Save money when you make purchases or carry a balance on a low interest rate credit card.
Here, you can compare credit cards with ongoing variable low interest rates as well as cards with introductory low interest rate offers. You can also find out how low interest rate cards work and different features to compare, so you can choose a credit card that works for you.
0% p.a. for 20 months
on balance transfers
with a one-time 2% balance transfer fee
Offer ends 30 June 2018
Eligibility criteria, terms and conditions, fees and charges apply
Low Interest Rate Credit Card Offer
Benefit from a long-term balance transfer promotion, a low ongoing purchase rate and complimentary domestic travel insurance with the HSBC Low Rate Credit Card.
- 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 20 months with a one-time 2% BT fee. Reverts to the cash advance rate (currently 21.99% p.a.)
- A low ongoing interest rate of 13.25% p.a. on purchases and an interest-free period of up to 55 days.
- Receive complimentary domestic travel insurance when you use your HSBC Low Rate card to book eligible travel.
- Get access to over 4,500 participating partner offers across Australia and New Zealand with a free Frequent Values membership.
Compare the latest low interest rate credit card deals
You can apply for any card listed here by clicking on the "Go to site" button. This will securely transfer you to the relevant financial institution's online credit card application. There is no fee for applying from this page.
The finder.com.au list of low interest rate credit cards
Compare the features of the following low interest rate credit cards below.
- Bank Australia Low Rate Visa Credit Card: Enjoy a low standard variable interest rate of 9.39% p.a. on purchases and cash advances.
- My Credit Union Low Rate Visa Credit Card: This card has a low ongoing purchase rate of 7.99% p.a. and $0 annual fee for the first year (reverts to $59 p.a. thereafter).
- McGrath Pink Visa Credit Card: Apply by 28 February 2018 and get an introductory rate of 4.99% p.a. for the first 8 months (reverts to 8.99% p.a.).
- Virgin Money Low Rate Credit Card: Get a purchase rate of 11.99% p.a. and a competitive annual fee of $49 p.a.
- Westpac Lite Credit Card: This card has an interest rate of 9.9% p.a. for purchases and a $9 monthly fee instead of an annual fee (adds up to $108 p.a.)
How do low interest rate credit cards work?
What is a low interest rate credit card?
Low interest rate cards offer you a lower ongoing interest rate for purchases than standard credit cards. While credit cards in Australia typically have interest rates that range from 15-22% per annum (p.a.), low interest rate cards offer standard variable rates as low as 7.99% p.a. Some cards even offer promotional 0% rates on purchases for a fixed period (you can learn more about these in finder's guide to 0% purchase credit cards).
If you regularly pay with plastic or carry a balance on your credit card, a low interest rate card offers you the flexibility to pay off your balance over time, without the higher interest charges of some other cards. But if you have a large existing credit card debt and want to pay it off, you may want to consider a balance transfer card instead. Or, if you always pay your balance in full, a card with a low annual fee or extra benefits such as reward points might make more sense.
How much money can I save with a low interest rate credit card?
Even a small difference in credit card interest rates can save you a lot of money. Say you have a $2,000 balance on your credit card and you take six months to pay it off. With an interest rate of 20% p.a., you'd pay $118.30 in interest on this debt.
But if you had a low interest rate card that charged 12% p.a., you'd pay $70.60 in interest over the same time period. That's a saving of $47.70. And the bigger your credit card debt, the bigger the difference gets. So if you compare credit card rates before you apply, you'll be able to find a card that's affordable based on your needs.
How to compare low interest rate credit cards
With a wide range of low interest rate credit cards on offer in Australia, comparing your options will help you find one that suits your needs. Here are the key factors you should consider:
Put simply, the lower the rate, the less interest you'll pay. But when it comes to your rates, the following factors can all impact on your potential savings and costs:
- Promotional interest rates. Some credit cards give you an introductory low or 0% interest rate for purchases or balance transfers. This can be useful if you have planned purchases or existing debt that you want to pay off. But keep in mind that when the introductory period ends, a higher revert rate will apply.
- Standard interest rate. The "standard" or "revert" rate is the variable interest rate that applies at the end of any introductory 0% period. Depending on the card you choose, this rate could be much higher and not considered a "low interest rate" option. So always check the standard rate to make sure the card you're applying for provides an ongoing low interest rate.
- Cash advances. The interest rate for cash advances is usually higher than the rate applied to purchases. This rate is for transactions such as ATM cash withdrawals, foreign currency purchases and gambling. Cash advances also aren't eligible for interest-free days.
- Interest-free days. If there's an interest-free period for purchases (and you're eligible for it), interest won't be calculated for those purchases until after that period ends. However, interest will apply in full if you don't pay off the total owed by the due date on your statement. Learn more about how this works in our guide to interest-free days.
How are credit card interest rates calculated?
Credit card interest rates are usually advertised based on the annual rate that applies to the account, shown as "per annum" or p.a. However, interest on your account is typically calculated daily based on your existing balance and then charged monthly on the statement due date.
Fees and charges
- Annual fee. Try to find a card with a low annual fee, but don't make this your sole deciding factor. A $0 annual fee isn't helpful if the base interest rate on purchases is a lot higher. Annual fees typically range from $0 for cards with basic features to $250 or more for gold and platinum cards.
- Other fees and charges. Fees may apply when you use your card at an ATM, overseas, online with international retailers or even when you apply for a balance transfer. Make sure you're aware of the relevant charges that apply to your card.
While most low interest rate credit cards have limited features, more premium cards could offer extra perks. The following are some of the most popular perks:
- Complimentary extras. Gold or platinum low interest rate credit cards may include perks such as travel insurance, purchase-protection insurance or concierge services. If you use these extras, they have the potential to offset the cost of any annual fee you pay.
- Rewards. Most low interest rate credit cards don't offer rewards points for your spending as they are somewhat conflicting propositions. Currently, the American Express Essential is one of the only products that earns points per dollar spent and has a low standard variable purchase rate. Another option is the Coles Low Rate Mastercard, which doubles as a flybuys rewards card and offers a low standard purchase rate.
- No international transaction fee. If you plan to use your credit card when you travel overseas or shop online with international retailers, a low interest rate card that waives foreign transaction fees, such as the Bankwest Breeze Platinum Mastercard, could help you save even more money.
Pros and cons of low interest rate credit cards
- You'll pay less interest on purchases, making it easier to manage your credit card debt.
- Many low interest rate cards also have low annual fees.
- You can often combine low interest rate cards with other features such as balance transfers or zero foreign transaction fees.
- You're less likely to receive reward points and other perks.
- You may not qualify if you have a poor credit history.
- If you opt for a card with a 0% purchase rate, it'll only be available for a promotional period.
If you often carry a balance, a low interest credit card could help you save on additional fees and charges. Just remember to consider the other features, such as introductory offers, annual fees and complimentary extras, to help you find a card that best suits your needs.
How to get a low interest rate credit card
After you've compared your options, applying for a low interest rate credit card is easy. Click the "Go to site" button from the table above and you will be taken to the bank's secure application page. From there, you'll need to provide details about yourself, your employment, your financial situation and prove your identity. In order to prove your identity, you will usually need your driver's licence or passport. Applications usually take about 15 minutes and most provide a response within 60 seconds.
Answers to frequently asked questions about low interest rate credit cards
If you want to learn more about low rate cards, check out these answers to common questions. Or, if you have something specific you want to ask, you can get in touch with us using the comment section below.