Student Credit Cards | Comparison & Reviews

Student Credit Cards

Students can establish credit and learn to manage debt with low-fee credit cards geared specifically toward them.

38 reviews
0% p.a. for 16 months on balance transfers. Reverts to variable cash advance rate.
Low purchase rate of 13.74% p.a..
Up to 55 days on purchases.
Know if you’ve been approved with the quick 60-second online application.

For university students, having no credit history and no consistent employment means they’re ineligible for most standard credit cards. However, plenty of banks want to build brand loyalty – and potentially some high-yield debt – specifically with students, and offer cards designed to attract them. Student credit cards typically come with no annual fees and low spending limits to protect new users against bad spending habits. In addition to having a new option for payment, a credit card is a student’s quickest way to establish some credit history – but to ensure that this history isn’t ruined, the debt on these cards should be carefully monitored, particularly since the purchase rates on such cards are frequently higher than regular cards.

There are, of course, restrictions on who can obtain a student card. It requires the applicant to be an Australian citizen over 18 enrolled in an accredited school; it also requires a co-signer such as a parent or guardian to guarantee the debt repayment. Frequently, an applicant also has to have a savings account with the issuing bank in order to get the bank’s credit card.

Like other plastic, student credit cards can come with introductory offers, such as waived annual fees or low or zero purchase rates. Some cards also do instant approval (or rejection, as the case may be).

purchase rate
annual fee
min credit limit
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Westpac Low Rate Credit Card
Apply by 15 oct 19
38 reviews
0% p.a. for 16 months on balance transfers. Reverts to variable cash advance rate.
Low purchase rate of 13.74% p.a..
Up to 55 days on purchases
More info
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13.74% p.a.
ongoing
$59
ongoing
$500
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.
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6 months
0% p.a.
then 13.99%
$59
ongoing
$500
Latitude Infinity Rewards Card
Unlimited points that never expire.
Earn 1 pt per $1 spent on purchases.
Minimum credit limit of $1,000.
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20.69% p.a.
ongoing
$69
ongoing
$1,000
Low $30 p.a. ongoing annual fee.
Complimentary purchase protection insurance.
0% p.a. for 6 months on balance transfers. (2% balance transfer fee applies). Reverts to cash advance rate.
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19.74% p.a.
ongoing
$30
ongoing
$500
Pay no annual fee as long as you hold the card.
2.99% p.a. for 9 months on balances transferred.
Up to 55 days interest free on purchases.
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17.99% p.a.
ongoing
$0
ongoing
$1,000
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year, then $30 p.a.
An easy to manage credit limit from $500 will mean you can’t build up a lot of debt.
Make every day a little bit easier and do your banking on the go with the ANZ App.
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20.24% p.a.
ongoing
$0
1st year
then $30
$500
0% p.a. for the first 15 months on balance transfers with no balance transfer fee.
Low 12.49% p.a. ongoing rate on purchases.
Low annual fee of $58 p.a.
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12.49% p.a.
ongoing
$58
ongoing
$1,000
0% p.a. for the first 18 months on balance transfers with a 2% balance transfer fee on amounts transferred. Reverts to 20.24% p.a.
Low annual fee.
Up to 55 days interest free on purchases when you pay your account in full each month.
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20.24% p.a.
ongoing
$30
ongoing
$1,000
Virgin Money No Annual Fee Credit Card
Apply by 31 aug 19
13 reviews
$0 annual fee for the life of the card.
6.9% p.a. for 36 months on balance transfers.
Up to 44 days on purchases.
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18.99% p.a.
ongoing
$0
ongoing
$2,000
BankSA Vertigo Credit Card
Apply by 02 oct 19
6 reviews
0% p.a. for 16 months on balance transfers with no balance transfer fee. Reverts to cash advance rate.
Low ongoing variable purchase interest rate of 13.99% p.a.
$55 p.a. annual fee.
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13.99% p.a.
ongoing
$55
ongoing
$500
BankSA Vertigo Platinum Credit Card
Apply by 02 oct 19
0% p.a. for 18 months with 0% fee on balance transfers. Reverts to cash advance rate.
Reduced annual fee of $49 p.a. for the first year then ($99 p.a. thereafter).
Low ongoing variable purchase interest rate of 12.99% p.a.
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12.99% p.a.
ongoing
$49
1st year
then $99
$6,000
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The card for the students!

Eligibility and credit criteria apply.
NAB Low Rate Card
69 reviews
Any credit rating will be considered but subject to the bank’s review.
Low minimum income is needed for eligibility.
0% p.a. for 6 months on purchases. Thereafter, make purchases with NAB’s lowest interest rate card and longest 55 days interest-free period.
Low $59 p.a. annual fee.

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

Q&As about Student Credit Cards from customers

Q: What are the benefits of a student credit card?

A student credit card is a good opportunity to learn to use a credit card responsibly in a fairly low risk way – the credit limit is kept intentionally fairly low, meaning you can only overspend so much before your card maxes out. Student credit cards are also affordable – they typically have $0 or very low annual fees. It’s also great for building credit history – if you pay off your debts on time, it shows future credit card companies that you can be trusted with a more powerful card because you’ve been faithful with the last one you had.

Q: Are there drawbacks?

Unfortunately, yes. Even though the credit limits are low, any credit card can open the door to building up debt. And student cards often have high interest rates, making debt even easier to accrue. If a student doesn’t fully understand how interest works and isn’t organised enough to make their repayments punctually, they could easily get themselves in trouble.

Q: What features should I look for?

You want a card with low or no annual fee, low interest rates and, if you have debt elsewhere, a balance transfer option. The card should also have basic security features.

Q: How can I best manage my finances and use my student credit card?

Here are a few basic tips to keep you out of trouble:

  • Have some life goals – This is a great starting point because it will motivate you to keep out of debt more than anything else. If you want to buy a car or house one day, you’ll have the incentive to live conservatively for the sake of the greater goal. Whatever money you get, try to put a little of it aside every week toward your goal, no matter what.
  • Make a budget and stick to it – Be realistic when you budget and include recreational spending because this is normally where the money gets blown. If you know what you’ve got to spend, you’ll be more likely to stick to it. Break it down into a monthly and weekly budget. Get some help from a friend or online if you’re stuck.
  • Live within your means – That’s right, everyone else might be accumulating debt, but you’ll be so much better off spending only what you have or what you know you can pay off in full at the end of the month.
  • Have an emergency fund – Most people rely on their credit card for emergencies. You’ll do yourself a favour if you set aside some money in an emergency savings account. Then, when an emergency comes (which is inevitable), you won’t have to go into debt amidst an already stressful time.
  • Pay in cash as much as you can – Paying for things in cash means you’re paying for things with your own money. It’s much easier to lose track when you pay for everything with a plastic card.
  • Use your card as little as possible – Sometimes you need a credit card for online purchasing or other needs, but because student cards don’t generally have any rewards programs, and because they have low credit limits, you’re not doing yourself any favours by using it for the sake of using it. Keep it for when you have no other option.
  • Pay off your balance in full each month – You want to build up a good credit rating and stay out of debt. Paying off your balance and covering anything you’ve spent that month will accomplish that.
Q: What happens if I can’t make a payment?

If you don’t make your monthly repayments on a credit card, you’ll get charged interest. If you just let the debt sit there without paying it down, it will automatically grow astronomically. Additionally, if a credit provider sees that you’re not paying down your debt, they can even increase your interest rate and you’ll be in even more trouble. In addition to accumulating overwhelming debt, you will damage your credit rating. This will affect any future credit card applications and can even hinder you getting a rental property or loan of any kind, including a car or home loan. If you want to keep your options open in the future, do not go down this track. If you’re in trouble and need help, there are a wealth of resources online, in local libraries and in credit centres everywhere.

Q: Should I go with a credit or debit card?

Debit cards function very similarly to credit cards except for one major difference. Debit cards use money you already have, credit cards use money you don’t have (and can put you into debt unless you manage your account). Unless you have to spend money you don’t have, a debit card is more than fine for pretty well anything you’d use a credit card for, including online shopping. The best part is it eliminates the risk of losing track of spending and getting into debt. If you’re worried about needing funds in an emergency, start putting aside some money each week for that very purpose now.

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