impact on your credit rating. Use the reviews on Finder and read the relevant product disclosure statement to make sure you understand the costs of the card before applying.

What happens if I can't pay my credit card bill?

How can I apply for a low income credit card?

If you've compared your options and found a credit card that suits your needs, you can apply online in around 10–20 minutes. Before you get started, make sure you meet the other eligibility requirements. As well as the minimum income, this includes being over 18 years old and meeting the Australian residency status requirements listed for the card.

Details you'll need for the application

When you apply for a credit card, you need to share information about your personal and financial circumstances. While each application is different in structure, here is a rundown the key information you'll be asked for:

  • Personal details. This includes your full name, date of birth and residential address and living arrangements. If you've only lived at your current address for a few years, you may need to provide details of your previous address as well.
  • Identification. You'll be asked for your driver's licence number, or another form of ID such as your passport or Medicare card number. This helps confirm your identity and also makes it possible for the credit card provider to request access to your credit file.
  • Employment information. This includes your salary, role, length of employment and your employer's contact details. You may also be asked for recent payslips to confirm these details. If you're self-employed or retired, you may be asked for details such as your latest Tax Assessment Notice, income from government benefits, superannuation or contact details for your accountant.
  • Financial information. As well as your main source of income, you'll be asked about any additional money you've earned. This includes interest from any savings accounts, as well as other assets such as shares or property. You'll also need to give details of any existing debts (including loans and other credit cards) and monthly household expenses.

Depending on the credit card provider, you may be asked for more details once the application is submitted. This could include supporting documentation such as payslips, bank statements and copies of your identification.

Compare cards with a low minimum credit limit

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate Annual fee Min credit limit Max credit limit Minimum Income
St.George Vertigo Classic
0% for 7 months, reverts to 13.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 22 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
$500
$80,000
Get 0% p.a. promotional purchase and balance transfer rates and save with a first-year annual fee waiver.
Virgin No Annual Fee Credit Card - Purchase Offer
0% for 9 months, reverts to 18.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 9 months
$0 p.a.
$2,000
$10,000
$25,000
Offers an introductory 0% p.a. for 9 months on purchases and balance transfers (with no BT fee) for an ongoing $0 annual fee.
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Classic
0% for 7 months, reverts to 13.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 22 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
$500
$80,000
Save with 0% p.a. for 7 months on purchases, 0% p.a. interest for 22 months on balance transfers and a $0 annual fee for the first year.
St.George No Annual Fee
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$0 p.a.
$500
$40,000
Receive up to 55 days interest-free on purchases, a low minimum credit limit of $500 and a long-term balance transfer offer.
BankSA Vertigo
0% for 7 months, reverts to 13.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 22 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
$500
$80,000
Enjoy a 0% p.a. interest rate for up to 22 months on balance transfers and up to 7 months on purchases. Plus, $0 first-year annual fee.
BankSA No Annual Fee
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$0 p.a.
$500
$40,000
Offers 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 12 months, up to 55 days interest-free on purchases and an ongoing $0 annual fee.
ME frank Credit Card
11.99% p.a.
11.99% p.a.
$0 p.a.
$1,000
$15,000
$25,000
Save money with an ongoing $0 annual fee, the same low 11.99% p.a. interest rate on purchases and cash advances, and up to 55 days interest free.
Bank Australia Low Rate Visa Credit Card
9.39% p.a.
$59 p.a.
$1,000
Enjoy a low rate of 9.39% p.a. on purchases and access to Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay.
ANZ Rewards Credit Card
20.24% p.a.
20.24% p.a.
$80 p.a.
$1,000
Earn uncapped Reward Points and get 50,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 within the first 3 months from approval.
Bankwest Zero Mastercard
17.99% p.a.
2.99% p.a. for 9 months
$0 p.a.
$1,000
Features an ongoing $0 annual fee. Plus, receive up to 55 days interest-free on purchases and a 2.99% p.a. for 9 months on balance transfers.
Bankwest More Mastercard
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 6 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$100 p.a.
$1,000
Earn 1.5 More Rewards Points per $1 spent, 19,500 bonus points when you meet the spend criteria and receive a 0% p.a. balance transfer offer.
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Frequently asked questions

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22 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    RajuAugust 28, 2019

    Hi i have annual income of $61473 and taxable annual income is $23087.I am a student in Sydney and run my own small handyman business ,and i don’t know if i can get a credit card can you make it clear or help me.
    Thanks

    • Default Gravatar
      NikkiAugust 30, 2019

      Hi Raju,

      Thanks for your message. It’s great to know that you are looking to apply for a credit card. To get started, compare from the cards on the list above. Read the part of the page that says “What should I consider when comparing for a low-income credit card?” to help you decide which card to go for. As a friendly reminder, check the eligibility requirements of the card before proceeding with your application. Also, read about its features and benefits and see how it fits your financial needs. Additionally, it’s helpful to review the PDS and Terms & Conditions of the card before fully committing to the card. You may also reach out to the bank if you have any clarifications.

      Hope this helps!

      Best,
      Nikki

  2. Default Gravatar
    SavannahApril 8, 2018

    We have plenty of assets but not a high income.
    We have to pay ATO a huge cgt bill this year and hoped to benefit by gaining frequent flyer points.
    I tried to join Amex today as it offers 100,000 points until TOMORROW!!
    Do you think this is possible?

    • Default Gravatar
      JoelApril 8, 2018

      Hi Savannah,

      Thanks for leaving a question on finder.

      It is very possible to get the 100,000 points if you get approved before 12 midnight. When you apply for a credit card, you can usually expect an immediate response (or at least 60 seconds). However, if you still haven’t heard back from the provider, you can consider calling AMEX to directly follow up.

      Also, if you would like to check out our guide on how to check your credit card application, you can go HERE.

      Hope it helps.

      Cheers,
      Joel

  3. Default Gravatar
    RITUFebruary 2, 2017

    My annual salary is 210000.is it possible to get credit card

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MayFebruary 2, 2017Staff

      Hi Ritu,

      Thanks for your question.

      I’m afraid that the credit cards we feature on our pages are available to people who are in Australia only. You’d be best to get in touch with a bank in India to discuss your chances of approval for a credit card.

      Cheers,
      May

  4. Default Gravatar
    AmanNovember 10, 2015

    my annual income is 160000..is it possible to get credit card

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JonathanNovember 11, 2015Staff

      Hi Aman, thanks for your inquiry!

      Please see this page for low income credit cards starting from $15,000.

      Cheers,

      Jonathan

  5. Default Gravatar
    dhanOctober 12, 2015

    hi, i am looking for low base credit card, my monthly income14500/- is it possible get credit card??

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JonathanOctober 13, 2015Staff

      Hi Dhan,

      Thank you for your inquiry.
      The minimum income required for a credit card application varies depending on the bank but is generally at least $15,000. You may want to check the eligibility requirements on your preferred credit card and speak to a bank representative.

      To understand how other eligibility requirements can affect your application, you can refer on this page.

      I hope this helps.

      Cheers,

      Jonathan

  6. Default Gravatar
    JasonSeptember 1, 2015

    I earn 20k a year, and am looking for a 4k credit card. What are my chances?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JonathanSeptember 2, 2015Staff

      Hi Jason, thanks for your inquiry!

      Your eligibility for being approved for a credit card depends on the specific bank’s lending requirements and minimum income requirement. The income requirements/ application requirements are available on each review page.

      Cheers,

      Jonathan

  7. Default Gravatar
    TriciaFebruary 18, 2014

    Hi im looking for a transfer balance credit card! I have two I would like to put together to make it easier for me this is the amount of 5,000! I am a low income earner of about 19,,000 per year! Can you please point me in the right direction! :)

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JacobFebruary 19, 2014Staff

      Hi, Tricia.

      Thanks for your question.

      This page features cards that are suitable for people with a low income. You may also want to have a look at our low rate credit card comparison page.

      You can enter your details into the calculator at the top of the comparison table to see which card offers what in terms of savings when you transfer a balance. You can also use the check boxes to the left of the card name in the table (and then click compare) for a side by side comparison of credit cards. This will allow you to compare multiple credit cards and easily view things like income requirements and fees.

      Let us know if you have any further questions about finding a credit card and I hope this has answered your question.

  8. Default Gravatar
    JudithJune 14, 2013

    Hello. I attempted to do a balance transfer from my Citibank mastercard to Bendigo basic black. I did try several times online only for those applications being terminated half way through. I then went to my local Bendigo branch and started the process there. My aim was to a have a lower interest rate and better manage my credit card debt. I earn $900 a fortnight gross and own my own home. Bendigo have finally advised after much stuffing around that I do not meet their lending criteria. Please advise what are my options now and does that fact that I have made several applications have an effect on future applications? Thank you cheers Judith.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JacobJune 14, 2013Staff

      Hi Judith. Thanks for your question. If you’ve applied for credit a couple of times in the recent past this may have some bearing on your future applications. There is no hard and fast rule about how many times you can apply for credit in a certain time frame before it negatively affects your application, but try to think about it from the lender’s perspective. If they can see that you’ve applied for credit six times in the last month, it would appear to them that you are a credit hungry customer and may be grounds for declining your application. But it’s not all bad if you have had a few applications on your credit file in the past. If you’ve been able to successfully manage the products you’ve applied for then there no reason why you shouldn’t be able to keep applying for credit (within your ability to repay). One possible action is to order a copy of your credit file. This will let you see what the lender sees when you apply for credit. You may want to consider waiting to apply for more credit. Hope this has helped and let us know if you need anything else. Jacob.

  9. Default Gravatar
    DawnApril 3, 2013

    I earn 5000 a year can I get a low interest credit card

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JacobApril 3, 2013Staff

      Hi Dawn. I’m not sure. If you would like further clarification, speak to the lender directly. People on low incomes do get approved though, your credit limit won’t be high. Jacob.

  10. Default Gravatar
    JitendraMarch 15, 2013

    Hi I want credit card but my salary is low only 9000 thousand in hand per month so please suggest

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JacobMarch 19, 2013Staff

      Hi Jitendra. Thanks for your question. With an annual income of only $9,000, it will be difficult to get a credit card. You should check this page, it’s our low rate credit card comparison page, it has information on low rate cards, which have the lowest entry requirements out of all the cards on the market. You can still try and apply for a low fee or low rate card, but if you’re approved, your limit is likely to be only approx. $500.

Credit Cards Comparison

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate Annual fee
HSBC Platinum Credit Card - Balance Transfer Offer
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 22 months
$129 p.a.
Save with a 22-month balance transfer offer. Plus, lounge passes, travel insurance and an annual fee refund when you spend an eligible $6k/year.
ANZ Low Rate - Exclusive Offer
12.49% p.a.
0% p.a. for 25 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($58 p.a. thereafter)
Finder Exclusive
Save with 0% p.a on balance transfers for 25 months (with a 1.5% BT fee) and $0 first year annual fee.
Bankwest Zero Platinum Mastercard
17.99% p.a.
2.99% p.a. for 9 months
$0 p.a.
Offers a $0 annual fee, 0% foreign transaction fees, complimentary international travel insurance and a balance transfer offer.
ANZ Frequent Flyer Black
20.24% p.a.
20.24% p.a.
$425 p.a.
Earn 100,000 bonus Qantas Points, 75 bonus Status Credits and $150 back when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months with this premium card.
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* 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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