No Annual Fee Credit Cards
No annual fee doesn't mean no perks. And if you don't use your credit card, it won't cost you a thing.
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Compare these no annual fee credit cards
- Qantas American Express Discovery Card. Offers no annual fee for life and earns Qantas Points per $1 spent with no points cap.
- Bankwest Zero Platinum Mastercard. Save with a $0 annual fee, 0% foreign transaction fees and complimentary insurance covers.
- Virgin No Annual Fee Credit Card. Pay no annual fee for the life of the card and enjoy up to 55 interest-free days on purchases.
Interest-free spending hack
Most credit cards offer a number of interest-free days (such as up to 55) on purchases when you pay your account balance in full by the due date on your statement. This gives you a way to make interest-free purchases on an ongoing basis. If you're paying your account in full, making use of interest-free days and not paying an annual fee, your credit card could end up costing you nothing.
Different types of no annual fee credit cards
Some no annual fee credit cards offer the basics, while others boast additional features and benefits. This means you can compare credit cards that combine no annual fee with other features including introductory 0% interest rate offers, frequent flyer points, reward points and complimentary extras.
Repay existing debt faster with 0% interest on balance transfers.
Earn and redeem points for merchandise, vouchers and more.
Save on interest and on fees with an ongoing $0 annual fee or first year waiver.
Cut card costs with 0% foreign transaction fees online or overseas.
What is the best no annual fee credit card?
There isn't one "best" no annual fee credit card because everyone has different spending habits and makes use of different features. In the table below, we've highlighted some examples of $0 annual fee cards for you to compare.
|Feature||Card||Current Offer||Annual Fee & Purchase Rate|
|Balance Transfer||Apply by 30 June 2021, to get a 0% p.a. interest rate for the first 24 months on balance transfers with no balance transfer fee.|
|Rewards||Offers the equivalent of 0.5 Flybuys points per $1 you spend on eligible purchases.|
|Frequent Flyer||Earns 0.75 Qantas Points per $1 spent on everyday purchases, 0.5 point / $1 with government bodies in Australia and an additional 1 Qantas Point per $1 spent on selected Qantas products and services in Australia, uncapped.|
|Travel||Offers 0% foreign transaction fees overseas and online with international merchants. Plus, complimentary overseas travel insurance.|
Pros and cons of $0 annual fee credit cards
As there are different types of $0 annual fee credit cards on the market, it's important to consider your financial situation and how you plan to use the card. Then you can weigh up the other benefits, costs and features to help you find a card that suits your needs.
- Save money on credit card fees. The most obvious perk of these cards is that you won't pay an annual fee. This could save you tens, hundreds or thousands of dollars over the life of the card.
- Practical and cost-effective. A no annual fee credit card can be ideal for emergencies and when extra credit is required. This means you can leave it in your wallet without worrying about it costing you when you're not using it.
- Promotional offers and deals. Some no annual fee credit cards offer limited-time promotions, frequent flyer programs and other perks you'd regularly have to pay a yearly fee to access.
- Higher interest rates. These cards typically charge higher ongoing interest rates on purchases than some other cards. This could add to your costs if you regularly carry a balance from month to month.
- Fewer extra features. While some no annual fee cards do come with rewards and other benefits, they typically boast fewer features than cards with a higher annual fee.
- Temporary $0 annual fee. Unfortunately, not all of these cards offer no annual fee for the life of the card. If your card only has a $0 annual fee for the first year, make sure you know the standard annual fee and when it will apply.
How to find the right no annual fee credit card
If you're interested in getting a credit card with no annual fee, ask yourself these questions to help compare your options:
- How often do you use your credit card? If you rarely use a credit card but still want one for unplanned expenses or emergencies, a no annual fee card will give you the line of credit that you need without burning a hole in your pocket when you're not using it.
- Do you carry a balance? Some no annual fee credit cards charge high interest rates on purchases, so they're better suited to cardholders who pay their balance in full each statement period. If you do regularly carry a balance from month to month, you might want to consider a low interest credit card instead.
- Do you have existing debt? If you have existing debt, think about whether you could save more money by focusing on paying off your current debts before you get a $0 annual fee card. You could also consider a balance transfer credit card to save money on interest charges.
- What credit card benefits do you want? No annual fee credit cards sometimes have fewer perks than cards with annual fees. If you're interested in features like rewards programs and complimentary insurance, a rewards or platinum credit card might be worth considering.
- Will you use the credit card after the $0 annual fee promotion ends? If you're looking at a credit card that offers no annual fee in the first year, consider whether you'll get enough value from the card once this introductory period ends. If it doesn't have a competitive interest rate or enough extra features to outweigh this cost, you might want to cancel the card before the annual fee is charged.
- What other credit card fees and charges will you pay? While a $0 annual fee can help you save on costs, it doesn't mean it's a free credit card. As well as interest rates, make sure you check for other credit card fees that could apply, including foreign transaction fees, late payment fees and cash advance charges.
Citi Rewards Card - Flybuys Offer100,000 bonus points (worth $500 Flybuys dollars) when you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days. $49 first year annual fee ($149 thereafter).
Frequently asked questions
If I have a credit card with a promotional $0 annual fee offer, can I cancel the card before having to pay the annual fee?
Yes, as long as you don't have a balance on the card and cancel it before the annual fee is applied. Contact your provider to confirm exactly when it's charged, so you can arrange to cancel the account beforehand.
When will the annual fee be charged if I get a credit card that offers no annual fee in the first year?
If you have a card with a promotional no annual fee offer, the annual fee will usually be charged 12 months after you were approved for the credit card.
Is there any way to extend my credit card's annual fee waiver?
This depends on the credit card provider. For example, some providers may waive your credit card annual fee when you also take out a home loan package with them. Others may waive or refund your annual fee if you meet specific conditions, such as spending a set amount each year or being a student. Contact your provider to find out if there are any other ways you can continue to pay no annual fee on your credit card.
Is a no annual fee credit card a cheap credit card option?
A no annual fee credit card has the potential to save you hundreds of dollars on your yearly account costs, which can make it a cheaper option. If you always pay off your balance in full and can make use of interest-free days on purchases, then a no annual fee card could be very affordable. But if you carry a balance that attracts a high interest rate, the interest charges could make your credit card an expensive option. In this case, you might want to look at the potential savings you'd get from a card with a low interest rate (even if it has an annual fee).
Is a no annual fee credit card free?
There is no such thing as a "free credit card" because there is always the potential cost of interest if you carry a balance. There are also other credit card fees that may apply for certain transactions (such as cash advances or purchases made in a foreign currency). But in most cases, if you have a no annual fee card and pay off your account balance in full by the due date on each statement, you won't be charged interest and can use the card at no cost.
Are there any no fee credit cards?
There are plenty of cards with no annual fee, and there are even some cards with no interest. But there are no cards that don't charge any fees at all. Other fees include late payment fees, cash advance fees, currency conversion fees etc. However, if you choose the right credit card and use it for everyday purchases and payments, you could avoid fees.
Can I get a credit card with no annual fee for life and an ongoing low interest rate?
Yes, there are a few of these offers on the market. However, these features are generally offered on separate cards – except when one of the features is promotional. For example, a no annual fee credit card may offer an introductory low or 0% interest rate before reverting to a higher standard rate, while a low rate credit card could offer no annual fee in the first year before a standard yearly account fee applies.
I want a no annual fee credit card for travel. What other features should I consider?
To keep your travel costs down, you may want to consider a credit card with no annual fee and no overseas transaction fees or a card that offers complimentary travel insurance.
Is there a business credit card with no annual fee?
While business credit cards can offer no annual fee promotions, most of them charge high annual fees as they come with a lot of extra features. But depending on your circumstances, you may be able to claim the annual fee as a tax deduction.
Can I get a no annual fee credit card if I have lots of debt or bad credit?
Having a bad credit rating will limit your chances of being approved and getting a credit card, regardless of whether there's an annual fee. You can use our bad credit rating credit card guide to see what credit alternatives are available for applicants with a negative credit history.
To apply for a no annual fee credit card, you need to meet the bank's eligibility criteria. These could include a minimum annual income amount, Australian residency status and credit history details. If you're eligible to apply, you'll also be required to provide documents including payslips and proof of identification. The provider will then assess the details and documents you provide to determine whether you'll be approved for the account.
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