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No Annual Fee Cards vs. Low Interest Credit Cards

When selecting a credit card, you need to consider how the features offered with them would work, in terms of saving you money.

You need to decide whether a card with a low interest rate or one with a minimal annual fee will be of more benefit to you. Working out which card is right for you usually comes down to your spending habits when using your card, so you need to weigh up the benefits of low interest vs no card fee credit cards.

Comparison of No Annual Fee and Low Interest Rate credit cards

Rates last updated July 21st, 2019
Name Product Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate Annual fee Product Description
28 Degrees Platinum Mastercard
21.99% p.a.
$0 p.a.
Save with 0% foreign transaction fees on purchases. Plus, complimentary flight delay passes, global wifi access and a concierge service.
St.George Vertigo Classic - Exclusive Offer
0% for 14 months, reverts to 13.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 6 months
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
Finder Exclusive:
Low rate card offering 0% p.a. interest on purchases for the first 14 months and on balance transfers for 6 months. Plus, a $0 first year annual fee.
Citi Clear Platinum Credit Card
12.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 14 months
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
Offers a long-term balance transfer and $0 first year annual fee. Plus, insurance covers and Citibank Dining Program perks.
St.George No Annual Fee
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$0 p.a.
Receive up to 55 days interest-free on purchases, a low minimum credit limit of $500 and a long-term balance transfer offer.
HSBC Platinum Qantas Credit Card
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($79 p.a. thereafter)
Save with a $0 first year annual fee and a long-term balance transfer offer. Plus, complimentary travel insurance.
Citi Rewards Platinum Credit Card - Balance Transfer Offer
20.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 26 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($199 p.a. thereafter)
Earn reward Points per $1 spent, take advantage of a 0% p.a. for 26 month balance transfer offer, plus $0 first year annual fee.
Westpac Low Fee Platinum Card
0% for 9 months, reverts to 20.09% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($90 p.a. thereafter)
Save with a $0 first year annual fee and a 0% p.a. interest rate for 9 months on purchases with platinum perks.
Virgin No Annual Fee Credit Card
18.99% p.a.
6.9% p.a. for 36 months
$0 p.a.
Offers 6.9% p.a. for 36 months on balance transfers and up to 44 days interest-free on purchases, all for a $0 annual fee.
Bank of Melbourne No Annual Fee Card
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$0 p.a.
Take advantage of a 0% p.a. for 12 months balance transfer, get up to 55 days interest-free on purchases and pay no annual fee for the life of the card.
BankSA No Annual Fee
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$0 p.a.
Offers a 0% p.a. for 12 months balance transfer, up to 55 days interest-free on purchases and an ongoing $0 annual fee.

Compare up to 4 providers

Read more about No annual fee credit cards
Rates last updated July 21st, 2019
Name Product Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate Annual fee Product Description
Latitude Low Rate Mastercard
11.99% p.a.
$69 p.a.
Offers a competitively low interest rate and annual fee, plus up to 55 interest-free days on purchases.
Citi Clear Platinum Credit Card
12.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 14 months
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
Offers a long-term balance transfer and $0 first year annual fee. Plus, insurance covers and Citibank Dining Program perks.
Bendigo Bank Low Rate Mastercard
11.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$45 p.a.
Take advantage of 0% p.a. for 18 months on balance transfers, plus a low variable purchase interest rate of 11.99% p.a. on purchases.
St.George Vertigo Classic - Exclusive Offer
0% for 14 months, reverts to 13.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 6 months
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
Finder Exclusive:
Low rate card offering 0% p.a. interest on purchases for the first 14 months and on balance transfers for 6 months. Plus, a $0 first year annual fee.
ANZ Low Rate
12.49% p.a.
0% p.a. for 15 months
$58 p.a.
With a low minimum credit limit of $1,000, this no frills card allows you to add up to 3 additional cardholders for $0.
Westpac Low Rate Card
13.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months
$59 p.a.
A low rate card offering 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 18 months and a competitive purchase rate.
St.George Vertigo Platinum
12.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months
$49 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
Features a long-term 0% balance transfer offer, $49 first year annual fee and access to a 24/7 personal concierge service.
Virgin Money Low Rate Credit Card
11.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 14 months
$49 p.a.
Get a $49 annual fee, 10% cashback on purchases made in the first 3 months (capped at $100) and a 14-month balance transfer.
Citi Rewards Platinum Credit Card - Exclusive Offer
0% for 13 months, reverts to 20.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 13 months
$49 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter)
Finder Exclusive:
Save with 0% interest on purchases and balance transfers for 13 months (with no BT fee). Plus, a discounted $49 annual fee for the first year.
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Classic
13.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 16 months
$55 p.a.
Enjoy 0% p.a. interest for up to 16 months on balance transfers. Plus, a low annual fee and competitive purchase rate.
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Platinum
12.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months
$49 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
Get a range of complimentary insurance covers, access to a 24/7 concierge and the convenience of Visa payWave contactless technology.
BankSA Vertigo Classic
13.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 16 months
$55 p.a.
A no-frills Visa with the protection of a zero liability policy and a 24/7 fraud monitoring service.

Compare up to 4 providers

Read more about Low Interest Credit Cards

People that struggle to make regular payments on the credit card, may find it more useful to have a low interest credit card. This means if you are taking longer to reduce the balance, your interest won't be excessively high. These cards usually include an interest-free period, which gives you a bit longer to pay for your purchase without worrying about accumulating interest.

When you need to make a larger than normal purchase, for example an item costing perhaps $2,000, that is beyond your budget to pay within the interest free period, you have the peace of mind in knowing the interest will be at a lower rate than other types of credit cards.

If you know that you aren't going to be able to pay your balance in full each month, it might be worthwhile considering the low annual fee card. These cards, although having the annual fee cost, do tend to offer a very low rate interest, so overall you would be making a saving if you are making your payments over a prolonged period of time.

No annual fee credit cards are a better alternative for people that enjoy the convenience of having a credit card, but either don't use it frequently or they are in a position to pay off their accounts in full each month. It's useful to know you have a credit card available if you want to do some online shopping or need to access some funds in a hurry or unexpectedly.

But there is no gain in having a low interest card, if you intend to pay your account by the due date. Consequently, it would be of more benefit for people in this position to have a no annual fee card, as they aren't getting the advantages of a low interest one. This is where the choice between a low interest vs no card fee, should be a no annual fee card.

Knowing you can access money in an emergency always gives peace of mind, and you don't have to worry about unforeseen costs catching you out. But, there is no point to having a card if you don't utilise the one which most benefits your circumstances.

The deciding factor on which card you should select will be whether you will have an ongoing balance each month or whether you will pay it in full. So based on that criteria it should simplify your selection of card between a low interest vs no card fee.

Images: Shutterstock

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