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How to compare credit card bonuses this Christmas

From interest-free purchases to bonus point offers, here's how you can get more bang for your buck this Christmas.

If you're planning to use a credit card this holiday season, you could get extra value from one that comes with an introductory offer. While credit card companies use these promotions to entice you to sign up before Christmas, they can also help you save on interest or give you bonus points you can redeem for rewards such as travel, gift cards and merchandise.

Use this guide to compare the latest credit card offers, as well as the benefits and terms and conditions you should consider to get the most value out of your new card this Christmas.

Compare cards with 0% purchase rate offers

Rates last updated December 17th, 2017
Name Product Purchase rate (p.a.) Interest Free Period Annual fee Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Product Description
NAB Low Rate Platinum Card
0% p.a. for 9 months (reverts to 13.99% p.a.)
Up to 55 days on purchases
$100 p.a.
4.99% p.a. for 6 months
A platinum card that offers an introductory rate of 0% p.a. for 9 months on purchases.
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - 0% Interest Offer
0% p.a. for 14 months (reverts to 20.74% p.a.)
Up to 44 days on purchases
$129 p.a.
0% p.a. for 6 months
Until 31 January 2018 get 0% p.a. on purchases for 14 months. Plus, up to 0.66 Velocity Points per $1 spent.
ANZ Platinum Credit Card - Exclusive Offer
0% p.a. for 3 months (reverts to 19.74% p.a.)
Up to 55 days on purchases
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($87 p.a. thereafter)
0% p.a. for 12 months
Exclusive to finder, get 0% p.a. interest on purchases for 3 months and 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 12 months. Ends 17 December 2017.
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.
4.99% p.a. for 6 months
Receive an introductory 0% p.a. interest rate for 6 months on purchases, Visa Entertainment offers and a competitive $59 ongoing annual fee.

Compare up to 4 providers

Credit cards with 0% purchase rateschristmastreecard

A 0% purchase credit card offer gives you a way to make interest-free purchases with your credit card during the promotional period, which is usually between 3 and 13 months. So rather than collecting interest on your Christmas gifts, you can pay off your balance without any additional costs while the promotion is in place.

But if you don't pay off your entire balance by the end of the introductory period, the remaining balance will start collecting interest at the card's standard purchase rate. This is usually between 13% p.a. to 22% p.a. It's also important to note that while purchases enjoy the 0% interest rate, ATM cash advances or cash-equivalent transactions (such as buying traveller's cheques, gambling or conducting a balance transfer) are not eligible for the interest-free promotion.

Some 0% interest credit cards also come with other features such as frequent flyer programs, complimentary insurance and other perks, as well as costs such as annual fees. So compare a few options to make sure you apply for the right card.

How much can I save with a 0% purchase rate credit card?

Exactly how much you can save will depend on the length of the promotional period, how much you spend and whether you can pay it all off before the offer ends. Let's say you spend $1,000 at Christmas this year and plan to pay it off over a year. If you got a credit card that offered 0% on purchases for 12 months, you could save $170 on interest when compared to a card with a regular standard variable interest rate of 17% p.a. Note that note that this does not include any card annual fees or other charges.

Bonus points offers

Getting a new credit card with sign-up bonus points can give you hundreds or even thousands of extra reward points. Usually you need to meet a minimum spend requirement to get these points. For example, an offer could provide 30,000 bonus points when you spend $1,500 in the first 3 months.

With spending on presents, food, travel and other holiday items quickly adding up, using one of these credit cards for your Christmas spending could be an easy way to meet the eligibility requirement for extra points. But these cards often come with higher annual fees and interest rates than some other options, so make sure that the value of the reward points isn't outweighed by the costs of the card.

How much can I save with a bonus points credit card?

While there is no fixed dollar value for reward points, sign-up bonuses can provide hundreds of dollars of value when you redeem them. For example, the Qantas Premier Platinum currently offers a bonus 75,000 Qantas Points when you apply by 31 January 2018 and spend $3,000 in the first 90 days from card approval.

That’s enough points for a one-way economy flight from Sydney to London (60,000 Qantas Points). In comparison, buying a Qantas ticket could cost anywhere from $632 to $1,549 (based on booking information from 14 November 2017). So as long as the spending requirement suits your budget, bonus points could be an easy way to get extra value from your new credit card around Christmas.

Compare credit cards with bonus point offers

Rates last updated December 17th, 2017
Name Product Bonus Points Rewards Program Rewards Points per $ spent Purchase rate (p.a.) Annual fee Product Description
HSBC Platinum Qantas Credit Card
60,000 bonus points
Qantas Frequent Flyer
1
19.99% p.a.
$199 p.a.
Receive 60,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $3,000 within 3 months of card approval, plus enjoy complimentary travel insurance.
American Express Velocity Platinum Card
50,000 bonus points
Velocity Frequent Flyer
1.5
20.74% p.a.
$375 p.a.
Receive 50,000 bonus Velocity Points, a complimentary Virgin Australia return Economy domestic flight each anniversary year, plus, 2 lounge passes.
Citi Platinum Credit Card - 100k Bonus Points
100,000 bonus points
Citi Rewards Program
1
20.99% p.a.
$49 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter)
Earn 100,000 reward Points, enjoy a long-term balance transfer offer, a discounted first year annual fee and complimentary travel insurance.
American Express Explorer Credit Card
50,000 bonus points
Membership Rewards Gateway
2
20.74% p.a.
$395 p.a.
Receive a yearly $400 Travel Credit, 50,000 bonus points and up to 2 entries per year to the American Express Lounge at Sydney International Airport.
Bankwest More Platinum Mastercard
75,000 bonus points
Bankwest More Rewards Program
2
19.99% p.a.
$160 p.a.
Earn 2 More Rewards Points per $1 spent, 75,000 bonus points when you meet the spend requirement and save with 0% foreign transaction fees.
Virgin Australia Velocity High Flyer Card - 80k Bonus Points offer
80,000 bonus points
Velocity Frequent Flyer
1
20.74% p.a.
$289 p.a.
Take off sooner with up to 80,000 bonus Velocity Points and earn up to 1 Velocity Point per $1 spent. Plus, complimentary travel insurance.
Citi Signature Qantas Credit Card
50,000 bonus points
Qantas Frequent Flyer
0.5
20.99% p.a.
$199 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($395 p.a. thereafter)
Earn from 0.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent on selected purchases and get 2 airport lounge visits per year. Plus, a discounted first year annual fee.
Qantas American Express Premium Card
30,000 bonus points
Qantas Frequent Flyer
1.25
20.74% p.a.
$249 p.a.
Enjoy 30,000 bonus Qantas Points, 2 complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations per year and the protection of complimentary insurance covers.
Citi Signature Credit Card
120,000 bonus points
Citi Rewards Program
1
20.99% p.a.
$199 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($395 p.a. thereafter)
Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on selected purchases plus receive a complimentary Priority Pass membership and two airport lounge visits per year.
Qantas American Express Ultimate Card
55,000 bonus points
Qantas Frequent Flyer
1.5
20.74% p.a.
$450 p.a.
Take advantage of 55,000 bonus Qantas Points, a $450 Qantas Travel Credit each year and 2 yearly complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations.
Emirates Citi World Mastercard
60,000 bonus points
Emirates Skyward Miles Program
1
20.99% p.a.
$149 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($299 p.a. thereafter)
Earn up to 1.5 Skywards Miles for every $1 spent and indulge in curated local and global experiences, plus a discounted annual fee in the first year.
American Express Platinum Card
80,000 bonus points
Membership Rewards Premium Ascent
1
$1,200 p.a.
Receive an annual $300 Platinum Travel Credit, 80,000 bonus Membership Rewards points and access to more than 1,100 VIP lounges.
American Express Platinum Business Card
120,000 bonus points
Membership Rewards Premium Ascent
1
$1,500 p.a.
Provides easy tracking and management of business expenses. Also earn 120,000 bonus points when you meet the minimum spend requirement.
David Jones American Express
20,000 bonus points
Membership Rewards
1
20.74% p.a.
$99 p.a.
Receive 20,000 bonus points, David Jones benefits including complimentary standard delivery, gift wrapping and invites to exclusive fashion events.
Citi Prestige Card
150,000 bonus points
Citi Rewards Program
3
20.99% p.a.
$700 p.a.
Earn 150,000 bonus Points and 1 Point per $1 spent on selected purchases and enjoy unlimited airport lounge access with Priority Pass.
NAB Rewards Platinum Card
60,000 bonus points
NAB Rewards
1
19.99% p.a.
$195 p.a.
Collect 60,000 bonus points when you spend $2,500 within 60 days of account opening. Plus, receive complimentary travel and purchase insurances.
NAB Rewards Signature Card
100,000 bonus points
NAB Rewards
1.25
19.99% p.a.
$295 p.a.
Earn NAB Rewards points on your everyday spending and enjoy a points booster at selected major retailers. Plus, seven complimentary insurances.
American Express Gold Business Card
10,000 bonus points
Membership Rewards Ascent
1
$169 p.a.
Apply online to receive 10,000 Membership Rewards Bonus Points. Keep track of your business expenses with a dedicated business credit card.
NAB Rewards Classic Card
30,000 bonus points
NAB Rewards
0.75
19.99% p.a.
$95 p.a.
Receive 0.75 NAB Rewards Points per $1 spent and complimentary purchase protection insurance. Plus, a 0% p.a. for 6 months balance transfer offer.
ANZ Rewards Black Credit Card
75,000 bonus points
ANZ Rewards Program
2
18.79% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($375 p.a. thereafter)
Receive 75,000 bonus points when you meet the spend requirement. Plus, complimentary travel insurance and a $0 annual fee for the first year.
Bank of Melbourne Amplify Platinum
60,000 bonus points
Amplify Rewards
1
19.49% p.a.
$99 p.a.
Receive 60,000 bonus Amplify or Qantas Points when you spend $3,000 within 90 days and earn up to 1.00 Amplify point per $1 spent.
ANZ Rewards Platinum
65,000 bonus points
ANZ Rewards Program
1.5
18.79% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($95 p.a. thereafter)
Receive a $0 first year annual fee offer, 65,000 bonus Reward Points when you meet the spend criteria and up to 1.5 points per $1 spent.
ANZ Rewards Credit Card
25,000 bonus points
ANZ Rewards Program
1
18.79% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($80 p.a. thereafter)
Get 25,000 bonus Reward Points when you spend $2,500 on eligible purchases in the first 3 months from approval. Plus, a $0 first year annual fee.
ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures card
40,000 bonus points
ANZ Rewards Program
1.5
20.24% p.a.
$225 p.a.
Receive 40,000 bonus Velocity Points, 2 yearly Virgin Australia lounge passes, plus enjoy $0 overseas purchase transaction fees.
Bank of Melbourne Amplify Signature
90,000 bonus points
Amplify Rewards
1.5
19.49% p.a.
$279 p.a.
Receive 90,000 bonus Amplify or Qantas Points when you spend $5,000 within 90 days and earn up to 1.50 Amplify points per $1 spent.
American Express Business Explorer Credit Card
100,000 bonus points
Membership Rewards Gateway
2
16.99% p.a.
$395 p.a.
Earn 100,000 bonus points when you meet the spend criteria. Plus, 2 yearly entries to the American Express Lounge at Sydney International Airport.
St.George Amplify Signature
90,000 bonus points
Amplify Rewards
1.5
19.49% p.a.
$279 p.a.
Receive 90,000 bonus Amplify or Qantas Points when you spend $5,000 within 90 days and earn up to 1.50 Amplify points per $1 spent.
St.George Amplify Platinum
60,000 bonus points
Amplify Rewards
1
19.49% p.a.
$99 p.a.
Receive 60,000 bonus Amplify or Qantas Points when you spend $3,000 within 90 days and earn up to 1.00 Amplify point per $1 spent.
Bankwest More Mastercard
19,500 bonus points
Bankwest More Rewards Program
1.5
19.99% p.a.
$100 p.a.
Earn 1.5 More Rewards Points per $1 spent, 19,500 bonus points when you meet the spend criteria and receive a 0% p.a. balance transfer offer.
NAB Rewards Business Signature Card
100,000 bonus points
NAB Rewards
1.25
18.50% p.a.
$175 p.a.
Earn 100,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 on everyday business purchases in the first 60 days of account opening.
BankSA Amplify Signature
90,000 bonus points
Amplify Rewards
1.5
19.49% p.a.
$279 p.a.
Receive 90,000 bonus Amplify or Qantas Points when you spend $5,000 within 90 days and earn up to 1.50 Amplify points per $1 spent.
American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card
100,000 bonus points
Qantas Business Rewards
1.25
$450 p.a.
Earn up to 100,000 bonus points, 2 Qantas Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases and enjoy up to 51 days interest-free on purchases.

Compare up to 4 providers

What other credit card offers can I get at Christmas?

couplechristmasWhile 0% purchase credit cards and rewards credit cards with bonus points are obvious ways to get more value from your card this Christmas, some other card offers and features that could come in handy this festive season include:

  • Cashback offers. Cashback credit cards reward you with credit for your account, which could mean more cash in your pocket this Christmas. Depending on the card, you can get cashback at the end of a period (a percentage of your expenditure), convert your reward points into cash instead of goods or as part of a promotional offer when you sign up for the card. For example, you may be offered $200 cashback when you spend $500 in the first 3 months from card approval. Some of these deals are further sweetened with 0% interest rates or $0 annual fees.
  • Purchase rate and balance transfer offers. If you're repaying a debt but also need access to cash this Christmas, a card with 0% interest on balance transfers and 0% purchase rate could come in handy. Most cards only offer a 0% offer on one or the other, so this can be a good way to take advantage of both. However, if you want to avoid paying interest, make sure you understand when both of the 0% promotional rates end. Otherwise, you could end up collecting interest on either your purchase or balance transfer and continue building up debt.
  • Balance transfer offers. If you're struggling to repay a high-interest debt, a balance transfer credit card can help you repay your debt without the cost of interest for a promotional period. Currently, most Australian balance transfers have a 0% interest rate for a promotional period of 6 to 24 months. So if you want to get your debt in control before Christmas or need a means of debt consolidation after you've paid for Christmas gifts on plastic, a balance transfer credit card could come in handy.

What else should I look at when comparing credit card offers this Christmas?

Here are some points to consider before choosing a credit card for your Christmas shopping:

  • Promotional period. It is important to note that the promotional rate or reward usually only applies during the introductory period. After that, the interest rate will revert to a higher standard rate, points will be earned at a standard rate per $1 spent and any reduced or waived annual fee deals will not apply. This basically means your costs for the card will go up, so it's important to repay your debts and understand what fees are involved before this happens.
  • Offer end date. This refers to the deadline for applying for a card that has an introductory offer. The offer usually ends by a stipulated date and you may want to catch it before that day. For example, a card may offer 0% interest on purchases for 6 months if you apply by 31 December.
  • Eligibility requirements. Depending on the card, you'll usually need to be a minimum of 18 years of age, be an Australian citizen or permanent resident, have a good credit history and meet a minimum income requirement. Some cards, such as balance transfers, also have restrictions regarding how much you can transfer and which banks you can transfer from, which is important to know before applying. You can see this guide for a list of the eligibility requirements you can usually expect when applying for a credit card.
  • Eligible purchases.The 0% purchase rate is only applicable to “eligible purchases”. These usually exclude utility bills, gambling purchases, cash-equivalent transactions and balance transfers.
  • Annual fee. Some credit cards offer competitive frequent flyer points bonuses, high reward earn rates and low interest fees, but charge proportionately (or disproportionately) high annual fees for them. It is good practice to do the sums and determine if the fees for a card are worth the perks, and consider if those are perks you’ll even use in the first place.
  • Points value. Getting a free return flight for simply signing up for a card and paying with plastic almost sounds too good to be true, and sometimes it really is. Sometimes you’re paying a high annual fee or high-interest rates for those points. Remember to do your research about rewards programs, consider the redemption options and decide if you will earn enough points for the card to be worth it when other costs are considered.
  • Other features. Some credit cards offer other complimentary extras and perks. For example, if you travel frequently, you may want to look for a card that gives you complimentary travel insurance and low or 0% foreign transaction rates. Some cards offer purchase protection or extended warranties on your purchases, which might also appeal to you, while others have concierge services.

When choosing a new credit card around Christmas, make sure you compare your options carefully and consider both the promotional benefits and long-term features of each card. That way, you'll be able to find a card that works for your over the Christmas period and into the New Year.

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Images: Shutterstock

Amy Bradney-George

Amy is a Senior Writer at finder.com.au with more than 10 years experience covering credit cards, personal finance and various lifestyle topics. When she’s not sharing her knowledge on money matters, Amy spends her time as an actress.

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