Low Interest Rate Credit Cards | The Lowest Rates & Fees

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.

My rate: 
17%
 
My annual fee: 
$90
 
Transfer: 
$5,000
 
From: 
All banks
balance transfer
purchase rate
annual fee
Money saved
0% p.a. for 6 months on balance transfers.
No annual fee for the first year ($79 p.a. thereafter).
A low-interest rate of 9.90% p.a. on purchases.
New customers. Limited time. Fees & charges, T&Cs apply.
More info
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6 months
0% p.a.
then 9.90%
9.90% p.a.
ongoing
$0
1st year
then $79
Citi Clear Platinum Credit Card
Apply by 31 mar 20
16 reviews
Transfer your other banks’ credit card balances and enjoy 0% p.a. for 9 months (reverts to cash advance rate) with no balance transfer fee.
Take advantage of the promotional purchase rate of 0% p.a. for 9 months.
Get additional savings with its $0 annual fee for the first year offer ($99 p.a. thereafter).
More info
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9 months
0% p.a.
then 22.24%
with a 0% fee
9 months
0% p.a.
then 14.99%
$0
1st year
then $99
ING Direct Orange One Credit Card
No annual fee.
Low 11.99% p.a. variable purchase rate and cash advance rate.
Comes with Apple Pay.
More info
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-
11.99% p.a.
ongoing
$0
ongoing
Low ongoing variable purchase interest rate of 9.89% p.a..
Complimentary price protection, extended warranty and purchase protection.
$69 p.a. annual fee.
More info
Add to comparison
-
9.89% p.a.
ongoing
$69
ongoing
Virgin Money Low Rate Credit Card
Apply by 02 dec 19
4 reviews
Low interest rate of 11.99% p.a.
10% cashback (capped at $100 total) on spend in 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%
with a 0% fee
11.99% p.a.
ongoing
$49
ongoing
A low-interest rate of 9.90% p.a. on purchases.
0% p.a. for 6 months on balance transfers.
No annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter).
New customers. Limited time. Fees & charges, T&Cs apply.
More info
Add to comparison
6 months
0% p.a.
then 9.90%
9.90% p.a.
ongoing
$0
1st year
then $99
NAB Low Rate Platinum Card
0% p.a. for 15 months on purchases.
Platinum Concierge Service plus seven complimentary travel insurances.
Up to 55 days on purchases.
More info
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6 months
0% p.a.
then 21.74%
with a 2% fee
15 months
0% p.a.
then 13.99%
$100
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
NAB Low Rate Business Card
0% p.a. for 12 months on purchases.
No annual fee for the first year.
Low 13.25% p.a. rate on purchases and cash advances.
More info
Add to comparison
-
12 months
0% p.a.
then 13.25%
$0
1st year
then $60
NEW
Commonwealth Bank Low Rate Gold Credit Card
Apply by 29 feb 20
13 reviews
0% p.a. on purchases for 15 months (terms and conditions apply).
$89 p.a. annual fee.
Low ongoing purchase interest rate of 13.24% p.a.
More info
Add to comparison
5 months
5.99% p.a.
then 21.24%
with a 0% fee
15 months
0% p.a.
then 13.24%
$89
ongoing

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.

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Q&As about Low Interest Credit Cards from customers

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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?

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.

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.

More comparisons like this one

Low Interest Credit Cards
Cheap Credit Cards
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