Best Credit Card
Comparison of the Best Credit Card offers of 2017
A selection of the Best Credit Card Offers currently available are featured in the credit card comparison table below. The Best Credit Card Offers include the best 0% balance transfer credit cards, the best Low Rate Credit Cards, the best Rewards Credit Cards and those with the Best Introductory Offers.
Simply put, there is no one credit card that fits all. What may be the best credit card for one person, may not be the right one for another. And with well over a hundred credit cards in Australia, finding the best credit card to suit your needs and spending is a rather tricky and challenging process.
Credit cards have different uses to different individuals. For those who may occasionally need a source of temporary borrowing to tide them over, credit cards are a convenient option. Big spenders who want to get something out of their credit card use can be well rewarded with a rewards card. Others who hold gold and platinum credit cards like the fact that their high-tier credit cards reflect their economic status and financial capabilities.
The key to finding the best credit card that works best for you and one that won’t break your bank is to find out as much information about the different credit card types and establish which credit card best suits your financial situation. Only then can you make an informed decision on what could be the best credit card for you. Below we have pulled together the best of the credit card deals of 2017 which offers a good starting point in your quest to find the best credit card for your personnel financial circumstances.
Guide to the Best Credit Card*
Selecting the Best Credit Card* will be significantly easier if you are armed with an understanding of the types of Credit Cards which are available. Eight credit card types, of which there are many derivatives, are offered in Australia, here we outline the features of these credit card types:
Best Low Interest Rate Credit Card
Generally low interest rate credit cards are focused on providing the lowest and most competitive purchase rate, this is the interest rate which any purchases you make using the credit card will be subject to, should you carry a balance on your card. These credit cards are preferred by cardholders who expect to carry a balance on their credit card each month, and wish to minimize the amount of interest they get charged for holding this balance.
The quest to find the best credit card offering a low interest rate commences with an appraisal of the credit cards purchase rate, with a purchase rate below 15% p.a. being the benchmark for low interest rate cards. This purchase rate is not an introductory rate but is the rate which will apply to any purchases made with the card should you carry a balance on the card. A recent development in the Australian market has been the introduction of 0% Purchase Credit Cards or Interest Free Credit Cards which offer a 0% interest rate on any new purchases made with the card for a fixed introductory period which ranges from 6 to 24 months. These 0% Purchase Credit Cards are certainly amongst the Best Credit Cards in terms of a low interest rate, but it is important to remember this introductory rate is only valid for the introductory period.
Best Balance Transfer Credit Card
If your objective is to repay a historical debt the best credit card* to achieve this will probably feature a Balance Transfer Credit Card Offer. These credit cards feature low or even 0% interest rate periods during which any debt can be repaid with no are small amounts of interest incurred. Where saving dollars is the mantra there are even Balance Transfer credit cards that charge no annual fee or balance transfer fee. To understand the interest you could save by switching to one of the Balance Transfer Credit Card offers currently available try our free Balance Transfer Saving Calculator
The Best Balance Transfer Credit Card is the one which is going to save you the greatest amount on interest by providing a low balance transfer interest rate, a balance transfer period which is a long enough period for the transferred debt to be repaid and finally low credit card fees. It may seem counter intuitive but the starting point to find the best balance transfer credit card to achieve the greatest savings is to establish 2 things, firstly how much are looking to transfer, and secondly over what time period are you 100% confident you can full repay this debt. Once you have fixed these 2 points its time to commence your search for the best credit card to achieve your interest savings, and this search starts by looking for credit cards that offer balance transfer periods which are equal or greater than the period over which you are 100% confident of repaying the transferred debt. Having established a shortlist of the cards with balance transfer periods which meet your needs it is now that we can start looking for the Best Credit Card in terms of interest rates, with the objective of finding credit cards which offer the lowest balance transfer rate over our chosen balance transfer period. It's likely that 0% p.a. interest rates will be available which will maximise your interest savings as you will be paying $0 interest on your transferred debt, so long as you stick to the T&C's of the card.
To help select the best credit card which is offering a balanace transfer deal try our Balance Transfer Saving Calculator which enables you to calculate the savings on interest you could make by switching to the various balance transfer offers currently available.
Best No Annual Fee Credit Card
So long as you are not concerned about a range of benefits accompanying your credit card the No Annual Fee credit cards are an options that certainly works best when you are an infrequent card user or wish to merely have a credit card on hand for emergency situations.
The Best No annual fee credit card is one where no annual fee is payable for the life of the card, as opposed to simply waived for an introductory period as an incentive to apply for the card. The best credit cards also have no spend conditions attached to the continuation of the $0 annual fee, so look out for the no annual fee credit cards where the fee is dependent on meeting a minimum spend level.
Best Frequent Flyer Credit Card
All the major global airlines have introduced frequent flyer credit cards that are aligned to their frequent flyer reward programs, and are favored by cardholders whom are already members of a frequent flyer program and who simply want to focus on accumulating points for a program they are already committed to. These credit cards work on the basis that cardholders are rewarded with points for each dollar they spend, and charge to their card, on eligible purchases. The 2 largest Frequent Flyer programs offering rewards credit cards are Qantas Rewards and the Velocity Frequent Flyer Program.
The Best Credit Cards which offer Frequent Flyer rewards are those that strike a balance between good point earn rates, a low annual card fee and competitive purchase and cash interest rates. Identifying the best card can also be blurred by the offer of bonus sign up points, which are used by the card providers to entice you to apply for their card, these offers range from 5,000 up to 50,000 bonus points.
Best Introductory offers of Qantas Points and Velocity Rewards
55,000 Bonus Qantas Points Full Card Details >>
Annual fee $450, no points cap, Complimentary Insurances
50,000 Bonus Velocity Points Full Card Details >>
Annual fee $349, no points cap, Complimentary Insurances, $65,000 p.a. min income required.
50,000 Bonus Qantas Points, offer closes 31st January 2018 Full Card Details >>
Reduced Annual fee of $199 for first year (normally $395), High Qantas Point earn rates, Complimentary Insurances
150,000 Bonus Qantas or Citi Rewards Points, offer closes 31st January 2018 Full Card Details >>
0% Balance Transfer Offer, Complimentary Insurances, high point earn rates, $700 p.a. annual card fee
Best Reward Credit Card
The earning of points as a reward for making eligible purchases using your credit card is the mechanic that drives reward credit cards. Choosing the best reward credit card* involves accessing both the core rates of the card in conjunction with the value of any rewards points you may earn through using the credit card. Each Reward credit card has an extensive range of options which your earned points can be used to acquire, and many also offer the opportunity to transfer your points to your preferred airline frequent flyer program.
Best Student Credit Card
Designed to meet the financial situation associated with being a full time students these student credit cards have low credit limits, low fees and are generally pared back of benefits to help keep the card costs down in synch with the low income levels of students. Establishing which is the Best Card for you as a student should focus on accessing the credit cards eligibility requirements, particularly the minimum income level, the cards fees and the purchase rate of interest.
Best Temporary Resident Credit Card
Migrating to Australia is a big decision be it for a short time or for life, when here migrants find it is best to avoid using their credit card from their country of origin as they quickly amass overseas transaction fees. To avoid these fees and get established with an Australian based credit card provider, a range of Temporary Resident Credit Cards are available which take into account the special circumstances of temporary residents, most specifically in terms of eligibility criteria. Perhaps the two most important card features which will help establish the best credit card as you settle in Australia are the Visa you require to apply for the card and the minimum income requirement which applicants must have, which starts at $35,000 p.a.
Where speed is of the essence these Instant Approval credit cards offer the best possible response time to your application, promising a conditional decision on your on line application within 60 seconds.
Best 0% Interest Credit Card
For a fixed period these 0% Interest Credit Cards charge no interest on eligible purchases so long as the monthly minimum payment is met and that any balance is completely repaid before the 0% promotional period expires. These 0% promotional period range from 6-24 months. The Best Credit Cards which offer these interest free periods are those which offer lengthy interest free periods coupled with low annual card fees and competitive purchase rates to which your purchases will revert once the introductory period expires.
Instant Approval Credit Card Offers - Compare and Review the Best Instant Approval Credit Card Offers, use the guide to applying for an Instant Approval Card to give yourself he best chance of gettingaccepted for your chosen credit card. Read more
Reward Credit Cards - What are the types of reward cards, what type of rewards do each of these types of card offer, are these rewrads relevant to me and will a reward cost cost me more? All the facts on rewards cards covered. Read more
How much can I save on Interest Payments by switching to a balance transfer credit card? - Calculate the interest savings you could make by moving your credit card debt to a balance transfer card with our Free Balance Transfer Savings Calculator.
Important information about this website
*creditcardselector.com is one of Australia's leading credit card comparison websites. creditcardselector.com offers compared on this page are from our participating card providers. The Active Card List of cards displayed on this site are not representative of all the products available in the market. Products are displayed in no particular order or ranking. The use of terms "Featured", "Best" and "Top" are not product ratings and are subject to our Terms and Conditions. You should consider seeking independent financial advice and consider your own personal financial circumstances when comparing cards.
Related Credit Card Types
Best Credit Card - Frequently Asked Questions
For those who are already carrying a credit card debt and want to pay it down as quickly as possible, the best option would be a Balance Transfer Credit Card. A Balance Transfer Credit Card allows you to transfer to it debt owed on another card at a very low or even zero interest rate for a limited period.
A Balance Transfer card is best for dealing with credit card debt because it lets you save a significant amount on interest costs, lets you pay off your debt much faster, and generally, simplifies your debt. If possible, go with a Balance Transfer Credit Card where the introductory period for the low or zero interest is long enough for you to fully settle your outstanding debt. If you can do this and hold off on new purchases for as long as possible, you will get your finances back on track before you know it.
If you’re the type to always take out your credit card for everyday spending and other purchases, then a Rewards Credit Card is for you. This credit card rewards consumers for using their cards. Every dollar spent earns an equivalent reward or frequent flyer point (typically at $1 = 1 point), and these points can in turn, be redeemed for various rewards including cash rebates, merchandise, gift vouchers, airline flights, travel rewards, and others.
However, a Rewards Credit Card can be your best option only if you meet these conditions:
- You pay off your balance in full and on time; and
- You spend a fairly large amount every month.
Rewards Credit Cards may charge higher interest rates to allow credit card providers to offset the cost of the rewards they are giving away. If you pay only the minimum or a little over this every month, your interest costs could end up way higher than the value of the rewards you’re getting. Further, rewards cards may come with more expensive annual fees, so if your purchases don’t amount to much and the corresponding rewards are not so attractive for you, you won’t be able to recoup the cost of the annual fee.
To start looking for the best rewards card for you, take a look at our rewards credit cards comparison table.
For the frequent traveller, the best credit card is pretty much a given - a Frequent Flyer Credit Card. These types of credit cards are very popular in Australia and there’s practically a horde to choose from in this category.
A Frequent Flyer Credit Card is one that is tied to a frequent flyer program of an airline company. Among the most popular programs in Australia are the Qantas Frequent Flyer and Velocity Frequent Flyer programs. For most credit cards linked to these programs, the exchange is usually pegged at 1 frequent flyer point for every dollar spent. While you can certainly get great flight and travel deals under this program, frequent flyer points can be also be redeemed for other rewards such as merchandise, shopping vouchers, and entertainment rewards.
However, there are still more a couple of points to consider when looking around for the best Frequent Flyer Credit Card. These are the:
- Airline company. Your preference to fly Qantas, Virgin, Jetstar, or any other carrier will figure importantly into your decision. Definitely, you would have to get a credit card that is associated with your preferred airline. Do you often travel domestic or international? One frequent flyer program may have better deals for domestic travel (or international flights at that) than the other so you really have to look into the details before making a decision.
- Points and rewards value. Some credit cards may offer higher points per dollar spent. If you’re not leaning towards flying exclusively with one airline and are more concerned about how many frequent flyer points you would be able to earn and the range of rewards and perks you would have access to, then there are also frequent flyer credit cards that would suit you.
Since a frequent flyer program is a type of rewards program, you would do well to remember that frequent flyer credit cards work best only if you pay your balance in full every billing statement and spend a considerably large amount every year to make up for hefty annual fees.
To compare frequent flyer cards in Australia, go to our frequent flyer credit cards page.
There are two types of credit cards that providers designed with the occasional users in mind. These two are:
- No Annual Fee Credit Card. As indicated by its name, a No Annual Fee Credit Card is one that doesn’t charge an annual fee. Basically a no-frills, standard credit card, this card is perfect for you if you don’t plan to use the credit card all that often because you won’t have to pay an annual fee simply for maintaining the account.
While the benefit of a No Annual Fee credit card is obvious, the setback is you could be charged higher interest rates, often times in the vicinity of 18% p.a. and above. If you’re one to leave a balance on your card when you do use it, you could be better off with a card that charges low interest for a small annual fee. Most No Annual Fee cards also don’t come with any rewards, which should work fine for those whose credit card uses are few and far between.
- Low Interest Credit Card. A Low Interest Credit Card can also be an ideal choice for those who use their cards sparingly, but make big ticket purchases when they do, with the amount paid over a number of months. A low interest card works suitably in this case because it allows you to carry a credit card balance without having to pay exorbitantly high interest costs. This type of card is ideal for expenses like a major appliance purchase, school fees, a family vacation, and other similar expenditures.
A credit card that is kept for emergency purposes only is one that is rarely used. So as with the previous question, a No Annual Fee credit card or a Low Interest credit card would be best as an emergency credit card.
With a No Annual Fee card, you are assured of having a quick source of funds when needed, without the burden of paying a fixed regular fee for it. In the case of a Low Interest card, you may be required to pay a small annual fee, but if a situation requires you to use it, you’ll pay less in interest costs if you cannot pay the debt in full immediately.
While there are practically hundreds of credit card offers in the market these days, most of these require good credit history. But then again, everyone has to start somewhere and this is also true with establishing credit. So whether you’re a student or a young professional on his first job, there’s a credit card just waiting for you.
That said however, there are a few pointers to keep in mind when applying for your first credit card.
- Go for a card that suits your financial position best. Instead of immediately looking at the rewards program or the bonus points that come with the card, check the annual fee and APR first. If you find a credit card that offers no/low annual fee and low interest, and has reasonable income requirements, then you’ve found yourself a good deal.
Those who just want to start establishing their credit history and have no intention of using their card on a regular basis, a No Annual Fee card would be a good choice. On the other hand, for those who may want to make more than a few purchases using their cards and carry an outstanding balance over to the following month, a Low Interest card would keep their costs lower.
- Apply for a modest credit limit. While credit card providers are the ones to set the credit limit for any approved credit card, you can actually request for a limit upon application. This means that even if your income qualifies you for a higher limit, the provider can still give you a lower one based on your application. Applying for a credit limit that is lower than what you think you could qualify for is a good indication to providers that you are serious about how you handle your credit. This is also a practical move because you won’t be tempted to overspend or use up a credit account that is way higher than what you need.
- Apply first at the bank where you have an account. If you already have a good history of handling a savings or checking account, then applying for a credit card would be the next step. Because of your existing relationship with the bank via your deposit accounts, you would have better chances of getting a credit card approved.
- Apply for a secured credit card. If you’re having trouble getting your first credit card, another option would be to apply for a secured credit card. A secured credit card is one where you need to make a secured deposit against the credit limit of the card. While this means you won’t be able to use the held funds for the time being, it does help you build up a good credit history. If you handle your secured card well by making timely payments and spending within your limit, there’s a good chance that the credit card provider will convert your secured card to an unsecured one after some time.
Once you are given your first credit card, it’s crucial to handle this responsibly. See to it that payments are made on time, and that you pay an amount well above the minimum requirement, if you can’t pay the outstanding balance in full. When you’ve established a good credit rating with your first card, it would then be easier to upgrade to a rewards card or one with a higher credit limit for your next credit card.
Having a poor credit score will definitely be a challenge if you want to get a credit card. But it isn’t a lost cause. Even with a less-than-stellar credit history, you can still find credit card providers who are willing to give you another shot at re-establishing good credit.
If you’ve previously handled credit badly, the best credit card options for you are:
- A secured credit card. This type requires you to have a security deposit to be held against your credit limit. Since credit card providers incur little risk with giving you a secured card, they are likely to approve your application even with your poor credit. Once you get the secured credit card, it will be like any other credit card where you receive a monthly billing for purchases you made and be required to pay a minimum amount by the due date.
As soon as your credit account expires, you then have the option of either returning your card and getting back your deposit (usually with interest), continuing with the existing arrangement, or applying for an upgrade to a standard, unsecured card. If you’ve handled your credit card better this time around, you would have improved your credit score
- A standard credit card with higher fees. If you don’t have the funds for a secured credit card, then the other alternative open for you is to apply for a standard credit card. While getting approval is difficult, it is still possible with some credit card providers. The catch however, is that credit cards for individuals who have poor or bad credit come with expensive fees and low credit limits. On a positive note, these credit cards do give you a chance to rebuild your credit history so even the high costs and lower limits are worth it, provided of course, that you put this opportunity to good use.
If you use your credit card frequently to do online shopping, there are a number of credit cards that should suit you well. Among the features you should take into account are:
- Fraud protection. With the boom in online shopping comes also the rise in credit card fraud. That’s why if you travel regularly or make web-based purchases often, credit card security is a must. Know which credit cards offer the essential security features that provide better protection against fraudulent transactions. Some credit card providers even offer 24/7 fraud monitoring services that will keep track of your credit card transactions for any dodgy activities.
- Foreign transaction fee. A foreign transaction fee covers the credit card provider’s cost of converting your money into foreign currency. Hence, you will see this fee added when you make international purchases online or when shopping overseas. The foreign transaction fee may vary depending on your card type and provider, but it is usually within 2% to 3% of the transaction amount. The good news is, there are credit cards that don’t charge extra for online and/or international transactions.
- Rewards points. If your online shopping transactions are significant enough to give your rewards points a big boost, then you should be glad to know that there are credit cards that let you earn more rewards point for every dollar spent on online or overseas transactions. It’s up to you to decide whether a card that offers higher conversion (rewards points per dollar) but charges international transaction fees is a better deal than one that doesn’t burden you with the added fee but gives fewer or no rewards points for online and overseas purchases.
There are a number of credit cards designed specifically for those who use their card for everyday grocery purchases. These type of credit cards are usually tied to the rewards program of that particular supermarket, and are largely marketed as cards that ‘give you more for your everyday shopping’. Among the most popular of these credit cards are those offered by Australia’s two biggest supermarket chains, Coles and Woolworths.
Coles and Woolworths credit cards work basically in the same manner. Every dollar spent will allow you to earn rewards points that go towards the flybuys rewards program for Coles, and the Everyday Rewards program for Woolworths Money. Shopping at Coles and Woolworths stores and with their retailer partners will give you double (or even triple) the flybuys or Everyday Rewards points, while other credit card purchases will give you the regular earn rate. Coles’ flybuys program gives you an instant $10 off from your grocery bill for every 2,000 points, and Everyday Rewards points can be exchanged for shopping cards which you can then use at Woolworths Group stores.