For low income earners, finding a credit card can feel like an uphill battle. However, you shouldn’t feel priced out, as there are a range of credit cards with income minimums as low as $15,000. 

Find and compare low income credit cards

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Purchase Rate

21.49%

Annual Fee

$0

for 12 months then $199

Interest Free Days

55

$35k
More details

Purchase Rate

20.24%

Annual Fee

$0

for 12 months then $30

Interest Free Days

55

$15k
More details

Purchase Rate

22.74%

Annual Fee

$0

Interest Free Days

55

$15k
More details

Purchase Rate

20.24%

Annual Fee

$99

for 12 months then $129

Interest Free Days

55

$35k
More details

Purchase Rate

12.99%

Annual Fee

$49

Interest Free Days

55

$25k
More details

Purchase Rate

21.49%

Annual Fee

$99

for 12 months then $199

Interest Free Days

55

$35k
More details

Purchase Rate

20.74%

Annual Fee

$0

Interest Free Days

44

$35k
More details

Purchase Rate

11.99%

Annual Fee

$0

Interest Free Days

55

$25k
More details

Purchase Rate

21.49%

Annual Fee

$49

for 12 months then $149

Interest Free Days

55

$35k
More details

Purchase Rate

20.24%

Annual Fee

$99

for 12 months then $129

Interest Free Days

55

$35k
More details

Purchase Rate

11.99%

Annual Fee

$49

Interest Free Days

55

$20k
More details

Purchase Rate

6.99%

for 6 months then 11.99%

Annual Fee

$49

Interest Free Days

55

$20k
More details

Purchase Rate

11.99%

Annual Fee

$0

Interest Free Days

55

$20k
More details

Purchase Rate

10.49%

Annual Fee

$30

Interest Free Days

55

$20k
More details

Purchase Rate

20.74%

Annual Fee

$178

Interest Free Days

55

$35k
More details

Purchase Rate

20.50%

Annual Fee

$120

Interest Free Days

55

$30k
More details

Purchase Rate

0.00%

for 15 months then 10.99%

Annual Fee

$49

Interest Free Days

55

$15k
More details

Purchase Rate

0.00%

for 15 months then 10.99%

Annual Fee

$69

Interest Free Days

55

$15k
More details

Purchase Rate

20.74%

Annual Fee

$60

Interest Free Days

44

$25k
More details

Purchase Rate

20.74%

Annual Fee

$64.5

for 12 months then $129

Interest Free Days

55

$35k
More details

Purchase Rate

13.49%

Annual Fee

$55

Interest Free Days

55

$25k
More details

Purchase Rate

21.49%

Annual Fee

$0

Interest Free Days

55

$35k
More details

Purchase Rate

12.74%

Annual Fee

$55

Interest Free Days

$25k
More details

Purchase Rate

19.99%

Annual Fee

$0

Interest Free Days

55

$25k
More details

Purchase Rate

11.99%

Annual Fee

$99

Interest Free Days

55

$35k
More details

Purchase Rate

20.49%

Annual Fee

$99

for 12 months then $150

Interest Free Days

45

$30k
More details

Purchase Rate

20.49%

Annual Fee

$99

for 12 months then $200

Interest Free Days

45

$30k
More details

Purchase Rate

7.49%

Annual Fee

$50

Interest Free Days

50

$20k
More details

Purchase Rate

11.95%

Annual Fee

$49

Interest Free Days

55

$20k
More details

Purchase Rate

19.99%

Annual Fee

$199

for 12 months then $299

Interest Free Days

55

$35k
More details

Purchase Rate

19.99%

Annual Fee

$49

Interest Free Days

55

$35k
More details

Purchase Rate

23.99%

Annual Fee

$99

Interest Free Days

110

$25k
More details

Purchase Rate

0.00%

for 15 months then 20.09%

Annual Fee

$0

for 12 months then $30

Interest Free Days

55

$15k
More details

Purchase Rate

20.09%

Annual Fee

$0

for 12 months then $90

Interest Free Days

55

$30k
More details

Purchase Rate

20.99%

Annual Fee

$0

Interest Free Days

55

$35k
More details

Purchase Rate

0.90%

for 15 months then 14.99%

Annual Fee

$99

Interest Free Days

55

$35k
More details

Purchase Rate

19.99%

Annual Fee

$99

Interest Free Days

55

$25k
More details

Purchase Rate

19.99%

Annual Fee

$58

Interest Free Days

55

$25k
More details

Learn more about credit cards

What are low income credit cards?

Many Australian credit card providers have minimum income thresholds of $30,000 to $40,000 annually. Low income credit cards, as the name suggests, have lower minimum income levels within their eligibility criteria. They are usually between $15,000 to $20,000. This is around $288-$384 a week. 

They typically won’t have all the bells and whistles of credit cards for higher income earners. But they may allow Australians with lower incomes, such as those employed part time or casually, to obtain a basic credit card.  

Can I get a credit card with no income?

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a provider who’d give someone with no income a credit card. Minimum annual income requirements are put in place by credit card providers to ensure card holders can manage their repayments. 

It may seem unfair, but it’s for your own benefit. Risk-based lending helps to prevent Australians from easily falling into debt.  

How do I get approved for a low income credit card?

To improve your chance of approval for a low income credit card, consider the following: 

  • Start a savings nest egg: Credit card providers may be looking for stability in your finances if you have a low income. If you can consistently put money into your savings each income cycle, you’ll show that you have an effective budget and that you have self-control. 

  • Make regular debt payments: If you have existing debt, consider paying this off before applying for a low income credit card. This will demonstrate a level of reliability with your finances. It may improve your chances of getting credit card approval as well as increase your credit rating.

  • Check the minimum income requirements: Review a card's terms and conditions and/or PDS for a clear understanding of its minimum income requirements. This may differ for each credit card.

  • Joint application: If your partner is willing to go on the credit card application with you, you’ll be able to combine your income amounts. Not only will you have a greater chance of reaching low income credit card minimum requirements, you could also qualify for standard or rewards credit cards. Just ensure that you’ve prepared an effective budget before applying. You don’t want to fall into debt and negatively impact your partner’s credit history, or your relationship, in the process.

  • Review your credit history: It’s not uncommon for credit reports to contain mistakes. Obtain a copy of your credit history and go through it with a fine-tooth comb. If you’re applying for a credit card with a bad credit score, your application will have a higher chance of being rejected. You can also learn more about how you can repair your credit score.

What are the pros and cons of a low income credit card?

Pros: 

  • Lower costs: As low income credit cards are typically no-frills cards, they can often come with lower than average fees or purchase rates. 
  • Build credit history: If you’re a casually employed young Australian, low income credit cards are one way to start building a credit history. A good credit history can help improve your likelihood of approval for personal loans or home loans in the future.

Cons:

  • Grow debt: All credit cards bring a risk that the holder will fall into debt. Ensure you’ve set up a repayment plan and budget before you take out a credit card, especially on a low income. 
  • Hurt your credit history: If you’re not careful and apply for a card with income requirements higher than your own, you may hurt your credit score. Being rejected for a credit card will negatively impact your credit history. Double check the fine print on a credit card before applying just in case. 

What low income credit cards are available for students?

Students can be eligible for basic low income credit cards. If you’re a student, taking out a credit card is an opportunity to learn about budgeting and financial responsibility. But it’s also a quick and easy way to grow a hefty debt before you’ve even graduated if you’re not careful. 

Try to present yourself as the most reliable borrower before applying – whether it’s through taking out a part-time job or growing some savings.

Students may also be eligible for government financial assistance through Centrelink, such as Youth Allowance. Before applying for a student credit card, consider whether government assistance might better suit your financial needs and situation. 

Frequently asked questions

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.

Can I get a credit card on part-time/casual work?

Yes, as credit card providers look at your annual income amount as well as your occupation. Minimum income requirements tend to be between $30,000 – $40,000 for standard and rewards credit cards, however low income credit cards can have minimum income requirements as low as $15,000 per year.

Can a pensioner get a credit card?

It is possible to get a credit card as a pensioner. There are some factors to keep in mind, including:

  • Annual income. Look for credit cards with minimum annual income requirements you can meet. 
  • Annual fees. If high fees are a concern for you, opt for a card with a low or $0 annual fee. 
  • Interest rate. Make sure you won’t have any nasty surprises on your credit card bill. Compare cards with a low interest rates to minimise risk.

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.

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. 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. For more information on improving your credit score, go here

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 do you use credit cards?

A credit card can be an easy way to make purchases online, in person or over the phone. When used properly, a credit card can even help you manage your cash flow. But before applying for a credit card, it’s good to know how they work. A credit card is essentially a personal line of credit which lets you buy things and pay for them later. As a card holder, you’ll be given a credit limit and (potentially) charged interest on the money the bank lends you. At the end of each billing period, the bank will send you a statement which shows your outstanding balance and the minimum amount you need to pay back. If you don’t pay back the full balance amount, the bank will begin charging you interest.

What should you do when you lose your credit card?

Losing your credit card is a serious situation, and could land you in financial trouble. Here is a simple guide detailing what to do when you lose your credit card.

Lock you card – Contact your provider and inform them about your lost credit card. From here lock, block or cancel your card.

Keep track of transactions – Look out for unauthorised credit card transactions. Most banks protect against fraudulent transactions.

Address recurring charges – If your card is linked to recurring charges (gym membership, rent, utilities), contact those businesses.

Check credit rate – To ensure you’re not the victim of identity theft, check your credit rating a month or two after you lose your credit card.

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.

Should I get a credit card?

Once you've compared credit card interest rates and deals and found the right card for you, the actual process of getting a credit card is quite straightforward. You can apply for a credit card online, over the phone or in person at a bank branch. 

How to make a credit card online

If you’re wondering about how to make a credit card online application, here are some steps to follow:

  • Test the market. Many credit card options are available online. Compare providers by fees, interest and perks to ensure you’re getting the best deal.
  • Complete the application. Once you’ve selected a card, head to the provider’s website and complete the online credit card application form. Forms vary by providers.
  • Provide details. Most cards require you to meet age, residency, income and credit status condition, and you need to provide details like a bank account statement to prove this.
  • Review details. Ensure the information you’ve entered is correct.

How to get rid of credit card debt

  1. Calculate your debt. Credit card calculators make it easy to determine the repayments required to chip away at your debt in the shortest timeframe possible for your budget.
  2. Repayment plans. Take some time to formulate a credit repayment plan. Consider increasing your income, scaling back your lifestyle or refinancing.
  3. Talk to your credit provider. If you’re still struggling with your debt, give your credit provider a call. You may be able to come to a new arrangement.

How do you use a credit card?

Credit cards are a quick and convenient way to pay for items in store, online or over the phone. You can use a credit card as a cashless way to pay for goods or services, both locally and overseas. You can also use a credit card to make a cash advance, which gives you the flexibility to withdraw cash from your credit card account. Because a credit card uses the bank’s funds instead of your own, you will be charged interest on the money you spend – unless you pay off the entire debt within the interest-free period. If you pay the minimum monthly repayment, you will be charged interest. There are many different credit card options on the market, all offering different interest rates and reward options.

How to pay a credit card

There are a few ways to pay a credit card bill. These include:

  • BPAY - allows you to safely make credit card payments online.
  • Direct debits - set up an automatic payment from your 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.
  • In a branch.
  • Via your credit card provider's app.

How do I apply for a credit card online?

How do credit cards work?

Think of credit cards as a short-term loan where you use the bank’s money to buy something up front and then pay for it later. Unlike a debit card which uses your own money to pay, a credit card essentially borrows the bank’s money to fund the purchase. When you apply for a credit card, the bank assesses your income and assigns you a credit limit based on what you can afford to pay back. At the end of each billing cycle, which is usually monthly, the bank will send you a statement showing the minimum amount you have to pay back, including any interest payable on the balance.

How to get money from a credit card

You can get money from a credit card, but generally it will cost you.

Withdrawing money from a credit card is called a cash advance, as it operates more as a loan than a simple cash withdrawal. Because it is a loan, you may be charged interest on your cash advance as soon as you make the withdrawal. Interest rates are also usually much higher for cash advances than standard credit card purchases.

In addition to the interest rate, you may also be charged a cash advance fee. This could be a flat rate, or a percentage of your total cash advance. If you are considering a cash advance, make sure to add up how much it will cost you before committing.

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.

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 pay off credit cards?

The best way to pay off a credit card bill is to set a realistic spending budget and stick to it. Each month, you’ll get a credit card statement detailing how much you owe and how long it will take to pay off the balance by making minimum repayments. If you only make the minimum repayments, it will take you years to pay off your outstanding balance and add extra costs in interest charges. To avoid any extra charges, you should pay the entire bill.