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

Updated February 21st, 2020
Name Product Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate Annual fee
Latitude 28° Global Platinum Mastercard
21.99% p.a.
$0 p.a.
Save with 0% foreign transaction fees on purchases. Plus, complimentary flight delay passes and a global wifi access.
Coles No Annual Fee Mastercard
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
$0 p.a.
Earn flybuys points for your spending and save with an ongoing $0 annual fee and 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 18 months.
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.
St.George Vertigo Card - 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.
Virgin No Annual Fee Credit Card
18.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months
$0 p.a.
Offers 0% p.a. for 12 months on balance transfers and up to 55 days interest-free on purchases, all for a $0 annual fee. Ends 24 Feb 2020.
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.
Qantas American Express Discovery Card
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$0 p.a.
Earn uncapped Qantas Points on your purchases, pay $0 annual fee for life and take advantage of 0% p.a. for 12 months on balance transfers.
American Express Velocity Escape Card
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$0 p.a.
Earn uncapped Velocity Points on purchases and save with a $0 annual fee for life and a 0% p.a. for 12 months balance transfer offer.
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.

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Read more about No annual fee credit cards

Updated February 21st, 2020
Name Product Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate Annual fee
St.George Vertigo Card - 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.
Bankwest Breeze Classic Mastercard
12.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 26 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$39 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($79 p.a. thereafter)
0% interest on balance transfers for the first 26 months, with a 2% balance transfer fee. Plus, a discounted first year annual fee.
St.George Vertigo Classic
13.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months
$55 p.a.
Get 0% interest for up to 18 months on balance transfers with no balance transfer fee. Plus, a low annual fee and purchase rate.
Coles Low Rate Mastercard
12.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 6 months
$58 p.a.
Collect 1 flybuys point per $2 spent at Coles supermarkets and get free delivery on orders over $100. Plus, Coles Mobile Wallet.
St.George Vertigo Platinum
0% for 15 months, reverts to 12.99% p.a.
6.99% p.a. for 12 months
$49 p.a. 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.
Bendigo Bank Low Rate Mastercard
11.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$45 p.a.
A no-frills credit card with a competitive annual fee and 0% p.a. interest rate on balance transfers for the first 18 months.
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. Ends 24 Feb 2020.
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Classic
13.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months
$55 p.a.
Enjoy 0% p.a. interest for up to 18 months on balance transfers. Plus, a low annual fee and competitive purchase rate.
BankSA Vertigo
13.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months
$55 p.a.
A no-frills Visa with the protection of a zero liability policy and a 24/7 fraud monitoring service.
Bankwest Breeze Platinum Mastercard
12.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 26 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$49 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
Get 0% interest on balance transfers for 26 months (with a 2% fee), complimentary travel insurance and no foreign transaction fees.
Westpac Low Rate Card
2019 Winner
Westpac Low Rate Card
13.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 16 months
$59 p.a.
A no frills, low rate card offering 0% p.a. interest on balance transfers for the first 16 months, with no balance transfer fee.
St.George Vertigo Classic Rainbow
13.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months
$55 p.a.
All the great low cost features of the Vertigo Visa with a rainbow design in support of the LGBT community.

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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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Credit Cards Comparison

Updated February 21st, 2020
Name Product Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate Annual fee
HSBC Platinum Credit Card - Balance Transfer Offer
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 22 months
$129 p.a.
Enjoy a balance transfer offer, yearly annual fee refund, airport lounge passes and complimentary insurance covers.
St.George Vertigo Classic
13.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months
$55 p.a.
Get 0% interest for up to 18 months on balance transfers with no balance transfer fee. Plus, a low annual fee and purchase rate.
NAB Qantas Rewards Signature Card
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 6 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$295 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($395 p.a. thereafter)
Collect up to 120,000 bonus Qantas Points. Get 90k when you spend $3,000 on eligible purchases in the first 60 days and 30k after 12 months.
Latitude 28° Global Platinum Mastercard
21.99% p.a.
$0 p.a.
Save with 0% foreign transaction fees on purchases. Plus, complimentary flight delay passes and a global wifi access.

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* The credit card offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of credit cards finder.com.au has access to track details from and is not representative of all the products available in the market. Products are displayed in no particular order or ranking. The use of terms 'Best' and 'Top' are not product ratings and are subject to our disclaimer. You should consider seeking independent financial advice and consider your own personal financial circumstances when comparing cards.

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