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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 November 18th, 2017
Name Product Purchase rate (p.a.) Interest Free Period Annual fee Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Product Description
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, receive 0% p.a. interest on purchases for 3 months and 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 12 months with no balance transfer fee.
Bankwest Breeze Classic Mastercard
0% p.a. for 13 months (reverts to 12.99% p.a.)
Up to 55 days on purchases
$79 p.a.
0% p.a. for 13 months with 2% balance transfer fee
Get the security of free worldwide emergency card replacement and the convenience of Mastercard PayPass.
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - 0% Interest Offer
0% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 20.74% p.a.)
Up to 44 days on purchases
$129 p.a.
0% p.a. for 6 months
Until 30 November 2017 get 0% p.a. on purchases for 12 months. Plus, up to 0.66 Velocity Points per $1 spent.
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.
Bankwest Breeze Platinum Mastercard
0% p.a. for 13 months (reverts to 12.99% p.a.)
Up to 55 days on purchases
$99 p.a.
0% p.a. for 13 months with 2% balance transfer fee
Receive complimentary international travel insurance, extended warranty cover and 0% foreign transaction fees.
Bankwest Low Rate Business Mastercard
0% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 11.99% p.a.)
Up to 55 days on purchases
$99 p.a.
Offers an introductory 0% p.a. interest rate on purchases for 12 months. Plus, add up to 3 additional cardholders for $0.
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 up to 55 days interest-free on purchases, special offers from Visa Entertainment and Tap and Pay capabilities.

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 November 18th, 2017
Name Product Bonus Points Rewards Points per $ spent (VISA/MC) Rewards Points per $ spent (AMEX) Purchase rate (p.a.) Annual fee Product Description
Qantas Premier Platinum
75,000 bonus points
1
19.99% p.a.
$149 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($299 p.a. thereafter)
Fly faster with up to 2 Qantas Points per $1 spent, receive 2 yearly complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations, plus, included travel insurance.
HSBC Platinum Qantas Credit Card
60,000 bonus points
1
19.99% p.a.
$199 p.a.
Receive 60,000 bonus Qantas Points when you meet the spend requirement and earn up to 1 Qantas Point per $1 spent.
American Express Velocity Platinum Card
50,000 bonus points
1.5
20.74% p.a.
$375 p.a.
Receive a complimentary Virgin Australia return Economy domestic flight each anniversary year and complimentary travel insurance.
Citi Platinum Credit Card - 100k Bonus Points
100,000 bonus points
1
20.99% p.a.
$49 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter)
Earn 100,000 reward Points, take advantage of a long-term balance transfer offer and receive complimentary travel insurance.
American Express Explorer Credit Card
50,000 bonus points
2
20.74% p.a.
$395 p.a.
Receive a $400 Travel Credit every year and up to two entries per year to the American Express Lounge at Sydney International Airport.
Bankwest More Platinum Mastercard
75,000 bonus points
2
19.99% p.a.
$160 p.a.
Earn 2 More Rewards Points per $1 spent and pay 0% foreign transaction fees for online and overseas purchases.
Virgin Australia Velocity High Flyer Card - 80k Bonus Points offer
80,000 bonus points
1
20.74% p.a.
$289 p.a.
Take off sooner with up to 1 Velocity Point per $1 spent and earn up to 80,000 bonus Velocity Points. Plus, complimentary travel insurance.
Citi Qantas Signature Credit Card
50,000 bonus points
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.
Qantas American Express Premium Card
30,000 bonus points
1.25
20.74% p.a.
$249 p.a.
Enjoy two complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations per year and the protection of complimentary travel insurance.
Citi Signature Credit Card
120,000 bonus points
1
20.99% p.a.
$199 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($395 p.a. thereafter)
Earn from 1 Point per $1 spent on selected purchases and receive a complimentary Priority Pass membership with two airport lounge visits per year.
Qantas American Express Ultimate Card
55,000 bonus points
1.5
20.74% p.a.
$450 p.a.
Take advantage of a high Qantas Points earn rate and two American Express Airport Lounge entries each calendar year.
Emirates Citi World Mastercard
60,000 bonus points
1
0
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 carefully curated local and global experiences.
American Express Platinum Card
80,000 bonus points
1
$1,200 p.a.
Receive an annual $300 Platinum Travel Credit, membership to an elite tier of partner programs and access to more than 1,100 VIP lounges.
American Express Platinum Business Card
120,000 bonus points
0
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
1
20.74% p.a.
$99 p.a.
Receive benefits through David Jones including complimentary standard delivery, gift wrapping and invites to exclusive fashion events.
Citi Prestige Card
150,000 bonus points
3
20.99% p.a.
$700 p.a.
Earn from 1 Point per $1 spent on selected purchases and enjoy unlimited airport lounge access with a complimentary Priority Pass.
NAB Rewards Platinum Card
60,000 bonus points
1
19.99% p.a.
$195 p.a.
Collect 60,000 bonus points when you spend $2,500 on everyday purchases within 60 days of account opening.
NAB Rewards Signature Card
100,000 bonus points
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
0
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
0.75
19.99% p.a.
$95 p.a.
Earn 0.75 NAB Rewards Points per $1 spent and receive complimentary purchase protection insurance.
ANZ Rewards Black Credit Card
75,000 bonus points
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 spend $2,500 on eligible purchases within the first 3 months and complimentary travel insurance.
Bank of Melbourne Amplify Platinum
40,000 bonus points
1
19.49% p.a.
$99 p.a.
Earn 1 Amplify Rewards Point per $1 spent and receive complimentary travel insurance and purchase protection.
ANZ Rewards Platinum
65,000 bonus points
1.5
18.79% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($95 p.a. thereafter)
Receive 65,000 bonus Reward Points when you spend $2,500 within the first 3 months from card approval.
ANZ Rewards Credit Card
25,000 bonus points
1
18.79% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($80 p.a. thereafter)
Receive 25,000 bonus Reward Points when you spend $2,500 on eligible purchases in the first 3 months from approval.
ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures card
40,000 bonus points
1.5
20.24% p.a.
$225 p.a.
Receive 40,000 bonus Velocity Points when you spend $500 on eligible purchases in the first three months.
Bank of Melbourne Amplify Signature
60,000 bonus points
1.5
0
19.49% p.a.
$279 p.a.
Earn 1.5 Amplify Rewards Points per $1 spent and receive an additional card at no extra cost.
American Express Business Explorer Credit Card
100,000 bonus points
2
16.99% p.a.
$395 p.a.
Earn 100,000 bonus points when you meet the requirement and 2 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent.
St.George Amplify Signature
60,000 bonus points
1.5
19.49% p.a.
$279 p.a.
Earn up to 1.5 Amplify Rewards Points per $1 spent and receive two complimentary airport lounge passes per year.
St.George Amplify Platinum
40,000 bonus points
1
0
19.49% p.a.
$99 p.a.
Earn up to 1 Amplify Rewards Point per $1 spent and receive complimentary overseas travel insurance.
Bankwest More Mastercard
19,500 bonus points
1.5
19.99% p.a.
$100 p.a.
Earn 1.5 More Rewards Points per $1 spent and get free worldwide emergency card replacement.
BankSA Amplify Signature
60,000 bonus points
1.5
0
19.49% p.a.
$279 p.a.
Earn 1.5 Amplify Rewards Points per $1 spent, receive complimentary travel insurance and access to the Visa Luxury Hotel Collection.
American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card
100,000 bonus points
1.25
$450 p.a.
Earn up to 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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