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The difference between standard, gold and platinum credit cards

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

Standard, gold and platinum credit cards offer different features to suit a range of spending habits and goals. For example, if you have trouble paying off your balance or don't use a credit card very often, a standard account (including low rate and low fee options) can give you access to credit without the bells and whistles of more premium cards.

At the other end of the scale, platinum credit cards offer additional perks such as complimentary insurance, concierge services and rewards that are suited to people who spend a lot and can afford to pay off the balance. The small selection of gold credit cards on the market come somewhere in between. 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 fits your circumstances so you don’t get stuck with too much or too little bang for your buck.

How do I know which one is for me?

Think about how you plan to use a credit card to help you decide whether a standard, gold or platinum card is right for you.

Standard cardsGold cardsPlatinum cards
  • Rarely use a credit card
  • 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
  • Don’t want to pay for a rewards program
  • Interested in a specific complimentary extra
  • Have a medium-to-high annual income
  • Can repay the balance in full each month
  • Have a high annual spend
  • Can meet a high minimum income requirement
  • Have a frequent flyer account

Standard cards

  • How much do they cost? Standard cards are an entry-level option and typically have lower costs than gold and platinum cards. 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 8.99% 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 requirements. You'll also find many cards with cost-saving features such as low purchase rates and $0 annual fees fall into this category (although you can find gold and platinum versions of these types of cards too).
  • What are the downsides? 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

Rates last updated July 20th, 2018
Name Product Purchase rate (p.a.) Interest Free Period Annual fee Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Product Description
Citi Clear Platinum - Exclusive Offer
14.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$49 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
0% p.a. for 24 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
finder Exclusive: Receive 0% p.a. for 24 months on balance transfers and a discounted annual fee in the first year. Plus, access to Citi World Privileges.
Westpac Low Rate Card
13.49% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($59 p.a. thereafter)
0% p.a. for 24 months with 1% balance transfer fee
Offers a 0% for 24 month balance transfer option, first year annual fee waiver and a competitive purchase rate.
Virgin Money Low Rate Credit Card
11.99% p.a.
Up to 44 days on purchases
$49 p.a.
0% p.a. for 14 months
Offers a $49 annual fee, up to $100 cashback when you make a purchase within 3 months and 0% p.a. for 14 months on balance transfers.
St.George Vertigo Platinum - Online Offer
12.74% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
0% p.a. for 24 months with 1% balance transfer fee
Platinum card benefits including complimentary insurance, plus first year annual fee waiver and 0% p.a. for 24 months on balance transfers.
HSBC Low Rate Credit Card
13.25% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$79 p.a.
0% p.a. for 20 months with 2% balance transfer fee
Add additional cardholders for $0 and pay using Apple Pay. Also enjoy exclusive offers with the home&Away Privilege Program.
NAB Low Rate Platinum Card
0% p.a. for 9 months (reverts to 13.99% p.a.)
Up to 55 days on purchases
$100 p.a.
0% p.a. for 6 months with 2% balance transfer fee
A platinum card that offers 0% p.a. for 9 months on purchases. Plus 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 6 months.
Bendigo Bank Low Rate Mastercard
11.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$45 p.a.
A no-frills card with a competitive annual fee, a low variable purchase interest rate of 11.99% p.a. and up to 55 interest-free days on purchases.
ANZ Low Rate
12.49% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$58 p.a.
0% p.a. for 15 months
With a low minimum credit limit of $1,000, this no frills card allows you to add up to 3 additional cardholders for $0.
St.George Vertigo Visa
13.74% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$55 p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months with 1% balance transfer fee
Enjoy a 0% p.a. for 18 months balance transfer offer. Plus, up to 55 days interest-free on purchases.
Bendigo Bank Low Rate Platinum Mastercard
11.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$89 p.a.
Offers premium features such as mobile phone and tablet insurance and purchase protections, plus, up to 55 days interest-free on purchases.

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 annual fees 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 rate 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 very little competition. This means you have fewer deals to compare when looking at gold cards.

Compare gold credit cards

Rates last updated July 20th, 2018
Name Product Bonus Points Rewards Program Rewards Points per $ spent Purchase rate (p.a.) Annual fee Product Description
American Express Gold Business Card
10,000 bonus points
Membership Rewards Ascent


1
$169 p.a.
Take advantage of 10,000 bonus points, no pre-set spending limit, data that feeds to MYOB and up to 51 days interest-free on purchases.

Compare up to 4 providers

Platinum credit cards

  • How much do they cost? Annual fees for platinum credit cards range from around $99 to $500 (or even $1,450 p.a. in the case of the American Express Platinum). These cards also usually have high rates of interest for purchases and cash advances.
  • What are the features? Platinum reward cards offer a higher number of points per $1 when compared to standard or gold options. Other popular features include comprehensive travel insurance, purchase insurance covers, airport lounge passes and concierge services.
  • What are the downsides? High annual fees and high interest charges can sting you 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 July 20th, 2018
Name Product Bonus Points Rewards Program Rewards Points per $ spent Purchase rate (p.a.) Annual fee Product Description
American Express Westpac Altitude Platinum Bundle - Exclusive Offer
90,000 bonus points
Westpac Altitude Rewards


2


1
20.24% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($199 p.a. thereafter)
$0 first year annual fee & up to 90,000 bonus Altitude Pts when you meet T&C with this Visa (issued by Westpac) & Amex (issued & serviced by Amex).
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Bonus Points Offer
60,000 bonus points
Velocity Frequent Flyer


0.66
20.74% p.a.
$64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
Earn up to 60,000 bonus Velocity Points in the first 3 months and enjoy a discounted annual fee of $64 for the first year.
Citi Clear Platinum - Exclusive Offer
14.99% p.a.
$49 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
finder Exclusive: Receive 0% p.a. for 24 months on balance transfers and a discounted annual fee in the first year. Plus, access to Citi World Privileges.
NAB Low Fee Platinum Card - Exclusive Amazon Offer
19.74% p.a.
$90 p.a.
finder Exclusive: 10% cashback with amazon.com.au for 12 months (capped at $25 per month). Plus, 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 24 months.
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
HSBC Rewards Plus


1
19.99% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
Offers a 0% p.a. for 22 months balance transfer, $0 annual fee for the first year and an annual fee refund each year when you spend $6,000.
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - 0% Interest Offer
Velocity Frequent Flyer


0.66
0% p.a. for 14 months (reverts to 20.74% p.a.)
$129 p.a.
Buy now and pay later with 0% p.a. interest on purchases for 14 months. Plus, 0% p.a. on balance transfers for up to 6 months.
American Express Westpac Altitude Platinum Bundle - Qantas
90,000 bonus points
Qantas Frequent Flyer


1


0.5
20.24% p.a.
$50 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($249 p.a. thereafter)
Up to 90,000 bonus Qantas Points when you meet the criteria with this dual Visa (issued & serviced by Westpac) & Amex (issued & serviced by Amex).
Suncorp Clear Options Platinum Credit Card - Exclusive Offer
Suncorp Bank Rewards Program


1.25
20.74% p.a.
$99 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
finder Exclusive: Receive a long 18-month, 0% p.a., no fee balance transfer and earn Suncorp Rewards Points or Qantas Points per $1 spent.
Westpac Altitude Platinum Card - Qantas
60,000 bonus points
Qantas Frequent Flyer


0.5
20.24% p.a.
$50 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($150 p.a. thereafter)
Earn 60,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $3,000 within 90 days of card approval. Plus, a $50 first year annual fee.
Citi Rewards Platinum Credit Card
Citi Rewards Program


1
20.99% p.a.
$49 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter)
Earn reward Points per $1 spent, take advantage of a 0% p.a. for 26 month balance transfer offer, plus complimentary international travel insurance.

Compare up to 4 providers

What other types of credit cards can I compare?

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 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.

The difference between standard, gold and platinum credit cards comes down to the different features and costs typically offered by each of these types of cards. If you're trying to decide between a standard, gold or platinum account, look at the rates, fees and complimentary extras based on what you want from the card. You can also 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.
Images: Shutterstock

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Amy Bradney-George

Amy is a senior writer at finder.com.au with more than 10 years experience covering credit cards, personal finance and various lifestyle topics. When she’s not sharing her knowledge on money matters, Amy spends her time as an actress.

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Citi Clear Platinum - Exclusive Offer
Citi Clear Platinum - Exclusive Offer

Interest rate

14.99

Annual fee

99
Qantas Premier Everyday
Qantas Premier Everyday

Interest rate

19.99

Annual fee

49

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6 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    AnnaJuly 17, 2017

    What is the minimum income that a person must have if they want to apply for a platinum credit card? Thanks! :)

    • finder Customer Care
      RenchJuly 17, 2017Staff

      Hi Anna,

      Thanks for reaching out to us.

      For platinum cards, most banks require a high minimum income requirement. You can check this page for helpful information.

      I suggest contacting the bank directly to inquire. It will depend on what card/bank that you will apply for.

      Cheers,
      Rench

  2. Default Gravatar
    haimenFebruary 9, 2014

    Do I have to pay fees for a platinum card?

    • finder Customer Care
      MarcFebruary 10, 2014Staff

      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.

  3. Default Gravatar
    dulceApril 9, 2013

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

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