Compare The Top Credit Cards

Discover the benefits of having a credit card in Australia. Compare the benefits and rewards of several top Australian credit card providers.

There are many misconceptions about using credit cards. From an early age, many individuals are warned against using credit cards, only to find later on there are certain purchases they cannot make without established credit. Getting a loan becomes much harder if you do not have a credit history. While there are some lenders who will issue a loan, the rates are much worse compared to a favorable credit score, and there may be limitations on how much you can borrow.

Even if you are not concerned about getting a loan, there are other benefits to using a credit card. Many credit companies provide one-time bonuses when you sign up, even if you barely use the card. If you do end up using the card, there are additional reward options, usually through a point program. Many credit providers also offer perks like frequent flyer miles and convenient cash back options. Listed below are some of the top Australian credit card considerations.

Westpac Low Rate Credit Card

While Westpac has a variety of credit cards to choose from, their low rate credit card ranks as one of their most popular options. This credit card is an excellent choice for a first credit card because the first 28 months have 0 percent p.a. After 28 months, it becomes a 21.49 percent p.a. There is an interest rate on purchases, but it is 13.74 percent p.a., which is much lower than other credit providers. There are also no annual fees for the first year you own the card, with the following years costing $59. 

Not only does it have one of the quickest balance transfer times, but there are no transfer fees. The credit card is compatible with popular online payment methods, including Apple, Samsung and Google Pay. There are a few other credit cards with similar rates to Westpac, but they have a much stricter application process, while Westpac provides credit cards even if you have no prior credit record.

Bankwest Breeze Platinum Credit Card 

Bankwest’s Breeze Platinum Card has steeper requirements than other Australian credit cards, but it also provides some of the best benefits. For many credit holders, what sets the Breeze Platinum Card above the competition is the low interest rate of 9.90 percent. However, your first 55 days are interest free. If you travel outside of the country, you can use your platinum card without any international transaction fees. Bankwest also provides a variety of international travel insurance, allowing you to get a discount if you have a platinum card.

There are no annual fees for your first year, with a $69 fee for the following years. Because it is intended for applicants with a preexisting credit history, it has a higher minimum credit than other cards, starting at $6,000. Bankwest is affiliated with Mastercard, making it one of the most accepted credit cards in both Australia and other parts of the world.

Bankwest Zero Mastercard

If you are unable to apply for the platinum credit card, Bankwest has a basic Mastercard available with similar benefits. Like the platinum card, there are no foreign transaction fees and your first 55 days are interest free. There is no annual fee with the Mastercard, but it has a much smaller credit limit of $1,000. For the first 34 months, there are no balance transfer fees, but afterwards, you must pay a 2 percent transfer fee. Bankwest’s Mastercard is an excellent choice if you need to start your credit history. As you build up your credit score, you will be eligible for increases to your maximum credit limit, and you can even transition into a platinum card.

ING One Low Rate Credit Card

ING is another credit card with no annual or international transaction fees. While it is intended for new credit holders, it has a generous minimum credit limit, starting at $6,000. If you are getting the ING card as your first credit card, make sure you are mindful of the spending cap. The best way to improve your credit score is to only spend about a third of the total spending limit. With your ING account, you can schedule automatic payments, choosing to either pay off the entire balance or the minimum each month. ING is also compatible with Apple and Google Pay. It has an 11.99 percent interest rate on all purchases, which is slightly higher than other starting credit cards. Because ING is affiliated with Visa, the credit card is widely accepted no matter where you are located. This is especially helpful if you want to make online purchases outside of Australia.

Qantas Premier Platinum Credit Card

If you already have an established credit history and are more interested in rewards and perks, Qantas has an excellent platinum card. The platinum card uses a Qantas point system. Unlike with other cards, there is no maximum cap on the points. However, there is a limit on how many points you can earn each month. For every dollar you spend in Australia, you earn a point, up to a maximum of 10,000 each statement period. As of writing, when you sign up for a platinum card, you automatically receive 90,000 points. 

While there is a 3 percent international transaction fee, Qantas provides other travel benefits. Whether you travel overseas or remain in Australia, you are eligible for free travel insurance. All platinum card holders are invited to either a Qantas Club or Qantas International Business Lounge twice per year. You also save up to 20 percent on Qantas and QantasLink flights for yourself and up to eight guests once every year.

The Qantas Platinum Credit Card has many benefits, but there are some downsides to consider. First, you must have at least $35,000 annual income and a good credit score as part of the application. There is also a high annual fee, starting at $199 for your first year, but increasing to $299 for the following years. Cash advances carry a 21.99 percent interest rate, as well as a $5 cash advance withdrawal fee. There is a 19.99 percent interest rate on all purchases, except for the first 55 days, which are interest free on all purchases.