Student Credit Cards

Compare student credit cards that can help you build up credit history and learn more about managing money as you study.

With features including low fees and interest-free days on purchases, student credit cards can help you manage your expenses and upfront costs when you’re studying. Getting a credit card as a student can also help you build credit history and lay the foundation for future lending options such as car loans or mortgages.

Use this guide to compare student credit cards based on different features and costs. You can also learn more about how student credit cards work and weigh up the pros and cons of using a credit card while studying so that you can decide if this is an option that will work for you.

ANZ Credit Card Offer

ANZ First Student Card

$0 annual fee for the first year

Eligibility criteria, terms and conditions, fees and charges apply

ANZ Credit Card Offer

A credit card option for students which offers an annual fee waiver in the first year plus interest-free days on purchases.

  • $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($30 p.a. thereafter).
  • 19.74% p.a. on purchases
  • Cash advance rate of 21.49% p.a.
  • Up to 44 days interest free
  • Minimum income requirement of $15,000 p.a.
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Rates last updated March 22nd, 2018
Name Product Purchase rate (p.a.) Interest Free Period Annual fee Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Product Description
ANZ First Student Card
19.74% p.a.
Up to 44 days on purchases
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($30 p.a. thereafter)
Access your account on the go with the goMoney™ app and have the convenience of Android Pay, Apple Pay or Samsung Pay.
NAB Low Rate Credit Card
0% p.a. for 6 months (reverts to 13.99% p.a.)
Up to 55 days on purchases
$59 p.a.
0% p.a. for 6 months with 2% balance transfer fee
Receive special offers from Visa Entertainment, emergency travel assistance and the convenience of payWave.
Bendigo Bank Low Rate First Mastercard
11.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$29 p.a.
Exclusively for customers aged 18 to 25 years, this card gives you up to 55 interest-free days and a low variable interest rate on purchases.
Citi Simplicity Card
19.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$0 p.a.
0% p.a. for 15 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
Save with 5% cashback on eligible purchases (capped at $50 per month) for the first 90 days from approval. Plus, a 15 month balance transfer offer.
ANZ Low Rate
12.49% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$58 p.a.
0% p.a. for 15 months
Get access to Mastercard's Priceless Cities and mobile payment technology with Android Pay, Apple Pay or Samsung Pay.
Citi Clear Platinum
14.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$99 p.a.
A platinum card with benefits including complimentary insurance, a 24-hour concierge service and Citi World privileges.
HSBC Low Rate Credit Card
13.25% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$79 p.a.
0% p.a. for 20 months with 2% balance transfer fee
Enjoy exclusive offers with the home&Away Privilege Program, a low $1,000 credit limit and the ability to use Apple Pay.

Compare up to 4 providers

Best* student credit cards

Compare the features of these different student credit cards to see if one is right for you.

  • ANZ First Student Card. A low fee credit card designed specifically for people studying at tertiary institutions in Australia. Offers a $0 annual fee in the first year and $30 per year after that.
  • Bendigo Bank Low Rate First Mastercard. A card designed especially for people aged 18 to 25, with a low annual fee of $29 and purchase rate of 11.99% p.a.
  • Westpac Lite. A low-cost card with a standard variable interest rate of 9.9% p.a. and credit limits between $500 to $4,000 (subject to approval). Instead of an annual fee, this card $500 to $4,000.

How do student credit cards work?

A student credit card allows you to borrow money up to a certain amount every month. The amount you have available to use is known as your "credit limit". You can then choose to pay off the balance over time (with interest charges), or in full at the end of each statement period.

When compared to other credit cards available in Australia, student credit cards tend to have low credit limits and low annual fees to help make them more affordable when you're studying full time. These cards also typically have very basic features that can help you learn how to manage credit without racking up huge debts.

What features can I get with a student credit card?

ccf-student-cards-250x250Every student credit card offers different rates, fees and extras. But some of the most popular features include:

  • Interest-free days. If you regularly pay off what you owe on your credit card by the due date on your statement, you will usually have an interest-free period for each statement cycle, such as “up to 55 days”. The interest-free days generally start at the beginning of your statement period and give you a window of time when purchases won't be charged interest.
  • Low credit limits. Student credit cards can have credit limits as low as $500 or as high as $15,000. The credit limit you get depends on the card, the lender and your individual circumstances. A lower credit limit is generally easier to pay off from month to month and can help you stay out of serious debt.
  • Complimentary extras. Some student credit cards will come with additional benefits, such as complimentary purchase protection insurance and extended warranties for eligible items you buy with your card. This could be useful if, say, you're using the card to buy a laptop for your studies.
  • Other features. Student credit cards could come with a range of other features, including contactless and mobile payments, low or 0% interest rate introductory offers and Mastercard or Visa benefits. Keep an eye out for these features when you’re comparing student credit cards to find one that offers great value for you.

How much do student credit cards cost?

The cost of a student credit card depend on the specific features of the card you choose, as well as how you use the account. The main features to consider are:

  • Annual fees. Most student credit cards come with a low annual fee to help keep account costs down. Some options may even offer no annual fee for a limited time or for the life of the card. When you're comparing student credit cards, remember to think about if you can afford the annual fee and check the terms and conditions for any annual fee waivers available to students.
  • Purchase rate. This is the standard variable interest rate that’s applied to new purchases made on the card. Student credit card purchase rates range from around 11% per annum (p.a.) to 22% p.a. The higher your purchase rate, the more interest you will have to pay if you carry a balance on your card.
  • Cash advance rate. This is the standard variable interest rate that’s applied to cash advance transactions such as ATM withdrawals, gambling purchases, payment for foreign currency and even some bill payments. The cash advance rate is typically the highest interest rate on a credit card and usually ranges from around 19% p.a. to 22% p.a. The cash advance rate is applied immediately from the time a cash advance transaction is made.
  • Cash advance fee. If you use your credit card for a cash advance transaction, you will also be charged a fee worth around 2% to 3% of the total transaction cost. For example, if you used your credit card to withdraw $500 from an ATM, the cash advance fee would be $10–$15. The high cost of cash advances means they should be avoided as much as possible when you have a credit card.
  • Foreign transaction fees. Most credit cards charge a fee when you use it to make purchases overseas or with an international retailer online. This fee is usually between 2% and 3.5% of the total transaction. You can avoid this cost by considering credit cards with no foreign transaction fees or other options such as travel money cards.
  • Other fees. Other fees that may apply when you have a student credit card include late payment fees and charges for going over your credit limit. Always check the credit card’s product disclosure statement for full details so that you can factor in all the costs before you apply for a card.


Should I get a student credit card?

Student credit cards can offer you more flexibility when you're not on a regular income or have expenses you need to deal with between paydays. But they're not right for everyone. Consider the following questions before you apply for a student credit card to decide if it's an option that will work for you:

  1. Why do you want a credit card? Is it to manage your expenses between paydays, to have access to funds while travelling or to build up your credit? Thinking about your reasons for wanting a credit card will help you figure out if it’s right for you and also make it easier to compare different options.
  2. Are you planning on applying for other loans in the future? Lenders consider your credit history when you apply for any form of credit, including cards, personal loans, car loans and mortgages. Getting a credit card and using it responsibly can help you build up a good credit history and credit score so that it is easier to get approved for other financial products in the future. On the flipside, if you don't use a credit card responsibly, it could have a negative impact on your credit history.
  3. Will you be able to pay off the card in full every month? Paying off your card in full helps you avoid interest charges, reduces the risk of debt and can help build up good credit history. Looking at your current income and budget, then considering how credit card payments would fit in, will help you figure out if a card is the right option for you at this stage of your life.
  4. Are there other options you should consider? Depending on your situation, there may be other financial products or plans that are more affordable than a credit card while you’re studying. For example, if you want to have funds in an emergency, you could consider opening a savings account and putting some of your own money aside for unexpected costs that may arise. This could help keep costs down as you’ll avoid the potential interest charges and debt that can come from using a credit card if you can’t afford to pay it off in full.
  5. Where are you studying? The right type of credit card may also vary depending on where you're studying. For example, you may want a different credit card depending on if you're studying at a university or at TAFE. You can compare credit cards for TAFE students here.

If you have regular income and can manage your expenses well, a student credit card could be a useful tool to help with cash flow when you have a lot of expenses between paydays. But if you struggle to manage your money or find that you can’t afford everything you want, it may be better to stick to using your own money. You may even be able to save on banking costs by considering a student bank account that charges fewer fees when you’re studying.

Tips for using a student credit card

Whether or not you’ve had a credit card before, these simple tips will ensure you know what to do and what not to do when you get your student credit card:

  • Only use your credit card for items that are essential. This strategy usually stops impulse spending, which will run up a credit card in no time. If you want to buy something but don’t need it straight away, consider saving up for it instead. Keeping your credit card at home and saving it for emergencies is a good way to curb the temptation to spend.
  • Try to pay cash for your everyday spending. Remember that credit card spending has to be paid back and could lead to interest charges and other fees if you carry a balance. For everyday spending, you may want to consider using a student debit card, which allows you to use your own money and doesn’t lead to interest charges.
  • Follow a monthly and weekly budget. That way if you spend more in one week, you can adjust your spending for the next week so that it is affordable based on all your financial commitments, including credit card payments. Get started with our free budget planner.
  • Pay as you go. While credit card statements usually come once a month, you can choose to pay off the balance more regularly. As well as ensuring that you always meet the minimum repayment, this strategy can reduce the amount of interest you pay and may even help improve your credit score.
  • Try to save a portion of your income in an emergency account. Ideally, you should aim to put away 10% of your income. If that’s too difficult as a student, aim to save at least 5% of your pay so that you have some money set aside if something unexpected comes up. This money will help keep your costs down in an emergency, even if you have to use a credit card to pay the difference.
  • Make sure you have some money budgeted for fun. Credit cards can make it tempting to spend money that you don’t actually have. By budgeting for luxuries or a bit of fun, you’ll be in a better position to keep your spending and your credit card balance in check.
  • Ask for split payment options. Many businesses allow you to split payments between different cards, or even allow you to use a combination of cash and cards. This type of payment can be a useful way to keep your credit card balance down while also allowing you to keep some of your own money available for other spending.

How to compare student credit cards

If you decide to get a credit card as a student, it’s important to make sure you find an option that’s right for you. Comparing student credit cards allows you to see features of different products side-by-side so that you can find one that will suit your individual circumstances and needs. We’ve outlined the main factors you’ll need to consider for a student credit card comparison below.

  1. Consider your individual circumstances. This includes your study commitments, your income from work, Centrelink or other benefits and your ongoing expenses. You should also consider your current money habits to decide whether or not you will be able to effectively manage a credit card.
  2. Look at the features of the card(s). Pay particular attention to the standard interest rates and fees, as well as the requirements to meet any student discounts or waivers offered by the card. This step will help you find a credit card that offers the most convenience and affordability for you.
  3. Choose the card that suits your circumstances. By looking at the features of a number of cards and considering your circumstances, you will be able to find a student credit card that is convenient and affordable for you.

Example: Aisha applies for her first student credit card

aisha-case-study200x200Aisha is studying law at the University of Sydney and has a casual job at a cafe. She is just about to start her second year and is considering getting a credit card to help pay for all her textbooks and other study materials at the start of the semester. This would allow her to pay off the purchases over time, leaving her with enough cash to cover her rent and other everyday expenses.

She also plans to pay it off in full each month, so she wants to look for an option that has a competitive interest-free period. Aisha narrows her choices down to the ANZ First Student credit card and the CommBank Student credit card. She considers the following features:

CardStandard purchase rateInterest-free daysAnnual fee
ANZ First Student credit card19.74% p.a.Up to 44 days interest-free on purchases$30 p.a.(Waived in the first year)
CommBank Student credit card19.74% p.a.Up to 55 days interest-free on purchases$29 p.a.(Waived in the first year and in each subsequent year if you spend more than $1,000 or show your eligible student card at a CommBank branch)

*Rates and fees used are for example purposes only.

Based on these details, Aisha decides to apply for the Commbank Student credit card because it offers a $0 annual fee beyond the first year. It also offers more interest-free days for purchases.

How to apply for a student credit card

After comparing student credit cards to find the right option for you, the next step is to apply. You can do this online in about 20 minutes by clicking the “Go to site” button for your chosen card. You’ll then be taken to a secure application page. Before filling out your information, make sure you meet the credit card application requirements. These can vary, but generally include:

Eligibility requirements checklist

  • Age. You need to be over 18 years of age in order to apply for a student credit card. If you are between 16 and 18, you could be added as a supplementary cardholder to a parent or guardian's account. Additionally, with a Visa debit or Mastercard debit card you can make the same transactions you would with a credit card, but it is with your own money. If you would like to earn rewards points you could also consider a prepaid travel card.
  • Residency status. Credit card companies generally prefer you to be an Australian citizen or a permanent resident. If you are on a 500 Student or 485 Temporary Graduate visa, check out our guide on credit cards for temporary residents to see your options. It is also a good idea to check with your Australian banking institution about what cards it can offer you based on your history.
  • Student status. You must be enrolled in an accredited school or university to get a student credit card. High school students are generally not eligible for "student" credit cards.
  • Co-signer. You may need to provide a co-signer to apply for your first student credit card. The co-signer is usually your parent or guardian and they will then be responsible for your debt if you can’t make repayments on your card.
  • Savings or everyday bank account. In some cases, you may be required to have an everyday bank account or savings account with the same bank that issues the credit card.
  • Income. You must have enough income to service the minimum credit limit available on the card. Income can include your wages from full- or part-time work, as well as Centrelink payments and even student scholarships in some cases. If you do not have a source of income, you can consider a supplementary card on a parent or guardian's credit account or a Visa debit or Mastercard debit card, which allow you to make the same transactions as a credit card, without using borrowed money.
  • Credit history. For most applicants, a student credit card is their first credit product, meaning they do not have existing credit history. Credit limits for most student cards are low to minimise the bank's risk of default and give students a pathway to build their history. As long as there are no blemishes on any existing credit reports, your application should be approved if you meet all of the other eligibility requirements.

The documents and information you'll need to provide

If you meet these application criteria, you can fill out the online form. You’ll need to provide a range of details, including:

  • Personal information. This includes your full name, date of birth, residential address, email address and phone number. You’ll also need to provide a valid form of identification, such as your driver’s licence number, passport number or Medicare number.
  • Student information. You’ll need to include details of the institution and course you’re enrolled in.
  • Employment information. If you work outside of study, you’ll need to provide details of your employer and income, such as contact details and recent payslips.
  • Other financial information. Your credit card application will ask you to include details of any assets and debts that you have, including savings accounts or other loans. You will also be asked to estimate your ongoing financial commitments, such as rent, bills and grocery costs. This helps the issuer determine whether or not you can afford to manage a credit card.

What happens after I've applied?

Once you have filled out the online application, review all the details and hit “submit”. You should get a response within a few minutes. The credit card company will also be in touch if it needs further information in order to complete the application process. If you’re approved, you should get your new card within a couple of weeks. You’ll need to activate it and then you can start using it. From textbooks and stationery to tuition fees and everyday expenses away from home, there’s a whole range of costs that are specific to students. Now that you know more about student credit cards, you can compare your options and decide on the right types of accounts to suit your needs while you’re studying.

Pictures: Shutterstock

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FAQs about student credit cards

If you want to know more about getting a student credit card or managing this type of account, check out these answers to frequently asked questions. Or, use the comment section below to leave your own question about student credit cards and we'll get back to you with an answer.

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NAB Low Fee Platinum Card - Exclusive Offer
NAB Low Fee Platinum Card - Exclusive Offer

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St.George Amplify Signature - Qantas
St.George Amplify Signature - Qantas

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Westpac Low Rate - Online Offer
Westpac Low Rate - Online Offer

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St.George Vertigo Platinum - Online Offer
St.George Vertigo Platinum - Online Offer

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24 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    UrsulaApril 19, 2016

    My daughter has already a Debit Card from ANZ.

    Is it possible to apply for a Credit Card as well?
    But I want a VISA Credit Card which automatically debits and does not accumulate credits. A VISA credit card is easier to get around aka Uber, etc.

    Is it possible for an international Student with a Higher Education Sector visa (subclass 573), if her regular incomes from overseas will be provided by her parents?

    If yes, can we apply at any ANZ bank in town?
    Thank you

    • Staff
      LouApril 19, 2016Staff

      Hi Ursula, thanks for your inquiry,

      Please note that is a financial comparison and information service and is not ANZ.

      The only temporary resident applications ANZ will consider for a credit card are those that are valid for 4 years or longer. You may want to check your other options here.


  2. Default Gravatar
    OmarNovember 5, 2015

    Just interested in student card to continue my study online when I’m in Australia if visa approved…thanks

    • Staff
      AllyNovember 6, 2015Staff

      Hi Omar,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      There are some credit cards being offered to temporary residents in Australia, but do take note that conditions may apply and you need to ensure that you fit their eligibility criteria to get your application approved.

      If you wish to see what the available options might be, kindly check this page.

      I hope this has helped.


  3. Default Gravatar
    shilpaJune 20, 2015

    I am international student, I want an education loan for my semester fees it’s about $8000.
    Can you help me for this concern?


    • Staff
      JonathanJune 22, 2015Staff

      Hi Shilpa, thanks for your inquiry!

      Paying an education/ student loan via credit card will depend on whether the educational institute accepts credit cards as an eligible form of payment. In addition, the agreement between the credit card company and educational institute will need to specify whether the semester fee’s qualify as purchases. It would be ideal to contact your educational institute before applying for a card. You may also like to refer to the following link for a list of 0% purchase credit cards.



  4. Default Gravatar
    ChrisApril 30, 2015

    Hi there

    Is there any credit cards that temporary graduation visa holders can apply??
    ( sub class 485)

    Working as full time staff.


    • Staff
      JonathanApril 30, 2015Staff

      Hi Chris, thanks for your inquiry!

      Unfortunately at this point of time only temporary residents, permanent and citizens are eligible to apply for credit card services. You may like to refer to the following link for debit cards and offers.



  5. Default Gravatar
    rajJanuary 8, 2015

    can international student apply for a credit card in anz

    • Staff
      ElizabethJanuary 8, 2015Staff

      Hi Raj,

      Thanks for your question.

      There are some cards available for temporary residents, but conditions usually apply. You might want to take a look at this page to see what options might be available to you.

      I hope this has helped.



  6. Default Gravatar
    EdinJune 9, 2014

    Hi is there any other student credit cards other than commonwealth bank and westpac in australia because I really want to know ??

    • Staff
      ShirleyJune 10, 2014Staff

      Hi Edin,

      Thanks for your question.

      Please refer to the blue product table above – there are cards from ANZ, Coles, NAB and St.George.


  7. Default Gravatar
    DanilJanuary 13, 2014

    I’m not at college yet. Can I apply for a student card now?

    • Staff
      JacobJanuary 13, 2014Staff

      Hi, Danil.

      Eligibility requirements for student credit cards are set out on the above page.

      Thanks for your question.

  8. Default Gravatar
    StephenOctober 31, 2013

    Hi, I applied for a couple of cards 8 months ago, and was declined by all, I only moved to Australia a couple of years ago and have little or no credit history. My credit report just has inquiry’s on it, more recently I applied for a Virgin card, and I was declined again, and they can’t give me a reason, I have been in the same job for three years and I have over enough income. I meet all there standards, is it because I need to have more credit history? Thanks I’m from Ireland by the way, if that helps.

    • Staff
      JacobOctober 31, 2013Staff

      Hi Stephen.

      Thanks for your question.

      Have a look at this article at why credit card applications can get rejected.

      Banks and lenders don’t give you a reason why your application was knocked back, which is part of the problem considering too many applications for credit can be a negative signal to a credit issuer. A good credit history is one of the application requirements, so your lack of a credit record may have been one of the reasons you were declined. Things like phone and Internet contracts as well as credit cards and home loans etc. are recorded on your credit file. It could also be that you applied for too many cards in too short of a space of time. If you have multiple enquiry marks on your credit file it can raise red flags to a lender when you enquire about credit again. It might be worth starting a conversation with your lender about obtaining credit in the future.

      I hope this helps.

  9. Default Gravatar
    RajuSeptember 18, 2013

    I am Indian citizen I have been in Australia in 6 years I have some credit cards in Australia now I am in other country I am not paying credit cards. What will happen?

    • Staff
      JacobSeptember 19, 2013Staff

      Hi Raju.

      The default will stay against your name and you will be held liable for the debt if you return to the country.

      Thanks for your question.

  10. Default Gravatar
    NAOMISeptember 2, 2013

    What options do you have with bad credit history?

Credit Cards Comparison

Rates last updated March 22nd, 2018
Name Product Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee Product Description
NAB Low Fee Platinum Card - Exclusive Offer
19.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 25 months
$90 p.a.
finder Exclusive: Take advantage of 0% p.a. interest for 25 months on balance transfers with no balance transfer fee.
St.George Amplify Signature - Qantas
19.49% p.a.
$139 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($279 p.a. thereafter)
finder Exclusive: A discounted $139 first year annual fee, 90,000 bonus Qantas Points and 2 complimentary lounge passes. Ends 18 April 2018.
Westpac Low Rate - Online Offer
13.49% p.a.
0% p.a. for 30 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($59 p.a. thereafter)
Take advantage of 0% p.a. for 30 months on balance transfers with a 2% balance transfer fee when you apply online by 28 March 2018.
St.George Vertigo Platinum - Online Offer
12.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 24 months
$99 p.a.
Platinum card benefits including complimentary insurance, plus 0% p.a. for 24 months on balance transfers (with no BT fee). Ends 31 March 2018.

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* The credit card offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of credit cards 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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