No Annual Fee Credit Cards With Rewards

Want credit card rewards without the cost of an annual fee? Here’s how to get both in Australia.

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Name Product Purchase rate Interest-free period Annual fee Balance transfer rate
Qantas American Express Discovery Card
20.74% p.a.
Up to 44 days on purchases
$0
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.
American Express Velocity Escape Card
20.74% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$0
Earn 0.75 Velocity Points on your everyday purchases, uncapped, and pay $0 annual fee for the life of the card with this no-frills frequent flyer card.
Kogan Money Black Card - Exclusive Offer
20.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$0
0% p.a. for 22 months
Save with a $0 annual fee and a 0% introductory rate on balance transfers. Plus, earn $50 Kogan.com Credit and uncapped rewards points.
Coles Rewards Mastercard
19.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$0 annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
0% p.a. for 14 months
Get 40,000 bonus Flybuys Points or $200 off a Coles Supermarket shop, a $0 first-year annual fee and a 14-month balance transfer.
Great Southern Bank Platinum Credit Card
19.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$0 annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter)
0% p.a. for 25 months
Get 1 Great Southern Bank Platinum Rewards point per $1, complimentary travel insurance, a $0 first year annual fee and a 25-month balance transfer offer.
Coles No Annual Fee Mastercard
19.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$0
0% p.a. for 12 months
Get $100 off a Coles Supermarket shop when you spend at least $1,500 in the first 60 days. Plus, a 0% balance transfer offer.
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Bonus Points Offer
20.74% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$0 annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
0% p.a. for 20 months
Get up to 40,000 bonus Velocity Points on eligible spending and a $0 first-year annual fee. Also, a 0% balance transfer offer.
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Most rewards credit cards charge an annual fee and most credit cards with no annual fee don't offer rewards. But there are a handful of credit cards in Australia that offer both rewards points and $0 annual fees.

You'll get the most value out of one of these cards when you pay your statement in full each month. This way, you avoid interest and effectively get rewards for free.

Types of no annual fee credit cards with rewards

These are three main types of credit cards that offer no annual fee and rewards:

  • No annual fee rewards cards. These cards usually offer points as part of a credit card rewards program such as Westpac Altitude Rewards or St.George Amplify Rewards. These programs offer rewards that usually include travel, merchandise, cash and point transfers to frequent flyer programs.
  • No annual fee frequent flyer credit cards.Frequent flyer credit cards offer great rewards for regular globetrotters. These are similar to rewards cards in the way they earn points per dollar spent, except that you can only redeem your points within the frequent flyer program of that specific airline. A few frequent flyer credit cards charge no annual fees, including the American Express Velocity Escape and Qantas American Express Discovery Card.
  • Promotional offer rewards cards. Some frequent flyer and rewards credit cards may come with a waived or reduced annual fee during the first year. You typically have to pay the full annual fee from the second year onward. This makes it important to look for details or disclaimers on any promotions so that you’re aware of any ongoing costs that apply after the first 12 months.

Benefits of no annual fee rewards cards

Here are some of the benefits you could get with a no annual fee rewards credit card:

  • Bonus points offers. Many rewards credit cards offer bonus points to new cardholders for signing up. However, you might have to spend a certain amount on eligible purchases to unlock and receive your bonus points. For example: “Enjoy 30,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 within the first 3 months of account opening.”
  • Points per $1 spent. As with all rewards cards, you will earn a specific number of points per dollar spent on eligible transactions. You can redeem these points for merchandise, gift and shopping vouchers, lifestyle products and services.
  • Introductory 0% purchase rate offers. This feature is popular among rewards credit cards as part of an introductory promotion. While the promotional period lasts, you can save money on interest fees and carry your card balance for longer periods without accruing any interest. But when the promotional period ends, any remaining balance will accrue interest at the standard rate for that card.
  • Chance to add additional cardholders. Additional cardholders on your credit card account can help you earn reward points faster. Some cards may charge a fee for each additional cardholder, although many of them offer this feature for free.
  • Modest complimentary extras. Depending on the rewards card, you may also enjoy perks such as complimentary travel insurance, purchase protection, extended warranty on purchases, airport lounge access and concierge services. Higher status cards like black credit cards will offer more complimentary extras than platinum cards. Note that no annual fee rewards cards may not offer as many complimentary extras as rewards cards that charge an annual fee (as the fee can help offset the costs for the provider).
  • Interest-free days. Most credit cards offer a set number of interest-free days for purchases during each statement period when you pay the total balance listed on each statement. On a no annual fee credit card with rewards, this gives you another way to save on credit card costs as you earn points.

What else should I consider?

There are a number of other features and details you will need to consider when comparing rewards credit cards with no annual fees:

  • Purchase rate. If you carry a balance on your credit card, a high purchase rate can result in exorbitant interest fees over time. With 0% purchase rate promotional offers, the standard purchase rate will kick in once your promotional period is over.
  • Eligible transactions. Most purchases are considered eligible transactions for earning rewards on your card, with the common exceptions of cash advances, balance transfers, gambling transactions, government payments, bank fees and bill payments. Consult your card provider or product disclosure statement for your card’s specific definition and exclusions.
  • Other fees. Other fees, such as ATM fees, late payment charges and over-limit fees, may be applied to your account. International transaction fees will also apply to overseas transactions and internet purchases made with foreign merchants.
  • Point expiry. Most reward programs have an expiry date for the points you accumulate. It’s easy to lose track of this if you are not a big spender and don’t regularly earn enough rewards points to make frequent redemptions.
  • Points cap. Some rewards credit cards limit the amount of points you can earn each statement cycle or year. Make sure you consider this cap before choosing a card, so that you can find one that offers the most convenient limits based on your spending habits.

If you’re keen to earn reward points on your everyday spending but don’t want to pay high fees, it’s worth considering a credit card that offers rewards without an annual fee. As always, we recommend that you research all available options and compare cards in relation to your personal needs and spending habits so you can choose the one that’s right for you.

Picture: Shutterstock

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