Credit Cards For Temporary Residents

Compare credit card options available for temporary residents of Australia.

By   |   Verified by Andrew Boyd   |   Updated 28 May 2024

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Comparing credit cards for temporary residents

Bankwest Breeze Mastercard

On website

Temporary resident

Yes

Balance transfer

12 months at 0% p.a.

Purchase rate

12 months at 0% p.a.

Annual fee

$49.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • Benefit from 0% p.a. interest on balance transfers for 12 months (with a 2% BT fee, then 12.99% p.a.).
  • 0% p.a. for 12 months on purchases (returning to 12.99% p.a.).
  • Enjoy up to 55 interest-free days on purchases.
  • Exclusive offer for new customers for a limited time. Additional charges, as well as terms and conditions, apply.

Pros

  • 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 12 months.
  • 0% p.a. for 12 months on purchases.
  • Up to 55 interest-free days on purchases.

Cons

  • There are no rewards on this card.
  • There is a 2% BT fee.
American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card

On website

Temporary resident

Yes

Balance transfer

N/A

Purchase rate

23.99% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$0.00 for 1st year

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%.
Bankwest More Mastercard

On website

Bankwest More Mastercard

Temporary resident

Yes

Balance transfer

6 months at 0% p.a.

Purchase rate

19.99% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$100.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • 19,500 annual bonus points when you spend $24,000 on eligible purchases in the year.
  • 0% p.a. for 6 months on balance transfers with 1% balance transfer fee. Reverts to 19.99% p.a. thereafter.
  • Earn up to 1.5 points per $1 spent on eligible purchases.
American Express Explorer Credit Card

On website

Temporary resident

Yes

Balance transfer

N/A

Purchase rate

23.99% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$395.00 p.a. ongoing

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.
Bankwest Breeze Platinum Mastercard

On website

Temporary resident

Yes

Balance transfer

12 months at 0% p.a.

Purchase rate

12 months at 0% p.a.

Annual fee

$69.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • Experience 0% p.a. interest on balance transfers for 12 months (with a 2% BT fee, then 12.99% p.a.).
  • 0% p.a. for 12 months on purchases (reverting to 12.99% p.a.).
  • Benefit from up to 55 interest-free days.
  • Offer exclusively for new customers within a specified period. Additional charges, along with terms and conditions, apply.

Pros

  • 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 12 months.
  • 0% p.a. for 12 months on purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees. Plus, complimentary overseas travel insurance for you and your family.

Cons

  • There is no rewards program on this card.
  • There is a 2% BT fee.
Bankwest More Platinum Mastercard

On website

Bankwest More Platinum Mastercard

Temporary resident

Yes

Balance transfer

6 months at 0% p.a.

Purchase rate

19.99% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$160.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • 75,000 annual bonus points when you spend $48,000 on eligible purchases in the year.
  • Earn up to 2 points per $1 spent on eligible purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees and complimentary international credit card travel insurance.
Qantas American Express Discovery Credit Card

On website

Temporary resident

Yes

Balance transfer

N/A

Purchase rate

23.99% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$0.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • Acquire 1.75 Qantas Points on eligible Qantas products and services.
  • Earn 0.75 Qantas Point for every $1 spent on Card purchases, except for spending at government bodies in Australia, where you will earn 0.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent.
  • Enjoy no annual card fee.
  • Obtain up to 4 Additional Cards for family members or friends with no extra fee.

Pros

  • Ongoing $0 annual fee, a rarity among rewards credit cards.
  • Earn 0.75 Qantas points per $1 spent and 0.5 Qantas points per $1 for government spend.
  • No cap on the number of points you can earn.
  • Add up to 4 additional cards for family members or friends with no extra fee.
  • Complimentary Card Purchase Cover and Card Refund Cover.

Cons

  • There is a 3% foreign transaction fee.
  • Lacks complimentary travel insurance.
  • There is no access to a concierge service.
Westpac Low Rate Credit Card

Temporary resident

Yes

Balance transfer

28 months at 0% p.a.

Purchase rate

13.74% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$0.00 for 1st year

Highlights

  • Enjoy 0% p.a. for 28 months on balance transfers with a 1% balance transfer fee. Reverts to variable cash advance rate of 21.49% p.a.
  • Low 13.74% p.a. interest rate on purchases.
  • $0 first year annual card fee ($59 p.a. thereafter).

Pros

  • 0% p.a. for up to 28 months on balance transfers.
  • Low 13.74% p.a. interest rate on purchases.
  • $0 first year annual card fee ($59 p.a. thereafter).

Cons

  • Balance transfer reverts to cash advance rate of 21.49% p.a. after 28 months.
  • You won't earn rewards with this card.
NAB Low Rate Card

On website

Temporary resident

Yes

Balance transfer

28 months at 0% p.a.

Purchase rate

13.49% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$0.00 for 1st year

Highlights

  • Experience 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 28 months with a 2% 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 28 months.
  • A variable purchase rate of 13.49% p.a.
  • The waived annual fee for the first year.
  • Additional credit card is free.

Cons

  • There is a 2% balance transfer fee.
  • No rewards program for this card.
  • No insurance coverage.
Bankwest Qantas Platinum Mastercard

On website

Bankwest Qantas Platinum Mastercard

Temporary resident

Yes

Balance transfer

N/A

Purchase rate

20.49% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$160.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • Earn up to 50,000 Qantas Bonus Points when you spend $3,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days and keep your card open for over 15 months. Limited time. New customers only, other fees, T&Cs apply.
  • Earn 0.75 points per $1 on your first $2,500 spent on eligible purchases per month, then 0.3 points per $1 thereafter.
  • Enjoy complimentary overseas travel insurance and no foreign transaction fees on online or overseas purchases.
Bankwest Qantas World Mastercard

On website

Bankwest Qantas World Mastercard

Temporary resident

Yes

Balance transfer

9 months at 2.99% p.a.

Purchase rate

20.49% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$270.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • Uncapped points-earning potential.
  • Up to 12 months of extended warranty insurance and 3 months purchase security insurance (conditions apply).
  • Enjoy complimentary insurances along with this card including overseas travel insurance for you and family members travelling with you.
ANZ Platinum Credit Card

On website

Temporary resident

Yes

Balance transfer

N/A

Purchase rate

20.99% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$0.00 for 1st year

Highlights

  • Receive $300 cashback upon spending $1,500 on eligible purchases within the initial 3 months after approval. Terms and Conditions apply.
  • Enjoy up to 55 days interest-free on purchases by paying your account in full each month.
  • No annual fee for the first year. Subsequently, a standard annual fee of $87 p.a. applies.

Pros

  • Earn a $300 cashback when you meet the spend criteria.
  • $0 annual fee in the first year, $87 p.a. thereafter (terms and conditions apply).
  • Comes with Personal Concierge service,
  • Complimentary insurance covers include international travel insurance, purchase protection insurance, and extended warranty insurance.

Cons

  • There is no rewards program on this card.
  • No balance transfer offer.
HSBC Platinum Credit Card

On website

Temporary resident

Yes

Balance transfer

12 months at 0% p.a.

Purchase rate

19.99% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$0.00 for 1st year

Highlights

  • Utilize the 0% p.a. offer on balance transfers for 12 months alongside a 2% balance transfer fee.
  • Experience the inaugural year with no annual fee, followed by $149 annually thereafter.
  • Accrue 2 Reward Plus points per $1 spent on qualifying overseas purchases and 1 Reward Plus point per $1 spent on other eligible purchases.
  • Maintain a minimum credit limit of $6,000.

Pros

  • 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 12 months.
  • $0 annual fee for the first year.
  • Enjoy 2 airport lounge passes every year.
  • Benefit from HSBC Instant Savings with exclusive dining and shopping discounts.
  • Includes complimentary travel and purchase protection insurance.
  • Choice of points transfer partners (Asia Miles, KrisFlyer, Velocity Frequent Flyer).

Cons

  • The balance transfer rate reverts to 21.99% p.a. after 12 months.
  • 2% balance transfer fee.
  • The 10,000 points cap per statement period.
ANZ Low Rate Credit Card

On website

Temporary resident

Yes

Balance transfer

28 months at 0% p.a.

Purchase rate

13.74% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$0.00 for 1st year

Highlights

  • Enjoy 0% p.a. for 28 months on balance transfers with a 3% balance transfer fee (then reverts to 21.99% p.a.) Terms and Conditions apply.
  • First-year annual fee waived ($58 subsequently).
  • Continuous low rate of 13.74% p.a. on purchases.
  • Enjoy up to 55 days interest-free on purchases by settling your account completely each month.

Pros

  • Enjoy 0% p.a. on balance transfers up to 28 months.
  • $0 annual fee for the first year ($58 p.a. thereafter).
  • Take advantage of the low purchase interest rate of 13.74% p.a.
  • Add up to 3 additional cardholders at no extra cost.

Cons

  • No purchase or travel insurance included.
  • No rewards program.

If you’re in Australia on a work or study transfer or a temporary resident hoping to apply for permanent residence, there are several benefits to having an Australian credit card:

Avoid exposure to currency fluctuations

Using an overseas-issued credit card for Australian purchases means your card issuer will convert the amounts into your card’s currency, exposing you to potentially unfavourable exchange rates and fees. Matching the currency of your purchases with the currency of your payments avoids these risks.

Avoid foreign transaction fees

Purchases made in Australian dollars on a foreign credit card are treated as overseas transactions, often incurring a fee (commonly 3%). Using an Australian-issued card for local transactions avoids these fees.

Simplify monthly repayments

Paying off an Australian credit card is straightforward with an Australian bank account. In contrast, repaying a foreign credit card involves complex international transfers and additional fees.

Build a credit score in Australia

Establishing a good credit history in Australia is beneficial for renting, signing up with utility providers, or applying for loans. Using and managing an Australian credit card responsibly helps build your credit score.

Australian banks that accept temporary residents

The Big Four banks (ANZ, Commonwealth, NAB, and Westpac), along with American Express and some other banks, issue credit cards to holders of the Temporary Skill Shortage Visa (subclass 482). These cards offer various interest rates, rewards programs, frequent flyer points, benefits, and annual fees.

Eligible visa types for credit cards

The Department of Home Affairs lists all visa types, detailing their eligibility for credit cards. Commonly accepted visas include:

  • Temporary Skill Shortage Visa (TSS) (subclass 482)
  • Other temporary work visas (subclasses 400, 403, 408)
  • Business, talent, skilled, investor, and employer nomination visas
  • Temporary Work (International Relations) Visa (subclass 403)
  • Temporary graduate visas (subclasses 476, 485)
  • Refugee and humanitarian visas
  • Resident return visas (subclasses 155, 157)

Required documentation

To apply for a credit card, you will need:

  • Photocopy of the personal details page of your foreign passport
  • Photocopy of your Australian visa page for VEVO verification
  • Photocopy of your foreign birth certificate or citizenship certificate
  • Photocopy of your foreign driver’s licence (if not providing an Australian licence)
  • Current Australian address and previous overseas address
  • Employer and income details

Documents in languages other than English may need certified translation.

Passing the 100-point check

Australia's compulsory personal identification system requires documents proving identity and residence. A foreign passport typically scores 70 points, and additional documents like an Australian driver's licence add points.

Minimum income requirement

Temporary residents may need to demonstrate a higher income level due to limited access to overseas credit history. The TSS visa's minimum income threshold is currently $53,900, which should qualify for many credit cards.

Help choosing a credit card for temporary residents

Navigate your temporary stay with confidence - find the ideal credit card tailored for temporary residents.

  • Alternatives

Supplementary card

Family members on certain visas can apply for their own credit cards or be supplementary cardholders on the primary visa holder’s account. can make purchases and cash advances but cannot change the credit limit or use rewards points.

The primary cardholder is responsible for all debts on the account, regardless of which card was used.