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Banks ramp up credit card specials ahead of Christmas

Banks ramp up credit card specials ahead of Christmas

Credit card companies have ramped up efforts to lure in new business in time for Christmas, offering raft of sweeteners  from cash backs and fee waivers to reduced Uber rides and smartphone screen insurance.

New research by comparison site RateCity.com.au has today revealed there are now 54 cards on the market offering spring deals to make a grab for the consumer shopping dollar ahead of the profitable Christmas season.



Special deal


Annual fee

American Express

Explorer Credit Card

Receive 100,000 bonus points when you apply online and spend $1,500 in the first 3 months.




Rewards Black

Receive 75,000 reward points when you spend $2,500 on eligible purchases within three months. $0 annual fee for the first year.




Coles Rewards Mastercard

Collect 30,000 bonus points if you apply and spend $3,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days.




Qantas Rewards Signature Card

Earn 90,000 bonus Qantas points when you spend $4,000 within 60 days.



Bank of Melbourne / St.George Bank

Amplify Signature

Earn up to 90,000 bonus Qantas or Amplify points when you spend $3000 within 90 days and pay the annual card fee.




Everyday platinum card

$100 e-gift card on sign up, 10% off your first shop every month and no annual fee for the first year.



* Annual fee waived in the first year / **$200 off annual fee in first year

Spring credit card deals

RateCity money editor Sally Tindall said now is a good time to update your card, but make sure you read the fine print.

“The average Australian spends almost $19,000 per card every year on plastic, so it’s little wonder credit companies are offering attractive deals to bring in new customers.

“Today’s marketing savvy offers include everything from access to exclusive lounges to extra travel insurance and even free bottles of wine.

“However, as always read the fine print.  If a deal sounds too good to be true it probably is. The most common trap people fall into is forgetting to check the interest rate on the card which can be as high at 24.99%,” she said.

The other common way consumers are stung is by signing up to a card with an extremely high annual fee, which can be as much as $1200 per year.

“Cards offering bonus rewards and a raft of sweetners often have a high annual fee attached; that’s how they make their money,” she said.

“Annual fees are on average $130 per annum, but can go as high as $1200. There are 31 cards on the market with no annual fee attached at all, so make sure you shop around before signing on the dotted line.

“While credit cards are great for convenience and give you extra time to pay off your purchases, they can be fraught with danger. Don’t be fooled by clever marketing tricks.  If you’re paying an exorbitant interest rate and annual fee, make sure you seriously weight up the value of the rewards on offer,” said Ms Tindall.

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Learn more about credit cards

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's the best credit card for rewards?

There is no one-size-fits-all best rewards credit card. It's best you research what type of rewards program you'd like, as well as the fees, interest rate and conditions associated with those types of cards before making a choice. 

Rewards credit cards can also come with high annual fees that may end up nullifying the rewards, so think how often you use the card to decide whether the benefits outweigh the extra cost for you. A card with a lower annual fee might require a lot of spending to get any useful rewards, while another card with a higher annual fee might need fewer purchases to get a reward. 

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.

Keep in mind 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 APR's 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 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.