Media Release

What Aussies really look for when choosing a credit card

  • No annual fees and low-interest rate most popular drawcards
  • One in five Aussies look for a good rewards program
  • Tips: How to make sure you’re carrying the right plastic

26 September, 2016, Sydney, Australia – A credit card with no annual fee is officially at the top of the wish list for Australian credit cardholders, according to a new survey by, Australia’s most visited comparison website.

The national survey of 2,033 respondents found that an overwhelming 81% of Aussies desire no, or a low, annual fee, followed by a low purchase rate (38%) when considering their credit card options. This was followed by a good (non-frequent flyer) rewards program.

FeaturePercentage desired
Low/no annual fee81%
Purchase rate38%
A good (non-frequent flyer) rewards program21%
The number of frequent flyer points per dollar18%
Cash advance rate17%
Travel/purchase insurance included14%
Prestigious card (gold/platinum/black card)5%
Free airport lounge pass4%
Concierge service1%

Source: survey of 2,033 Australians.

Methodology: top 3 choices, does not add to 100%

Bessie Hassan, Money Expert at, says with a record 16.58 million credit cards in circulation in Australia – equivalent to 2.19 credit cards per cardholder – there’s no denying that Aussies don’t like giving away their money for nothing.

According to market analysis by, there are over 100 cards on the market with an annual fee under $50 and over 40 with no annual fee at all.

However, she says a high-interest rate could erase the perks of choosing a ‘no annual fee’ card.
“It’s well known that $0 annual fee cards are likely to come with higher interest rates, so unless you plan on paying off your balance every month, it might be wiser to choose a card with a mid-range annual fee, but a lower purchase rate,” she says.

Surprisingly, only 18% of Australians consider the amount of frequent flyer points earned per dollar when deciding on a credit card.

Men were almost twice as likely to care about the card coming with a free airport lounge pass compared to women, and were much more likely to consider a prestigious card with a ‘gold, platinum or black’ status (6.6%) compared to women (3.8%).

Ms Hassan says with an overwhelming amount of features to look out for when deciding on a credit card, it’s important to shop around.
“From no annual fee cards to rewards schemes to balance transfer offers, there’s a variety of different card types and features to choose from. Before you compare your options, consider which type of card and features will suit you best.”

“For instance, if you travel frequently then you may want to opt for a card with the best value-for-money rewards program or if you’re looking to minimise your interest, then you may want to apply for a 0% balance transfer card,” she says.

Travel and purchase insurance was another feature considered by some Australians, particularly baby boomers, with 17% of baby boomers considering utilising their credit card to give them peace of mind with their purchases.

“Some credit card holders value the security offered by products that offer travel or purchase insurance. Keep in mind that some credit card rewards programs come with complimentary travel insurance which can be useful if things go pear-shaped while you’re abroad,” she says.

Top 3 credit cards with no annual fee (ranked by lowest ongoing purchase rate)

No annual fee credit cardPurchase rate
ME Bank frank Credit Card11.99%
American Express Essential Credit Card14.99%
Virgin No Annual Fee Credit Card18.99%


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The information in this release is accurate as of the date published, but rates, fees and other product features may have changed. Please see updated product information on's review pages for the current correct values.

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More than 3 million Australians turn to every month to save money, time and make important life choices. We compare virtually everything from credit cards, phone plans, health insurance, travel deals and much more.

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