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11.99%

Interest Free Days

55

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for 12 months then $49

$12.5

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Purchase Rate

12.49%

Interest Free Days

55

Annual Fee

$58

$20

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19.74%

Interest Free Days

55

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$0

for 12 months then $87

$20

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Purchase Rate

18.79%

Interest Free Days

44

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$80

$20

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Purchase Rate

20.74%

Interest Free Days

44

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$50

$30

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Purchase Rate

19.99%

Interest Free Days

55

Annual Fee

$295

$20

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18.79%

Interest Free Days

55

Annual Fee

$95

$20

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Purchase Rate

19.74%

Interest Free Days

44

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$30

$20

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18.79%

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55

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$375

$20

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19.99%

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55

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$425

$20

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19.99%

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44

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$95

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19.99%

Interest Free Days

55

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$29

for 12 months then $49

$30

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0.00%

for 15 months then 13.99%

Interest Free Days

55

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$100

$15

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11.99%

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45

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$0

$20

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20.74%

Interest Free Days

44

Annual Fee

$64

for 12 months then $129

$30

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0.00%

for 14 months then 20.74%

Interest Free Days

44

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$64

for 12 months then $129

$30

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19.99%

Interest Free Days

55

Annual Fee

$149

$12.5

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11.99%

Interest Free Days

55

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$0

for 12 months then $45

$15

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Purchase Rate

19.99%

Interest Free Days

55

Annual Fee

$0

for 12 months then $149

$12.5

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Purchase Rate

19.99%

Interest Free Days

55

Annual Fee

$199

for 12 months then $299

$30

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Purchase Rate

20.24%

Interest Free Days

55

Annual Fee

$225

$20

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Purchase Rate

20.74%

Interest Free Days

55

Annual Fee

$129

$30

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20.74%

Interest Free Days

44

Annual Fee

$289

$30

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11.99%

Interest Free Days

44

Annual Fee

$50

$30

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Purchase Rate

11.99%

Interest Free Days

55

Annual Fee

$49

$25

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Purchase Rate

17.74%

Interest Free Days

55

Annual Fee

$55

$20

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Learn more about credit cards

Not all credit cards are created equally. Whether you’re a traveller, rewards points chaser, or big spender, it pays to do your research around which credit card could be right for you. 

What credit card will suit me?

There's no shortage of cards to include in your credit card comparison. Your credit card choice will ultimately depend on what you want to use your card for, and the perks you may receive whenever you do. There are a range of credit card types available in Australia. Some of the most popular include: 

Low rate credit cards

As the name implies, low rate credit cards are credit cards that come with lower than average interest rates. They are able to keep rates down by not offering perks like rewards programs or high credit limits. If you’re looking for a no-frills option that’s theoretically easier to manage, consider a low rate credit card. 

Keep an eye out for what rate the ‘low’ label applies for. A low rate credit card may have a low purchase rate, for example, but a higher than average cash advance rate. Make sure you read the key fact sheets for any credit card you may be interested in. 

Platinum credit cards

Unlike low rate credit cards, platinum cards are aimed towards Australians looking for high credit limits and extensive rewards programs. They can come with higher interest rates and annual fees. However, the idea is that those taking out a platinum credit card can afford these costs as they’re marketed towards those with higher incomes. 

Balance transfer cards

If you have existing credit card debt, balance transfer cards can be a helpful debt management tool. They charge no interest on a balance you transfer from your old credit card for a limited time. This means you can concentrate on clearing your debt without being charged more interest on top of it. 

Just remember that you’ll still be charged interest on new purchases, often straight away, without the benefit of interest-free days. If you get a balance transfer card, it’s advised that you put it in the freezer and focus on paying off your debt. 

Rewards credit cards

Rewards credit cards are those that are attached to rewards programs. The dollars you spend will earn you rewards points. Credit card providers will allow you to exchange these points through the rewards programs for things like gift cards, home goods and electronics. 

If you plan on using your credit card regularly, they can be a competitive choice. Consider how you plan to use your card and how closely this matches with the card’s rewards program. For example, if you regularly use your credit card at a local supermarket, you may want to consider a credit card that lets you earn points that can be redeemed at these shops.

Frequent flyer cards

One of the most popular types of rewards credit cards are those that offer frequent flyer points. It works similarly to rewards points, but you earn frequent flyer points instead based on the amount you spend. They can be spent on flights or upgrade with major airlines. If you make regular plane trips for work or to visit family, or if you love to travel, this card type may suit you. 

What to look for in a credit card

Here are a few things to consider when shopping around for a credit card:

  • Credit card purpose: how do you plan on using your credit card? For everyday shopping or major purchases only? For buying overseas or travel? To transfer an existing balance? Narrow down your purpose so you can compare apples with apples. 
  • Interest rates: credit cards can charge different rates for purchases, cash advances and balance transfers. Also, keep an eye out for introductory, promotional, or “honeymoon” rates that revert to a higher one after a period of time. Knowing what rates you may be charged before applying can keep you from growing debt. 
  • Interest-free periods: how long you’ll have to pay back your purchases before you’re charged credit card interest. The higher number of days, the more breathing room to make repayments. 
  • Rewards programs and extras: rewards programs let you earn points on your everyday spending that can be exchanged for goods or transferred into frequent flyer points. Some credit cards also offer extras such as travel insurance. These programs and extras typically incur higher annual fees. 
  • Fees and charges: are there any extra costs, such as annual fees, or charges for overseas purchases? Consider whether the credit card’s benefits would likely be worth these costs. 

 

Can anyone get a credit card?

No, not everyone will be approved for every credit card. It is easier to be approved for a credit card than some other forms of finance, like a home loan, as you don’t need to offer up a deposit to be approved. But you will need to meet credit card eligibility criteria, such as:

  • Being an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • 18 years old or over
  • No history of bankruptcy
  • Meet minimum income requirements (can range from $10,000 to $1000,000 and higher for platinum and above cards)
  • Good credit rating

Credit card providers will assess your eligibility at different scales, depending on the type of card you’re applying for.  For example, if you’re applying for a Titanium credit card and you don’t meet the minimum income required, your application is more likely to be rejected. 

When applying for a credit card, you’ll need to provide the following:

  • Proof of income: salaries or wages
  • Proof of employment: two or more recent payslips
  • Photo ID (driver’s license, proof of age card or passport)
  • Additional assets and income (such as a savings account or managed investments)
  • Credit history
  • Tax file number
  • Details of any existing loans, such as personal loans, a lease or other credit cards
  • Recent tax returns, particularly if you’re self-employed

How much do I have to pay on my credit card?

All credit cards have minimum repayment requirements. These are usually a percentage of your total balance (2 - 3.5 per cent), but can be a dollar figure - usually around $20. It’s highly encouraged that you make more than the minimum repayment requirements, however, or it can take you years to pay off an outstanding balance. 

For example, Mark has an outstanding credit card balance of $10,000 at an interest rate of 18 per cent. His card has a minimum repayment amount of $20 or 2 per cent (whichever is higher). If he only made minimum repayments to this debt, it would take him 43 years and 11 months to pay off his balance. However, if he made higher monthly repayments of $400, it would only take 2 years and 7 months to pay off his balance. 

How do you compare credit cards?

Now you know the type of card you want, and the extras to keep an eye out for, it’s time to narrow down your options. The best way to compare credit cards is to do your research and use comparison tables. 

Comparison tables are a helpful way to compare things equally, side by side. You can view a range of credit card options in a table that outlines some of the more significant costs and features. These include the purchase rate, annual fees, maximum interest free days and late payment fees. Filter down your options to create a short list of credit cards. 

Once you’ve made a short list, it’s worth checking out the Key Facts Sheet for those cards. These are kept on the credit card providers website. They offer more detail on the cards you’re interested in, such as a break down of all fees and interest rates.

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Frequently asked questions

How to get a credit card for the first time

A credit card can be a useful financial tool, provided you understand the risks and can meet repayment obligations.

If you’re a credit card first-timer, review your options. Think about what kind of credit card would suit your lifestyle, and compare providers by fees, perks and repayments.

Once you’ve selected a card, it’s time to apply. Credit card applications can generally be completed in store, online or over the phone.

When you apply for a credit card for the first time, you must meet age, residency and income requirements. As proof, you must also provide documentation such as bank account statements.

What is a balance transfer credit card?

A balance transfer credit card lets you transfer your debt balance from one credit card to another. Designed to incentivise customers to switch banks, a balance transfer credit card generally has a 0 per cent interest rate for a set period of time. When you roll your debt balance over to a new credit card, you’ll be able to take advantage of the interest-free period to pay your credit card debt off faster without accruing additional interest charges. Applying for a balance transfer credit card is relatively straightforward. When your application is approved, the provider will pay out your old credit card and transfer your debt balance over to the new card. There are plenty of balance transfer offers available on the market with 0 per cent interest rates available from six to 24 months.

How easy is it to get a credit card?

For most Australians, there are no great barriers to applying for and getting approved for a credit card. Here are some points that a lender will consider when assessing your credit card application.

Credit score: A bad credit score is not the be all and end all of your application, but it may stop you being approved for a higher credit limit. If your credit score is less than perfect, apply for the credit limit that you need, rather than the one you want.

Annual income: Most credit cards have minimum annual income requirements. Make sure you’re applying for a card where you meet the minimum.

Age & residency: You need to be at least 18 years old to apply for a credit card in Australia, and most require that you are an Australian citizen or permanent resident. However, there are some credit cards available to temporary residents.

How long does it take to get a credit card?

There are a few stages you need to go through to get a credit card; each one takes a different length of time.

Applying for the card online, over the phone or in person is the fastest step. This usually takes around 15 minutes, provided you have all of your documents handy.

After submitting your application, it usually takes between one to 10 business days for the lender to assess your eligibility. Some lenders offer instant approval, although you will need to send supporting documents before it is official.

Once your application has been approved, expect to wait between one to 14 days to receive your card in the mail. Keep in mind that delays can happen during busy periods, such as if the lender has launched a special deal.

How do I apply for a credit card online?

To make applying for a credit card as straightforward as possible, most lenders offer plenty of online prompts to guide you through the process.

Once you’ve decided on the product you want, follow the link on the lender’s website to start your application. Most lenders will list the documents and information you will need before you begin – for example, identification documents, employer details, your income, regular expenses. It helps to have these handy when you start.

Once you’ve entered all the necessary information, you’ll have an opportunity to review your answers and check everything is correct. You’ll also receive an immediate response from the lender once you submit your application – usually with a reference number so you can track your application’s progress.

How to get cash with just a credit card number

If you don’t have your wallet available but need cash, you might be wondering how to get cash with just a credit card number.

Banks and merchants usually will not allow you to access cash without a physical card, because doing so would open up opportunities for fraudulent activities. Even most non-cash credit card transactions (such as shopping online) require you to know the expiry date and CVV on your credit card in addition to the card number.

However, some banks offer cardless cash for transaction accounts – meaning you can access your cash without having a card. Using a secure app installed on your mobile phone, you can log onto an ATM and withdraw the money you need. This could be a practical and secure solution if you don’t have a card and need cash.

What is a credit card?

A credit card is a payment method which lets you pay for goods and services without using your own money. It’s essentially a short-term loan which lets you borrow the bank’s money to pay for things which you can pay back – potentially with interest – at a later date. Credit cards can also be used to withdraw money from an ATM, which is known as a cash advance. Because you’re borrowing money from a bank, credit cards charge you interest on the money you use (unless you repay the entire debt during the interest-free period). When you apply for a credit card, the bank gives you a credit limit which sets the maximum amount you can borrow using your card. Credit cards are one of the most popular methods of payments and can be a convenient way of paying for goods and services in store, online and all around the globe.

How do you apply for a credit card?

You can apply for a credit card online, over the phone or in person at the bank. Once you’ve compared the current credit card offers, the application process is quick and easy. Before you get your application started, you’ll need to gather your personal information like proof of ID, payslips and bank statements, proof of employment and details of your income, assets and liabilities. To be eligible for a credit card, you’ll need to be an Australian citizen over 18 and earn a minimum of $15,000 each year. Once you’ve applied for a credit card, you should get a response fairly instantly. If your credit card application has been approved, you should receive a welcome pack with your new credit card within 10-15 days.

How to pay a credit card

There are a few ways to pay a credit card bill. One way is to pay via BPAY. This means you can make your credit card payment on the phone or via the internet.

You can set up an automatic payment from an Australian bank account to pay your credit card bill each month. You can choose how much you want to pay of your credit card bill when you set up the auto payments.

Different Australian banks will also allow you to pay off credit card bills in person at one of their branches.

Some credit card companies also allow you to pay your credit card via an app whenever each statement is due.

What is CVV on a credit card?

If you’ve recently used your credit card to pay for something over the phone or online, you would have been asked to provide a CVV number. CVV stands for ‘card verification value’, and is also sometimes referred to as a CVC or card verification code.

A CVV code is usually needed when the card is used online or over the phone as an anti-fraud measure. Without the cardholder being physically present to sign or verify the purchase, the CVV provides an extra layer of protection.

If you’re using Mastercard or Visa, the CVV is usually three digits and is located on the back of the card. If you’re using an American Express, the CVV is usually four digits and is on the front of the card.

Do you need a credit card to get a loan?

You do not need a credit card to get a loan, but you usually need to have a credit history. Without a credit history, a financial institution cannot assess your ‘credit worthiness’, or your capacity to pay off the loan.

If you don’t have a credit card, your credit history can reflect any record of paying off an asset, such as a retail loan for goods.

Without any credit credit history, you’re limited in the type of loans you can apply for, but you may be able to obtain a secured loan against an asset by providing evidence you have stable income through a full-time and secure job, an unblemished debit card history and regular monthly saving. The loan, however, may come with higher interest rates and repayments.

How to get rid of credit card debt

Credit card debt can cripple your finances. If you’re wondering how to get rid of credit card debt, here are a few steps to get you back in the black:

Calculate your debt – Knowing the magnitude of your credit debt is important. Online credit debt calculators make it easy to determine the debt size, and repayments required.

Work out a repayment plan – Take some time to formulate a credit repayment plan. Consider increasing your income, scaling back your lifestyle or refinancing.

Talk to your credit provider – If you’re still struggling with your debt, talk to your credit provider. You may be able to come to a new arrangement.

How is credit card interest charged?

Your credit card will be charged interest when you don’t pay off the balance on your credit card. Your card provider or bank charges you the individual interest rate that is associated with your card, which is usually between 10 and 20 per cent. 

The interest will be added onto your bill each month or billing period if you don’t pay off the balance, unless you are in an interest-free period.

You will be charged interest on anything that hasn’t been paid for inside the interest-free period. Usually you will receive a notice on your bill or statement saying you will be charged interest so you have some form of notice before you’re charged.

Which credit card has the highest annual percentage rate?

The credit card market changes all the time, so the credit card with the highest annual percentage rate is also liable to change.

One thing to remember is that credit card interest rates are expressed as a yearly rate, or annual percentage rate (APR). A low APR is generally good but also consider:

  • There can be different APRs for each feature of the card (e.g. purchases may have an APR of 14 per cent, while cash advances on same card could have an APR of 17 per cent
  • Credit cards with a variable rate can change throughout the year, affecting your APR, so check the full details
  • If you pay your balance in full every month, having the lowest APR is not as important as the other fees associated with the card. However, if you carry a balance from month to month, then you want the lowest APR possible

How do you cancel a credit card?

Credit cards aren’t something you want to collect unnecessarily. If you’ve paid the balance off or have upgraded to a new credit card, it’s important to cancel your old cards to avoid any additional fees. Unless you’re doing a balance transfer, you’ll need to pay the outstanding balance before you cancel your credit card. If you’ve opted for a card with reward points, make sure you redeem or transfer the points before you close your account. To avoid any bounced payments and save yourself an admin headache, redirect all your direct debits to a new card or account. Once you’ve done all the preparation, call your bank or credit card provider to get the cancellation underway. Once you receive a confirmation letter, destroy your card and make sure the numbers aren’t legible.

How to get a new credit card

To get a new credit card, generally you need to be at least 18 years old and have a good credit rating. You don’t need to be an Australian citizen. Usually you can apply online or in person at a branch of the card issuer. You’ll typically have to supply information like:

  • What you regularly earn (e.g. wages, salary) and what you regularly spend (e.g. rent/mortgage, loan repayments, living expenses)
  • Your employer’s contact details
  • Details of your assets and any debts you are paying off

Before applying for any credit card, be sure you can afford the repayments. It also helps to do some research, comparing different credit cards and what they offer in terms of fees, interest, rewards etc.

Are there credit cards for students?

Yes, there are credit cards available with students in mind. These can help young Australians to build their credit report and learn crucial life skills around budgeting and managing personal finances.

Can I get a credit card with bad credit?

Yes, some lenders will provide credit cards to Australians with bad credit scores but it depends on their individual lending criteria and whether you’ve presented your personal finances to show you’re an ‘ideal’ borrower.

Is instant approval possible for credit cards?

Instant approval may be possible – but please note that the term may be misleading. “Instant” approval tends to mean that when you apply online the lender will let you know the likeliness of your eligibility for a credit card within 60 seconds of receiving your application.

What should you do if your credit card is compromised?

Credit card fraud is a serious problem. If your credit card is compromised and you’re wondering what to do, here are a few precautionary steps to take.

Contact you credit provider – Get in touch will your credit card provider. If you feel your card has been compromised, you should be able to lock or block it.

Monitor your accounts – Keep an eye on your credit card accounts. Any unauthorised transactions could be a sign your credit card has been compromised.

Check your credit rating – It’s also important to check your credit rating, to ensure you’re not a victim of identity theft or some other financial mischief.