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St.George Bank Vertigo Visa (Balance Transfer Offer)

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    Westpac Low Rate Card (Cashback offer)

      N/A$product[$field["value"]][FREE_SUPPLEMENTARY_CARDS, ]2.95025100021.99MasterCardMore details

      Bankwest Zero Classic Mastercard

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        Great Southern Bank Low Rate Credit Card

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          BankSA Vertigo Visa (Balance Transfer Offer)

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            Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Visa (Balance Transfer Offer)

              [Velocity Frequent Flyer, Velocity Frequent Flyer, Velocity Frequent Flyer, Velocity Frequent Flyer, Velocity Frequent Flyer, Velocity Frequent Flyer, Velocity Frequent Flyer]0.66[PRICE_GUARANTEE, CONCIERGE, SPECIAL_EVENTS, ]3.3030600020.99VisaMore details

              Virgin Money Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card (Balance Transfer Offer)

                [Velocity Frequent Flyer, Velocity Frequent Flyer, Velocity Frequent Flyer, Velocity Frequent Flyer, Velocity Frequent Flyer, Velocity Frequent Flyer, Velocity Frequent Flyer]0.5[FREE_DOMESTIC_TRAVEL_INSURANCE, INTERNATIONAL_TRAVEL_INSURANCE, FREE_SUPPLEMENTARY_CARDS, EXTENDED_WARRANTY, RENTAL_CAR_EXCESS_INSURANCE, CONCIERGE, PURCHASE_PROTECTION_INSURANCE, ]3015600021.49MasterCardMore details

                Westpac Altitude Platinum (Altitude Velocity)

                  [BOQ Q Rewards, BOQ Q Rewards]1[PRICE_GUARANTEE, PURCHASE_PROTECTION_INSURANCE, ]3.41510200021.74VisaMore details

                  BOQ Blue Visa

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                    HSBC Low Rate Credit Card

                      [Velocity Frequent Flyer, Velocity Frequent Flyer, Velocity Frequent Flyer, Velocity Frequent Flyer, Velocity Frequent Flyer, Velocity Frequent Flyer, Velocity Frequent Flyer]0.66[PRICE_GUARANTEE, CONCIERGE, SPECIAL_EVENTS, ]3.33930600020.99VisaMore details

                      Virgin Money Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card (Points Offer)

                        [Qantas Frequent Flyer, Qantas Frequent Flyer, Qantas Frequent Flyer, Qantas Frequent Flyer, Qantas Frequent Flyer, Qantas Frequent Flyer, Qantas Frequent Flyer, Qantas Frequent Flyer, Qantas Frequent Flyer, Qantas Frequent Flyer, Qantas Frequent Flyer, Qantas Frequent Flyer, Qantas Frequent Flyer, Qantas Frequent Flyer]1.5[FREE_DOMESTIC_TRAVEL_INSURANCE, INTERNATIONAL_TRAVEL_INSURANCE, CONCIERGE, AIRPORT_LOUNGE, FRAUD_PROTECTION, ]35030600021.99MasterCardMore details

                        Qantas Money Qantas Premier Platinum

                          N/A$product[$field["value"]][FREE_SUPPLEMENTARY_CARDS, ]2.95025100021.99MasterCardMore details

                          Bankwest Breeze Classic Mastercard

                            [Citi Rewards Program, Citi Rewards Program]1[INTERNATIONAL_TRAVEL_INSURANCE, PRICE_GUARANTEE, EXTENDED_WARRANTY, CONCIERGE, SPECIAL_EVENTS, PARTNER_DISCOUNTS, PURCHASE_PROTECTION_INSURANCE, ]3.49030200022.24VisaMore details

                            Citi Rewards (Bonus Points)

                              [Citi Rewards Program, Citi Rewards Program]1[INTERNATIONAL_TRAVEL_INSURANCE, PRICE_GUARANTEE, EXTENDED_WARRANTY, CONCIERGE, SPECIAL_EVENTS, PARTNER_DISCOUNTS, PURCHASE_PROTECTION_INSURANCE, ]3.49030200022.24MasterCardMore details

                              Citi Citi Rewards (Purchases and Balance Transfer Offer)

                                N/A$product[$field["value"]][FREE_SUPPLEMENTARY_CARDS, ]3020100011.8VisaMore details

                                Heritage Bank Gold Low Rate

                                  N/A$product[$field["value"]][FREE_SUPPLEMENTARY_CARDS, ]3.6508100012.49VisaMore details

                                  QBANK Bluey Card

                                    []2[FRAUD_PROTECTION, ]3.4$product[$field["value"]]30600021.74VisaMore details

                                    Kogan Money Black Card

                                      N/A$product[$field["value"]][FREE_SUPPLEMENTARY_CARDS, ]3025100012.49VisaMore details

                                      Beyond Bank Low Rate Visa Credit Card

                                        [flybuys, flybuys]0.5[]2.5030100019.99MasterCardMore details

                                        Coles No Annual Fee Mastercard

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                                          All products with a link to a product provider’s website have a commercial marketing relationship between us and these providers. These products may appear prominently and first within the search tables regardless of their attributes and may include products marked as promoted, featured or sponsored. The link to a product provider’s website will allow you to get more information or apply for the product. By de-selecting “Show online partners only” additional non-commercialised products may be displayed and re-sorted at the top of the table. For more information on how we’ve selected these “Sponsored”, “Featured” and “Promoted” products, the products we compare, how we make money, and other important information about our service, please click here. Rates correct as of March 4, 2024. View disclaimer.

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                                          Credit cards are a staple of Australian spending, with more than 16 million active accounts across the country collectively making over $25 billion in transactions each month (according to 2018 Reserve Bank statistics).

                                          Since launching in Australia in 1974, these convenient pieces of plastic have provided millions of Aussies with fast easy access to credit – fuelling a ‘live-for-today’ shopping culture. Meanwhile, they’ve also sent many into crippling levels of debt and financial distress.

                                          Because of this, credit cards are a product that divides personal finance experts – some advise everyone to completely abstain from using them, while others argue that when used responsibly, they can provide net financial benefits for consumers.

                                          At Savings.com.au, we’re in the latter camp (although we agree that some people really should cut up their credit card). We want our practical savings info to help Australians with their credit cards, be it through helping them:

                                          • choose a credit card
                                          • take advantage of the perks; or
                                          • avoid the traps.

                                          How do credit cards work?

                                          While credit cards can be used to purchase products and pay for services, its important to note when the card is used, that money will need to be paid back.

                                          Let’s say you apply for a credit card with a bank offering a credit limit of $10,000. As the limit is set at $10,000, this means you can borrow up to $10,000 each month. Any money you borrow needs to be repaid to the lender within a certain payment period. If it isn’t, you’ll be charged interest on the unpaid debt.

                                          Credit cards can be extremely useful, as they give you quick and easy access to a cash flow you might not have at that exact moment. However, interest costs and fees can potentially catch you out.


                                          Credit card networks

                                          When it comes to navigating the credit card market, there are a number of different payment platforms available, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. The most common platforms for credit cards are Visa or Mastercard, yet others include the likes of American Express or Diners Club.

                                          In Australia, often you will find that Visa or Mastercard credit cards are accepted at most outlets. Platforms such as American Express of Diners Club are not accepted across all outlets, as the merchant has to pay a higher fee for customers making transactions with these cards.


                                          Different types of credit cards

                                          Choosing a credit card often requires a bit of research on your behalf, as the number of products available on the market can appear endless.

                                          First and foremost, it’s important to consider your needs when choosing a credit card - whether those include a low interest rate, no fees or frequent flyer points to help you jet off overseas sooner.

                                          You’ll find a list of the different types of credit cards available below to help you navigate the market and narrow down your options.

                                          Low rate credit cards

                                          Low rate credit cards come with, you guessed it, a lower interest rate compared to other credit cards. These cards usually have no frills, meaning they are often quite basic without additional features such as rewards programs or complimentary insurances.

                                          A low rate credit card may save you money on interest, yet if you carry a significant credit card balance from month to month, the interest bill can still be quite significant. Also, you may still be charged annual fees depending on the card.

                                          Low and no fee credit cards

                                          Similar to low rate credit cards, low or no fee cards come with pared-back features. Ultimately, what you gain by paying little or nothing in annual fees, you give up with limited credit card features.

                                          Even without an annual fee, it’s important to remain on your toes as other costs such as interest, currency conversion fees and even cash advance fees for withdrawing cash can add up.

                                          Credit cards with low or no annual fee may be appealing to people who only have a credit card for emergencies and use it sparingly.

                                          Rewards credit cards

                                          Being rewarded for spending money may sound too good to be true, yet reward cards can be an effective way to benefit from regularly spending on your credit card.

                                          Rewards can come in a number of different forms depending on the type of card including fuel and grocery shopping discounts, store discounts, gift cards, flights, accommodation and seat upgrades, and frequent flyer points.

                                          Rewards credit cards are typically considered as more ‘premium’ products than low rate or low fee credit cards as they provide greater incentives to spend. This incentive however, often can mean higher interest rates or fees.

                                          Frequent flyer credit cards

                                          Similar in nature to rewards credit cards, frequent flyer credit cards provide perks in the form of points linked to airline frequent flyer programs. These points are accumulated over time and are typically redeemed for flights or holidays.

                                          Other associated perks for cardholders can include travel insurance and complimentary access to airport lounges. Like rewards credit cards, frequent flyer cards can charge higher annual fees and higher interest rates than low fee and low rate cards.

                                          Premium credit cards

                                          As the name suggests, premium credit cards offer extensive ‘premium’ benefits to customers, including concierge services and complimentary insurances. Providing a number of exclusive services to customers, these cards tend to come with higher rates and fees.

                                          You may find that these cards are likely offered by banks exclusively to higher income applicants. Banks will typically use tiered systems to determine if you qualify.

                                          Balance transfer credit cards

                                          Many credit cards offer balance transfers, which essentially allow existing credit card debts to be transferred onto them. Typically, this debt is accumulated from a credit card with a different provider.

                                          The transferred debts are charged a balance transfer rate, which is usually much lower than the purchase rate - often as low as 0% p.a. However, this lower interest rate generally only applies for a limited period of time before reverting to a much a higher rate.


                                          Credit card fees

                                          Depending on the type of card and the way in which it is used, there are a number of fees associated with using a credit card - some of which are outlined below.

                                          Annual fees

                                          It’s often that your credit card, no matter how often you use it, will charge you an annual fee. For the likes of rewards, frequent flyer and premium cards, this fee can be a hefty expense. You may find some credit card providers will waive the annual fee for customers in certain circumstances. These include spending above a certain limit or making repayments consistently.

                                          Cash advance fee

                                          Cash advance fees are charged to your credit card if using your credit card to withdraw cash from an ATM or transfer credit to another account. This is charged as a percentage of the amount withdrawn, typically between 2-5%.

                                          In addition, a special interest rate applies to any cash withdrawn using your credit card. This is often higher than the card’s purchase rate and applies as soon as the money is withdrawn. Importantly, there are no interest-free days on cash advances.

                                          Late repayment fee

                                          As the name suggests, if your credit card repayments are made late, you are likely to be charged a late fee by your credit card provider. This fee is an additional fee that will be charged to the outstanding card balance.

                                          Currency conversion fee

                                          Currency conversion fees are charged when using your card to make a purchase in a foreign currency. Similar to late repayment fees, the currency conversion fee is typically charged as a percentage of the purchase amount.

                                          Frequently Asked Questions

                                          Credit card interest is charged for borrowing money from a financial institution with your credit card. Ultimately, the amount of interest you will pay depends on the interest rate, the amount of debt owed, the types of transactions made (e.g. purchases or cash advances) and the number of interest free days.

                                          Interest rate, fees and features are just some of the factors that should be front of mind when choosing a credit card. It may be enticing to get a credit card offering multiple rewards or bonuses, yet arguably the most important factor is your ability to be a responsible credit card user. Debt can sneak up on you, and picking an unsuitable card can increase your interest repayments quickly.

                                          To be eligible for a credit card, you are required to be over the age of 18 and meet certain requirements. These include income, identification, Australian residency status and credit history. Generally, you will also need to provide details of your assets, expenses and liabilities in order for the bank to determine if you can meet credit card repayments sufficiently.

                                          In some cases, rewards or platinum credit cards will have further requirements as they are tailored to a specific customer base.

                                          The interest-free period is the maximum number of days that you won’t be charged interest on purchases, provided you pay off your balance in full by the due date.

                                          It’s important to consider your personal financial position before getting a credit card. While credit cards provide easy access to an immediate source of funds, they also have the potential to be an expensive way to borrow money. If you find it difficult to consistently make your repayments, you risk accumulating debt quickly, which will hamper both your financial position and mental health.

                                          Ask yourself the following questions:

                                          • Why do you need it?
                                          • How will you pay it off?
                                          • Will any incentives or rewards on offer justify the cost?

                                          One one hand, a credit card can impact your credit score negatively, yet on the other it can impact your credit score in a positive manner.

                                          Each time you apply for a credit card, it will be recorded on your credit file. If you apply for a credit card and are rejected, this will leave a negative mark on your credit score. Importantly, if you miss repayments, your credit score will also suffer.

                                          If you make regular payments and are responsible with the use of your credit card, this can raise your credit score. In essence, it all comes down to how much you tap or swipe your card and make repayments to pay off accumulated debt.