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Top Credit Cards*

What you need to consider when looking for your credit card

If you’ve used or compared credit cards in the past you’re probably well aware that they come with different features, and while some basic features remain the same, some can vary significantly. What makes for a top credit card*, as a result, depends on the kind of credit card you’re looking for, which can include features such as a low rate on purchases, a low annual fee, balance transfer offers, frequent flyer and rewards points or platinum privileges.

While the qualities of one card may work for one type of cardholder, it may not be compatible with another user. Consider your own personal circumstances when choosing which card is best for you. This table provides a cross-section of offers on our website to help you with your comparison.

Competitive Credit Card Offers

Rates last updated September 26th, 2017
Name Product Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee Product Description
NAB Premium Card - Exclusive Offer
19.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 24 months
$90 p.a.
Exclusive Offer to finder.com.au
Until 1 October 2017, enjoy a no BT fee, long-term balance transfer offer with platinum privileges, including seven complimentary insurances.
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Bonus Points Offer
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months
$64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
60,000 Bonus Points Offer
Earn up to 60,000 bonus Velocity Points on eligible spend in the first 3 months and enjoy a discounted annual fee of $64 for the first year.
Westpac Low Rate Card - Online Only Balance Transfer Offer
13.49% p.a.
0% p.a. for 24 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$59 p.a.
24 months Balance Transfer Offer
An everyday low rate, low fee purchase card with a longer balance transfer term.
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 22 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$99 p.a.
Annual Fee Refund
Caters to those who want high credit limits and Apple Pay. Also earn an uncapped 1 HSBC Rewards Plus point per $1 spent.
Citi Rewards Platinum Credit Card
20.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 24 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
$49 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter)
Platinum Card with 0% p.a. for 24 months Balance Transfer offer
Apply by 30 September 2017 to receive a long-term balance transfer offer with complimentary travel insurance and access to Citi benefits.
St.George Vertigo Platinum
12.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 24 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$99 p.a.
Low Rate Platinum Card with Long-term Balance Transfer Offer
Offers complimentary travel insurance, complimentary purchase insurance and access to a 24/7 personal concierge service.
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Visa Credit Card
13.24% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$55 p.a.

Low Interest Rate Offer with Balance Transfer Offer

Enjoy a low rate on your everyday purchases with a low balance offer of 0% p.a. for 18 months.
St.George Vertigo Visa
13.24% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$55 p.a.

Low Annual Fee with Balance Transfer Offer

Receive up to 55 days interest-free on purchases and the ability to make contactless payments with Visa payWave technology.
ANZ Platinum Credit Card - Exclusive Offer
0% p.a. for 3 months (reverts to 19.74% p.a.)
0% p.a. for 12 months
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($87 p.a. thereafter)
Exclusive Offer to finder.com.au
Receive 0% p.a. for 12 months on balance transfers and 0% p.a. for 3 months on purchases, plus an annual fee waiver in the first year.
Bankwest Breeze Platinum Mastercard
0% p.a. for 13 months (reverts to 12.99% p.a.)
0% p.a. for 13 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$99 p.a.
Low Rate Platinum Credit Card Offer
Enjoy 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 13 months with a low annual fee. Limited time only.
Qantas American Express Ultimate Card
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$450 p.a.
Qantas Frequent Flyer Credit Card with Bonus Points Offer
Fly faster with up to 2.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent and receive a complimentary Qantas domestic return Economy flight every year.
BankSA Vertigo Visa
13.24% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$55 p.a.
0% Balance Transfer Offer
Save with 0% p.a. on balance transfers. Also enjoy up to 55 days interest-free.
HSBC Low Rate Credit Card
13.25% p.a.
0% p.a. for 15 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$55 p.a.
0% p.a. Balance Transfer Offer
Receive up to 55 days interest-free on purchases. Also enjoy exclusive offers with the home&Away Privilege Program.
Woolworths Everyday Platinum Credit Card
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 14 months
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($49 p.a. thereafter)
First Year Annual Fee Waiver and Balance Transfer Offer
Receive a $50 eGift Card when you apply by 31 December 2017 and make an eligible purchase by 31 January 2018.
Bankwest Breeze Classic Mastercard
0% p.a. for 13 months (reverts to 12.99% p.a.)
0% p.a. for 13 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$79 p.a.
Low Rate Credit Card Offer
Take advantage of 0% p.a. on balance transfers and purchases for 13 months, combined with a low annual fee.
Bendigo Bank Low Rate First Mastercard
11.99% p.a.
$29 p.a.
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.
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Platinum
12.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 24 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$99 p.a.
Low Rate Platinum Card
Get a range of complimentary insurance covers, access to a 24/7 concierge and up to 55 days interest-free on purchases.
HSBC Platinum Qantas Credit Card
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 6 months
$199 p.a.
Qantas Frequent Flyer Credit Card
Earn up to 1 Qantas Point per $1 spent. Plus, receive a free Qantas Frequent Flyer membership and complimentary travel insurance.
American Express Explorer® Credit Card
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$395 p.a.
100,000 Membership Rewards Bonus Points
Receive a $400 Travel Credit and two complimentary airline lounge passes per year along with Membership Rewards Bonus Points.
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months
$129 p.a.
0% p.a. Balance Transfer Offer
Earn 3 bonus Velocity Points per $1 for the first 3 months, a first year annual fee refund and a yearly $129 Virgin Australia Gift Voucher.
NAB Low Fee Card
19.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 16 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$30 p.a.
Low Annual Fee and Balance Transfer Offer
Receive complimentary purchase protection insurance, special offers from Visa Entertainment and up to 44 days interest-free on purchases.

Compare up to 4 providers

* The offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of products 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 personal financial circumstances when comparing products.

What are some of the credit card types to choose from?
Credit cards can broadly fit into the following categories:

Low rate cards

Low rate credit cards charge a low rate of interest on purchases you make relative to other credit card types. Low rate cards typically offer an interest free period with which to repay the balance of any purchases made.

Ask yourself the following if you’re looking for the a low annual fee credit card:

  • What’s the annual fee?Low rate credit cards are your best bet when it comes to paying low ongoing interest, and an easy way to compare these cards is to look at their annual fees.
  • Is there a downside to the low annual fee?
    To make up for the low annual fee certain cards might not offer features that most credit card users take for granted. Make sure that the card you’re applying for offers interest-free days on purchases, and find out how many interest-free days you can get.
  • Is the low fee ongoing?
    Certain credit cards offer annual fee waivers for the first year, after which an ongoing annual fee comes into effect. Look for a card that charges little or no ongoing annual fees.
  • What is the interest rate? Watch out for credit cards that try to offset low annual fees with high interest rates. This is not much of a concern if you plan to pay your account’s closing balance in full every month.

Compare Low Rate credit card options

No annual fee and discounted annual fee cards

These include cards that don’t charge any ongoing annual fees and cards that don’t charge annual fees for the first year. No annual fee cards typically charge higher rates on interest on purchases than a typical low rate credit card.

Compare $0 Annual Fee and $0 First Year Annual Fee credit cards

Balance transfer credit cards

These cards come with 0% p.a. or low balance transfer rates for an introductory period. You should be aware that any balance not repaid will incur interest charges at the end of the introductory period. The rate at which the unpaid balance is charged ('revert rate') is either set at the purchase or cash advance rate on the card. Determine the revert rate of the card you select when looking to do a balance transfer.

Balance transfer offers can help you save a tidy sum in the form of interest, but make sure you pay attention to the following aspects at the very onset:

  • What is excluded?
    Find out if the new card issuer accepts balance transfers from your existing card issuer, because this is not always the case. You should also confirm what percentage of the credit limit can be transferred and calculate whether this works for you.
  • What’s the balance transfer rate
    This refers to the interest transferred balances attract, which can go as low as 0% p.a. The time period these introductory rates stay in place tend to vary.
  • What’s the revert rate?
    At the end of the promotional period, any outstanding balance starts attracting the card’s purchase rate or cash advance rate. Bear in mind that the cash advance rate can be considerably higher than the purchase rate. This aspect is not a concern if you pay the transferred balance in full during the promotional period. Find out more about balance transfer revert rates.
  • Are there other fees?
    The annual fee you end up paying should not outweigh how much you save through the balance transfer, and account for any balance transfer fees you might have to pay.
  • Initiating the process
    Most credit card issuers that offer balance transfer promotions require new cardholders to initiate the balance transfer process at the time of application, or no later than when they activate their new cards. So make sure you confirm these details before applying to avoid missing out.

Compare Balance Transfer credit card offers

Introductory purchase rate cards

These cards charge 0% p.a. or low interest on purchases for a given time period, giving cardholders the ability to save some money on interest during the introductory period

Compare Introductory Purchase Rate credit card options

Rewards cards

Rewards cards are ones that reward you for your spending in the form of frequent flyer points, vouchers and cashback. Be aware that the annual fees vary and these fees need to be weighed up against the value of the rewards you will earn with the card. Interest rates on purchases are typically charged at a higher rate than a low rate card. If you are not in a position to pay off your balance, consider a low rate credit card instead, as interest charges will be lower.

While how you can earn and redeem rewards are important considerations, factors like interest rates and annual fees still need your attention. With respect to rewards cards, pay attention to the following:

  • What’s the earn rate?
    Rewards credit cards come with different earn rates, and this can have a significant effect on how quickly you earn rewards. Some premium cards give you the ability to earn up to three reward points per dollar spent on eligible transactions.
  • Value of reward points
    Establish what a card’s reward points translate to when converted to dollar value. If you, for instance, spend 15,000 reward points to redeem a reward worth $100, and you earned one point for every dollar spent, 150 reward points translate to one dollar.
  • Are the points capped or limited by an expiry date?
    Certain credit cards place limitations on the maximum number of points you can earn each year, and in some instances, your points can expire after a given number of years. This not only depends on the rewards program you’re part of, but also on the card you choose.
  • Redeeming points
    Not all rewards programs offer as much freedom when it comes to redeeming accumulated reward points. Find a rewards card that allows you to choose from travel and shopping rewards as well as a range of merchandise, and you can also look forward to redeeming your points for cashback or transferring them to your frequent flyer program account.
  • Annual fees
    If you’re paying high annual fees, ensure that the rewards you earn make up for the same.

Compare Rewards Credit Cards

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Pros and cons

Each of the different card types represented have their own advantages and disadvantages, so be sure to research the card type to find out more information.

Pros

  • Competitive features. Cards that come with some of the most competitive offers in their respective realms.
  • Low annual fees. They can charge no, low, or discounted annual fees
  • Value. Some provide great value even after the end of promotional offers
  • Variety. You get a variety of card types from which to choose

Cons

  • High income requirements. Platinum and premium cards come with high minimum income requirements
  • Limitations. Many credit cards pose limitations, whether this refers to how you can earn or redeem rewards points or in regards to how much you can balance transfer.
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What should I avoid?

No matter which credit card you use, there are several things you should try to avoid for as long as you continue using the card in question:

  • A card that doesn’t benefit you financially
    If you’re paying high annual fees but aren’t making use of features like rewards and other added benefits, using the card in question does not make financial sense.
  • Overextending yourself
    Overextending your means just to make the most of your card is not a good idea. You should not, for example, increase your spending just to earn more reward points.
  • Carrying a balance
    Carrying an outstanding balance from one billing cycle to the next will have you paying interest, which can add up to a tidy sum over time. This can be a particular problem if your card attracts a high purchase rate.

The Australian credit card industry is awash with options, and when it comes to applying for a new card it’s only natural for people to want what’s ideal for them. The top credit card*, in essence, depends on the specific features you’re after, and once you know what you need, take some time to compare offerings by credit card issuers.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Leading credit card issuers in Australia accept online applications, and you can apply for the cards listed on this page by clicking on their corresponding ‘Go to Site’ buttons.

The entire process, from application to getting your new card upon your application’s approval, can take up to 10 business days.

You can, but it’s not a good idea. This is because credit applications find a mention on your credit file, and no credit card issuer likes seeing too many applications for credit in a short span of time.

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NAB Premium Card - Exclusive Offer
NAB Premium Card - Exclusive Offer

Interest rate

19.74

Annual fee

90
Qantas American Express Ultimate Card
Qantas American Express Ultimate Card

Interest rate

20.74

Annual fee

450
St.George Vertigo Platinum
St.George Vertigo Platinum

Interest rate

12.74

Annual fee

99
NAB Low Rate Credit Card
NAB Low Rate Credit Card

Interest rate

13.99

Annual fee

59

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9 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    CaroleJanuary 9, 2017

    Can I apply for a balance transfer from a Go MasterCard

    • Staff
      MayJanuary 9, 2017Staff

      Hi Carole,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      Yes, you can conduct a balance transfer from a Go MasterCard to new card so long that you are transferring the balance to a credit card that is not underwritten by Latitude Financial Services. For a guide on which card you can transfer a balance to and from, please refer to this page.

      Also, keep in mind that the total amount you can transfer to a new card should not exceed the credit limit you’ll be approved for the new card. If you have chosen a card that you are eligible for, simply click on the ‘Go to site’ button to apply.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      May

  2. Default Gravatar
    EveDecember 11, 2015

    I want a credit card will 0 interest and 0 cost per year

    • Staff
      SallyDecember 14, 2015Staff

      Hello Eve,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      You can compare credit cards with no annual fee and 0% interest rates here.

      I hope this has helped.

      Cheers,

      Sally

    • Staff
      YsaDecember 14, 2015Staff

      Hi Eve,

      Thanks for your inquiry.
      Please note that you have come through finder.com.au, an online comparison service, and is not in the position to recommend any specific products, providers and services.
      However, you may wish to compare your options on these pages for 0% Purchase Credit Cards and No Annual Fee Credit Cards.
      I hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Ysa

  3. Default Gravatar
    November 6, 2014

    Hello,
    I signed up to a Citibank platinum visa card when I was working on an on going line of credit. However,last year I was placed on Disability Pension due to an accident. Now I find that the overall annual fee, cash advance,Purchase fee and a number of other fee is impractical to continue with it. Have tried many banks trying to change to a lower overall fees but so far haven’t found any bank to give me a fair go. What do you recommend I do or which bank do you recommend that will help people in my situation who haven’t missed a payment, get a low rate/low fee visa card.
    Regards, Tony

    • Staff
      ElizabethNovember 7, 2014Staff

      Hi Tony,

      Thanks for your question.

      You can compare a range of low and no annual fee credit cards on this page, and low rate credit cards on this page. These type of cards may better suit your situation. Be sure to check the minimum income requirements before you apply to help your chances of being approved.

      I hope this has helped.

      Thanks,

      Elizabeth

  4. Default Gravatar
    October 10, 2014

    Hello,

    I want a low interest credit card that I can use for overseas purchases and travelling. Can you please recommend one?

    • Staff
      ElizabethOctober 10, 2014Staff

      Hi Kate,

      Thanks for your question.

      Unfortunately I’m unable to recommend a specific credit card for you. The right credit card will depend on your financial situation and needs, but we have a page where you can compare a range of travel credit cards. You can sort the cards on the table by interest rate and find the ones with the lowest interest, then choose the one that best suits your needs.

      Hope this has helped.

      Thanks,

      Elizabeth

Credit Cards Comparison

Rates last updated September 26th, 2017
Name Product Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee Product Description
NAB Premium Card - Exclusive Offer
19.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 24 months
$90 p.a.
Until 1 October 2017, exclusive to finder.com.au, enjoy a no BT fee, balance transfer offer with platinum privileges, including travel insurance.
St.George Vertigo Visa
13.24% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$55 p.a.
Receive up to 55 days interest-free on purchases and the ability to make contactless payments with Visa payWave technology.
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months
$129 p.a.
Earn 3 bonus Velocity Points per $1 for the first 3 months, a first year annual fee refund and a yearly $129 Virgin Australia Gift Voucher.
St.George Vertigo Platinum
12.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 24 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$99 p.a.
Offers complimentary travel insurance, complimentary purchase insurance and access to a 24/7 personal concierge service.

Compare up to 4 providers

* 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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