Get the Finder app 🥳

Track your credit score

Free

The benefits of a no frills credit card

Save with low annual fees, interest rates and credit limits with a no frills credit card.

Updated

Fact checked
Couple paying for lunch at cafe with credit card.

We’re committed to our readers and editorial independence. We don’t compare all products in the market and may receive compensation when we refer you to our partners, but this does not influence our opinions or reviews. Learn more about Finder .

If you're more interested in competitive interest rates and low annual fees rather than flashy extra features, you might want to consider a no frills credit card. These cards are suited to people who use their credit card for emergencies and want to cut back on credit card costs. You can use this guide to compare the different types of basic credit cards and find the right one for you.

What is a no frills credit card?

A no frills credit card is a basic credit card offering a low interest rate or $0 annual fee, but with little or no additional features. The types of credit cards that fall under this category include cards with low interest rates, no annual fees and small credit limits.

Low interest rate credit cards

These cards charge low purchase interest rates that range between 8.99% p.a. and 14.99% p.a. This is competitive compared to other cards with interest rates ranging between 18% p.a. and 22% p.a. Some cards even offer 0% interest on purchases for promotional periods that can range between 6 and 14 months. At the end of the 0% introductory period, the purchases attract the standard purchase rate. Low rate cards are suited to people who regularly carry a balance from month to month and want to reduce their interest costs.

No annual fee credit cards

While credit cards with extra features and rewards programs generally charge high annual fees, there are some no frills cards that charge $0 annual fee. Depending on the card, the $0 annual fee may apply for the first year or for the life of the card. You'll find cards that charge no annual fee across a few different credit card types including balance transfer, rewards, frequent flyer credit cards and travel cards that offer zero annual fees. If you don't spend on plastic often or only have a credit card for emergencies, a no annual fee card could help you reduce your yearly costs.

Compare no annual fee credit cards

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Annual fee Purchase rate Balance transfer rate
Coles No Annual Fee Mastercard - Exclusive Offer
$0
0% for 12 months, reverts to 19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months
Finder Exclusive. Ends 29 October 2020
Save on new and existing interest charges with 0% interest on both balance transfers and purchases for the first 12 months.
Bankwest Zero Platinum Mastercard
$0
17.99% p.a.
2.99% p.a. for 9 months
Offers a $0 annual fee, 0% foreign transaction fees, complimentary international travel insurance and a balance transfer offer.
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.
Coles Rewards Mastercard - Exclusive Offer
$0 annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
Finder Exclusive. Ends 29 October 2020
Save with $100 off a Coles Supermarket shop and a $0 first-year annual fee. Plus, 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 18 months (1.5% fee applies).
ANZ Platinum Credit Card
$0 annual fee for the first year ($87 p.a. thereafter)
0% for 17 months, reverts to 20.24% p.a.
20.24% p.a.
Receive a 0% purchase rate offer for 17 months and a $0 first-year annual fee. Plus, complimentary overseas travel and medical insurance.
Virgin Money No Annual Fee Credit Card
$0
0% for 12 months, reverts to 18.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months
Save with an ongoing $0 annual fee and 0% p.a. on balance transfers and purchases for 12 months.
St.George Vertigo Classic
$0 annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
0% for 7 months, reverts to 13.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 22 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
Get 0% p.a. promotional purchase and balance transfer rates and save with a first-year annual fee waiver.
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.
St.George Amplify Platinum
$0 annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
0% for 7 months, reverts to 19.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 22 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
Save with 0% p.a. interest rates on purchases and balance transfers. Plus a $0 first-year annual fee.
St.George No Annual Fee
$0
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
Receive up to 55 days interest-free on purchases, a low minimum credit limit of $500 and a long-term balance transfer offer.
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Classic
$0 annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
0% for 7 months, reverts to 13.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 22 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
Save with 0% p.a. for 7 months on purchases, 0% p.a. interest for 22 months on balance transfers and a $0 first-year annual fee.
BankSA No Annual Fee
$0
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
Offers 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 12 months, up to 55 days interest-free on purchases and an ongoing $0 annual fee.
BankSA Vertigo
$0 annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
0% for 7 months, reverts to 13.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 22 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
Enjoy a 0% p.a. for up to 22 months on balance transfers and up to 7 months on purchases. Plus, $0 first-year annual fee.
St.George Vertigo Classic Rainbow
$0 annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
0% for 7 months, reverts to 13.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 22 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
All the great low cost features of the Vertigo Visa with a rainbow design in support of the LGBT community.
Bank of Melbourne Amplify Platinum
$0 annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
0% for 7 months, reverts to 19.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 22 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
Enjoy 0% p.a. on purchases and balance transfers along with a $0 first year annual fee waiver.
loading

Compare up to 4 providers

Low credit limit credit cards

Your credit limit is the minimum or maximum amount you can spend on your credit cards. While premium cards tend to have high credit limit options, these cards offer low credit limits that can range between minimums of $500 up to maximums of $25,000 for example. A low credit limit could work for you if this is your first credit card, you don't have big-ticket purchases to make or want to avoid overspending. You can request the maximum credit limit you'd like when you're applying for a credit card, but the limit you're approved for will depend on your financial situation and credit history.

The pros and cons of a no frills credit card

Pros

  • Save with low fees. No frills credit cards typically charge low or $0 annual fee, which will help you cut your yearly credit card costs.
  • Low interest rates. If you don't usually repay your balance in full each month, a card with low interest rates can help you save and reduce your accumulated debt compared to cards that charge higher rates. Even if your card charges a low rate, you should still aim to pay off as much as you can each month.
  • Less temptation to spend. If your card has a lower credit limit or doesn't offer reward points as you spend, you may be less likely to make unnecessary purchases or spend beyond your means.

Cons

  • Limited extra features. You can usually expect more competitive rewards programs and extra features with premium cards that charge higher rates and fees. There are some cards that offer extra perks and points as well as competitive rates and fees, so you should compare your options to find the right balance for you.
  • Less value for money. If you are a big spender and frequent traveller who always pays off your monthly account balance in full, you’ll probably get more value from using a frequent flyer credit card even if you’re forking out more for annual fees.
  • Low credit limit. While a low credit limit could help curb your spending, it could be a problem in times of emergency or when you want to make a large purchase. Depending on your situation, you may be able to request a credit limit increase.

No frills credit cards can be beneficial and cost-efficient for some people, but will not be suitable for everyone. As always, we recommend that you research and discover all the available credit card options out there before deciding on the one that will best serve your personal needs and spending habits.
Images: Getty

Back to top

More guides on Finder

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy and Privacy & Cookies Policy.

Credit Cards Comparison

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Purchase rate Balance transfer rate Annual fee
Citi Rewards Card - Exclusive Offer
21.49% p.a.
0% p.a. for 30 months
$49 annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter)
Finder Exclusive
Save on interest with 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 30 months with no balance transfer fee. Plus, a $49 first-year annual fee and Citi Rewards.
Coles No Annual Fee Mastercard - Exclusive Offer
0% for 12 months, reverts to 19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months
$0
Finder Exclusive. Ends 29 October 2020
Save on new and existing interest charges with 0% interest on both balance transfers and purchases for the first 12 months.
Qantas American Express Premium Card
20.74% p.a.
$249
Enjoy 100,000 bonus Qantas Points, 50 bonus Status Credits and 2 complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations per year. Ends 4 November 2020.
Citi Rewards Card - $500 Voucher Offer
21.49% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months
$99 annual fee for the first year ($199 p.a. thereafter)
Get a $500 e-voucher to spend at Myer, JB Hi-Fi or Coles when you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days. Plus, earn points with the Citi Rewards Program.
loading

Compare up to 4 providers

* 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.

Go to site