Best Credit Cards*

By   |   Updated 1 Apr 2024

Compare the best credit cards in Australia by category to identify the right one for your needs. With no single best card for everyone, our experts have selected top picks for different credit card type offers.

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Bankwest Zero Mastercard

On website

Highlights

  • Avoid annual fees for the duration of card ownership.
  • 0% p.a. for 28 months on transferred balances (with a 3% balance transfer fee). Returns to 14.99% p.a. thereafter.
  • Enjoy up to 55 days interest-free on purchases.
  • Offer exclusive to new customers for a limited time. Additional fees and charges, as well as terms and conditions, apply.

Pros

  • There is no annual fee for as long as you keep the card.
  • The current balance transfer offer is extremely competitive.
  • Interest on purchases is comparatively low.

Cons

  • Balance transfers incur a one-off fee.
  • You cannot earn credit card points.

Want to consolidate debt?

Best balance transfer credit card

NAB Low Rate Card

On website

Highlights

  • Experience 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 32 months with no balance transfer fee. Reverting to a variable cash advance rate of 21.74% p.a. after the promotional period.
  • Initial $0 annual card fee for the first year ($59 p.a. thereafter).
  • Receive a response within 60 seconds.

Pros

  • 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 32 months.
  • No balance transfer fee.
  • The waived annual fee for the first year.
  • Additional credit card is free.

Cons

  • No rewards program for this card.
  • No insurance coverage.

Looking to earn points?

Best frequent flyer credit card

American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card

On website

Highlights

  • Obtain 170,000 bonus Qantas Points with the American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card when applying by 25 June 2024, getting approved, and spending at least $6,000 within 3 months of approval. Exclusive to new American Express Card Members.
  • Earn 2 Qantas Points per $1 spent on Qantas products and services, up to 1.25 points per $1 spent on everyday spend, and 0.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent on government spend, utilities, and insurance.
  • Once a total of 500,000 Qantas Points is earned in a calendar year, the everyday business earn rate will change from 1.25 to 0.75 Qantas Points per $1 spent. *For Card Members who applied for the Card between July 1, 2023, and January 9, 2024, this change will take effect from July 10, 2024.

Pros

  • Earn 170,000 bonus Qantas Points when you meet the criteria.
  • Two complimentary passes for the Qantas Club lounge every year.
  • A flexible Payment Option is available to spread costs over time for a portion of your balance.
  • Power up your business – Spend with Dell Technologies and get up to $100 credit.

Cons

  • The $450 p.a. annual fee.
  • Balance must be repaid in full each month.
  • No concierge service.
  • Lounge passes are valid for Qantas Club and not the international business lounges.

Want to earn Qantas Points?

Best Qantas credit card

Qantas Premier Platinum Credit Card

On website

Highlights

  • Get up to 80,000 bonus Qantas Points. Get 60,000 bonus Qantas Points upon spending $3,000 or more on eligible purchases within 3 months from card approval. Plus, an extra 20,000 bonus points if you haven't earned Qantas Points with a credit card in the past 12 months. Terms and Conditions apply.
  • Benefit from 0% on Balance Transfer for 12 months with no Balance Transfer fee. Returns to Cash Advance rate thereafter. No interest-free days are applicable on retail purchases with an outstanding balance transfer.
  • Benefit from the reduced annual fee of $349 p.a. for the initial year. An ongoing annual fee of $399 p.a. is applicable in the 2nd year.

Pros

  • Earn up to 80,000 bonus Qantas Points when you meet the criteria.
  • 0% p.a. for 12 months on balance transfers.
  • Additional savings with the $349 first-year annual fee.
  • Comes with complimentary travel insurance.

Cons

  • The annual fee increases to $399 p.a. after the initial year.

Want to earn Velocity Points?

Best Velocity credit card

American Express Velocity Platinum Credit Card

On website

Highlights

  • Get 100,000 bonus Velocity Points upon applying by May 15, 2024, getting approved, and making $3,000 in eligible purchases with your new Card within the initial 3 months. Offer valid for new Amex Card Members exclusively.
  • Receive a complimentary Virgin Australia return Economy domestic flight between specified cities annually following your first Card spend each year.
  • Benefit from 2 complimentary Virgin Australia lounge passes each year at selected domestic airports.

Pros

  • Receive up to 100,000 bonus Velocity Points when you meet the criteria.
  • Complimentary Virgin Australia return Economy domestic flight between selected cities each year after your first Card spend each anniversary year.
  • Enjoy 2 complimentary Virgin Australia lounge passes each anniversary year at selected domestic airports.
  • Receive 100 Velocity Frequent Flyer Status Credits, when you spend a minimum of $50,000 within your card membership year.
  • Complimentary domestic and international travel insurance.
  • Get the Amex Experiences App to access information on Platinum benefits, travel offers, events and recommended merchants.
  • Add up to 4 additional cardholders for free.

Cons

  • The interest rates applied to balances carried over is on the high end.
  • There is no balance transfer offer on this card.
mascot_hammock

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, 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!

The types included in our best credit card guide

When it comes to choosing a credit card, it's crucial to understand the different types available and how they cater to various financial needs. Here are some common types of credit cards:

  • Rewards credit cards: Reward credit cards allow you to earn points, cashback, or miles for every dollar you spend. These rewards can be redeemed for travel, gift cards, merchandise, or statement credits.
  • Low rate credit cards: Low rate credit cards offer a lower annual percentage rate (APR) on purchases than other cards. This can be beneficial if you tend to carry a balance on your card.
  • Balance transfer credit cards: Balance transfer credit cards allow you to transfer existing credit card debt to a new card with a lower or 0% introductory APR for a specified period. This can help you save on interest and pay off your debt faster.
  • Frequent flyer credit cards: Frequent flyer credit cards are designed for travel enthusiasts, offering points or miles for airline ticket purchases and other travel expenses. These cards often come with travel perks like lounge access and travel insurance.
  • Cashback credit cards: Cashback credit cards provide a percentage of your spending back to you as cash rewards. These cards are ideal for those who prefer tangible rewards or want to offset their everyday expenses.
  • Student credit cards: Student credit cards are tailored for college or university students who are new to credit. These cards often have lower credit limits and may offer rewards or benefits suitable for students.
  • Premium credit cards: Premium credit cards cater to high-income individuals with exclusive perks such as concierge services, luxury travel benefits, and higher reward rates. These cards often come with higher annual fees.

What to consider when choosing a credit card

Before selecting a credit card, consider the following factors to ensure that the card aligns with your financial goals and spending habits:

  • Interest rates: The interest rate, also known as the APR, impacts how much you'll pay in interest if you carry a balance on your card. Look for cards with competitive interest rates to save on finance charges – 0% purchase credit cards are available to compare.
  • Fees: Be aware of the fees associated with the credit card, including annual fees, late payment fees, balance transfer fees, and foreign transaction fees. Choose a card with fees that align with your budget and spending patterns.
  • Rewards and benefits: Evaluate the rewards structure of the credit card to determine if it aligns with your preferences. Consider whether you prefer cashback, travel rewards, points for specific retailers, or other benefits like insurance coverage and extended warranties.
  • Credit limit: A card's credit limit dictates how much you can spend on the card. Ensure that the credit limit meets your spending needs without encouraging overspending.
  • Eligibility criteria: Check the eligibility criteria for the credit card, including minimum income requirements, credit score thresholds, and residency status. Ensure you meet the criteria before applying to increase your chances of approval.
  • Payment flexibility: Consider the payment options offered by the credit card issuer, such as online banking, mobile payments, automatic payments, and payment due dates. Choose a card with payment options that suit your preferences and lifestyle.

Methodology for best credit card comparison

We considered the following attributes and associated metadata when ranking our comparison of best credit cards.

  • Additional cardholders: If the card supports additional cardholders, how many, and the cost per additional cardholder.
  • Airport lounge access included: Whether the card comes with airport lounge passes or lounge network membership and any limitations on use.
  • Annual fee initial year: The first year’s annual card fee charge, which some cards waive. Lower is better.
  • Annual fee ongoing: If there is an ongoing annual fee and much is charged each subsequent year to keep the account open. Lower is better.
  • Apple Pay enabled: Support for Apple Pay, which is considered beneficial.
  • Balance transfer offer: If there is an introductory balance transfer offer and what its rate, period, and fee are. Lower rates for longer periods are considered better.
  • Cash advance rate: What the interest rate is on cash advances — and cash equivalent transactions classified as cash advances — and associated fees. Lower is better.
  • Card type: Whether the card runs on American Express, Mastercard, Visa, or other network. This can affect where the card can be used and surcharges.
  • Foreign exchange fee: If there is a fee incurred to convert foreign currency transactions whether made while overseas or from overseas stores and suppliers. Lower is better.
  • Interest-free period: The number of interest-free days available. Longer is better.
  • Introductory purchase rate: If there is an introductory purchase rate offer and what its rate and period are. Lower rates for longer periods are considered better.
  • Late payment fee: What the fee is when payments are late. Lower is better.
  • Maximum credit limit: The highest credit limit offered, if publicised by the bank.
  • Minimum credit limit: The lowest credit limit offered, if publicised by the bank.
  • Minimum income required: How much income is required as a minimum under the card's eligibility criteria. Lower thresholds increase accessibility to credit.
  • Purchase rate ongoing: How much interest is charged on balances that are carried over. Lower ongoing rates are considered better.
  • Rewards program: Whether the card earns rewards (points, cashback, etc. per dollar spent), the flexibility of rewards, and their value.
  • Samsung Pay enabled: Support for Samsung Pay, which is considered beneficial.
  • Sign-up bonus: Whether the card has a sign-up bonus of points, cashback, vouchers, etc. and its qualifying criteria. A sign-up bonus is considered beneficial.
  • Target market: Whether the card is designed for businesses or consumers.
  • Travel insurance: Whether the card comes with complimentary travel insurance, whether it covers domestic, overseas, or global travel, who it covers, and the level of protection.

Our rankings may not reflect what matters most to you. Be sure to compare key rates, fees, and features against your own financial priorities before deciding.

Help choosing the best credit card*

Figure it out for yourself. Learn more about selecting the best credit credit that aligns with your lifestyle, financial goals, and preferences.

  • FAQs

Which credit card has the highest acceptance across Australia?

Visa and Mastercard tend to enjoy the widest acceptance across retailers in Australia, mate. From shops to restaurants to paying for things online, you'll usually have no worries using them. Their broad coverage makes them a pretty reliable choice here.

Which credit card is best suited for international travel?

For travel overseas, cards that don't charge foreign transaction fees can save you a bit. Those that also chuck in some nice travel rewards like points for flights and hotels are usually tops as well. As Visa and Mastercard are typically accepted worldwide, they're also convenient options when venturing abroad.

Is it advisable to apply for a credit card through your current bank or explore options with other lenders?

Applying through your current bank could score some pre-approval perks, which is handy. But having a squiz at what other lenders are offering might uncover lower interest rates or better rewards that could work out better for you. Taking the time to compare could help you find the best fit.

What options exist for the most cost-effective credit card?

If keeping your costs down is key, target cards with competitive interest rates, low or no annual fees, and no nasty hidden charges. Knowing your spending patterns can help pick one that saves you the most on fees and interest.

What's the verdict: Rewards credit cards or frequent flyer credit cards?

Whether frequent flyer or generic rewards cards are best really depends on your spending and travel preferences. If you fly a specific airline all the time, their card can rack up extra miles. But a general rewards card gives you more flexibility in how you use your points.

Which is more advantageous: A credit card with a low interest rate or one with no annual fee?

This one comes down to how you'll use the card. If you expect to carry a balance, a low ongoing interest rate should be the priority to minimize what you pay. But if you pay it off each month, one without an annual fee can provide longer term savings.

What's the smarter choice: A credit card offering 0% on balance transfers or a personal loan?

For short term debt management, the 0% balance transfer card could work out cheaper as you avoid paying interest initially. But if it's a larger amount or you want longer to pay it down, a personal loan could allow you to consolidate debts and extend the repayment period.

How do no interest, flat monthly fee cards compare to buy now, pay later plans?

The predictable payment structure of no interest, flat monthly fee cards can make budgeting easier. But if short term flexibility is more valuable, buy now pay later options let you defer payments interest free, handy if cashflow varies.

What constitutes an excellent first-time credit card?

An ideal first card might have low fees, a reasonable credit limit, and education to help people new to credit learn the ropes. Extras like credit monitoring and incentives for responsible use provide great additional value.

How long does it take to get approved for a credit card?

The approval timeline for a credit card application can vary depending on the issuer's processing procedures. In some cases, you may receive an instant approval decision, while in others, it may take a few days to weeks for the issuer to review your application and make a decision.