No Annual Fee Cards vs. Low Interest Credit Cards

Information verified correct on May 24th, 2017

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 May 24th, 2017
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. Go to site More info
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. Go to site More info
St.George Vertigo Visa
Save with 13.24% p.a. on purchases. Also enjoy up to 55 days interest-free.
13.24% p.a. 0% p.a. for 14 months $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
Coles Platinum No Annual Fee Mastercard
A no annual fee card that collects 1 flybuys point per $2 spent.
19.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 6 months $0 p.a. Go to site More info
BankSA Vertigo Visa
Save with 13.24% p.a. on purchases. Also enjoy up to 55 days interest-free.
13.24% p.a. 0% p.a. for 14 months $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
ANZ Platinum Credit Card - Exclusive Offer
Pay 0% p.a. for 3 months and competitive platinum services.
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) Go to site More info
ANZ Frequent Flyer Black
Receive 75,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $2,500 on eligible purchases within the first 3 months. Plus, earn 75 Bonus Status Credits when you apply by 30 June 2017, buy and fly return with Qantas by 30 September 2017.
19.99% p.a. $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($425 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
Qantas American Express Discovery Card
Take advantage of no annual fee for the life of the card plus earn 1 Qantas Frequent Flyer point per $1 spent.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $0 p.a. Go to site More info
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
Earn 1 Reward Point per $1 spent and receive an annual fee refund with minimum spend.
19.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 22 months with 2% balance transfer fee $99 p.a. Go to site More info
ANZ Frequent Flyer Platinum
Get 50,000 bonus Qantas Points when you apply online, are approved and spend $2,500 on eligible purchases within the first 3 months. Enjoy a waived annual fee for the first year and earn up to 0.75 Qantas Points for spending.
19.99% p.a. $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($295 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
NAB Rewards Platinum Card
Earn 1 NAB Rewards Point per $1 spent and receive double points on purchases made in major department and hardware stores.
19.99% p.a. 4.99% p.a. for 6 months $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($195 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
ANZ Rewards Platinum
Receive 50,000 bonus Reward Points when you spend $2,500 within the first 3 months plus enjoy a $0 annual fee for the first year.
18.79% p.a. $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($95 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
Westpac 55 Day Platinum Credit Card
Enjoy platinum card benefits offering 0% p.a. introductory rate on purchases and balance transfers, combined with an annual fee waiver in the first year.
0% p.a. for 6 months (reverts to 19.84% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 12 months $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($90 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
Bankwest Zero Platinum Mastercard
Complimentary travel insurance and 24/7 Concierge service and $0 foreign transaction fees. Plus enjoy a $0 annual fee.
17.99% p.a. 2.99% p.a. for 9 months $0 p.a. Go to site More info
Learn more about No Annual Fee Credit Cards
Rates last updated May 24th, 2017
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee
HSBC Low Rate Credit Card
Save with 13.25% p.a. on purchases. Also enjoy exclusive offers with the home&Away Privilege Program.
13.25% p.a. 0% p.a. for 15 months with 2% balance transfer fee $55 p.a. Go to site More info
St.George Vertigo Visa
Save with 13.24% p.a. on purchases. Also enjoy up to 55 days interest-free.
13.24% p.a. 0% p.a. for 14 months $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
St.George Vertigo Platinum
Save with 12.74% p.a. on purchases. Also enjoy Visa Platinum Concierge service.
12.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 20 months $99 p.a. Go to site More info
Westpac Low Rate Card - Online Only Balance Transfer Offer
A low interest rate on everyday purchases and a long term balance transfer rate offer of 0% for 24 months.
13.49% p.a. 0% p.a. for 24 months with 2% balance transfer fee $59 p.a. Go to site More info
Bendigo Bank Basic Black Credit Card
A basic credit card that features low interest rates, low annual fee and up to 44 interest-free days on purchases.
12.24% p.a. $45 p.a. Go to site More info
ANZ Low Rate Platinum
Enjoy platinum benefits with exclusive discounts, complimentary travel insurance and personal concierge. Also repay your credit card debt interest-free with 0% p.a. for 16 months on balance transfers.
11.49% p.a. 0% p.a. for 16 months with 2% balance transfer fee $99 p.a. Go to site More info
NAB Low Rate Platinum Card
Save with 13.99% p.a. on purchases. Also enjoy access to 7 complimentary insurances.
13.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 18 months with 3% balance transfer fee $100 p.a. Go to site More info
ANZ Low Rate
Take advantage of 0% p.a. for 16 months on balance transfers and a low ongoing interest rate on purchases.
12.49% p.a. 0% p.a. for 16 months with 2% balance transfer fee $58 p.a. Go to site More info
Coles Low Rate Mastercard
Receive $100 off a single Coles Supermarket shop If you apply, are approved by 30 June 2017 and make a purchase within the first 30 days.
12.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 6 months $49 p.a. Go to site More info
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Platinum
Save with 12.74% p.a. on purchases. Also enjoy up to 55 days interest-free.
12.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 20 months $99 p.a. Go to site More info

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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