The difference between standard, gold and platinum credit cards

Information verified correct on May 23rd, 2017

Whether you’re looking for no frills or platinum features, compare the difference between standard, gold and platinum credit cards to find the right card for you.

Standard, gold and platinum credit cards are designed with different types of users in mind. Standard credit cards (including low rate and low fee) cater to people who have trouble paying off their balance at the end of the month. Platinum credit cards with an annual fee are suited to people with a high annual spend. Gold credit cards come somewhere in between.

Each of these types of cards come with different features, costs and benefits, so it’s important to understand how they compare against one another. If you’re weighing up whether to go with a standard, gold or platinum card, use this guide to compare which type of credit card is best suited to your finances so you don’t get stuck with too much or too little bang for your buck.

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Platinum, Gold and Black Credit Card Offer

With a new NAB Rewards Platinum Card, earn 80,000 bonus points when you spend $2,500 on everyday purchases within 90 days. Plus, enjoy $0 annual card fee for the first year.

  • Earn 80,000 bonus points when you spend $2,500 on everyday purchases within the first 90 days of account opening.
  • Save with a $0 annual card fee for the first year.
  • Redeem 80,000 bonus points for $400 in vouchers to use at Coles, BP, Bunnings, David Jones, GoodFood, JB Hi-Fi and more.
  • Earn triple points with Webjet, when travelling overseas or on overseas purchases made in Australia. Intl transaction fees apply.
  • Eligibility criteria, T&Cs, fees and charges apply.

    How do I know which one is for me? - Comparing standard, gold and platinum credit cards.

    standard-gold-platinum-cards
    Think about how much you spend to discover which type of credit card is right for your budget.

    Standard cardsGold cardsPlatinum cards
    • Infrequent spenders
    • Struggle to repay card balance at the end of the month
    • Don’t plan on using  extra features
    • Have a low annual income
    • May carry a balance some months
    • You don’t want to pay for a rewards program
    • You’re interested in a specific platinum feature
    • Have a medium-to-high annual income
    • Can repay balance in full each month
    • Have a high annual spend
    • Can meet a high minimum income requirement
    • Have a frequent flyer account
    • Have a high annual income

    Standard cards

    • How much do they cost? Standard cards are an entry-level option and, when compared to gold and platinum, standard cards typically have lower costs. Annual fees for standard credit cards can range from around $25 to $150 and standard variable interest rates for standard cards could be as low as 10% p.a. or as high as 22% p.a. but are usually comparatively lower than more premium options.
    • What are the features? Common features include interest-free days on purchases and no liability fraud guarantees. Standard credit cards have the lowest minimum credit limit and lowest minimum income requirement.
    • What are the downsides? Little more than a way to make payments, standard credits are light on value-adding features such as rewards. For the few standard cards that do offer rewards, you can expect a lower number of points per $1 than more premium cards.

    Compare low rate credit cards

    Name Product Purchase rate (p.a.) Interest Free Period Annual fee Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Product Description
    HSBC Low Rate Credit Card
    13.25% p.a.
    Up to 55 days on purchases
    $55 p.a.
    0% p.a. for 15 months with 2% balance transfer fee
    Save with 13.25% p.a. on purchases. Also enjoy exclusive offers with the home&Away Privilege Program.
    St.George Vertigo Visa
    13.24% p.a.
    Up to 55 days on purchases
    $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
    0% p.a. for 14 months
    Save with 13.24% p.a. on purchases. Also enjoy up to 55 days interest-free.
    Westpac Low Rate Card - Online Only Balance Transfer Offer
    13.49% p.a.
    Up to 55 days on purchases
    $59 p.a.
    0% p.a. for 24 months with 2% balance transfer fee
    A low interest rate on everyday purchases and a long term balance transfer rate offer of 0% for 24 months.
    St.George Vertigo Platinum
    12.74% p.a.
    Up to 55 days on purchases
    $99 p.a.
    0% p.a. for 20 months
    Save with 12.74% p.a. on purchases. Also enjoy Visa Platinum Concierge service.
    NAB Low Rate Platinum Card
    13.99% p.a.
    Up to 55 days on purchases
    $100 p.a.
    0% p.a. for 18 months with 3% balance transfer fee
    Save with 13.99% p.a. on purchases. Also enjoy access to 7 complimentary insurances.
    ANZ Low Rate
    12.49% p.a.
    Up to 55 days on purchases
    $58 p.a.
    0% p.a. for 16 months with 2% balance transfer fee
    Take advantage of 0% p.a. for 16 months on balance transfers and a low ongoing interest rate on purchases.
    Bendigo Bank Basic Black Credit Card
    12.24% p.a.
    Up to 44 days on purchases
    $45 p.a.
    A basic credit card that features low interest rates, low annual fee and up to 44 interest-free days on purchases.
    ANZ Low Rate Platinum
    11.49% p.a.
    Up to 55 days on purchases
    $99 p.a.
    0% p.a. for 16 months with 2% balance transfer fee
    Enjoy platinum benefits with exclusive discounts, complimentary travel insurance and personal concierge. Also repay your credit card debt interest-free with 0% p.a. for 16 months on balance transfers.
    NAB Low Rate Credit Card
    13.99% p.a.
    Up to 55 days on purchases
    $59 p.a.
    0% p.a. for 18 months with 3% balance transfer fee
    Save with 13.99% p.a. on purchases. Also enjoy special offers from Visa Entertainment.
    BankSA Vertigo Visa
    13.24% p.a.
    Up to 55 days on purchases
    $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
    0% p.a. for 14 months
    Enjoy a low balance transfer offer of 0% p.a. for 14 months and a low ongoing purchase rate from BankSA.
    American Express Essential®  Credit Card
    14.99% p.a.
    Up to 55 days on purchases
    $0 p.a.
    0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
    A no annual fee card that collects up to 1 Membership Rewards point for every $1 spent.
    Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Platinum
    12.74% p.a.
    Up to 55 days on purchases
    $99 p.a.
    0% p.a. for 20 months
    Save with 12.74% p.a. on purchases. Also enjoy up to 55 days interest-free.
    Virgin Money Low Rate Credit Card
    11.99% p.a.
    Up to 44 days on purchases
    $99 p.a.
    0% p.a. for 12 months
    Save with 11.99% p.a. on purchases. Also enjoy the protection of Fraudshield.
    Westpac Low Rate Card
    0% p.a. for 6 months (reverts to 13.49% p.a.)
    Up to 55 days on purchases
    $59 p.a.
    0% p.a. for 12 months
    A simple low interest rate card featuring a low ongoing rate on purchases, up to 55 days interest-free on purchases and a low annual fee.
    Heritage Bank Gold Low Rate Credit Card
    11.80% p.a.
    0 interest free days
    $0 p.a.
    0% p.a. for 12 months
    Save with 11.8% p.a. on purchases. Also enjoy $0 annual fee.
    Coles Low Rate Mastercard
    12.99% p.a.
    Up to 62 days on purchases
    $49 p.a.
    0% p.a. for 6 months
    Receive $100 off a single Coles Supermarket shop If you apply, are approved by 30 June 2017 and make a purchase within the first 30 days.

    Compare up to 4 providers

    Gold credit cards

    • How much do they cost? Gold credit cards are mid-way between standard and platinum credit cards with an annual fee to match, ranging from around $80 to $200. Interest rates can range from 12% p.a. to 22% p.a., with lower rates and perks such as rewards usually driving up the cost of the annual fee.
    • What are the features? More competitive promotional balance transfer or purchase offers alongside gold extras such as insurance and rewards.
    • What are the downsides? As gold credit cards make up a small portion of the market, there is little competition to drive deals from credit card providers.

    Compare gold credit cards

    Rates last updated May 23rd, 2017
    Rewards Points per $ spent (VISA/MC) Rewards Points per $ spent (AMEX) Bonus Points Annual fee
    American Express Gold Business Card
    Keep track of your business expenses with a dedicated business credit card. Your account details can be uploaded in to MYOB, Excel or Quicken to help with BAS reporting.
    0 1 10,000 bonus points $169 p.a. Go to site More info
    Commonwealth Bank Business Gold Awards Credit Card
    Earn up to 2 Awards points per $1 spent and receive an unsecured credit limit of up to $50,000.
    1 2 $150 p.a. Go to site More info

    Platinum credit cards

    • How much do they cost? The annual fee can be as high as $500 a year for platinum credit cards (or even $1,200 in the case of the American Express Platinum). They also usually have high rates of interest for purchases and cash advances.
    • What are the features? Platinum cards offer one of the highest rewards earn rates, comprehensive insurances for travel and purchases, airport lounge passes and a concierge service.
    • What are the downsides? High annual fees and the cost of high interest charges can sting if you don’t pay your balance off by the statement due date, or if you don’t earn enough rewards to justify these costs.

    Compare platinum credit cards

    Rates last updated May 23rd, 2017
    Rewards Points per $ spent (VISA/MC) Rewards Points per $ spent (AMEX) Bonus Points Annual fee
    NAB Rewards Platinum Card
    Earn 1 NAB Rewards Point per $1 spent and receive double points on purchases made in major department and hardware stores.
    1 80,000 bonus points $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($195 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
    HSBC Platinum Credit Card
    Earn 1 Reward Point per $1 spent and receive an annual fee refund with minimum spend.
    1 0 $99 p.a. Go to site More info
    Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
    Take advantage of 0% p.a. for 18 months on balance transfers with a 1.5% BT fee. Plus, receive an exclusive $129 Virgin Australia Gift Voucher each year.
    0.66 0 $64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
    Citi Rewards Platinum Credit Card
    Enjoy a long-term balance transfer offer and earn 1 Citi Reward Point per $1 spent on all eligible domestic and international spend.
    1 0 $49 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
    ANZ Platinum Credit Card - Exclusive Offer
    Receive a low introductory offer of 0% p.a. on purchases for 3 months and 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 12 months. Also, enjoy an annual fee waiver in the first year.
    0 0 $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($87 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
    NAB Premium Card
    Platinum credit card benefits including higher credit limits and travel insurance, plus a low interest rate on balance transfers.
    0 0 $90 p.a. Go to site More info
    Qantas American Express Ultimate Card
    Fly faster with up to 2.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent and receive a complimentary Qantas domestic return Economy flight every year.
    1.5 55,000 bonus points $450 p.a. Go to site More info
    HSBC Platinum Qantas Credit Card
    Fly faster with up to 1 Qantas Point per $1 spent and receive bonus Qantas Points on selected Qantas products, services and partners.
    1 0 60,000 bonus points $199 p.a. Go to site More info
    American Express Explorer® Credit Card
    Earn up to 2 Membership Rewards Points per $1 spent and receive a $400 Travel Credit every year.
    2 50,000 bonus points $395 p.a. Go to site More info
    St.George Vertigo Platinum
    Save with 12.74% p.a. on purchases. Also enjoy Visa Platinum Concierge service.
    0 0 $99 p.a. Go to site More info

    Other types of credit cards

    As well as considering standard, gold and platinum cards, you may want to look at these options:

    • Black credit cards. A step up for platinum products, black credit cards provide elite features and benefits, with price points to match.
    • No annual fee credit cards. While standard, gold, platinum and black credit cards usually have very different annual fees, there are some cards that waive this cost (including platinum options). If you want to avoid paying ongoing fees for your credit card, you may want to focus your comparison on these options.
    • Low rate cards. While standard credit cards typically provide lower rates than their more premium counterparts, you can also find low rate credit cards that come with gold or platinum benefits. For example, St.George offers the standard St.George Vertigo Visa and the St.George Vertigo Platinum, while Bankwest has standard, gold and platinum options for its low rate Breeze credit card.
    • 0% interest credit cards. A wide range of standard, gold, platinum and black credit cards may offer a promotional 0% interest on balance transfers or 0% interest on purchases during the introductory period. Some cards may even offer both. If you’re looking to save money on credit costs in the short term, it could be worth considering this option.

    Standard, gold and platinum credit cards have different price points and a range of different features. It’s even common to have a combination of cards to use for different purposes – a rewards credit card for everyday purchases and to pay off in full at the end of the month and a low rate credit card for big purchases. Get in touch using the form below if you have a question about the difference between standard, gold or platinum credit cards or need help with your comparison.

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    4 Responses to The difference between standard, gold and platinum credit cards

    1. Default Gravatar
      haimen | February 9, 2014

      Do I have to pay fees for a platinum card?

      • Staff
        Marc | February 10, 2014

        Hi halmen,
        thanks for the question.

        In most cases a platinum card will come with an annual fee and a higher interest rate compared to regular cards, although this isn’t always the case. To compare platinum cards please view our page here.

        I hope this helps,
        Marc.

    2. Default Gravatar
      dulce | April 9, 2013

      What are some of the other benefits that a credit card can give you that isn’t monetary

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