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.

Rates last updated June 29th, 2017
Name Product Product Description 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 when you pay for your phone or contract.
14.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$0 p.a.
Citi Simplicity Card
Receive access to complimentary purchase insurance and free bottles of wine with the Citibank Dining Program.
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 6 months
$0 p.a.
St.George Vertigo Visa
Get up to 55 interest-free days on purchases and an additional card for $0.
13.24% p.a.
0% p.a. for 14 months
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
Coles Platinum No Annual Fee Mastercard
Receive $100 off a single Coles Supermarket shop if you apply, are approved by and make a purchase within the first 30 days.
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 6 months
$0 p.a.
BankSA Vertigo Visa
Get up to 55 interest-free days on purchases and an additional card for $0.
13.24% p.a.
0% p.a. for 14 months
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
ANZ Platinum Credit Card - Exclusive Offer
Pay 0% p.a. for 3 months on purchases and receive platinum perks including complimentary travel and purchase insurance.
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)
ANZ Frequent Flyer Black
Receive 75,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $2,500 on eligible purchases within the first 3 months.
19.99% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($425 p.a. thereafter)
Qantas American Express Discovery Card
Earn an uncapped 1 Qantas Frequent Flyer point per $1 spent, plus complimentary purchase insurance.
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$0 p.a.
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
Earn 1.00 Reward Point per $1 spent and gain access to the Visa Platinum concierge service and Visa Entertainment.
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 22 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$99 p.a.
ANZ Frequent Flyer Platinum
Get 50,000 bonus points when you apply online, are approved and spend $2,500 on eligible purchases in the first 3 months.
19.99% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($295 p.a. thereafter)

Compare up to 4 providers

Learn more about No Annual Fee Credit Cards

Rates last updated June 29th, 2017
Name Product Product Description Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee
NAB Low Rate Credit Card
Gain access to Visa Global Customer Assistance Services and add an additional cardholder at no cost.
13.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 16 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$59 p.a.
HSBC Low Rate Credit Card
Enjoy exclusive offers with the home&Away Privilege Program, and the ability to pay with Apple Pay.
13.25% p.a.
0% p.a. for 15 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$55 p.a.
St.George Vertigo Platinum
Features platinum insurance covers including Extended Warranty, Price Guarantee and Purchase Cover Insurance.
12.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 20 months
$99 p.a.
St.George Vertigo Visa
Receive exclusive ticket and lifestyle offers through Visa Entertainment and the security of Falcon Fraud protection.
13.24% p.a.
0% p.a. for 14 months
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
Bankwest Breeze Mastercard
Receive up to 55 day interest-free on purchases and free worldwide emergency card replacement.
12.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 21 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$59 p.a.
Westpac Low Rate Card - Online Only Balance Transfer Offer
Offers a long term balance transfer rate of 0% for 24 months and up to $25 off your first Uber ride.
13.49% p.a.
0% p.a. for 24 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$59 p.a.
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Platinum
Take advantage of overseas travel insurance, purchase cover insurance, price guarantee cover and extended warranties.
12.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 20 months
$99 p.a.
Bendigo Bank Basic Black Credit Card
A basic low fee, low ongoing rate card that calculates interest from the monthly statement date.
12.24% p.a.
$45 p.a.
BankSA Vertigo Visa
Add one additional cardholder at no extra cost and enjoy the protection of secure shopping and fraud monitoring.
13.24% p.a.
0% p.a. for 14 months
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
ANZ Low Rate Platinum
Enjoy platinum benefits with exclusive discounts, complimentary travel insurance and personal concierge.
11.49% p.a.
0% p.a. for 16 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$99 p.a.
NAB Low Rate Platinum Card
Includes four complimentary travel insurances, concierge service and complimentary purchase insurance covers.
13.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 16 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$100 p.a.
ANZ Low Rate
Get peace of mind with ANZ Falcon security protection and Mastercard's Zero Liability Guarantee.
12.49% p.a.
0% p.a. for 16 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$58 p.a.
Coles Low Rate Mastercard
Receive $100 off a single Coles Supermarket shop If you apply, are approved by and make a purchase within the first 30 days.
12.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 6 months
$49 p.a.
American Express Essential®  Credit Card
Earn 1.00 Membership Rewards point per $1 spent and receive a $50 credit when you meet the eligibility criteria.
14.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$0 p.a.
Virgin Money Low Rate Credit Card
Choose to get the protection of CreditShield Edge and enjoy the convenience of Visa payWave.
11.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months
$99 p.a.

Compare up to 4 providers

Learn 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. Another benefit of low interest cards is that they 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.

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