Whether you’re looking to pay down debt, shop overseas or cut down on interest costs, compare some of the cheapest credit card offers* on the Australian market.
Cheap* credit cards to compare
How to compare the cheapest credit cards* in Australia
With so many different credit cards on the market, finding the cheapest option comes down to your individual circumstances and needs. For example, if you want to pay off your balance over time, a card with low interest rates might be the cheapest option. But if you hardly ever use your credit card, it might be cheaper to get a card with $0 annual fee. There are also cheap credit cards with 0% foreign fees when you use them overseas, cards with 0% interest offers and cards that offer interest-free days. So finding a credit card that's cheap for you depends on how you want to use it.
Low or 0% interest credit cards
These credit cards feature a low standard variable rate of interest or a low promotional interest rate on purchases and can be cheap if you want to pay off your balance over time. Remember that interest compounds, so credit card with a low rate will cost you less if you carry a balance from month to month, when compared to cards with higher rates.
Note that some transactions aren’t eligible for a low purchase rate (whether standard or promotional). In particular, cash advances accrue interest at the cash advance rate of interest and balance transfers accrue interest at the revert rate following the end of the balance transfer promotional period. Also remember that if the credit card offers a promotional low or 0% interest rate, any debt remaining at the end of the introductory period will attract the standard rate for that card.
- Good if: You want to pay off your purchases over time or often carry a balance on your card.
- Bad if: You’re an infrequent spender or always pay your balance in full by the end of the statement period.
How much can I save with a 0% purchase rate credit card?
To help you decide if this type of credit card will be cheap for you, let's say you spent $2,000 on a credit card with an interest rate of 21.99% p.a. and planned to pay $200 off it each month. At this rate, it would take you 12 months to pay off the debt and cost you$229.66 in interest.
In comparison, if you spent $2,000 on a credit card with a promotional 0% p.a. on purchases for 12 months and made the same $200 payments each month, you'd clear the debt in 10 months and pay $0 in interest.
Compare credit cards offering 0% on purchases
Credit cards with interest-free days
Many credit cards offer up to a certain number of interest-free days for each statement period, for example “up to 55 days”. This means you can make purchases without paying interest as long as you pay off your balance by the due date on your statement.
Interest-free days usually only apply to purchases though, so if you carry a balance or make cash advance transactions such as ATM withdrawals, you won't be able to save on interest. But if you pay your balance in full, you could find a credit card with interest-free days is cheaper than one without them.
- Good if: You always repay your balance each month and make regular purchases on your credit card.
- Bad if: You often miss repayments or are unable to pay your balance in full.
Compare credit cards with 55 interest-free days on purchases
No annual fee credit cards
There are two different types of no annual fee credit cards. Some give you no annual fee for the life of the credit card, while others offer no annual fee in the first year. These credit cards are usually the cheapest option for people who pay back their card balance by the statement due date or who rarely use credit.
Many no annual fee credit cards also feature up to 55 days interest-free. Pay back what you spend by the statement due date and a no annual fee credit card could cost you nothing to own and use. But take note that no annual fee credit cards often have higher interest rates than low rate credit cards. They can be light on value-adding features such as complimentary insurance.
- Good if: You rarely use your credit card or want to cut down on extra costs.
- Bad if: You want to take advantage of extra features such as rewards, complimentary insurance and concierge services.
0% balance transfer offers
A balance transfer credit card is designed to give you a cheaper way to pay down credit card debt. These cards offer a 0% interest rate (or reduced rate) when you move existing debt to the new account. At the end of the balance transfer promotional period, a standard interest rate will apply to any remaining debt from the balance transfer. This rate varies from card to card but is usually the purchase or cash advance rate for that card.
Keep in mind that a balance transfer credit card shouldn’t be used for purchases, which will accrue interest at the purchase rate for that card. Interest-free days also don’t apply if you’re carrying a balance transfer balance from month to month.
- Good if: You want to consolidate several debts under one card or want to pay off a debt without the burden of interest.
- Bad if: You plan to use your card for purchases.
0% balance transfer credit cards comparison
Rewards credit cards with no annual fee
Designed to offer you a cheaper way to earn rewards, these credit cards do not charge an annual fee. This means you can get value from rewards as soon as you start using the card because there’s no break even point – where the value of the rewards is greater than the product’s annual fee. But if you carry a balance and have to deal with interest charges, then these costs will have to be weighed up against the value of the rewards you earn.
Compared to low-rate cards, no annual fee rewards credit cards usually have high rates of interest. But if the card offers interest-free days, you can still avoid the interest charges by paying the outstanding balance in full by the statement due date.
- Good if: You want to earn rewards while also cutting down on standard card costs.
- Bad if: You want the no annual fee for the life of the card. These are usually just for a promotional period on rewards cards.
Compare rewards credit cards with no annual fee
Credit cards with $0 foreign transaction fees
These credit cards are the cheapest to use if you want to make purchases overseas. You can use a credit card with no foreign transaction fees to spend overseas or online with international retailers without paying the extra 2-4% for currency conversion that most cards charge. To put this in perspective, if a card charged you 3% for a foreign transaction worth AUD$500, it would cost you an extra $15. These fees can quickly add up when you’re overseas, so 0% foreign fee cards offer a cheaper alternative.
Some of these credit cards also include complimentary international travel insurance. This is another way to potentially save money on costs when you go overseas.
- Good if: You regularly shop online or have an overseas trip coming up.
- Bad if: You don’t regularly spend in foreign currencies and want to save on other standard fees such as interest rates on purchases.
Compare credit cards with no foreign transaction fees
The difference between a cheap credit card and an expensive one comes down to how you spend and repay your credit card balance. A no annual fee rewards credit card represents good value for money if you can pay your balance back in full each month, while a low rate credit card will be cheaper if you carry a balance. If you need help with your comparison of the cheapest credit cards*, get in touch with us using the form at the bottom of this page.Back to top