Fraud Protection Guarantee

Don’t get screwed over by fraud and unauthorised charges. Compare credit cards with a fraud protection guarantee for purchases you make with the card.

14 reviews
0% p.a. on balances transferred for 22 months, with a 2% balance transfer fee.
Annual fee refunded – a potential saving of $129 a year (conditions apply)
Earn 2 pts per $1 spent on overseas purchases.
Comes with Apple Pay.

Fraud can have serious consequences for your finances and your credit profile.

When you use your card to make purchases you are inevitably exposed to fraud risk. Criminals can hack into the databases of poorly secured websites, retrieve the personal information of customers and use them to make purchases online. Computer viruses can store card details and send them over the internet without you knowing.

Even when you hand your card to someone you are not always safe. During a transaction your card details can be swiped.

When you have a credit card fraud protection guarantee, you are covered from the consequences that may result from your credit card details falling into the wrong hands. Unauthorised payments made with your details could be reimbursed by the bank. The main caveat is that there must be conclusive proof that fraud has occurred, and you must meet the conditions laid down by the card provider.

To choose the right credit card with fraud protection for you, you need to compare credit cards based on the following factors.

Ongoing security monitoring

Most card providers will have some sort of automated monitoring program which looks for unusual transactions on your card. This may include unusually large transactions out of character with your normal purchasing profile, a series of purchases made in an unusual place (e.g. a foreign country, when you have never used the card overseas before) or a sudden rash of transactions within a short space of time.

While this may sometimes produce ‘false positives’ (i.e. your genuine transactions triggering a fraud alert) most cardholders will find it reassuring to know that these situations are being examined for possible fraud.

If you are not a regular overseas traveller, you can avoid being stranded in a foreign country with a suspended credit card by informing your financial institution about your travel plans before you leave.

Money back guarantees

You obviously need to ensure that you will get all your money back in the event of credit card fraud. Some providers may offer part protection that will only offer refunds up to a certain level, or beyond a capped excess, while others may only remove the transaction from your account and do not refund any interest that may have been incurred by the fraudulent transaction.

Duty of care

Credit card fraud protection guarantee is meant to protect you against genuine dishonesty but not your own carelessness. This means that you have specific responsibilities which will be outlined in the terms and conditions (printed or digital) that you received with your card, and which may be updated from time to time.

You must, for example, keep your card in a safe place, and you should memorise your PIN rather than writing it down (and certainly don’t keep a written record of your PIN in your wallet with your card). Your PIN should not be disclosed to anyone else.

If your card is lost or stolen, you must notify your card issuer as soon as possible, and there will almost certainly be a reasonable time limit within which you must act before protection is forfeited.

CVV and CSC codes

Many credit cards will have a CVV (Card Verification Value) or CSC (Card Security Code) printed on the card (not in raised or embossed print) for use when the PIN cannot be entered, such as online payments. However, since the number never changes during the life of the card, it is vulnerable to hackers and phishing scams.

One-use SMS codes

There will often be an extra layer of SMS code security available with your card for online shopping. It may come as a standard feature or an opt-in service. With SMS code security, your card provider will send you a text message on your phone containing a single-use-only numeric code (‘one-time PIN’, ‘one-time password’ or OTP) when your card details are entered online for a purchase. The code sent to your phone has to be entered for the purchase to be completed, making it difficult for anyone without your phone to use your card online. This is a convenient and secure way to make purchases online.

The name for this service will be Verified by Visa, American Express SafeKey or MasterCard SecureCode, depending on which type of card you are using.

Security for tap and go payments

There is a widespread perception that the now common contactless ‘tap and go’ feature found on credit cards, where transactions under $100 do not require a PIN, are less secure. It may be possible for the card details to be skimmed using very sophisticated hacking equipment, but the card issuers appear to be confident about the constantly-improving security of their cards.

A lost or stolen contactless card could also be used for multiple transactions under $100 before the fraudulent use is detected. However, the policy of cardholder’s zero liability for fraud (with the same conditions for cardholder duty of care) applies just as much to contactless transactions as it does to conventional ones.

Security for smartphone digital wallets

The same high levels of anti-fraud security and guarantees apply when you use a portable device such as a smartphone to pay for credit card transactions.

Fees and charges

There are usually no specific additional fees charged by your card issuer for standard monitoring and security services, which will be applied to all cards regardless of their status or annual fee. However, some cards (especially business cards where there are many cards in use by employees on a single business account) may have extra fraudulent transaction insurance available in return for a monthly or annual premium charged to the account.

The credit cards found on this page all have fraud protection guarantees in place, but you will need to read the small print to make sure that you are aware of the exact extent of the cover and your personal obligations.

fraud protection guarantee
purchase rate
annual fee
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NEW
St.George Vertigo Platinum Credit Card Exclusive Offer
Apply by 14 jan 18
0% p.a. for 24 months on balance transfers with no balance transfer fee. Reverts to cash advance rate.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year (save $99).
Complimentary insurance for overseas travel for 6 months.
More info
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Yes
12.74% p.a.
ongoing
$0
1st year
then $99
Westpac Low Rate Credit Card Exclusive Offer
Apply by 31 jan 18
0% p.a. for 24 months on balance transfers. (2% balance transfer fee applies). Reverts to variable cash advance rate.
An annual fee of $59.
Up to 55 days on purchases
More info
Add to comparison
Yes
13.49% p.a.
ongoing
$59
ongoing
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
Apply by 31 dec 17
14 reviews
0% p.a. on balances transferred for 22 months, with a 2% balance transfer fee.
Earn 2 pts per $1 spent on overseas purchases.
Annual fee refunded – a potential saving of $129 a year (conditions apply)
More info
Add to comparison
Yes
19.99% p.a.
ongoing
$129
ongoing
Coles No Annual Fee Mastercard
Apply by 31 dec 17
77 reviews
$100 off a single Coles Supermarket Shop if you apply and are approved by 31st Dec 2017 and make a purchase within 30 days. (t&c’s apply).
Earn 1 flybuys point for every $2 spent – everywhere, everyday.
No annual fee to pay, ever.
More info
Add to comparison
Yes
19.99% p.a.
ongoing
$0
ongoing
The American Express Essential® Credit Card
5 reviews
$0 p.a. annual fee.
Smartphone Screen Insurance for up to $500 for screen repairs to your Smartphone (Conditions apply)
Eligible for use with Android Pay, Apple Pay and Samsung Pay.
More info
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Yes
14.99% p.a.
ongoing
$0
ongoing
Enjoy $250 back when you spend $500 on eligible purchases in the first 60 days of approval.
Up to 55 days on purchases.
$99 p.a. annual fee.
More info
Add to comparison
Yes
11.49% p.a.
ongoing
$99
ongoing
Receive 50,000 points when you apply online, are approved and spend $1,500 on your card within the first 3 months.
Receive a $400 Travel Credit each year towards any flights, hotels and car hire when you book online with this card.
Enjoy up to two entries per year to the American Express Lounge.
More info
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Yes
20.74% p.a.
ongoing
$395
ongoing
Enjoy $100 back when you spend $500 on eligible purchases in the first 60 days of approval.
Low 12.49% p.a. ongoing rate on purchases.
Low annual fee of $58 p.a.
More info
Add to comparison
Yes
12.49% p.a.
ongoing
$58
ongoing
0% p.a. for 6 months on purchases.
Make purchases with NAB’s lowest interest rate card and longest interest-free period.
Low $59 p.a. annual fee.
More info
Add to comparison
Yes
6 months
0% p.a.
then 13.99%
$59
ongoing
NAB Low Rate Platinum Card
0% p.a. for 9 months on purchases.
Platinum Concierge Service plus seven complimentary travel insurances.
Up to 55 days on purchases.
More info
Add to comparison
Yes
9 months
0% p.a.
then 13.99%
$100
ongoing
0% p.a. for 20 months on balance transfers.
24 hour, 7 day Platinum Concierge Service.
7 types of complimentary insurances including overseas travel insurance.
More info
Add to comparison
Yes
19.74% p.a.
ongoing
$90
ongoing
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Q&As about Fraud Protection Guarantee from customers

Q: Does Visa and MasterCard’s Zero Liability cover me?

As a minimum, yes. Both card issuers Visa and MasterCard protects you from fraudulent or unauthorised transactions made using your card with their Zero Liability Guarantees. However, beyond that basic guarantee, your bank may also guarantee that you’ll never be liable for fraudulent use of your credit card, provided you follow the credit card conditions of use policy.

Q: How is a fraud protection guarantee different to fraud monitoring?

Credit card lenders provide varying levels of sophistication when it comes to fraud monitoring and detection. If they notice something irregular, suspicious or unusual on your card they may send you a text message or call you up to ask you about the transaction. Or you might find out about the fraudulent activity when your statement arrives. A fraud protection guarantee typically means that you will be reimbursed for any unauthorised transactions provided that you have not contributed to the loss and you contacted your bank promptly when you found out about it.

Q: What are the main types of credit card fraud?

These are the main types.

Physical theft or loss of your card

A thief may steal your wallet or purse containing your card, or someone dishonest may find it, and attempt to use it for in-store or online transactions. This is why it is very important not to keep a record of your PIN in the same place as your card.

Fraudulent in-store transactions are more likely to occur with a contactless card, where the thief does not need to enter a PIN for transactions under $100.

Online transactions also do not require a PIN, and the thief can see the CCV (Card Verification Value) or CSC (Card Security Code) printed on the card. However, many online transactions are protected by a one-time PIN sent to your phone by text message. If your phone has also been stolen, ring your service provider to get it disabled as soon as possible.

Skimming devices

A credit card skimmer is a small device which criminals may attach to an ATM, or use as a separate reader if you hand your card over for payment at a retailer or restaurant. The card’s number, expiry date and CCV are recorded, and a clone of your card can be created in order to make purchases or withdraw cash.

Phishing scams

Fake emails, text messages, social media and dodgy websites can be used to trick cardholders into divulging sensitive credit card information. Banks and trustworthy legitimate businesses never ask you to supply your credit card details in an email, or your PIN over the phone. If the email or website looks suspicious, it probably is. Back out of the email reply or online transaction, or, if you have gone too far, notify your bank at once.

Malware

Your computer may be infected by malware (malicious software) if you click on a link or attachment in an email or social media message, or online pop-up advertising, from a person or organisation unknown to you. Scammers may then be able to access your computer files or record what you are doing on your computer, including entering credit card information on trustworthy sites. Delete any such emails, ignore the messages and pop-ups, and keep your anti-virus software up-to-date.

Q: Do all credit cards have a fraud protection guarantee?

Australian banks have robust security and monitoring measures in place to protect their credit card customers. At the same time, they recognise that fraudulent transactions can still occur, and the major card issuers have a policy of indemnifying customers to a large extent in the event of fraud. Not all of them go as far as ‘zero liability’ or ‘100% money back’, however. Check the full terms and conditions on the card issuer’s website.

Q: How can I prevent or minimise fraudulent use of my credit card?

There are a number of simple things you can do to radically reduce your chances of being a victim of card fraud:

  • Keep your card in a safe place
  • Preferably memorise your PIN, but if you must write it down, keep it somewhere separate from your card
  • Don’t disclose your PIN to anyone else
  • Use your other hand to cover the hand entering your PIN at an ATM
  • Try to keep an eye on your card if you have to hand it over for payment
  • Be on the lookout for skimming, phishing and malware scams
  • Check your credit card account carefully as soon as you receive it
  • Notify the issuer as soon as possible if your card is lost or stolen, or if you suspect fraud
Q: How quickly should I inform the bank if my card is lost or stolen, or if I suspect fraud?

Absolutely as soon as possible, to minimise the risk of any personal loss and meet any obligations you may have under the card’s terms of use and any fraud protection guarantee. Many card issuers will have a dedicated telephone number for reporting card loss, theft or fraud.

Some cards have an online facility which allows you to suspend your card temporarily. It can be the quickest way to take action, but it does not replace informing your bank.

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