Credit Cards for Self-Employed People

Compare credit cards tailored for self-employed individuals to find the best fit for your financial needs.

Updated 15 Apr 2024

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Comparing credit cards for self-employed people

American Express Qantas Ultimate Credit Card

On website

Highlights

  • Acquire 60,000 bonus Qantas Points by applying before 28 May 2024, getting approved, and spending $3,000 on eligible purchases within the first 3 months. T&Cs apply. Exclusive to New Card Members.
  • Receive 2 complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations annually.
  • Access a $450 Qantas Travel Credit each year (conditions apply).

Pros

  • Earn 60,000 bonus Qantas Points when you meet the criteria.
  • Excellent earn rates on everyday spending. Earns points on payments to the ATO.
  • Access to The Centurion® Lounge. after your first card spend on the card for Qantas products and services each anniversary year.
  • 2 complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations each year.
  • Add cards for up to four family and friends at no cost.

Cons

  • The annual fee of $450.
  • There is no concierge service, even though it's a high end card.
  • Balance transfers are not possible.
  • Transactions in a foreign currency attract a fee.
Bankwest Zero Platinum Mastercard

On website

Highlights

  • Annual fee waived.
  • 0% p.a. interest for 28 months on transferred balances (with a 3% balance transfer fee). Returns to 14.99% p.a. thereafter.
  • No charges for foreign transactions, plus complimentary international credit card travel insurance.
  • Offer valid for new customers within a specified timeframe. Additional fees and terms and conditions apply.

Pros

  • No annual fee to pay — ever.
  • Very long interest-free balance transfer offer.
  • No fees on purchases in a foreign currency.
  • Complimentary international travel insurance.

Cons

  • There is a 3% fee on balance transfers.
  • You can't earn rewards points.
American Express Platinum Business Card

On website

Highlights

  • Obtain 350,000 bonus Membership Rewards points by applying before 25 June 2024, getting approved, and spending $12,000 on your card within the initial 3 months. Exclusive to New American Express Card Members.
  • Earn up to 2.25 pts per $1 spent.
  • Enjoy exclusive Platinum travel, experience, and dining privileges.

Pros

  • The offer of 350,000 bonus Membership Rewards points when you meet the criteria.
  • Earn up to 2.25 pts per $1 spent and 1 point per $1 spent at the ATO.
  • Access to more than 1,400 lounges globally, including The Centurion® Lounge.
  • Gold status match at Marriott Bonvoy, Hilton Honors, and Premium status at Radisson Hotel Group.
  • Get the Amex Experiences App to access information on Platinum benefits, travel offers, events and recommended merchants.

Cons

  • The annual fee of $1,750 p.a.
  • Since this is a charge card, the balance must be cleared every statement.
  • No balance transfer facility.
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.
American Express Platinum Card

On website

Apply by 25 June 2024

American Express Platinum Card

Highlights

  • Acquire 150,000 Bonus Membership Rewards Points by applying before 25 June 2024, getting approved, and spending $5,000 on your new Card within the initial 3 months. T&Cs apply. Exclusive to New Amex Card Members.
  • Utilize a $450 Platinum Travel Credit annually for flight, hotel, or car rental bookings.
  • Indulge in up to $400 per calendar year when dining at a curated selection of over 1,400 hand-picked restaurants, both domestically and internationally. Terms and Conditions apply.

Pros

  • Receive 150,000 Bonus Membership Rewards Points when you meet the criteria.
  • Receive a $450 Platinum Travel Credit each year.
  • Enjoy up to $400 Global Dining Credit per calendar year.
  • Access to more than 1,400 lounges globally, including The Centurion® Lounge.
  • Get the Amex Experiences App to access information on Platinum benefits, travel offers, events and recommended merchants.

Cons

  • The annual fee of $1,450.
American Express Velocity Escape Card

On website

Highlights

  • Acquire Velocity Points while benefiting from a $0 annual card fee.
  • Points accrued on your card seamlessly transfer to your Velocity account monthly and are redeemable for various rewards such as flights, lodging, car rentals, gift cards, and beyond.
  • Earn 0.75 Velocity Points per $1 spent, except for transactions with Australian government entities, where you'll earn 0.5 Velocity Points per $1 spent.

Pros

  • No annual fee, but still earn points.
  • Earn 1.75 Velocity Points per $1 spent on purchases with Virgin Australia.
  • Get 0.5 points per $1 when paying tax to the ATO using the card.
  • 55 days interest-free on purchases when the previous balance has been cleared in full.

Cons

  • Doesn't come with complimentary travel insurance.
  • No complimentary lounge access.
  • No access to the concierge service.
  • There is no balance transfer offer for this card.
American Express Gold Business Card

On website

Highlights

  • Acquire 75,000 bonus Membership Reward points upon application approval and spending $1,000 on your card within the initial 2 months. Exclusive to New American Express Card Members.
  • Earn up to 1.5 Membership Rewards points for every $1 spent.
  • Experience enhanced flexibility with no pre-set spending limit.
  • Benefit from Travel Insurance covering up to $2.5 million in medical emergency expenses.

Pros

  • Receive 75,000 bonus Membership Reward points when you meet the criteria.
  • Earn up to 1.5 Membership Rewards points for every $1 spent.
  • No cap on how many points you can earn.
  • No pre-set spending limit means more flexibility.
  • Spend with Dell Technologies to receive up to $75 credit twice a year until 31 December 2024.
  • Membership Rewards points can be transferred to a number of airlines, giving you options when booking travel.

Cons

  • The $119 fee for every additional card added.
  • Doesn't offer airport lounge access.
  • No access to concierge services.
The Qantas American Express Premium Card

On website

Highlights

  • Obtain 20,000 bonus Qantas Points upon online application approval and spending $3,000 within 3 months. Exclusive to New Amex Card Members.
  • Enjoy 2 complimentary Qantas Club invitations annually (conditions apply).
  • Benefit from complimentary domestic and international travel insurance coverage.

Pros

  • 20,000 bonus Qantas points for signing up and hitting the spending target.
  • Earn points on your everyday spend. Also earns points at a reduced rate on government spend.
  • Give up to 4 of your friends and family a card — at no extra cost — to earn more points.
  • $450 Qantas Travel Credit, which is fairly easy to trigger with your first Qantas purchase each year.
  • Comes with complimentary card purchase cover and travel insurance.

Cons

  • There is an annual fee of $249.
  • The purchase rate is quite high, but can be avoided with responsible use.
  • No balance transfer facility.
American Express Business Explorer Credit Card

On website

Highlights

  • Experience $0 Annual Card Fee (usually $149) in the first year when applying by July 23, 2024, and getting approved for the American Express® Business Explorer Credit Card. T&C’s apply. Exclusive to New American Express Card Members.
  • Benefit from two American Express Lounge passes per year at Sydney and Melbourne airports.
  • Receive Complimentary Travel Insurance when paying for your return trip with your Card.

Pros

  • $0 annual fee on the first year.
  • Earn up to 2 points per $1 spent.
  • No fee for up to 99 employee cards.
  • Up to 55 interest-free days.

Cons

  • Annual fee reverts to $149 after the initial year.
  • There is no balance transfer offer for this card.
  • Cash advances are blocked, which might be inconvenient for some.
American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card

On website

Highlights

  • No annual fee in the initial year, saving you $195.
  • Accrue 3 Membership Rewards points for every $1 spent at major supermarkets and petrol stations.
  • Access $200 allocated for annual travel expenses, applicable towards eligible flights, hotels, or car rentals when booked through American Express Travel.

Pros

  • $0 annual fee in the first year, saving you $195.
  • Receive $200 to spend on eligible domestic and international flights, hotels, or car hire with American Express Travel.
  • Smartphone Screen Cover for smartphone screen repairs up to $500.

Cons

  • The ongoing purchase rate of 23.99%.
American Express Explorer Credit Card

On website

Highlights

  • Obtain 50,000 Bonus Membership Rewards Points upon application approval and spending $4,000 on your new Card within the initial 3 months. T&Cs apply. Exclusive to New Amex Card Members.
  • Enjoy a $400 Travel Credit annually for flights, hotels, and car rentals when booked online using this card.
  • Benefit from complimentary domestic and international travel insurance coverage.

Pros

  • The 50,000 bonus Membership Rewards Points when approved and reach spend requirement within the first 3 months.
  • Receive a $400 travel credit every year.
  • Earn 2 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent on purchases except for government bodies in Australia where you will earn 1 point per $1 spent (uncapped).
  • Get two complimentary entries per year to The Centurion® Lounge.

Cons

  • The $395 p.a. annual fee.
The Low Rate Credit Card from American Express

On website

Highlights

  • Benefit from a competitive 10.99% p.a. interest rate for purchases.
  • Enjoy a perpetual $0 annual fee with card ownership.
  • Access up to 55 days interest-free.

Pros

  • Benefit from a competitive 10.99% p.a. interest rate for purchases.
  • Enjoy a perpetual $0 annual fee with card ownership.
  • Access up to 55 days interest-free.

Cons

  • There are no rewards program for this 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.
Westpac Low Rate Cashback Credit Card

On website

Highlights

  • Get up to $350 cashback when you apply online by 31 July 2024. Receive a $50 cashback monthly for spending over $1,000 in the first 7 statement periods.
  • Enjoy a low ongoing 13.74% p.a. interest rate on purchases.
  • Annual fee of $59 p.a. applies.

Pros

  • Get up to $350 cashback when you meet the criteria.
  • Low 13.74% p.a. interest rate on purchases.
  • 55 days interest-free on purchases.
  • $500 minimum credit limit.

Cons

  • No rewards program although there is a cashback offer.
  • No complimentary travel insurance.
Coles No Annual Fee Mastercard

On website

Apply by 30 June 2024

Coles No Annual Fee Mastercard

Highlights

  • Experience 0% p.a. interest on purchases for 6 months. Applicable to Retail Purchases (excluding Cash Advances). Reverts to standard purchase rate thereafter.
  • No annual fee, guaranteed.
  • Earn 1 Flybuys point per $2 spent on qualifying purchases.

Pros

  • 0% p.a. on purchases for 6 months.
  • No annual fee ever.
  • Complimentary access to your 24/7 local concierge.

Cons

  • Transactions made in a foreign currency incur a fee.

Self-employed Australians often face unique financial challenges that set them apart from traditional employees. When it comes to credit cards, self-employed individuals may require specialised features and benefits that cater to their specific circumstances. These distinct needs are crucial for selecting a credit card that aligns with their financial goals and business requirements.

What to consider for self-employed individuals

  • Variable income: Self-employed individuals may experience fluctuating income levels, necessitating a credit card with flexible payment options.
  • Tax efficiency: Credit cards that offer rewards or benefits tailored to business expenses can help self-employed individuals maximise tax deductions.
  • Expense tracking: Access to detailed transaction records and expense categorisation features can streamline accounting processes for self-employed individuals.
  • Credit building: Building a strong credit profile is essential for self-employed individuals to access financing options and secure favourable terms in the future.

Types of credit cards for self-employed individuals

Credit card providers offer a range of options designed specifically for self-employed individuals. These cards come with features and benefits catering to entrepreneurs' and freelancers' unique financial needs. Understanding the different types of credit cards available can help self-employed individuals make informed decisions based on their requirements.

Business credit cards

  • Ideal for individuals with registered businesses, business credit cards offer benefits such as expense tracking tools, business-specific rewards, and higher credit limits tailored to company expenses.
  • These cards can help separate personal and business finances, simplifying tax reporting and financial management for self-employed individuals.

Personal credit cards with business benefits

  • Personal credit cards that offer business-related perks, such as rewards for business spending or travel benefits, can be suitable for self-employed individuals with lower transaction volumes.
  • These cards provide a convenient way to access credit while enjoying benefits that align with entrepreneurial pursuits.

Eligibility criteria and application process

The eligibility criteria and application process for credit cards tailored to self-employed individuals may vary based on the card provider and individual circumstances. Understanding the requirements and steps involved in applying for a credit card can streamline the process and enhance the chances of approval.

Eligibility criteria

  • Proof of income: Self-employed individuals may need to provide details such as tax returns, profit and loss statements, or business bank statements to verify income.
  • Business registration: Some cards require proof of business registration or an Australian Business Number (ABN) for eligibility.
  • Credit history: A strong credit history demonstrates creditworthiness and may increase the likelihood of approval for credit cards with desirable terms and rewards.

Application process

  • Online application: Many credit card providers offer online application options, allowing self-employed individuals to submit their information and supporting documents conveniently.
  • Verification process: Card issuers may thoroughly review the applicant's financial documents and credit history to assess suitability for the card.
  • Approval timeline: Once the application is submitted, the approval process timeline may vary, with some applicants receiving instant approval and others requiring additional verification steps.

Benefits of credit cards for self-employed individuals

Credit cards tailored for self-employed individuals offer a range of benefits that can enhance financial management, streamline business operations, and provide valuable perks. Understanding the potential advantages of these cards can help self-employed individuals leverage them effectively to support their entrepreneurial endeavours.

  • Reward programs: Earn rewards, cashback, or points on business and personal expenses, maximising benefits for everyday spending.
  • Expense tracking: Access detailed transaction records and expense categorisation features to monitor spending and simplify accounting processes.
  • Financial flexibility: Enjoy flexible payment options, credit limits, and repayment terms that align with the variable income of self-employed individuals.
  • Travel and insurance benefits: Some credit cards offer travel insurance, purchase protection, and other valuable perks that can benefit self-employed individuals on business trips or purchases.

Tips for maximising credit card benefits as a self-employed individual

Navigating credit card benefits as self-employed requires strategic planning and knowledge of available features. By effectively implementing best practices and leveraging credit card benefits, self-employed individuals can optimise their financial management and capitalise on rewards.

  • Separate business and personal expenses: Use dedicated credit cards for business expenses to streamline accounting processes and maximise tax deductions.
  • Monitor spending closely: Regularly review transaction records and set spending limits to stay within budget and avoid unnecessary debt.
  • Redeem rewards wisely: Understand reward programs, redemption options, and expiration dates to maximise the value of earned rewards.
  • Stay informed: Keep abreast of credit card updates, policy changes, and new benefits to make informed decisions about credit card usage.

Help choosing a credit card for self-employed people

Explore tailored credit card options for the self-employed.

  • FAQs

  • Pros & cons

What documents are typically required to apply for a credit card as a self-employed individual?

When applying for a credit card as a self-employed individual, the documents you'll typically need include proof of income, such as tax returns or bank statements showing your earnings. You may also be asked for identification documents, such as a passport or driver's license, and proof of your business, like a business registration or invoices indicating your self-employed status. These requirements help credit card issuers assess your financial stability and creditworthiness.

What are the key differences between business credit cards and personal credit cards with business benefits?

The key differences between business credit cards and personal credit cards with business benefits often lie in their features and intended use. Business credit cards are designed specifically for business expenses and may offer rewards, benefits, and credit limits tailored to business needs, such as higher spending limits or rewards for office supplies and travel. Personal credit cards with business benefits might provide some perks useful for business owners but are generally intended for personal spending. Business credit cards also offer more detailed reporting features to help with tracking and categorising business expenses.

How can self-employed individuals build or improve their credit history with a credit card?

Self-employed individuals can build or improve their credit history with a credit card by making purchases and paying off the balance in full and on time each month. Consistently demonstrating responsible credit behaviour, the most valuable card can positively impact your credit score. Additionally, keeping balances low compared to the credit limit and not opening too many new accounts at once can help improve your credit standing.

Are there specific tax benefits associated with using a credit card for business expenses as a self-employed individual?

Using a credit card for business expenses as a self-employed individual can offer specific tax benefits. These include the ability to easily track and categorise business expenses, which simplifies the process of claiming deductions on your tax return. Some credit card fees and interest charges on business expenses may be tax deductible. A self-employed individual can offer specific tax benefits using a credit card for business expenses, depending on local tax laws. It's important to consult a tax professional to understand which expenses qualify for deductions.

What should self-employed individuals consider when comparing credit card offers for their specific financial needs?

When comparing credit card offers, self-employed individuals should consider several factors tailored to their financial needs. These include the interest rate, annual fees, credit limit, rewards programs, and additional benefits like travel insurance or purchase protection. Evaluating how these features align with your business expenditures and personal spending habits can help you choose a card that offers the most value.

Pros

Business expense management

Credit cards offer self-employed people a convenient way to manage business expenses. Separating personal and business transactions simplifies accounting and tax preparation, providing a clear overview of business expenditures.

Cash flow flexibility

For self-employed professionals, maintaining cash flow can be challenging. Credit cards allow for the deferral of payment until the statement due date, providing temporary relief from immediate cash outlays and aiding in smoother cash flow management.

Rewards and perks

Many credit cards available to the self-employed have rewards programs that can offset business expenses by earning points per dollar spent. Rewards can be in the form of points, cashback, vouchers, etc.

Build credit profile

Responsibly using a credit card can help someone self-employed build a solid credit profile. This is crucial for those who may later seek business loans or lines of credit, as lenders will look at credit history as part of the approval process.

Cons

Higher interest and fees

Credit cards can carry high-interest rates and annual fees, particularly those with extensive rewards programs. If balances are not paid in full each month, the interest charges can quickly negate any rewards earned, leading to increased costs for the business.

Debt accumulation risk

The ease of using credit cards can lead to overspending, particularly during lean business periods. This poses a risk of accumulating debt that can be difficult to pay off, potentially leading to financial strain on the business.

Variable credit limits

Credit limits are based on the applicant's creditworthiness and income. Since self-employed people often have an income that fluctuates from month to month, this can mean lower credit limits that may not cover all business needs.

Eligibility challenges

Securing a credit card can be more challenging for self-employed people due to the perceived risk by lenders. Applicants may need to provide extensive documentation of their income and business viability, which can be a cumbersome process.