powering smart financial decisions

Credit card type

Credit score

Don't know your score? Find it out here.

Show Online Partners Only?

We provide links to our Online Partners. If you click through to an Online Partner, you can get more product information, apply for or purchase the product and RateCity may earn a fee for referring you. This is one of the ways RateCity makes money and how we can offer our comparison service to you for free. See how we make money for more.

Sort by

Product Name Card

St.George Bank No Annual Fee Visa

Purchase Rate

Purchase Rate


% p.a

for up to 12 months, then 20.74%

Interest Free Days

Interest Free Days


Annual Fee

Annual Fee


Late Payment Fee


Go to site

Purchase Offers

0% for 12 months on APR
Product Name Card

Westpac Low Rate Card (Cashback offer)

Purchase Rate

Purchase Rate


% p.a

Interest Free Days

Interest Free Days


Annual Fee

Annual Fee


Late Payment Fee


Go to site


up to $400 Cashback when you take out a new Low Rate credit card. New cards only. T&Cs and exclusions apply.Get
Product Name Card

St.George Bank Vertigo Visa (Balance Transfer Offer)

Purchase Rate

Purchase Rate


% p.a

Interest Free Days

Interest Free Days


Annual Fee

Annual Fee


for 12 months then $55

Late Payment Fee


Go to site

Balance Transfer

0% for 32m BT (0% fee) + $0 First Year annual Fee
Product Name Card

ANZ First

Purchase Rate

Purchase Rate


% p.a

for up to 20 months, then 20.24%

Interest Free Days

Interest Free Days


Annual Fee

Annual Fee


Late Payment Fee


Go to site

Purchase Offers

0% p.a. for 20 months on purchases and $30 back to your new ANZ First credit card. New card. T&Cs, eligibility criteria, fees and charges apply (including annual fee, currently $30). Access exclusive cashback offers with Cashrewards Max.


Credit card providers we compare at RateCity

Learn more about credit cards

Whether you’re young and looking to build your credit history, hoping to nab some good rewards or want access to credit for an overseas trip, shopping for your first credit card can be an exciting, yet nerve-wracking experience.

There’s the risk of being rejected or even falling into bad debt habits, but also the benefit of having access to funds when you need it.

So how do you find your first credit card? And how do you try to ensure your application isn’t rejected? This guide will take you through what you need to know to not only pick a card but potentially improve your chances of approval.

The basics: what to know about your first credit card

The very first step you’ll want to take in your credit card journey is to familiarise yourself with the basics – aka the costs and features of a credit card. These include:

BalanceThe balance on your credit card is another way of saying the amount of money you owe, including fees and interest. The more you have owing, the less credit you have access to.
Interest ratesThe two main types of interest you may be charged is via the purchase rate and cash advance rate.
  • The purchase rate is the rate at which any outstanding balances not paid in full in a statement period are charged.
  • The cash advance rate is the interest rate charged on any money you withdraw, such as at an ATM. The latter tends to be slightly higher but differs for each card provider.
Annual feeAn ongoing fee charged once a year to keep your account open. There are cards that don’t charge this fee, but for those that do, the cost can climb as high as $1,200.
Foreign transaction feeA fee charged on overseas spending (including shopping on international websites), typically a percentage of the transaction (2-3%).
Interest-free periodThe number of days you have to repay what is owing on your credit card before you are charged interest. The number of days differs on each card but is typically 44-55 days from the start of each month’s billing cycle.
Minimum repayment amountThe minimum amount of money you are required to pay each billing cycle. This will either be a percentage of your outstanding balance (around 2-3%) or a dollar figure (around $20-$30).
Credit limitThe maximum amount of credit you have access to through your card. This can range from as low as a few hundred or thousand dollars, to a near unlimited amount. It will differ for each credit card and can also depend on your income.
Rewards programsSome cards come with rewards programs that give you something extra for your spending. These can be in the form of standard rewards programs, frequent flyer programs or cashback rewards.
Rewards perksThe type of rewards you may find in these programs can include frequent flyer points, appliances, electronics, home goods, gift cards and travel perks such as hotel stays and airport lounge access.
Card protectionsSome cards may offer more protections than others. These may include fraud protection, domestic or international travel insurance, extended warranty, guaranteed pricing schemes and/or rental car excess insurance.


Keep in mind that if you apply for a credit card and are rejected, this can hurt your credit history. It’s crucial that you do your research around what card best suits your budget, and the provider’s eligibility criteria before applying.

The basics: how to choose your first credit card

The next step you’ll want to make is to deepen your knowledge of what types of credit cards there are, and which may suit you best. 

  • Low-rate credit cards

As you may know, credit card interest rates can get fairly high. But if you pay your full card balance in full each statement period then you shouldn’t ever really accrue interest. However, if you think you may be the type of person who won’t always be able to pay their full balance off each time, it may be worth considering if a low-rate card would be a better fit for you.

  • Low-fee credit cards

If you are strict about budgeting and believe you won’t be charged interest on any outstanding card statements, then the biggest cost you may face is your annual credit card fee. Low-fee credit cards typically will not charge you this fee.

  • Platinum/premium credit cards

Designed for cardholders with larger incomes looking for higher credit limits and/or more comprehensive rewards. These cards generally come with higher fees and interest. But it is expected that the cardholder can afford these costs, as they are marketed towards high earners.

  • Rewards credit cards

Earning rewards and chasing points is, for some Australians, what separates a credit card from your basic debit card. As mentioned above, these rewards can come in the form of standard rewards programs, frequent flyer programs or cashback offers. Rewards credit cards are a popular choice for cardholders as you get more bang for your buck through points-per-dollar-spent earnings. But these cards also typically come with higher fees and costs, and stricter eligibility criteria.

  • Travel credit cards

These cards are designed with overseas spending in mind. This may mean anything from charging zero foreign transaction fees to offering complimentary insurance, including domestic and international travel insurance and/or rental car excess insurance.

  • Balance transfer credit cards

If you have an outstanding card debt, you may need a little no-interest breathing room to get on top of it. Balance transfer cards allow you to transfer the debt of one card to another, with the new card charging zero interest for a set period of months.

The basics: how to compare credit cards

Once you know what features and fees are involved with credit cards, as well as what type might best suit your budget and financial situation, you’ll want to narrow down a shortlist of potential cards.

Instead of starting from scratch and googling ‘best credit cards,’ the simplest way to search for and compare credit cards is to use comparison tools, such as tables and calculators. 

Comparison tables, like the one on this page, allow you to enter the details of the card type you want, as well as filter features you want and fees you don’t. You’ll then be able to easily compare apples with apples by seeing a range of potential cards next to each other, and compare them based on their interest rates, number of interest-free days, annual fees and more.

Credit card calculators can also be helpful in showing you what potential card repayments may look like for your budget. If you put down the card limit you may receive as the ‘balance’, and add the interest rate, you may get a good idea of how much you’re looking to repay if you were to max out your credit card.

Application process: do you meet the credit card eligibility?

Now you’ve got a shortlist of potential first credit cards, you’ll want to double check that you meet the eligibility criteria before applying. This can help reduce your risk of being rejected. 

Here are some of the standard eligibility criteria for credit cards in Australia:

  • Be at least 18 years old,
  • Be an Australian citizen, permanent resident or hold a valid visa,
  • Meet the minimum income requirement (can range from $15,000 - $100,000, depending on the card type),
  • Meet the employment requirements (some providers may prefer full-time employees, and look favourably on those employed for at least 12 months), and
  • Have a good or excellent credit history.

Application process: How to get a credit card with no or poor credit history

If you’re a young Australian with no credit history, there’s a chance that your card application may be rejected. This is because credit cards are a financial risk, and those with good credit history built up are less likely (in the eyes of the provider) to run up debt.

But how do you build credit history if you can’t get approved for credit?

There are ways to potentially grow your credit history without a credit card, including:

  • If you’re financially independent, consider putting your phone plan and bill under your name.
  • If you’re out of home, consider having your name on the energy and/or gas account and bills.
  • Build your savings, as having a big nest egg may give card providers the impression that you’re responsible with your finances, and also have a good record of making regular payments into a savings account.
  • Don’t make late payments, whether on your phone bill or on a car loan, as this may weaken your credit score.

 If you’re set on getting a credit card, but have little to no credit history, you could consider having a parent or family member go guarantor on your card application to help boost your chances of approval. The card provider will then look at their credit history, as well as their current debts and assets, and this may help to get you over the line. Just keep in mind that mixing money with relationships can turn sour if not carefully managed. You may damage your guarantor’s credit history if you then use your card to rack up a huge debt that you never pay off.

Credit card alternatives

If, after you’ve read through this guide, you’re no longer sure you want to get a credit card, there are other options available. 

You may want to consider the following:

  • Debit card. No, it’s not as “glamorous” as a credit card, but your standard debit card does give you access to your own money. This means you run less of a risk of racking up debt, as you’re only spending what you can afford. Plus, the eligibility criteria is much less strict, as pretty much anyone can apply for a bank account.
  • Buy-now-pay-later. If you’re just looking for a means to get one-off items, like clothing or furniture, you may want to consider buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) services like Afterpay or ZipPay. BNPL services allow you to break up the total cost of your purchase into smaller, more manageable sections that are paid off typically fortnightly. They also do not charge interest but may come with late payment fees if you miss a scheduled payment.

It’s also always worth grabbing your annual free copy of your credit report and going through it with a fine-tooth comb, as mistakes can occur. 

Frequently asked questions

Can a pensioner get a credit card?

It is possible to get a credit card as a pensioner. There are some factors to keep in mind, including:

  • Annual income. Look for credit cards with minimum annual income requirements you can meet. 
  • Annual fees. If high fees are a concern for you, opt for a card with a low or $0 annual fee. 
  • Interest rate. Make sure you won’t have any nasty surprises on your credit card bill. Compare cards with a low interest rates to minimise risk.

How easy is it to get a credit card?

For most Australians, there are no great barriers to applying for and getting approved for a credit card. Here are some points that a lender will consider when assessing your credit card application.

Credit score: A bad credit score is not the be all and end all of your application, but it may stop you being approved for a higher credit limit. If your credit score is less than perfect, apply for the credit limit that you need, rather than the one you want.

Annual income: Most credit cards have minimum annual income requirements. Make sure you’re applying for a card where you meet the minimum.

Age & residency: You need to be at least 18 years old to apply for a credit card in Australia, and most require that you are an Australian citizen or permanent resident. However, there are some credit cards available to temporary residents.

How do you use credit cards?

A credit card can be an easy way to make purchases online, in person or over the phone. When used properly, a credit card can even help you manage your cash flow. But before applying for a credit card, it’s good to know how they work. A credit card is essentially a personal line of credit which lets you buy things and pay for them later. As a card holder, you’ll be given a credit limit and (potentially) charged interest on the money the bank lends you. At the end of each billing period, the bank will send you a statement which shows your outstanding balance and the minimum amount you need to pay back. If you don’t pay back the full balance amount, the bank will begin charging you interest.

Can I transfer money from my American Express credit card to my bank account?

If you’re an American Express credit card customer, you may not be able to transfer money from your credit card to your bank account. However, you may be eligible for cash advances, which involves withdrawing money through an ATM. 

To qualify for a cash advance, you’ll likely have to enrol for American Express Membership Rewards. Consider checking your online credit card account to see if you can withdraw a cash advance and, if so, the fees and charges you’ll incur for this transaction. 

You should remember that cash advances are different from balance transfers, which were available with some American Express credit cards earlier. Balance transfers allow customers to consolidate debt from high-interest credit cards to a credit card offering a lower interest rate. If you only recently applied for an American Express credit card, balance transfers may not be available irrespective of the card you own. 

Does ING increase credit card limits?

You may want to increase your credit card limit for many reasons, such as having access to more spending money. However, if you are using the Orange One credit card issued by ING, you may not be able to do so. 

ING customers can choose a credit limit of their preference when applying for the Orange One credit card. Depending on your financial situation, this limit can be anywhere between $1,000 and $30,000. If you qualify for a Rewards Platinum card, the minimum credit card limit will likely be $6,000. 

Ideally, you should set your credit card limit knowing how much you can afford to repay each month and keep your expenses lower than this level. With most credit cards, you should have the option of requesting a credit card limit increase at a later time, although you will need to qualify for any increase. With an ING credit card, limit increases are out of the question (at the time this was published), which means you may want to apply for a higher credit card limit from the beginning. Remember that you have the option of decreasing your ING credit card limit at a later time.

What should I do if my ANZ credit card has expired?

Your ANZ credit card is considered expired only after the last day of the month and year marked on your card. For instance, if your card’s expiry date reads 03/23, it is valid until 31 March 2023 and expires on 1 April 2023. Typically, you should have received a new credit card by that date, and you won’t have to request a new card. 

Once you get the new card, you should remember to switch any automatic payments you have - such as a utility or mobile phone bill - from your expired credit card to your new credit card. Equally, if you are using CardPay Direct to repay your ANZ credit card debt, you may need to update the credit card account details for that service as well. 

In case the new card doesn’t arrive by the expiry date of your current credit card, you can call ANZ on 13 22 73 to find out the reason and if you need to request an expedited card. Please note that if you were planning to close your credit card account or request a credit card upgrade, you may need to call ANZ at least before the 25th of the month your current credit card expires in, as that’s when they may send you the new credit card.

What should you do if your credit card is compromised?

Credit card fraud is a serious problem. If your credit card is compromised and you’re wondering what to do, here are a few precautionary steps to take.

Contact you credit provider – Get in touch will your credit card provider. If you feel your card has been compromised, you should be able to lock or block it.

Monitor your accounts – Keep an eye on your credit card accounts. Any unauthorised transactions could be a sign your credit card has been compromised.

Check your credit rating – It’s also important to check your credit rating, to ensure you’re not a victim of identity theft or some other financial mischief.

How do you use a credit card?

Credit cards are a quick and convenient way to pay for items in store, online or over the phone. You can use a credit card as a cashless way to pay for goods or services, both locally and overseas. You can also use a credit card to make a cash advance, which gives you the flexibility to withdraw cash from your credit card account. Because a credit card uses the bank’s funds instead of your own, you will be charged interest on the money you spend – unless you pay off the entire debt within the interest-free period. If you pay the minimum monthly repayment, you will be charged interest. There are many different credit card options on the market, all offering different interest rates and reward options.

What is a balance transfer credit card?

A balance transfer credit card lets you transfer your debt balance from one credit card to another. A balance transfer credit card generally has a 0 per cent interest rate for a set period of time. When you roll your debt balance over to a new credit card, you’ll be able to take advantage of the interest-free period to pay your credit card debt off faster without accruing additional interest charges. If your application is approved, the provider will pay out your old credit card and transfer your debt balance over to the new card. 

Should I get a credit card?

Once you've compared credit card interest rates and deals and found the right card for you, the actual process of getting a credit card is quite straightforward. You can apply for a credit card online, over the phone or in person at a bank branch. 

What should you do when you lose your credit card?

Losing your credit card is a serious situation, and could land you in financial trouble. Here is a simple guide detailing what to do when you lose your credit card.

Lock you card – Contact your provider and inform them about your lost credit card. From here lock, block or cancel your card.

Keep track of transactions – Look out for unauthorised credit card transactions. Most banks protect against fraudulent transactions.

Address recurring charges – If your card is linked to recurring charges (gym membership, rent, utilities), contact those businesses.

Check credit rate – To ensure you’re not the victim of identity theft, check your credit rating a month or two after you lose your credit card.

Does switching credit cards affect credit?

If you’re considering getting a new credit card to replace your existing one, there’s a strong possibility that switching these credit cards will affect your credit score. You might want to apply for a new credit card because it makes financial sense to do so or because there is a better deal on offer, but it could harm your credit score.

Each time you submit an application for a new credit card, a new inquiry is recorded on your credit profile. For lenders, having many credit enquiries on your file can imply that you aren’t reliable or in control of your finances and are desperately seeking credit. So, this is how changing credit cards can affect your credit score.

What's the best credit card for rewards?

There is no one-size-fits-all best rewards credit card. It's best you research what type of rewards program you'd like, as well as the fees, interest rate and conditions associated with those types of cards before making a choice. 

Rewards credit cards can also come with high annual fees that may end up nullifying the rewards, so think how often you use the card to decide whether the benefits outweigh the extra cost for you. A card with a lower annual fee might require a lot of spending to get any useful rewards, while another card with a higher annual fee might need fewer purchases to get a reward. 

How do I apply for a BOQ credit card limit increase?

If you’re an existing BOQ customer, you can request a BOQ credit card limit increase over a phone call. However, you should remember that owning and using a credit card is a matter of financial responsibility, so it might be worth thinking this decision through. 

When requesting a credit card limit increase, you’ll need to be just as responsible in terms of how much you earn and can set aside to repay the outstanding card balance. A credit card company may approve a credit limit increase only if you can show that you have either the income or the disposable income, which is the amount you have left after all expenses have been paid out.

For this purpose, you may need to submit your latest income documents and bank statements for an increase. You may want to estimate how much you usually have left after deducting your expenses, and then use this amount to try and convince the credit card company. Also, you may prefer to pay off the card balance in full each month and thus avoid paying interest on the card, helping you back up any claims of financial responsibility, as well. 

Remember that you may not be able to apply for a credit card limit increase beyond any limitations on the type of card you own. For instance, if you own a card whose ceiling is $10,000, and your current limit is $5,000, you won't likely be able to apply for a $10,000 credit card limit increase.

How to get a credit card for the first time

A credit card can be a useful financial tool, provided you understand the risks and can meet repayment obligations.

If you’re a credit card first-timer, review your options. Think about what kind of credit card would suit your lifestyle, and compare providers by fees, perks and repayments.

Once you’ve selected a card, it’s time to apply. Credit card applications can generally be completed in store, online or over the phone.

When you apply for a credit card for the first time, you must meet age, residency and income requirements. As proof, you must also provide documentation such as bank account statements.

How do you apply for a credit card?

You can apply for a credit card online, over the phone or in person at the bank. Once you’ve compared the current credit card offers, the application process is quick and easy. Before you get your application started, you’ll need to gather your personal information like proof of ID, payslips and bank statements, proof of employment and details of your income, assets and liabilities. To be eligible for a credit card, you’ll need to be an Australian citizen over 18 and earn a minimum of $15,000 each year. Once you’ve applied for a credit card, you should get a response fairly instantly. If your credit card application has been approved, you should receive a welcome pack with your new credit card within 10-15 days.

What can I do about my Commonwealth Bank expired credit card?

You’ll typically receive your replacement Commonwealth Bank credit card before your current one expires. 

Once you receive the replacement card, you may need to update the new card with all the direct debits that you had set up on your expired Commonwealth Bank credit card. These could include insurance payments, electricity or gas bills, and monthly entertainment subscriptions.

To see a list of all your regular payments in NetBank, follow these steps:

  1. Log on to NetBank
  2. Click on ‘settings’
  3. Go to ‘product requests’, and select ‘credit card regular payments’. 

If you don’t use NetBank, you can see the list of your regular payments on your most recent credit card statement. Keep in mind, this list may not be complete and you should also check your past statements or your transaction history. 

If you haven’t received your replacement card before your current card expires, call 13 22 21 and the bank will send a new card to you. 

It is important that you safely discard your expired credit card. This often means cutting it up with scissors and throwing it out. 

  • If you have let your credit card expire because you are looking for a more competitive credit card offer, it may be worth comparing your options today

What does ANZ credit card insurance cover?

ANZ offers complimentary insurance on some of its credit cards, which can provide some protection against unforeseeable incidents, like the theft of your card. Depending on the type of credit card you own, you may be eligible for different insurances. For instance, most ANZ credit card customers may qualify for Purchase Protection Insurance and Extended Warranty Insurance. Customers who own premium credit cards may also be eligible for International Travel Insurance, Domestic Travel Insurance and Rental Vehicle Excess Insurance. 

Consider checking your ANZ credit card insurance features listed in the ANZ Platinum or Black Complementary Insurance Policy information booklet or the ANZ First Complimentary Insurance Policy Information booket. Also, while ANZ issued the credit card, they are not the insurer. For this reason, you may need to send your insurance claims - and get your ANZ credit card insurance refund - to the insurance provider.

Do you need a credit card to get a loan?

You do not need a credit card to get a loan, but you usually need to have a credit history. Without a credit history, a financial institution cannot assess your ‘credit worthiness’, or your capacity to pay off the loan.

If you don’t have a credit card, your credit history can reflect any record of paying off an asset. Without any credit credit history, you’re limited in the type of loans you can apply for. But you may be able to obtain a secured loan against an asset. For more information on improving your credit score, go here

How to pay a credit card

There are a few ways to pay a credit card bill. These include:

  • BPAY - allows you to safely make credit card payments online.
  • Direct debits - set up an automatic payment from your bank account to pay your credit card bill each month. You can choose how much you want to pay of your credit card bill when you set up the auto payments.
  • In a branch.
  • Via your credit card provider's app.