Comparing Australian credit cards

30th of March 2012 | by RateCity Staff

When looking for credit cards, the secret is to compare the best credit cards for your situation; because there's no one card that would suit everyone's seperate needs. What might be the best credit card for one customer may not be the best credit card for others.

Interest rates

For many customers, the most important feature of a credit card is the interest rate, where simply, the lower the rate, the better. This holds true if you’re what is known in the credit cards industry as a ‘revolver’. This doesn’t mean you’re a gunslinger, it means you’re someone who carries – or revolves – credit card debt over from one month to the next. If you do this, you will pay interest, and therefore when you compare some of the best credit cards, start by checking RateCity’s selection of low rate credit cards, you may find one that suits.

And take note that interest rates on credit cards vary dramatically.

Rewards programs

RateCity research from 2011-12 found that while nearly half the credit cards in its database offered rewards of some kind – such as free flights or merchandise including entertainment, electrical items and so on – those cards’ annual interest rates were an average of around 3 percent higher than the average rate on standard and low rate credit cards. At the time of the research, RateCity estimated that only a small amount of credit card holders actually benefit from using a rewards program because annual fees and interest rates can outweigh the value of the rewards.

Tip – pay your monthly balance in full

If you pay all of your outstanding credit card balance in full every month, congratulations, you are really making the most of credit cards. When you compare best credit cards for your circumstances, the rate of interest may be less important than other features.

Instead, you may wish to consider rewards, ensuring to choose cards that have annual fees and points capping that suit your regular spending patterns.

A standard card with a low annual fee may also be the best credit card for you if rewards are not your preference, or you do not spend enough each month to justify a rewards program.

Kick-off your Australian credit card search with RateCity's credit card comparison tool.