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Credit card comparison

Compare a range of credit cards with low interest rates or fees, frequent flyer points, and rewards on RateCity.

60+ credit card providers in RateCity’s database

180+ credit card products in RateCity’s database

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Using our comparison tool to help find a credit card is free. However, we might receive a commission from partners if you apply through our site.Our team of research experts evaluates credit cards for value (including price and features), offering detailed ratings to aid your comparison. Our seasoned editorial team has extensive experience in financial comparisons, aiming to simplify complex terms into useful information for Australians.We review and rate credit cards from numerous providers, offering a wide selection of credit cards for informed decision making. 

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What's new in credit cards for July 2024

While credit card rewards can be tempting, they may not always be worth it for every cardholder. You may be able to benefit from rewards points, discounts and extras, but you may also pay higher interest rates and/or fees for the privilege. For example, Westpac recently raised interest rates on selected rewards credit cards, meaning it’s now impossible to get a big bank rewards credit card with a rate under 20%.

If you want to get the most out of a rewards card, you may want to be confident that you can manage the repayments and minimise the interest charged on your spending. Alternatively, you could consider a more basic “no-frills” credit card with a lower interest rate, to help minimise the interest charged on your outstanding debt.

If you're searching for a card with a lower purchase rate, some of these options listed in the RateCity database might offer competitive rates that could potentially suit your financial needs better: 

Card Company Purchase Rate % 
 Low Rate Visa Credit Card G&C Mutual Bank Limited 7.49
 Low Rate Credit Card Community First Bank 8.99
 Low Rate Credit Card MOVE Bank 8.99
 Foundation Visa Card Defence Bank 8.99
 Easy Low Rate Visa Credit Card Easy Street Financial Services 8.99

Source: RateCity.com.au. Data accurate as of 02/07/2024. 

What is a credit card?

A credit card is a financial product that allows you to make purchases on credit up to a predetermined limit. 

When you make a purchase using a credit card, you’re essentially borrowing money from the card issuer to pay for the product or service, up to your maximum credit limit. As you’re using money that’s not your own, you’re required to repay the borrowed amount at the end of the billing cycle.

You can either repay this amount in full to avoid interest charges, or make the minimum monthly payments required by your credit card issuer to avoid defaulting. However, keep in mind that you'll incur interest charges on the remaining balance if you choose not to pay the full amount. 

Which credit card will suit me?

There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to credit cards. There are a range of different types of credit cards that may better suit various cardholders, depending on your financial situation and goals. 

About you

Credit card options

You never pay interest

If you always pay your credit card balance in full each statement period, you might want to look for a card that offers benefits for your spending. This may include cashback deals on sign up, rewards points or frequent flyer points. This way, you can earn points or cashback on your purchases without paying any interest. 

You always pay interest

If you tend to accrue interest on your credit card each statement period, it may be worthwhile considering a low interest rate credit card. Alternatively, if you’re struggling with your debt, a 0% introductory rate on a balance transfer credit card may help you gain some much-needed breathing room to pay off your debt faster. 

You frequently travel

If you frequently travel overseas, you may want to consider a card that rewards you through generous perks and programs, such as frequent flyer points for your preferred airline membership, complimentary travel insurance, or free airport lounge access.

You have a big-ticket item to purchase

If you have a specific goal in mind, such as purchasing a new appliance or electronic device, it may be worth looking for credit cards with a high number of interest-free days. Some credit cards will offer around 44 – 55 interest free days, but can be higher or lower depending on the provider. Having a higher interest-free period may offer you more time to budget for, and pay off, your big-ticket purchase before you’ll start being charged interest on any outstanding balance.

You run a small business

Business owners may benefit from credit cards designed exclusively for business expenses. A business credit card is similar to a personal credit card, except that it must only be used for business expenses. Using a business credit card could help business owners separate business transactions from personal transactions, which simplifies accounting. 

Further, as business credit cards are meant to be used by companies, they often come with helpful features like expense tracking and other budgeting tools. These cards may also offer higher credit limits compared to personal credit cards and offer rewards tailored to business spending. 

As you can see, credit cards vary significantly. Ultimately, the right credit card for you will depend on your individual financial situation and spending habits. 

The pros and cons of credit cards

Credit cards can be a helpful financial tool for cardholders, but they can also be an easy way to accrue debt or hurt your credit score if you’re not careful. It is important that those looking to take out a new or additional credit card are aware of the benefits and disadvantages of this financial product before applying.

Benefits of a credit card 

Access to credit 

The main draw of a credit card is that it offers access to a line of credit. Whether it is used to pay for a holiday, to purchase new appliances, or just in case of an emergency, credit cards offer customers the ability to access funds they otherwise wouldn’t have. Credit limits differ for each cardholder depending on the provider and the cardholder's personal financial situation. 

Rewards and perks 

Some credit cards offer more than credit to cardholders. Additional benefits may up for grabs from some card issuers, including rewards programs, frequent flyer programs, shopping rewards, cashback offers and complimentary insurances, including domestic and international travel insurance, as well as rental vehicle excess insurance. 

Interest-free windows 

Credit cards may offer two types of interest-free windows: interest-free days and interest-free periods. Interest-free days (generally 44-55 days) let cardholders have time to pay off their latest statement before they begin to accrue interest.There are also zero per cent purchase cards, as well as balance transfer credit cards, which offer longer interest-free periods (from six months to two years). These may be used to make one-off purchases, which are then repaid without accruing interest, or used as debt repayment tools. 

Boost your credit score 

Making regular repayments on a credit card and paying your balance in full each statement period is one option cardholders have to boost their credit score.

Risks of a credit card 

Easy to grow debt 

As interest grows on outstanding balances, so too does the level of debt. Due to the nature of credit cards, cardholders who struggle to pay their balance in full each statement period can find themselves quickly accruing interest. Cardholders who may easily fall into this debt trap could look for low rate and low fee credit card options - or avoid credit cards altogether

Hurting your credit history 

Making multiple credit card applications at once or having one or more outstanding credit card debts can hurt a cardholders’ credit history. Cardholders run the risk of defaulting on their credit card, or more serious credit infringements, due to multiple late payments. 


Credit cards may come with a range of fees that could increase the cost of using the card. These fees may include: 

  • Annual fees 
  • Foreign transaction fees 
  • Cash advance fees, which may be charged for withdrawing cash from the credit card 
  • Late fees (for missed or late payments) 

Over time, these additional costs can begin to add up, even if a cardholder has opted for a lower rate credit card. 


A credit card could make it easier to overspend, especially for individuals who struggle with managing their spending habits or have difficulty controlling impulsive purchases. If you think a credit card could tempt you into spending more money than you can afford, consider opting for a card with a lower credit limit that you can afford to repay in full each month. This may help you to set a boundary on your spending, ensuring that you only spend what you can comfortably repay each month. 

Types of credit cards available in Australia

There's no shortage of cards to include in your credit card comparison. Your credit card choice will ultimately depend on what you want to use your card for, your financial situation, and the perks you may receive whenever you do. 

Some of the most popular credit card types include: 

Credit card typeAbout
Low rate credit cardsCredit cards that come with competitive, lower-than-average purchase rates (typically 10% or below). Card issuers may keep rates down by not offering perks, like rewards programs or high credit limits. If you’re looking for a no-frills option that may help you avoid snowballing debt, consider a low-rate credit card. 

A low-rate credit card may have a low purchase rate but carry a higher-than-average cash advance rate. Make sure you read the key fact sheets around which rate is “low” before you apply. 

Low fee credit cardsLow fee cards typically do not charge cardholders an annual fee - or may charge very few fees. Annual fees can range between $25 - $1,200, depending on the type of card. If you’re the type of cardholder who always pays their balance in full by the due date and never accrues interest, an annual fee may be the biggest cost you face, so opting for a card that waives it may be cost-effective. 
Platinum credit cardsAimed towards Australians looking for high credit limits and extensive rewards programs. Platinum credit cards may come with higher interest rates and annual fees. However, the idea is that those taking out a platinum credit card can afford these costs as they’re marketed towards those with higher incomes. 
Balance transfer cardsA balance transfer card allows you to transfer your existing credit card debt on to a new credit card, where your balance will not be charged interest for a set period. This time frame is usually referred to as the balance transfer offer. Balance transfer cards may help you concentrate on clearing your debt without being charged more interest on top of it. 

The new card provider may charge a balance transfer fee. This is typically a percentage of the total balance you are transferring and it’s worth factoring into your budget before applying. Just remember that you’ll still be charged interest on new purchases, often straight away, without the benefit of interest-free days. If you get a balance transfer card, it’s advised that you put it in the freezer and focus on paying off your debt. 

Rewards credit cardsCredit cards that are attached to rewards programs. The dollars you spend on eligible purchases could earn you rewards points. Credit card providers may allow you to exchange these points earned on eligible purchases through the rewards programs for things like gift cards, home goods and electronics. 

They can also carry perks such as concierge services, VIP seating for events, airport lounge access and more. You may also earn bonus points on card sign-up. A bonus points offering may be thousands, even hundreds of thousands of rewards points with your card provider's rewards program. 

Frequent flyer cardsOne of the most popular types of credit cards, it works similarly to rewards points, but you earn frequent flyer points instead based on the amount you spend on eligible purchases. They can be spent on flights and upgrade with major airlines, and may come with perks like concierge services and airport lounge passes, as well as complimentary insurance, like travel insurance and car rental insurance. 

Like rewards credit cards, you may also be able to earn up to hundreds of thousands of bonus points on card sign up. The airline points will depend on the frequent flyer program attached to the card. For example, Qantas rewards will offer bonus Qantas frequent flyer points

Travel cardsCredit cards designed with overseas travel and overseas spending in mind. Travel credit cards may carry some of the same perks as frequent flyer cards, such as complimentary insurance. They also typically come with no or low foreign transaction fees, such as foreign ATM withdrawal fees and currency conversion fees. They may also allow you to hold multiple currencies on your credit card. 

How to compare credit cards

Different credit cards will suit different spenders, so it’s crucial that you compare a range of options if you’re in the market for a credit card. Here are key factors to consider when shopping around for your best credit card: 


How do you plan on using your credit card? For example, is it for everyday shopping or major purchases only, buying overseas or travel, or transferring an existing balance? You may need access to credit for work and be better off comparing business credit cards. Identify your card purpose so you can easily compare apples with apples. 

Interest rates 

Credit cards can charge different rates for purchases, cash advances (withdrawing cash with your credit card) and balance transfers. Also, keep an eye out for introductory, promotional, or “honeymoon” rates that revert to a higher rate after a set period (typically the first year). Knowing what rates you may be charged before applying can keep you from accruing debt. 

If having a low interest rate is a priority for you, keep in mind that you can sort your results on the comparison table on this page to show you the lowest interest rate products first. Strict eligibiliy criteria will apply, but this is one way you can quickly find and compare the lowest-rate credit cards on the RateCity database. 

Card fees and charges 

Some credit cards charge a range of fees to cardholders. Consider whether the credit card’s benefits would likely be worth these costs. Some of the most common fees include: 

  • Annual fee – Annual fees can range from $0 to $1200 depending on the credit card status tier and the card issuer. Make sure to weigh up whether the benefits and other perks of the card are worth the cost.
  • Cash advance fee – When you withdraw money at an ATM, you might have to pay a fee and a higher interest rate on that transaction amount.
  • Late payment fee – If you don’t make your minimum repayment on time each month, you may be charged a late payment fee.
  • Overseas fees – There are a number of fees associated with overseas spending, such as currency conversion fees, foreign transaction fees and foreign ATM charges.

Some cards offer a low interest rate or interest-free period for a specified time frame after you sign up. Keep in mind that the interest rate can rise steeply after the introductory period expires. 

Interest-free periods 

The number of days allocated to pay your credit card balance before you’re charged the purchase rate. The higher the number of days, the more breathing room to make repayments. A typical interest-free period is around 44-55 days.

Rewards programs and frequent flyer programs 

Rewards card programs let you earn points on your everyday spending that can be exchanged for goods, transferred into frequent flyer points, or may come in the form of cashback deals. You’ll want to carefully compare the types of rewards on offer by the card issuer to ensure it meets your specific needs and goals. 

The most common rewards associated with credit cards include: 

  • Travel rewards – Frequent flyer points to put towards flight upgrades, airport lounge access, travel insurance, accommodation, etc.
  • Merchandise – Rewards points to put towards items such as electronics, appliances and event tickets.
  • Cashback – Points you can redeem for cash, usually credited back to your account.
  • Gift cards – Department store vouchers, fuel vouchers etc.
  • Events – Exclusive access to pre-sale tickets, discounted tickets, VIP event access, etc.

Some credit cards also offer extras like not charging a fee for supplementary cards for additional cardholders. These programs and extras typically incur higher annual fees. 

Credit card status tier 

There are different credit card tiers that customers may gain approval for, ranging from the more basic options with smaller credit limits, through to platinum credit cards for bigger spenders, and even black credit cards for rockstars and royalty. The status of a credit card may be listed as a colour, such as a gold credit card, or it could be branded with a name from the issuer. 

Generally speaking, these are the different credit card status tiers, which may suit different types of spenders: 

  • Basic low rate and low fee credit cards: Your standard entry-level offering which typically comes with a lower interest rate, more accessible eligibility criteria and lower credit card limits. This may be ideal for a first credit card. 
  • Mid-tier credit cards: While the credit card may still come with a competitive purchase rate, the perks and the fees may start to kick up. You may be able to earn rewards points and gain access to complimentary travel insurance, but your annual fee may be around $100-200+. 
  • Premium credit cards: Platinum credit cards that offer a range of perks and benefits, from rewards programs, to frequent flyer bonuses and concierge services. Applicants typically have higher incomes and are offered higher credit limits, and may need to meet spending minimums each year. These cards typically come with much higher annual fees, but it is expected that applicants can afford these. 

Credit card type 

There are three main credit card types: Visa, Mastercard and American Express. Visa and MasterCard are quite similar in that they are just payment processing systems, so they cannot issue cards directly to customers. Whereas Amex is both a payment processing system and can issue its own cards. When making payments, Visa and MasterCard typically carry lower card fees than Amex. 

How to apply for a credit card

When applying for a credit card, the card issuer will need to assess your personal financial situation, budget, and credit history to determine if you can safely manage the risks associated with said card. To do this, you’ll need to provide some or all of the following:

  • Proof of income: recent payslips,
  • Proof of bonuses and commissions: via payslips or tax returns
  • Photo ID (driver’s license, proof of age card or passport)
  • Additional assets and income (such as a savings account or managed investments)
  • Credit history
  • Tax file number
  • Details of any existing loans, such as personal loans, a lease or other credit cards
  • Recent tax returns, particularly if you’re self-employed

The steps to apply for a credit card are as follows:

  1. Research and compare credit cards: Start by researching and selecting a credit card that aligns with your financial goals and needs.
  2. Check eligibility and gather documents: Review the card's eligibility criteria and collect the necessary documents, including proof of income and identification (as listed above).
  3. Complete the application: Hop online or head into a branch to fill out the application form, providing all requested information.
  4. Submit the application: Submit your application and wait for the issuer's response.
  5. Activate your Card: Once approved, you'll typically need to activate your card as instructed.
  6. Use responsibly: Use your credit card wisely, make timely payments, and regularly monitor your statements to maintain good credit and financial health.

Keep in mind that throughout the credit card application process, your credit score can fluctuate. The credit card issuer will perform a hard credit check on your credit file when you apply to determine your creditworthiness and the likelihood of you meeting your repayment obligations. 

Even if your credit card is approved, your credit score may fall after a hard credit check. However, this typically corrects itself and may even improve if you demonstrate positive credit behaviour. This may mean ensuring you can pay off your balance in full each statement period.  

It’s worth keeping in mind that you will need to meet credit card eligibility criteria to be approved, such as:

  • Being an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • 18 years old or over
  • No history of bankruptcy
  • Meet minimum income requirements
  • Good credit rating

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Is it safe to get a credit card?

Whether or not you take out a credit card is a personal decision, and not one to be made lightly. As credit cards are easy to misuse, even the most diligent cardholder can quickly begin accruing debt if they can’t pay their balance in time and have a high interest rate. However, like any credit product, it is simply a tool. When used responsibly, a credit holder may never pay a cent in interest. They may also earn generous perks and benefits, like cashback offers and rewards points. 

It may be easier to be approved for a credit card than some other forms of finance, like a home loan, as you don’t need to offer up a deposit to be approved. But credit cards may come with some of the highest interest rates on the market, climbing into the high teens.

An unsecured personal loan may charge a comparable interest rate to a credit card, however a personal loan has a set repayment structure in place so that your debt is repaid over the loan term (typically 1-5 years). A credit card, instead, relies in minimum repayments only: typically $20 or 2% of the balance owing - whichever is higher. So, while a credit card may be easier to be approved for than a home loan or personal loan, the ability to see you accrue debt is higher. 

If you are looking for your first credit card, you may want to consider prioritising low-rate options so that you can get used to spending and paying off your outstanding balance in full each statement period, without the risk of accruing too much debt. You could also consider no-interest alternatives, such as a buy now, pay later platform like Afterpay.


“Is your credit card burning a hole in your back pocket through interest rates and fees? Take the time to do an annual health check on your card to make sure you’ve got one that will set you ahead, rather than leave you in the red.”

Sally Tindall

RateCity Research Director

How do you pay off a credit card?

Your credit card will have a minimum repayment requirement for you to pay each statement period – usually $20 or 2% of the outstanding balance. However, by only making minimum repayments you could drag out your debt for decades, and spend thousands more in interest charges.

Instead, it may be worth repaying your full balance by the end of each statement period, or making higher ongoing repayments each payment cycle. 

Repayments on a credit card

To demonstrate the impact of paying more than minimum on a credit card debt, RateCity has crunched the numbers on the money and time it would cost you to repay a $10,000 credit card debt with a 15% interest rate with minimum repayments versus larger, ongoing repayments. 

Credit card repayment comparison



Total paid

Time taken to pay off debt

Credit card A

$203 in the first month, decreasing as debt reduces.


31 years, 3 months

Credit card B

$479 each month


2 years




29 years

Source: ASIC Credit Card Repayment Calculator. Note: Hypothetical example for demonstrative purposes of $10,000 credit card debt with 15% interest rate where customer makes minimum repayments versus higher ongoing monthly repayments. 

As you can see, while making minimum repayments on your credit card debt may seem more convenient, you’re actually hurting yourself in the long run in terms of ongoing interest charges. You’re also tying yourself to a debt for decades longer than you need to, essentially paying off a credit card debt for longer than you would repay a mortgage. 

This article was reviewed by Mia Steiber before it was published as part of RateCity's Fact Check process.

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^Words such as "top", "best", "cheapest" or "lowest" are not a recommendation or rating of products. This page compares a range of products from selected providers and not all products or providers are included in the comparison. There is no such thing as a 'one- size-fits-all' financial product. The best loan, credit card, superannuation account or bank account for you might not be the best choice for someone else. Before selecting any financial product you should read the fine print carefully, including the product disclosure statement, target market determination fact sheet or terms and conditions document and obtain professional financial advice on whether a product is right for you and your finances.