Low Interest Credit Cards

Get some breathing space and financial flexibility by using a low interest card to cut the amount of interest you pay on purchases and carry a balance on your account.

0% p.a. for 24 months on balance transfers. (1% balance transfer fee applies). Reverts to variable cash advance rate.
Low ongoing variable purchase interest rate of 12.74% p.a.
Price Protection insurance and Purchase Protection insurance.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year.
New cards only, conditions apply.

Paying off your credit card’s balance in full at the end of the month means reaping all the benefits and paying none of the costs – especially since the interest charged on balances can be so staggeringly high, averaging about 17% per annum in Australia. For those that have trouble paying off their cards on the due date, and for those that have recently made a large purchase, a low interest rate card could be the answer to climb back out of debt and keep it manageable in the future.

Be aware that the low interest rate advertised for a card usually refers to the purchase rate, while the cash advance rate will typically be much higher. The low interest rate is not necessarily the same between new purchases and balance transfers. In some cases, if you carry a balance, a low interest balance transfer could save you more money than a low rate on new purchases. You can quickly see several cards’ rates and features offered by balance transfer cards compared to low rate cards using the Smart Search tool.

Banks often lure new customers with a low introductory rate, or even a 0% rate, during a period from 6 to 24 months, after which the card will go to a rate closer to the national average. The introductory low rates often apply to both new spending and balance transfers. Again, if you plan to carry a balance, the post-introductory rate should be scrutinised before applying for the card.

My rate: 
17%
 
My annual fee: 
$90
 
Transfer: 
$5,000
 
From: 
All banks
  • Only
  • Only
  • Only
  • Only
  • Only
  • Only
  • Only
  • Only
  • Only
  • Only
  • Only
  • Only
  • Only
  • Only
  • Only
  • Only
  • Only
  • Only
  • Only
  • Only
  • Only
  • Only
balance transfer
purchase rate
annual fee
Money saved
Westpac Low Rate Credit Card Exclusive Offer
Apply by 11 jun 18
0% p.a. for 26 months on balance transfers. (2% balance transfer fee applies). Reverts to variable cash advance rate.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year.
Up to 55 days on purchases
More info
Add to comparison
26 months
0% p.a.
then 19.49%
with a 2% fee
13.49% p.a.
ongoing
$0
1st year
then $59
St.George Vertigo Platinum Credit Card
Apply by 26 sep 18
6 reviews
0% p.a. for 24 months on balance transfers. Reverts to cash advance rate. (1% balance transfer fee applies).
Low ongoing variable purchase interest rate of 12.74% p.a.
Complimentary insurance for overseas travel for 6 months.
More info
Add to comparison
24 months
0% p.a.
then 19.49%
with a 1% fee
12.74% p.a.
ongoing
$99
ongoing
Virgin Money Low Rate Credit Card
Apply by 30 jun 18
5 reviews
Low interest rate of 11.99% p.a.
$100 cash back credit on your account when you spend $500 per month for the first 3 months from card approval.
0% p.a. for 14 months on balance transfers (reverts to cash advance rate). No balance transfer fee.
More info
Add to comparison
14 months
0% p.a.
then 21.69%
11.99% p.a.
ongoing
$49
ongoing
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Credit Card 0% p.a. Purchase Offer
Apply by 30 jun 18
2 reviews
0% p.a. for 14 months on purchases.
Earn Velocity Points on your everyday spend.
$129 Virgin Australia Gift Voucher each year.
More info
Add to comparison
6 months
0% p.a.
then 20.99%
14 months
0% p.a.
then 20.74%
$129
ongoing
$0 p.a. annual fee.
One low 11.99% p.a. rate on purchases.
Up to 55 days on purchases if you pay your balance in full each month.
More info
Add to comparison
-
11.99% p.a.
ongoing
$0
ongoing
0% p.a. for 13 months on purchases.
Minimum credit limit of $1,000
0% p.a. for 13 months on balance transfers. (2% balance transfer fee applies).
More info
Add to comparison
13 months
0% p.a.
then 12.99%
with a 2% fee
13 months
0% p.a.
then 12.99%
$79
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
6 months
0% p.a.
then 21.74%
with a 2% fee
6 months
0% p.a.
then 13.99%
$59
ongoing
Bendigo Bank Low Rate Mastercard
Low 11.99% p.a. purchase rate.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year.
Cash advance rate of 13.99% p.a.
More info
Add to comparison
-
11.99% p.a.
ongoing
$0
1st year
then $45
0% p.a. for the first 15 months on balance transfers with no balance transfer fee.
Up to 55 days on purchases.
$99 p.a. annual fee.
More info
Add to comparison
15 months
0% p.a.
then 21.74%
11.49% p.a.
ongoing
$99
ongoing
Bendigo Bank Low Rate First Mastercard
Low 11.99% p.a. purchase rate.
$29 p.a. annual fee.
Cash advance rate of 13.99% p.a.
More info
Add to comparison
-
11.99% p.a.
ongoing
$29
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 Google Pay™, Apple Pay and Samsung Pay.
More info
Add to comparison
12 months
0% p.a.
then 14.99%
with a 3% fee
14.99% p.a.
ongoing
$0
ongoing
Show more cards
$100 cash back
0% p.a. for 14 months on balance transfers (reverts to cash advance rate). No balance transfer fee.
Virgin Money Low Rate Credit Card
5 reviews
Low interest rate of 11.99% p.a.
$100 cash back credit on your account when you spend $500 per month for the first 3 months from card approval.
0% p.a. for 14 months on balance transfers (reverts to cash advance rate).
No balance transfer fee.
Up to 44 days on purchases.
Half annual fee for life – that’s an annual saving of $50.
Pay faster at the shops using Visa PayWave.

New Promotion: Credit criteria, fees and charges apply. Read the terms and conditions before making a decision.

 

Prefer to play it safe?

How Lauren from the Gold Coast found her new card

Lauren is not into credit card rewards. She doesn’t have the appetite to understand complicated frequent flyer programs. She values simplicity and playing it safe.

The main reason to get a card is for everyday convenience. If she ever carries a balance from one month to the next at least she won’t be paying much interest. Low interest rates equate to low risk and low stress. No surprises.

She easily finds a card on Credit Card Compare that gives her a low interest rate and the lowest possible annual fee too. She applies, gets approved and uses the card for day to day spending. Well played Lauren.

This case study is intended as a representative example.

Q&As about Low Interest Credit Cards from customers

Q: Who should apply for a low rate credit card?

People who don’t pay off their balance in full every month and want the security of a low rate in the future. If you have a large credit card balance already, you can better benefit from the typically lower balance transfer rates on a balance transfer credit card.

Q: What does 'low rate’ actually refer to?

The interest rate that banks use to advertise their credit cards is generally the purchase rate – the interest that is applied to the part of your balance that is for normal purchases and payments. The average interest rate is about 17-18% p.a. Other transactions, such as cash advances and balance transfers, are set at a different rate.

The rate is shown as an annual percentage rate (APR), which is the amount of interest the balance would theoretically attract over the course of a year. The interest is actually calculated on a daily basis with a daily percentage rate, and applied once a month on your credit card statement. You can calculate the daily percentage rate as APR% / 365.

The interest rate starts to come into effect when you have an ongoing balance on your account after the interest-free days have ended.

Q: What other types of interest can be charged?

A different rate, usually higher, is applied to cash advances, including ATM withdrawals, buying foreign currency, gambling payments and transferring funds from your credit card to a different bank account.

Many banks offer new customers a special interest rate as an introductory offer. This can include a low purchase rate or balance transfer rate, or a combination of the two. These promotions last for a fixed period, usually several months, and when the offer ends the interest reverts to a higher rate, typically the purchase rate or cash advance rate. When you are comparing and selecting a low rate credit card it is important to decide whether you want to take advantage of an introductory offer, or would prefer an ongoing low interest rate.

Q: What other types of low interest cards are there?

We have created some other comparison tables for these types of low interest cards:

  • 0% on purchases – pay nothing on purchases for up to 55 days
  • Cheap interest rates – find a cheaper deal with lower interest rates on purchases, balance transfers and annual fees
Q: Are there any surprises I should be aware of?

Initially, the bank may offer a very low interest rate or even 0% for an introductory period on spending. This period will usually last from 3 to 12 months, depending on the bank. After that point, the interest rate will revert to the higher ongoing interest rate. Make sure you understand how long your low interest rate will last and just how high it will go after that point. You should also be aware of any potential late fees or fees for spending more than your credit limit, both of which can add up very quickly and negatively affect your credit rating.

Q: Are there low rate credit cards with rewards?

Yes, there are a few low rate cards (but only a few) that give you some rewards such as a free bottle of wine or travel insurance. There are even fewer low rate credit cards that let you can earn points while you spend and redeem them for rewards. It’s really a trade off between rewards vs cost. Would you rather have a no-frill low cost credit card or have a card with higher interest rates with rewards and points?

Q: Do low rate cards have an annual fee?

Because the ongoing interest rate is low, you can expect to pay an annual fee. The annual fee is a mechanism that the banks use to offset the low rate and make some money. But having said that, you can still find credit cards with low ongoing interest rates and no annual fees for life, or at least for the first year.

Q: Will I have to pay a minimum repayment each month if my card is 0% on purchases for a few months?

Yes, if a low rate credit card has 0% p.a. on purchases for a promotional period of say 10 months you’ll still need to pay the minimum monthly repayment. Typically this will be about 2-3% of what you owe. On a spend of $5,000 your minimum repayment would be $100. You can calculate what you’ll be paying using our minimum repayments calculator.

Q: Is there a tool or calculator on this site that can help me find a low rate credit card?

Yes. The comparison tables are your first place to look for the best credit cards. You can adjust the sliders above the comparison table to calculate how much you’ll save on each low rate credit card. If you’re still unsure about which card to go for then you should use the Smart Search tool – it’s able to filter all the credit cards on this comparison site down to the cards that best match your interests and the details of your basic financial profile (age, location, minimum income). The Smart Search tool is designed to save you time and make it easier to eliminate the unsuitable cards.

More comparisons like this one

Low Interest Credit Cards
Featured in
Compare these cards: