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.

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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

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Annual fee Purchase rate Balance transfer rate
Coles No Annual Fee Mastercard
$0
0% p.a. for 12 months, reverts to 19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months
Save on new and existing interest charges with 0% p.a. on balance transfers and purchases for 12 months. Ends 31 January 2021.
Citi Simplicity Card
$0
0% p.a. for 6 months, reverts to 21.49% p.a.
0% p.a. for 6 months
Get 0% p.a. interest for up to 6 months on purchases and balance transfers. Plus, a $0 annual fee for life.
St.George Vertigo Classic
$0 annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
13.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 24 months
Get 0% p.a. promotional balance transfer rate, with no balance transfer fee. Plus, save with a first-year annual fee waiver.
ANZ Low Rate
$0 annual fee for the first year ($58 p.a. thereafter)
12.49% p.a.
0% p.a. for 25 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
Save with 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 25 months (with a 1.5% BT fee) and $0 first-year annual fee. Plus a 12.49% p.a. purchase interest rate.
CUA Low Rate Credit Card
$0 annual fee for the first year ($49 p.a. thereafter)
11.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 20 months
Take advantage of a 0% p.a. balance transfer rate for 20 months, $0 first year annual fee, and a low variable 11.99% p.a. interest rate on purchases.
HSBC Platinum Credit Card - Balance Transfer Offer
$0 annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 26 months with 1% balance transfer fee
Enjoy a 26-month balance transfer offer, a first-year annual fee waiver and complimentary travel insurance.
Bankwest Breeze Classic Mastercard
$0 annual fee for the first year ($49 p.a. thereafter)
10.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 26 months with 2% balance transfer fee
Save with 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 26 months (with a 2% BT fee) and $0 first-year annual fee. Plus, a 10.99% p.a. purchase interest rate.
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Classic
$0 annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
13.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 24 months
Save with a 0% p.a. interest for 24 months on balance transfers, with no balance transfer fee. Plus, a $0 first-year annual fee.
Qantas American Express Discovery Card
$0
20.74% p.a.
Earn 0.75 Qantas Points for your everyday purchases, uncapped, and pay $0 annual fee for the life of the card on this no-frills frequent flyer card.
Bankwest Breeze Platinum Mastercard
$0 annual fee for the first year ($69 p.a. thereafter)
10.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 26 months with 2% balance transfer fee
Get 0% interest on balance transfers for 26 months, a $0 first-year annual fee, complimentary travel insurance and no foreign transaction fees.
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Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Purchase rate Balance transfer rate Annual fee
Westpac Low Rate Card
13.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 24 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$59
A low rate card offering 0% p.a. interest on balance transfers for the first 24 months and a $200 cashback offer.
ANZ Low Rate
12.49% p.a.
0% p.a. for 25 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
$0 annual fee for the first year ($58 p.a. thereafter)
Save with 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 25 months (with a 1.5% BT fee) and $0 first-year annual fee. Plus a 12.49% p.a. purchase interest rate.
Bendigo Bank Low Rate Credit Card
0% p.a. for 15 months, reverts to 11.99% p.a.
13.99% p.a.
$45
Get 0% p.a. on purchases for 15 months and a $150 Woolworths Supermarket gift card when you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days. Ends 31 Jan 2021.
Coles No Annual Fee Mastercard
0% p.a. for 12 months, reverts to 19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months
$0
Save on new and existing interest charges with 0% p.a. on balance transfers and purchases for 12 months. Ends 31 January 2021.
Bankwest Breeze Classic Mastercard
10.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 26 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$0 annual fee for the first year ($49 p.a. thereafter)
Save with 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 26 months (with a 2% BT fee) and $0 first-year annual fee. Plus, a 10.99% p.a. purchase interest rate.
Coles Low Rate Mastercard
12.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 6 months
$58
Enjoy $100 off a Coles Supermarket shop and a 0% balance transfer for 6 months. Plus, earn Flybuys points as you spend. Ends 31 January 2021.
CUA Low Rate Credit Card
11.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 20 months
$0 annual fee for the first year ($49 p.a. thereafter)
Take advantage of a 0% p.a. balance transfer rate for 20 months, $0 first year annual fee, and a low variable 11.99% p.a. interest rate on purchases.
Citi Clear Card
0.9% p.a. for 15 months, reverts to 14.99% p.a.
0.9% p.a. for 15 months
$99
Save with 0.9% p.a. for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers. Plus, complimentary purchase insurance cover.
Bankwest Breeze Platinum Mastercard
10.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 26 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$0 annual fee for the first year ($69 p.a. thereafter)
Get 0% interest on balance transfers for 26 months, a $0 first-year annual fee, complimentary travel insurance and no foreign transaction fees.
St.George Vertigo Classic
13.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 24 months
$0 annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
Get 0% p.a. promotional balance transfer rate, with no balance transfer fee. Plus, save with a first-year annual fee waiver.
St.George Vertigo Platinum
0% p.a. for 15 months, reverts to 12.99% p.a.
6.99% p.a. for 12 months
$49 annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
Features an introductory 0% p.a. purchase rate, $49 first year annual fee and complimentary travel insurance covers.
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Classic
13.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 24 months
$0 annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
Save with a 0% p.a. interest for 24 months on balance transfers, with no balance transfer fee. Plus, a $0 first-year annual fee.
St.George Amplify Platinum
0% p.a. for 7 months, reverts to 19.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 22 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
$0 annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
Save with 0% p.a. interest rates on purchases and balance transfers. Plus a $0 first-year annual fee.
NAB Low Rate Credit Card
12.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 20 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$59
Get a 0% p.a. interest rate for 20 months on balance transfers, Visa Offers + Perks and a competitive $59 ongoing annual fee.
St.George Vertigo Platinum - Cashback Offer
12.99% p.a.
6.99% p.a. for 12 months
$99
Get $300 cashback when you spend at least $900 in the first 90 days. Plus, platinum perks and a low variable interest rate on purchases.
BankSA Vertigo
13.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 24 months
$0 annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
Enjoy a 0% p.a. for 24 months on balance transfers, with no balance transfer fee. Plus, $0 first-year annual fee.
St.George Rainbow Vertigo Platinum
0% p.a. for 15 months, reverts to 12.99% p.a.
6.99% p.a. for 12 months
$49 annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
All the platinum features of the Vertigo Platinum Visa with a rainbow design in support of the LGBT community.
Bank of Melbourne Amplify Platinum
0% p.a. for 7 months, reverts to 19.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 22 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
$0 annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
Enjoy 0% p.a. on purchases and balance transfers along with a $0 first year annual fee waiver.
BankSA Amplify Platinum
0% p.a. for 7 months, reverts to 19.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 22 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
$0 annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
Save with a 0% p.a. for up to 22 months on balance transfers and up to 7 months on purchases. Plus a $0 first-year annual fee.
NAB StraightUp Card
N/A
$0
Save with 0% interest charges and 0% foreign transaction fees. Plus, $0 monthly fees when you don't use the card or carry a balance.
St.George Vertigo Classic Rainbow
13.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 24 months
$0 annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
All the great low cost features of the Vertigo Visa with a rainbow design in support of the LGBT community.
BankSA Vertigo Platinum - Cashback Offer
12.99% p.a.
6.99% p.a. for 12 months
$99
Enjoy a $300 cashback when you spend at least $900 in the first 90 days. Plus, a low ongoing 12.99% p.a. purchase interest rate.
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Platinum - Cashback Offer
12.99% p.a.
6.99% p.a. for 12 months
$99
Enjoy $300 cashback when you spend at least $900 in the first 90 days. Plus, a low ongoing 12.99% p.a. purchase interest rate.
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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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