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Shopping addict? Here’s how to find your perfect credit card

Posted: 28 June 2017 1:00 pm
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These credit cards can help you get more bang for your buck when paying on plastic.

Are you a regular shopper? If so, you’ve almost certainly been tempted by a credit card before. Plus, the recent spate of end-of-financial-year sales probably isn't doing anything to help curb your desire to shop.

And there's nothing wrong with that. As long as you stick to a budget and make regular repayments, paying with plastic can come in handy on those retail therapy sessions.

There is no single best credit card for shopping. When choosing a card, you should look at your spending habits, financial situation and ability to repay to decide which one is right for you. To help you narrow down your options and simplify your comparison process, we’ve shortlisted some of the cards in finder's database of offers that are best suited to shopaholics.

If you're looking to take advantage of EOFY sales (and new financial year sales in July), check out the different types to find one that suits. We've also outlined the credit card traps you should watch out for and how you can get value from your card without falling into debt. Let's get shopping!

What are my credit card options for shopping?

Credit cards with no interest rate on purchases

If you know you need to splurge for an event, such as a birthday, Christmas or end-of-year sales, you might want to consider a credit card with a 0% purchase promotion. You can use the card to make purchases and then pay off your balance without accruing any interest while the promotion is in place. Not only can this help you save on interest costs, it can also help you pay off your purchases faster.

The offers available vary from card to card, but typically these interest-free promotions can last from 3 to 18 months. At the end of the promotional period, the 0% interest will revert to the standard purchase rate, which will be much higher.

Even with a 0% promotional purchase rate, you should still spend with a budget in mind. This way, you can calculate exactly how much you need to allocate each month to repay your shopping bills before the promotion ends. If you spend $3,000 on a card with 0% for 12 months, you would need to put $250 towards your account each statement period to repay the entire balance before the introductory offer finishes.

Data indicated here is updated regularly
$
Name Product Purchase rate Balance transfer rate Annual fee Interest-free period Amount saved
ANZ Platinum Credit Card
0% for 17 months, reverts to 20.24% p.a.
20.24% p.a.
$0 annual fee for the first year ($87 p.a. thereafter)
Up to 55 days on purchases
Receive a 0% purchase rate offer for 17 months and a $0 first-year annual fee. Plus, complimentary overseas travel and medical insurance.
Citi Clear Card
0.9% for 15 months, reverts to 14.99% p.a.
0.9% p.a. for 15 months
$99
Up to 55 days on purchases
Save with 0.9% p.a. for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers. Plus, complimentary purchase insurance cover.
St.George Vertigo Platinum
0% for 15 months, reverts to 12.99% p.a.
6.99% p.a. for 12 months
$49 annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
Up to 55 days on purchases
Features an introductory 0% p.a. purchase rate, $49 first year annual fee and complimentary travel insurance covers. Ends 30 Sept 2020.
Bankwest Breeze Classic Mastercard
0% for 15 months, reverts to 10.99% p.a.
2.99% p.a. for 9 months
$49
Up to 55 days on purchases
Save with an introductory rate of 0% p.a on purchases for 15 months and 2.99% p.a. on balance transfers for 9 months.
NAB StraightUp Card
N/A
$0
Save with 0% interest charges and 0% foreign transaction fees. Plus, $0 monthly fees when you don't use the card or carry a balance.
St.George Vertigo Classic
0% for 7 months, reverts to 13.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 22 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
$0 annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
Up to 55 days on purchases
Get 0% p.a. promotional purchase and balance transfer rates and save with a first-year annual fee waiver. Ends 30 Sept 2020.
Bankwest Breeze Platinum Mastercard
0% for 15 months, reverts to 10.99% p.a.
2.99% p.a. for 9 months
$69
Up to 55 days on purchases
Get 0% interest on purchases for 15 months, complimentary travel insurance and no foreign transaction fees.
Bank of Melbourne Amplify Platinum
0% for 7 months, reverts to 19.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 22 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
$0 annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
Up to 55 days on purchases
Enjoy 0% p.a. on purchases and balance transfers along with a $0 first year annual fee waiver. Ends 30 Sept 2020.
St.George Rainbow Vertigo Platinum
0% for 15 months, reverts to 12.99% p.a.
6.99% p.a. for 12 months
$49 annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
Up to 55 days on purchases
All the platinum features of the Vertigo Platinum Visa with a rainbow design in support of the LGBT community.
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - 0% Interest Offer
0% for 14 months, reverts to 20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 6 months
$64 annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
Up to 55 days on purchases
Enjoy 0% p.a. interest on purchases for 14 months, a reduced first-year annual fee and Velocity Points per $1 spent. Ends 30 Sept 2020.
St.George Amplify Platinum
0% for 7 months, reverts to 19.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 22 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
$0 annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
Up to 55 days on purchases
Save with 0% p.a. interest rates on purchases and balance transfers. Plus a $0 first-year annual fee. Ends 30 Sept 2020.
St.George Vertigo Classic Rainbow
0% for 7 months, reverts to 13.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 22 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
$0 annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
Up to 55 days on purchases
All the great low cost features of the Vertigo Visa with a rainbow design in support of the LGBT community.
BankSA Vertigo
0% for 7 months, reverts to 13.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 22 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
$0 annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
Up to 55 days on purchases
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. Ends 30 Sept 2020.
BankSA Amplify Platinum
0% for 7 months, reverts to 19.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 22 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
$0 annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
Up to 55 days on purchases
Save with a 0% p.a. for up to 22 months on balance transfers and up to 7 months on purchases. Plus a $0 first-year annual fee. Ends 30 Sept 2020.
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Classic
0% for 7 months, reverts to 13.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 22 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
$0 annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
Up to 55 days on purchases
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. Ends 30 Sept 2020.
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Credit cards linked to rewards and frequent flyer programs

If you’re a big spender, a rewards or frequent flyer credit card can reward you with points for every dollar you spend.

If you opt for a rewards credit card, you can earn points per $1 spent with the card issuer’s rewards program which you can redeem for cashback, gift cards and products (including fashion and beauty) from the online rewards store. Some rewards credit cards also have frequent flyer partners, allowing you to convert some of your credit card rewards to frequent flyer points.

If you’d prefer to turn all your purchases into flights and travel rewards, a credit card linked with a frequent flyer program could be just the ticket. Australian credit cards come linked with programs such as the Qantas and Virgin Australia Velocity loyalty schemes, so you can compare your options based on which airline you fly with the most.

Plus, many rewards and frequent flyer credit cards come with thousands of bonus points on sign up.

These cards usually come with high-interest rates and annual fees, so they’re better suited to cardholders who regularly pay their balance in full and can earn enough points to outweigh the costs of the card.

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Bonus points Rewards program Rewards points per $ spent Purchase rate Annual fee
NAB Qantas Rewards Signature Card
130,000
Qantas Frequent Flyer
1
19.99% p.a.
$295 annual fee for the first year ($395 p.a. thereafter)
Collect up to 130,000 bonus Qantas Points. Get 100k when you spend $3,000 on eligible purchases in the first 60 days and 30k after 12 months.
ANZ Frequent Flyer Black
130,000
Qantas Frequent Flyer
1
20.24% p.a.
$425
Earn 100,000 bonus Qantas Points, 75 bonus Status Credits and $150 back when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months with this premium card.
St.George Amplify Platinum - Qantas
60,000
Qantas Frequent Flyer
0.5
19.74% p.a.
$99
Earn 60,000 bonus Qantas Points, plus enjoy 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 6 months and complimentary insurance covers. Ends 30 Sept 2020.
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
30,000
Velocity Frequent Flyer
0.66
20.74% p.a.
$64 annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
Get 0% p.a. for 22 months on balance transfers and a reduced first-year annual fee. Plus, earn up to 30,000 bonus Velocity Points. Ends 30 Sept 2020.
Citi Rewards Card - $500 Voucher Offer
N/A
Citi Rewards Program
1
21.49% p.a.
$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.
Qantas Premier Platinum
80,000
Qantas Frequent Flyer
1
19.99% p.a.
$199 annual fee for the first year ($299 p.a. thereafter)
Get up to 80,000 bonus Qantas Points, 75 bonus Status Credits and a 0% p.a. balance transfer rate for 18 months. Ends 30 Sept 2020.
Bank of Melbourne Amplify Platinum - Qantas
60,000
Qantas Frequent Flyer
0.5
19.74% p.a.
$99
Receive 60,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $2,000 within 90 days and earn up to 0.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent. Ends 30 Sept 2020.
HSBC Platinum Qantas Credit Card
20,000
Qantas Frequent Flyer
1
19.99% p.a.
$99
Receive 20,000 bonus Qantas Points and a long-term balance transfer offer. Plus, complimentary travel insurance. Ends 30 Sept 2020.
BankSA Amplify Platinum - Qantas
60,000
Qantas Frequent Flyer
0.5
19.74% p.a.
$99
Receive 60,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $2,000 within 90 days and earn up to 0.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent. Ends 30 Sept 2020.
Coles Rewards Mastercard
N/A
flybuys
2
19.99% p.a.
$99
Earn 2 flybuys points / $1 spent and save with a 0% balance transfer offer. Plus, 0% international transaction fees on purchases.
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Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Bonus points Rewards program Rewards points per $ spent Purchase rate Annual fee
NAB Qantas Rewards Signature Card
130,000
Qantas Frequent Flyer
1
19.99% p.a.
$295 annual fee for the first year ($395 p.a. thereafter)
Collect up to 130,000 bonus Qantas Points. Get 100k when you spend $3,000 on eligible purchases in the first 60 days and 30k after 12 months.
ANZ Frequent Flyer Black
130,000
Qantas Frequent Flyer
1
20.24% p.a.
$425
Earn 100,000 bonus Qantas Points, 75 bonus Status Credits and $150 back when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months with this premium card.
St.George Amplify Platinum - Qantas
60,000
Qantas Frequent Flyer
0.5
19.74% p.a.
$99
Earn 60,000 bonus Qantas Points, plus enjoy 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 6 months and complimentary insurance covers. Ends 30 Sept 2020.
Qantas Premier Platinum
80,000
Qantas Frequent Flyer
1
19.99% p.a.
$199 annual fee for the first year ($299 p.a. thereafter)
Get up to 80,000 bonus Qantas Points, 75 bonus Status Credits and a 0% p.a. balance transfer rate for 18 months. Ends 30 Sept 2020.
Bank of Melbourne Amplify Platinum - Qantas
60,000
Qantas Frequent Flyer
0.5
19.74% p.a.
$99
Receive 60,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $2,000 within 90 days and earn up to 0.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent. Ends 30 Sept 2020.
BankSA Amplify Platinum - Qantas
60,000
Qantas Frequent Flyer
0.5
19.74% p.a.
$99
Receive 60,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $2,000 within 90 days and earn up to 0.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent. Ends 30 Sept 2020.
American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card
150,000
Qantas Business Rewards
1.25
N/A
$450
ABN holders w/ $75,000 revenue. Get 150,000 bonus points, 3x points on eligible Qantas flights & 2 lounge passes per year.
HSBC Platinum Qantas Credit Card
20,000
Qantas Frequent Flyer
1
19.99% p.a.
$99
Receive 20,000 bonus Qantas Points and a long-term balance transfer offer. Plus, complimentary travel insurance. Ends 30 Sept 2020.
Westpac Altitude Platinum Qantas
60,000
Qantas Frequent Flyer
0.5
20.49% p.a.
$99 annual fee for the first year ($200 p.a. thereafter)
Get 60,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $3,000 within 90 days. Plus, a first-year annual fee discount and a long-term balance transfer offer.
Qantas American Express Ultimate Card
55,000
Qantas Frequent Flyer
1.25
20.74% p.a.
$450
Get 55,000 bonus Qantas Points, a $450 Qantas Travel Credit and 2 yearly complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations.
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Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Bonus points Rewards program Rewards points per $ spent Purchase rate Annual fee
NAB Qantas Rewards Signature Card
130,000
Qantas Frequent Flyer
1
19.99% p.a.
$295 annual fee for the first year ($395 p.a. thereafter)
Collect up to 130,000 bonus Qantas Points. Get 100k when you spend $3,000 on eligible purchases in the first 60 days and 30k after 12 months.
ANZ Frequent Flyer Black
130,000
Qantas Frequent Flyer
1
20.24% p.a.
$425
Earn 100,000 bonus Qantas Points, 75 bonus Status Credits and $150 back when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months with this premium card.
St.George Amplify Platinum - Qantas
60,000
Qantas Frequent Flyer
0.5
19.74% p.a.
$99
Earn 60,000 bonus Qantas Points, plus enjoy 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 6 months and complimentary insurance covers. Ends 30 Sept 2020.
Citi Rewards Card - $500 Voucher Offer
N/A
Citi Rewards Program
1
21.49% p.a.
$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.
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
30,000
Velocity Frequent Flyer
0.66
20.74% p.a.
$64 annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
Get 0% p.a. for 22 months on balance transfers and a reduced first-year annual fee. Plus, earn up to 30,000 bonus Velocity Points. Ends 30 Sept 2020.
Bank of Melbourne Amplify Platinum - Qantas
60,000
Qantas Frequent Flyer
0.5
19.74% p.a.
$99
Receive 60,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $2,000 within 90 days and earn up to 0.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent. Ends 30 Sept 2020.
Qantas Premier Platinum
80,000
Qantas Frequent Flyer
1
19.99% p.a.
$199 annual fee for the first year ($299 p.a. thereafter)
Get up to 80,000 bonus Qantas Points, 75 bonus Status Credits and a 0% p.a. balance transfer rate for 18 months. Ends 30 Sept 2020.
Coles Rewards Mastercard
N/A
flybuys
2
19.99% p.a.
$99
Earn 2 flybuys points / $1 spent and save with a 0% balance transfer offer. Plus, 0% international transaction fees on purchases.
HSBC Platinum Qantas Credit Card
20,000
Qantas Frequent Flyer
1
19.99% p.a.
$99
Receive 20,000 bonus Qantas Points and a long-term balance transfer offer. Plus, complimentary travel insurance. Ends 30 Sept 2020.
Westpac Altitude Platinum Qantas
60,000
Qantas Frequent Flyer
0.5
20.49% p.a.
$99 annual fee for the first year ($200 p.a. thereafter)
Get 60,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $3,000 within 90 days. Plus, a first-year annual fee discount and a long-term balance transfer offer.
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Credit cards with no foreign transaction fees

If you love to online shop with overseas merchants, a card with no foreign transaction fees could help you avoid the sting of extra costs when you spend in another currency. Standard credit cards charge a 3% foreign currency conversion fee when you spend in an international currency. If you shop online with international merchants frequently, this can quickly add up.

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Foreign currency conversion fee Overseas ATM withdrawal fee Purchase rate Annual fee
Skye Mastercard - Exclusive Offer
0%
$0
23.99% p.a.
$99
Finder Exclusive
Save with 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 25 months, up to 110 days interest-free on purchases and flexible instalment plan options.
Bankwest Breeze Platinum Mastercard
0%
$0
0% for 15 months, reverts to 10.99% p.a.
$69
Get 0% interest on purchases for 15 months, complimentary travel insurance and no foreign transaction fees.
Coles Rewards Mastercard
0%
$5
19.99% p.a.
$99
Earn 2 flybuys points / $1 spent and save with a 0% balance transfer offer. Plus, 0% international transaction fees on purchases.
NAB StraightUp Card
0%
N/A
$0
Save with 0% interest charges and 0% foreign transaction fees. Plus, $0 monthly fees when you don't use the card or carry a balance.
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Credit cards with cashback

If you prefer cash over points, some credit cards come with cashback offers to reward you with credit to your account when you spend. Depending on the card, the cashback will either be a set amount or a percentage (such as 5% or 10%) of the purchase amount. There are usually spending thresholds and caps involved, which can limit your potential cashback return.

For example, your card may offer a $50 credit when you spend $750 within the first three months of approval. Alternatively, another product may come with 5% cashback on all retail purchases up to $1,000 within the first 90 days.

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Bonus points Rewards program Rewards points per $ spent Purchase rate Annual fee
St.George Amplify Signature
200,000
Amplify Rewards
1.5
19.74% p.a.
$139 annual fee for the first year ($279 p.a. thereafter)
Up to 200,000 bonus points (130k in the first year & 70k in the second year) when you spend $12k/year for the first 2 years. Ends 30 Sept 2020.
Westpac Altitude Black
150,000
Westpac Altitude Rewards
1.25
20.49% p.a.
$250
Earn 150,000 bonus Altitude Points when you meet the spend requirement. Plus, 2 yearly Priority Pass lounge invitations.
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Credit cards with retail partners

If you’re super-loyal to particular shops, you should look for credit cards that are linked with retail partners.

For example, the David Jones credit cards from American Express allow you to earn points as you spend, boost your points balance with bonus points and offer shopping perks such as complimentary standard delivery, gift wrapping and invites to exclusive fashion events when you shop at David Jones.

American Express also regularly runs limited-time offers with retail partners, allowing cardholders to get cashback when they spend. Some previous deals have included $15 cashback when you spend $75 or more with Mimco, Country Road, Witchery, Rebel and David Jones on your Amex credit card.

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What do I need to remember before I apply for a credit card?

A credit card can be a great way to free up your cash flow, but there are some traps to watch out for when you pay on plastic. While your credit limit can tempt you to spend, remember that you have to repay everything you spend (plus interest, in many cases). Many credit cards also come with annual fees, which can increase your total card costs. You need to weigh up whether the convenience of a line of credit outweighs the fees and interest rates that come with using a credit card.

You’ll also be required to meet eligibility requirements to get a credit card, so it’s important to ensure that you’re eligible and can afford the product before you apply. If you’ve already used a credit card to cover your retail costs and are struggling to repay your debt, you could always consider a 0% balance transfer credit card.

There are many Australian credit cards suited to retail shopping. However, the right one for you will largely depend on your spending habits and financial situations. Even if you are tempted to treat yo' self to some end of financial year goodies, remember that you have to repay everything you charge and certain cards may not suit you. So, make sure to compare your options before you apply and start shopping up a storm.

To get even more value for your money, check out our complete list of end of financial year deals with some of Australia's favourite retailers.

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