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How to fund your student holiday with a credit card

Information verified correct on February 25th, 2017

Using your credit card to fund your student holiday has its benefits, but it doesn’t come without some costs. Use this guide to weigh up whether you should pay for your next trip on plastic.

Organising a holiday can be expensive. In between saving for flights, accommodation, travel insurance and spending money, it’s easy for the costs to pile up. If you’re still studying, finding the funds to do this can only make things more difficult. This is where a credit card could come in.

While you shouldn’t charge your entire holiday to a credit card, there are a few ways that paying on plastic could help you manage your cash flow when organising your next trip. Use this guide to compare which cards are suitable for students booking their next holiday, the features to look out for and the mistakes to avoid.

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How can I use a credit card to fund my holiday?

While you shouldn’t pay for your whole holiday on plastic, there are a few different ways you can use a credit card to help manage those travel costs. Whether you want to use your credit card to pay for flights, cover your accommodation or consolidate your post-holiday debt, you can compare some of your options below:

Before your holiday: Managing your prepaid expenses

When you’re planning a holiday, many of the costs come up before you even step on the plane. However, there are a few different credit cards on the Australian market that could help you cover some of these costs while racking up some extra benefits.

0% purchase rate credit cards

If you have some big-ticket purchases in mind, a credit card with a 0% purchase rate might help. 0% purchase rate offers can last anywhere from 3 to 15 months, meaning you can pay off your balance without accruing interest for as long as the promotional period lasts. If you’re trying to save your holiday spending money and organise your prepaid costs, a 0% purchase rate credit card could help you manage some of those on credit without the burden of interest. As these 0% rates are only in place for a set period, make sure you pay off the prepaid purchases before the promotion ends to avoid collecting interest when the revert rate sets in.

Comparison of 0% purchase rate credit cards

Rates last updated February 25th, 2017
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee
ANZ Platinum Credit Card - Exclusive Offer
Receive a low introductory offer of 0% p.a. on purchases for 3 months and 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 12 months. Also, enjoy an annual fee waiver in the first year.
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) Go to site More info
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - 0% Interest Offer
Earn Velocity Rewards points with your purchases and pay no interest with 0% p.a. for 12 months on purchases and 0% p.a. for 6 months on balance transfers.
0% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 20.74% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 6 months $129 p.a. Go to site More info
ANZ Low Rate
$100 Back plus 0% p.a. for the first 6 months on purchases from approval.
0% p.a. for 6 months (reverts to 12.49% p.a.) $58 p.a. Go to site More info
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Visa Credit Card
Enjoy a low annual fee combined with 0% p.a. balance transfer offer for 12 months and 0% p.a. for up to 6 months on purchases.
0% p.a. for 6 months (reverts to 13.24% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 12 months $55 p.a. Go to site More info
St.George Vertigo Visa
Introductory offer of 0% p.a. for 12 months on balance transfers and 0% p.a. for 6 months on purchases, plus a low annual fee.
0% p.a. for 6 months (reverts to 13.24% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 12 months $55 p.a. Go to site More info
Westpac Altitude Card
Enjoy a balance transfer offer of 0% p.a. for 12 months and 0% p.a. on purchases for 6 months.
0% p.a. for 6 months (reverts to 20.24% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 12 months $100 p.a. Go to site More info

Cards with complimentary international travel insurance

When you plan an overseas holiday, travel insurance is another cost you’ll need to consider. This is where a credit card with complimentary insurance could come in handy. While some cards will require you to spend a percentage of your holiday costs (such as $500 for flights or accommodation) on the card to activate the policy, it could be a convenient way to receive insurance cover without the time and cost it takes to organise standalone travel insurance. The insurance is often eligible for up to six months worth of travel, though you’ll need to make sure you meet the eligibility requirements before you apply.

Comparison of credit cards with complimentary insurance covers

Rates last updated February 25th, 2017
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
Receive a full annual fee refund and save $149 if you meet the $6,000 spend requirement. Enjoy a balance transfer offer and platinum card benefits such as complimentary insurances and concierge services.
19.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 15 months $149 p.a. Go to site More info
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
Earn 2 Velocity Points per $1 spent and save with a reduced annual fee and a 0% p.a. balance transfer offer for 18 months.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 18 months $64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
HSBC Platinum Qantas Credit Card
Receive 60,000 bonus Qantas Points on eligible spend within 3 months. Enjoy access to premium benefits and complimentary insurance.
19.99% p.a. $199 p.a. Go to site More info
ANZ Platinum Credit Card - Exclusive Offer
Receive a low introductory offer of 0% p.a. on purchases for 3 months and 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 12 months. Also, enjoy an annual fee waiver in the first year.
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) Go to site More info
ANZ Frequent Flyer Black
Receive 75,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $2,500 on eligible purchases within the first 3 months of card approval and pay no annual fee for the first year. Special privileges include complimentary travel insurance and concierge services.
19.99% p.a. $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($425 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
American Express Explorer Credit Card
Receive 50,000 Membership Rewards Bonus Points on eligible spend within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Also enjoy a $400 travel voucher and two complimentary airline passes per year.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $395 p.a. Go to site More info
Westpac Altitude Black - Bonus Points Offer
Earn 100,000 bonus points when you apply online, get approved and spend $5,000 on eligible purchases, choose between two reward programs offering (Altitude or Qantas Rewards) and receive premium cardholder benefits.
20.24% p.a. $395 p.a. Go to site More info
Bankwest Breeze Platinum MasterCard
A Platinum card offer with a 0% p.a. for 21 months on balance transfers and $0 on foreign transactions. Limited time only.
12.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 21 months with 2% balance transfer fee $99 p.a. Go to site More info
Virgin Australia Velocity High Flyer Card - 30k Bonus Points offer
Receive up to 30,000 bonus Velocity Points and earn 1 Velocity Points per $1 spent. Receive an exclusive $129 Virgin Australia Gift Voucher and two complimentary Single Entry Virgin Australia domestic Lounge passes each year.
20.74% p.a. 1.9% p.a. for 15 months $144 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($289 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
American Express Qantas Premium Card
Earn as much as 30,000 bonus Qantas Points when you meet the minimum spend requirement. Enjoy frequent flyer benefits including uncapped Qantas Points per $1 spent, complimentary travel insurance and Qantas Club lounge invitations.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $249 p.a. Go to site More info

Student credit card

If you’re using a credit card for both everyday and holiday expenses while you’re studying, a student credit card could be another worthwhile option. Only available to applicants who are enrolled in full-time study, student credit cards usually come with lower credit limits, annual fees and interest rates. While they don’t usually offer the same level of features as top-tier cards, they can be a convenient way to manage your costs without the frills.

Comparison of student credit cards

Rates last updated February 25th, 2017
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee
ANZ First Student Card
Student credit card with no annual fee for the first year and up to 44 days interest-free on purchases.
19.74% p.a. $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($30 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
Bankwest Breeze MasterCard
Enjoy an introductory rate of 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 21 months (2% balance transfer fee applies). Limited time only.
12.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 21 months with 2% balance transfer fee $59 p.a. Go to site More info
ANZ Low Rate
$100 Back plus 0% p.a. for the first 6 months on purchases from approval.
0% p.a. for 6 months (reverts to 12.49% p.a.) $58 p.a. Go to site More info
Citi Clear Platinum Card
A platinum credit card with a low interest rate on purchases, a competitive annual fee plus Visa Platinum privileges.
14.99% p.a. $99 p.a. Go to site More info
Citi Simplicity Card
Take advantage of the 0% p.a. for 15 months offer on balance transfers, a low interest rate on purchases, an annual fee waiver for life, plus 5% cash back on retail purchases.
19.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 15 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee $0 p.a. Go to site More info
NAB Low Rate Credit Card
The NAB Low Rate Card offers 0% p.a. on balance transfers for the first 18 months combined with a low annual fee.
13.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 18 months with a one off 3% balance transfer fee $59 p.a. Go to site More info

travelling on a budget

During your holiday: Handling your travel budget

Now that your prepaid expenses are out of the way, it’s time to plan how you’ll manage your travel budget overseas. While you should have some savings to spend overseas, a credit card could be a useful way to balance out your travel budget between cash and credit. If you want to avoid racking up post-holiday debt, you might even want to consider just carrying a credit card in case of emergencies. Either way, you can compare some of your options below:

No foreign currency conversion fee credit card.

If you’re spending overseas, a regular credit card will quickly rack up foreign currency conversion fees when you pay in the local currency. If you plan to make regular purchases overseas on your credit card, a card with no foreign currency conversion fees can help you save on those costs. These cards generally come with higher annual fees, though, so you’ll want to make sure the interest savings outweigh the standard costs before you apply.

Comparison of no foreign currency conversion fee credit cards

Rates last updated February 25th, 2017
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee
28 Degrees Platinum MasterCard
No foreign transaction fees on international purchases including international purchases online, together with a no annual fee.
21.99% p.a. 4.99% p.a. for 6 months $0 p.a. Go to site More info
Bankwest Breeze Platinum MasterCard
A Platinum card offer with a 0% p.a. for 21 months on balance transfers and $0 on foreign transactions. Limited time only.
12.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 21 months with 2% balance transfer fee $99 p.a. Go to site More info
ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures card
Pay no overseas transaction fee on purchases and receive complimentary domestic return flight and lounge passes each year you hold the card when you spend $500 on eligible purchases within the first three months.
20.24% p.a. $225 p.a. Go to site More info
Bankwest Qantas Platinum MasterCard
Enjoy a high credit limit with complimentary travel insurances and up to 0.50 Qantas Point per $1 spent on eligible purchases.
20.49% p.a. 2.99% p.a. for 9 months $160 p.a. Go to site More info
Coles Rewards MasterCard
Earn 2 flybuys points for every $1 spent, pay no foreign transaction fees on online and international purchases and receive $100 off a single Coles Supermarket shop.
19.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 6 months $89 p.a. Go to site More info

Rewards credit card

If you’re planning to pay on plastic frequently throughout your holiday, you might want to increase the value you get from your purchases with a rewards credit card. These cards let you earn rewards points per $1 spent, which you can then redeem for flight rewards, travel packages, merchandise, cash back and more. Some cards even offer bonus points for purchases made overseas, which could come in handy on your trip. Again, these cards usually come with higher annual fees and interest rates, so don’t let the promise of rewards sway you. Instead, make sure you compare the other features, fees and costs involved before applying.

Comparison of rewards credit cards

Rates last updated February 25th, 2017
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee
American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card
Receive 5,000 Membership Rewards Bonus Points when you meet the minimum spend requirement. Enjoy a $200 travel credit every year and get 0% p.a. for 12 months on balance transfers.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($195 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
American Express Explorer Credit Card
Receive 50,000 Membership Rewards Bonus Points on eligible spend within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Also enjoy a $400 travel voucher and two complimentary airline passes per year.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $395 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Essential Credit Card
Receive a $50 credit on eligible spend and get Smartphone screen insurance combined with a no annual fee for life card. Also enjoy a 0% p.a. balance transfer rate for 12 months.
14.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $0 p.a. Go to site More info
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
Enjoy an annual fee refund every year if you meet the spend requirement with a balance transfer offer, high credit limits and prestige services including a personal concierge service and VISA Platinum rewards program.
19.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 15 months $149 p.a. Go to site More info
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
Earn 2 bonus Velocity Points in the first 3 months plus a low balance transfer offer of 0% p.a. for 18 months
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 18 months $64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
HSBC Platinum Qantas Credit Card
Receive 60,000 bonus Qantas Points on eligible spend within 3 months. Enjoy access to premium benefits and complimentary insurance.
19.99% p.a. $199 p.a. Go to site More info
Citi Rewards Credit Card - Platinum Card
Consolidate your debt with a low balance transfer offer of 0% p.a. for 24 months and a host of platinum privileges. Earn up to 1.25 Citi Reward Points for every $1 spend.
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) Go to site More info
American Express Velocity Platinum Card
Enjoy up to 50,000 bonus Velocity Points when you meet the minimum required spend and earn up to 3 rewards points per dollar spent. Also receive a complimentary return flight every year.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $349 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Velocity Escape Card
Enjoy 7,500 bonus Velocity Points when you meet the minimum spend requirement and earn up to 2 points for every $1 you spend, together with a $0 annual fee.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $0 p.a. Go to site More info
Virgin Australia Velocity High Flyer Card - 30k Bonus Points offer
Receive up to 30,000 bonus Velocity Points and earn 1 Velocity Points per $1 spent. Receive an exclusive $129 Virgin Australia Gift Voucher and two complimentary Single Entry Virgin Australia domestic Lounge passes each year.
20.74% p.a. 1.9% p.a. for 15 months $144 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($289 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info

Credit cards with purchase protection

Shopping with a credit card overseas can help you make more secure purchases. Many credit cards offer purchase protection cover, which can protect you from fraudulent transactions, replacement or a refund of the purchase price if an item is lost, damaged or stolen and extended warranty protection. In the case of an emergency, make sure you understand what you’re covered for under the policy and the contact details you’ll need to report an issue or make a claim.

Comparison of credit cards with purchase protection

Rates last updated February 25th, 2017
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee
American Express Essential Credit Card
Receive a $50 credit on eligible spend and get Smartphone screen insurance combined with a no annual fee for life card. Also enjoy a 0% p.a. balance transfer rate for 12 months.
14.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $0 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Qantas Discovery Card
Bonus points and purchase protection repairs or replaces eligible items if they are accidentally broken or stolen within 90 days of purchase.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $0 p.a. Go to site More info
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
The HSBC Platinum Credit Card offers purchase protection cover for eligible purchases.
19.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 15 months $149 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Velocity Escape Card
Enjoy 7,500 bonus Velocity Points when you meet the minimum spend requirement and earn up to 2 points for every $1 you spend, together with a $0 annual fee.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $0 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card
Receive 5,000 Membership Rewards Bonus Points when you meet the minimum spend requirement. Enjoy a $200 travel credit every year and get 0% p.a. for 12 months on balance transfers.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($195 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
ANZ Frequent Flyer Platinum
Get 50,000 bonus Qantas Points when you apply online, are approved and spend $2,500 on eligible purchases within the first 3 months. Enjoy a waived annual fee for the first year and earn up to 1.5 Qantas Points per dollar spent.
19.99% p.a. $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($295 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
HSBC Platinum Qantas Credit Card
Receive 60,000 bonus Qantas Points on eligible spend within 3 months. Enjoy access to premium benefits and complimentary insurance.
19.99% p.a. $199 p.a. Go to site More info
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
Earn 2 Velocity Points per $1 spent and save with a reduced annual fee and a 0% p.a. balance transfer offer for 18 months.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 18 months $64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
ANZ Platinum Credit Card - Exclusive Offer
Receive a low introductory offer of 0% p.a. on purchases for 3 months and 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 12 months. Also, enjoy an annual fee waiver in the first year.
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) Go to site More info
NAB Low Fee Card
Enjoy a low annual fee card with a low introductory rate of 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 18 months.
19.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 18 months with a one off 3% balance transfer fee $30 p.a. Go to site More info

Happy woman buying online with a smart phone

After your holiday: Consolidating any post-holiday debts

In 2015, finder.com.au reported that more than 2 million travellers were hit with debt lag when they returned from their holiday. According to the survey, one in three Australians who used their credit card on holiday failed to pay off their accumulated debt, worth a total of $139 million, in time to avoid interest. So, while a credit card can be a useful way to manage your costs, it can also be an easy way to fall into debt if you’re not careful. If you have overspent and are struggling to pay off your post-holiday debt, it might be time to consider a balance transfer.

Balance transfer

If you’re struggling to repay your holiday debt due to interest, a 0% balance transfer credit card could help you pay off your debt faster without the cost of interest. 0% balance transfer offers are only available for a promotional period and generally last from 6 to 20 months. When the promotional offer ends, a standard balance transfer interest rate will apply and your debt will continue to grow with interest. So if you really want to et your post-holiday debt under control, be sure to pay the debt off in full before the offer ends.

Comparison of balance transfer credit cards

Rates last updated February 25th, 2017
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
Offers 0% p.a. interest rate on balance transfers for 18 months to help you manage your existing credit card balance with a reduced annual fee in the first year.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 18 months $64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
Receive a full annual fee refund and save $149 if you meet the $6,000 spend requirement. Enjoy a balance transfer offer and platinum card benefits such as complimentary insurances and concierge services.
19.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 15 months $149 p.a. Go to site More info
ANZ Platinum Credit Card - Exclusive Offer
Receive a low introductory offer of 0% p.a. on purchases for 3 months and 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 12 months. Also, enjoy an annual fee waiver in the first year.
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) Go to site More info
Citi Rewards Credit Card - Platinum Card
A long term balance transfer offer with the Citi Rewards Platinum Card. Earn extra points on overseas spend and includes travel insurance.
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) Go to site More info
American Express Essential Credit Card
Receive a $50 credit on eligible spend and get Smartphone screen insurance combined with a no annual fee for life card. Also enjoy a 0% p.a. balance transfer rate for 12 months.
14.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $0 p.a. Go to site More info
NAB Premium Card
Benefit from premium credit card advantages including travel insurance, Platinum Concierge Service plus 0% p.a. for 24 months on balance transfers.
19.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 24 months with a one off 3% balance transfer fee $90 p.a. Go to site More info
St.George Vertigo Visa
Introductory offer of 0% p.a. for 12 months on balance transfers and 0% p.a. for 6 months on purchases, plus a low annual fee.
0% p.a. for 6 months (reverts to 13.24% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 12 months $55 p.a. Go to site More info
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Visa Credit Card
Enjoy a low annual fee combined with 0% p.a. balance transfer offer for 12 months and 0% p.a. for up to 6 months on purchases.
0% p.a. for 6 months (reverts to 13.24% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 12 months $55 p.a. Go to site More info
Virgin No Annual Fee Credit Card
Enjoy a long term balance transfer plus a $100 cashback offer (spend criteria applies) and never pay an annual fee for this card.
18.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 18 months with 2% balance transfer fee $0 p.a. Go to site More info
HSBC Low Rate Credit Card
This card comes with a balance transfer offer, a low interest rate and up to 55 days interest-free on purchases.
13.25% p.a. 0% p.a. for 15 months with 2% balance transfer fee $55 p.a. Go to site More info

For more tips, see our guide on how to use a credit card for your next holiday.

What are the benefits of using a credit card to fund your student holiday?

  • Security of credit. Credit cards give you access to an emergency line of credit and their purchase protection features could give you extra peace of mind when shopping overseas.
  • Travel-centric extras. Some credit cards offer extra features designed for frequent travellers including rewards programs, complimentary airline lounge access and included international travel insurance.
  • Manage prepaid cash flow. Using a credit card to pay for expenses such as flights can free up your savings for incidental expenses and holiday spending.
  • Debt consolidation tool. If you return from holiday with a debt, a balance transfer credit card can help you consolidate your balance in a credit card with 0% on balance transfers for a set period. Not only will you be able to pay off your debt quicker, but you can do so without the burden of interest.

What are the downfalls of using a credit card to fund your student holiday?

  • Temptation to spend. Unlike when you’re spending to a budget with your debit card, a credit card can tempt you to spend more than you have. Remember that you have to repay everything you charge (plus interest) and stick to a budget whenever you can.
  • Come with extra costs. Unlike a debit card, credit cards come with extra costs such as annual fees, interest charges and late payment fees.
  • Shouldn’t be used for ATM withdrawals. Using your credit card at an ATM is considered a cash advance. Unfortunately, cash advances collect a higher interest rate and can also incur a cash advance fee. You might want to consider a debit card or prepaid travel card for withdrawals instead.
  • Eligibility requirements. Credit cards also come with stricter eligibility requirements than debit cards or prepaid cards. This means you’ll need to meet a minimum income requirement, have a good credit history and meet the age restriction to receive approval.

How do I apply for a credit card to fund my student holiday?

If you’ve decided to use a credit card to fund your student holiday and have compared your options, you’ll need to make sure you meet the eligibility requirements and have prepared the necessary documents before you apply:

Eligibility requirements

  • Age. All Australian credit cards require cardholders to be at least 18 years old.
  • Minimum income. Most credit cards come with a minimum income requirement. If you’re studying full-time, you might want to consider comparing low income credit cards (which usually start at around $15,000 p.a.) to ensure you meet the minimum requirement.
  • Credit history. Credit card issuers require applicants to have a good credit history. If you’ve never had a credit card before, it’s likely that you’ll have no activity on your credit history. If this is the case, you might need to get in touch with the issuer directly to see if there are any other details you need to provide to improve your chances of approval if you don’t have a credit score.
  • Residential status. Many credit cards require cardholders to be permanent Australian residents.
  • Full-time enrolment. If you’re applying for a student credit card, you’ll need to be enrolled full-time at an eligible university, TAFE or other education institution.

Required documents

  • Proof of identity. You’ll need to provide proof of identity such as your birth certificate, passport or driver’s licence.
  • Proof of income. You’ll need to include proof of income such as recent payslips, Centrelink payments and even student scholarships if relevant.
  • Student information. You’ll need to also provide proof of your full-time enrolment.
  • Co-signer. If you’ve never had a credit card, you might be required to have a co-signer when you sign up for the card. The co-signer is usually your parent or guardian and will be responsible for your debt if you’re unable to make repayments.

A credit card can come in handy whether you’re planning for your holiday, managing your travel spending budget or consolidating your post-holiday debt. However, it’s important to remember that you have to repay everything you charge and you don’t want to rack up debt and get your credit history off to a bad start while you’re still studying. Above all, be sure to compare your options and ensure you can afford the card before you apply.

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