Low Interest Rate Credit Cards

19 March 2019

Featuring a low ongoing purchase rate, a low interest credit card could help you save on interest if you tend to carry a balance month-to-month.

A low interest rate credit card is a card that charges a low rate of interest on purchases. While that low rate can vary according to the card provider, you will usually find the purchase rate on these cards range from around 9 or 10% p.a. to 14 or 15% p.a. Typically, really low rates feature more on smaller providers such as credit unions and customer-owned banks.

However, there are other factors that can affect that low interest rate. Cards that offer a number of features or rewards may have slightly higher purchase rates. So, the more the basic the card, the lower that purchase rate tends to be. Which card you choose will depend on what you want more: money-saving or extras.

Making it nice and easy to compare the options, this page features a variety of cards offering low interest ongoing, as well as low interest offers. To find out how well each card does its job in terms of offering low interest, simply check out our handy visual comparison tool. On a desktop, a circle, and on a mobile device, a bar. How far they are filled in shows how strong the offer is.

Going beyond each card’s interest rate, you can also check out other important features such as annual fees and balance transfer offers. Again, use our visual comparison tool to get a feel for what each card has to offer here too. If you really want to save money on your card, finding one that combines a low rate with a low fee could be a winner. All that’s left to do is apply.

Virgin Money Low Rate Credit Card

Virgin Money Low Rate Credit Card

11 reviews

Apply by 30 Apr 19

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St.George Vertigo Credit Card

St.George Vertigo Credit Card

17 reviews

Apply by 22 May 19

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ANZ Low Rate Credit Card

ANZ Low Rate Credit Card

59 reviews
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Westpac Low Rate credit card

Westpac Low Rate credit card

304 reviews

Apply by 2 Apr 19

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NAB Low Rate Platinum Credit Card

NAB Low Rate Platinum Credit Card

2 reviews
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Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Credit Card – 0% p.a. for 14 months on purchases

Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Credit Card – 0% p.a. for 14 months on purchases

7 reviews

Apply by 30 Apr 19

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Westpac Low Fee credit card

Westpac Low Fee credit card

4 reviews

Apply by 2 Apr 19

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St.George Vertigo Platinum Credit Card

St.George Vertigo Platinum Credit Card

35 reviews

Apply by 22 May 19

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Latitude Low Rate Mastercard

Latitude Low Rate Mastercard

1 review
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St.George Vertigo Platinum Rainbow Credit Card

St.George Vertigo Platinum Rainbow Credit Card

1 review

Apply by 22 May 19

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St.George Vertigo Rainbow Credit Card

St.George Vertigo Rainbow Credit Card

1 review

Apply by 22 May 19

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Coles Low Rate Mastercard

Coles Low Rate Mastercard

5 reviews
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Bank of Melbourne Amplify Credit Card

Bank of Melbourne Amplify Credit Card

2 reviews

Apply by 22 May 19

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Citi Clear Platinum Credit Card

Citi Clear Platinum Credit Card

113 reviews

Apply by 31 Mar 19

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Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Credit Card

Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Credit Card

25 reviews

Apply by 22 May 19

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BankSA Amplify Credit Card

BankSA Amplify Credit Card

3 reviews

Apply by 22 May 19

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BankSA Vertigo Credit Card

BankSA Vertigo Credit Card

7 reviews

Apply by 22 May 19

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St.George Amplify Credit Card

St.George Amplify Credit Card

5 reviews

Apply by 22 May 19

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NAB Low Rate Credit Card

NAB Low Rate Credit Card

27 reviews
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Low interest rate cards

This should be a focus if you are likely to hold a balance. Low interest cards typically do not earn any rewards and have limited features. When you hold a balance you do not receive any interest free days. Therefore, you will be charged interest from the day your purchase.

If you do find that you have a balance regularly. Its worth checking out a balance transfer offer. You can switch your balance to 0% and focus on paying the debt down.

look at balance transfers

What Are Low Rate Credit Cards?

A low interest rate on purchases means a relatively low interest rate is payable if you don’t manage to pay your entire outstanding balance at the payment date. The low rate is low in comparison to the rest of the market’s rates and depends on the universal definition of low.

How to Choose the Best Card With a Low Interest Rate?

Consider how much you will spend on the card and if you will be able to pay the balance off on time. If not always paid it on time then the lower the interest rate, the less interest you will be charged on the balance. Then compare the terms and conditions, annual fees, and any other features included and consider their impact on the cost.

How to avoid the Biggest Mistake

A low Interest rate credit card does not mean you can spend more. While the cards are intended for using often, the low rate only means that less interest will be charged on purchases than it would on higher rate credit cards. If you don’t pay your balance on time you will accrue interest on whatever card you use, so consider making repayments as priority to avoid paying interest.

A low interest rate or low rate, when referring to a credit card, usually means a purchase interest rate relatively lower than the other types of credit cards on the market. For example frequent flyer credit cards, super market credit cards and platinum credit cards may all have a higher on-going purchase rate than a low rate option because of the extra features attached to them.

The purchase rate refers to the interest rate you will pay on purchases you make with the card. It is important to check the rate of each type of interest before applying for a credit card. This helps you understand what you will owe in different situations.

Even on a low rate card, the cash advance rate may be much higher than the purchase rate so you need to be aware of both and know the difference.

The purchase rate applies to purchases made in-store or online and a range of bill payments or direct debits. Cash advances are when you withdraw cash at the ATM or transfer balances from other credit cards.

A low interest or low rate card is advertised and designed to offer the most competitive rate on purchases you make with the card, starting from no debt owing.

A balance transfer credit card is advertised offering a promotional rate to attract new customers who have an existing credit card debt that they want to pay off as quickly as possible with minimum interest.

There is no one ‘best’ low rate or low interest card. What is right for one person will not necessarily suit someone else. That is why it is so important to compare the available cards using our tables and assess each card feature against what you need the card for; i.e. emergency use only, booking holidays or shopping online. Depending on what you want it for, different low rate cards will suit.

If, for example, you want to make purchases on your card and intend to pay them off completely each month, then you might be interested in the card with the longest interest free days (they can vary from 45 to more than 55).

Alternatively, you might be looking for a card you want to use in emergencies only, so you would be interested in making sure the annual fee is low. If you want to shop online using overseas retailers, you will want the card which charges the least for international transactions. These are the sorts of things to consider.

Interest free days are days when purchases made on your card are not incurring interest. This period is from the day you make a purchase until the day that your minimum payment is due.

You need to closely check your statement for details of the dates of the period to understand when payments are due in each payment cycle. If you make purchases on the first day of a new statement period, you are charged no interest until you reach the payment date. If you do not pay off the full amount for that period on time, you will not receive any interest free days in the following period.

Also remember that you need to make that payment on time – the payment needs to reach the card before your period ends. This is likely to be at least 2-3 business days, so always bear that in mind.

There are a couple of tricks you can use to take advantage of the maximum number of interest free days.

Know your statement period to take advantage of interest free days

NAB interest free days, for example, apply from the date the statement is issued and last up to 44 days, so you usually would get roughly until the day your payment is due interest free IF you made a purchase at the start of your statement period. The only way to get the whole period interest free is know when your statement is issued and purchase as soon as possible after that date.

If you make a purchase on the 20th of the month, for example, and your payment due date is the 29th, you will only technically receive 9 days interest free to pay off that purchase because money owing on the purchase on the 29th will be charged interest. That’s why credit cards advertise interest free days ‘up to 44’ or ‘up to 55’.

If you want the maximum time to pay off a purchase you often need to make the purchase at the beginning of your new statement period, that way you get nearly the whole month interest free.

Pay your statement in full

Whatever date you made the purchases on, you have to have paid the amount owing on your statement in full by the due date to enjoy interest free days. You need to carry a balance of $0 in a new statement period for any interest free days to apply.

Many (but NOT all) credit cards have between 42 or 44 and 55 interest free days. You can see how many interest free days a card offers straight away on our features list when viewing any credit card on its own page – just click on the card or on the find out more button.

Interest free days exist to reward customers who pay off their balance in full every month and encourage them to keep their credit card open and continue using it for purchases.

No. Interest free days only apply to purchases, a balance transfer is considered a cash advance, and so interest free days do not apply.

The first step to choosing any credit card, including a low rate card, should always be to compare your options side by side and have a thorough understanding of why you want a credit card and what you intend to do with it. Online comparison sites can provide helpful information and show you the rates and other features of different cards from many different providers in one place.

When choosing a low interest or low rate credit card it’s important to compare more than just the interest rate, too. Other features will be relevant to the decision too, including:

The number of interest free days

This will let you know the maximum number of days you will have to pay off purchases without incurring interest charges within the statement period. For more detail on this see ‘what are interest free days’ and ‘how do interest free days work’. Even though the purchase rate is lower than for other card types, it makes sense to avoid paying any interest where possible.

Annual Fee

The cost of the annual fee can be as little as $20-$30 or as much as $99 or more, and if you are not using your credit card very much, or only have it for emergencies it makes sense to look at cards with a lower annual fee. Additional fees such as international transaction fees or late payment fees might be relevant too, so you should compare these at the same time and assess how likely you would be to end up paying them.

Any applicable balance transfer rate

This is the rate designed to win your business, so you need to look beyond the initial promo rate or offer and consider whether on-going use of the card will benefit you.

Recently Asked Questions

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46 questions (showing the latest 10 Q&As)

priyanka

priyanka

5 February 2019
hi i was looking for a credit card to use for cash advance so if i take low rate credit card will it be fruitful and what if i dont want a credit card after certain time will i be able to close or cancel the account or card
    Roland B Bleyer - CreditCard.com.au Founder

    Roland

    6 February 2019
    Hi Priyanka, most low rate cards still have a high cash rate. You can cancel your credit card at any time you can pay off the balance in full. If you can get approved, the ME Frank Credit Card could be a good choice. The rate on cash advances is the same as purchases @ 11.99% p.a. You would need to earn a minimum Income of $25,000 p.a., have good credit history and be a permanent Resident or Australian Citizen to apply for that particular card. Most cash advance rates are around 20%.
Mzbaxr8v8

Mzbaxr8v8

31 January 2019
Hello just wondering what low rate interest free credit card you would suggest have never had a credit card before and am a none worker
    Roland B Bleyer - CreditCard.com.au Founder

    Roland

    1 February 2019
    You will need to meet minimum income requirements to apply for for a credit card. Therefore some type of employment is required if you are not living off investment income. Have a look at the NAB low rate. It has an intro 0% purchase rate. As a guide a minimum income of 15k a year would be required. This is the lowest for a credit card.
JO

JO

17 January 2019
NEW BUSINESS CREDIT CARD??
PENSIONER

PENSIONER

5 November 2018
I have a credit card which charges a rate of 13.74%. I would like to get a credit card at a lower rate s9o I can pay this up.My bank tells me that my credit card of $1,800.73 must be paid in full by December as they are putting us on a new plan,which will increase its rate.Should I opt for a lower rate card and pay this debt off?
    Roland B Bleyer - CreditCard.com.au Founder

    Roland

    5 November 2018
    What I suggest you do is look at a 0% balance transfer offer to take the $1800 debt. A balance transfer is when you move your current credit card debt to another bank and they give you a special rate for a period of time. What bank are you currently with? A balance transfer needs to be between different banks. You can focus on paying the debt down during the 0% interest period. A low interest card that may work for you is the Virgin Low Rate. This credit card is issued through Citi. You can balance transfer at 0% for 14 months. The annual fee is $49 and the purchase rate is 11.99% p.a.
Emillee

Emillee

22 October 2018
Hi I'm looking at getting my first credit card but I want to know repayments before I go ahead.
    Roland B Bleyer - CreditCard.com.au Founder

    Roland

    22 October 2018
    Hi Emillee, credit cards are best used when they are paid off in full each billing cycle. As for repayments, each card will have minimum monthly payments required. This varies but is typically between 2-3% of the balance. Therefore if your balance was $100 on an ANZ Low Rate card. The minimum payment is 2%, so you would be required to at least pay $2. I suggest that you start off with a lower limit e.g. $500 and get used to your card. You can always increase. If you think you can pay it off in full each month the it could be worth looking at a card that earns reward points. Though these reward points cards typically have high interest around 20%. So any points you earn can quickly be worth less than interest payments.
Anthony

Anthony

18 September 2018
I only want around 1,000-1,500 credit limit what cards can I apply for with that
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