Low Interest Rate Credit Cards

Updated 22 September 2020

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.

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Low interest rate cards

Switching to a low interest rate card could help you save on interest month-to-month, especially if you tend to carry a balance. These cards offer a low interest rate ongoing, and typically keep it simple in the way of features.

Carry a balance regularly and want to pay it down faster? A balance transfer card would let you transfer your balance to enjoy a much lower rate.

Look at balance transfers

What is a low rate credit card?

A low rate credit card is a card that charges a low rate of interest on purchases. By choosing a low rate credit card, you can save on interest when you carry a balance. This makes them a great option for cardholders who don’t always manage to clear their balance each month when their statement is due.

This money-saving works in two ways. First up, when you carry a balance, that balance starts to accrue interest. The higher your purchase rate, the more you pay in interest on that balance. As interest starts to stack up, it becomes more and more difficult to pay down your debt, which can make it difficult to keep on top of.

Secondly, carrying a balance means no more interest free days on new purchases. To take advantage of interest free days, you usually have to clear your balance the previous month. If you don’t, any new purchases will attract interest from the day they are made. Again, the higher the purchase rate, the more you pay in interest – and the easier it is to get into trouble.

As with any type of credit card, you need to compare low rate credit cards if you want to choose the best one for you. At CreditCard.com.au, we make this process as simple as possible.

Step 1. Compare purchase rates. If you carry a balance, the rate you pay on that balance should the most important factor in your comparison.

Step 2. Compare annual fees. Factor in how much you will pay in annual fees, but keep purchase rate a priority.

Step 3. Compare features. You will usually find low rate cards – especially those that also have a low annual fee – are low on features. However, saving money on interest should be your first priority, so extras can be thought of as an added bonus.

Step 4. Assess compatibility. Make sure you are eligible for the card, and consider how well it will suit your needs. Remember, you may need to put extras such as rewards on the back-burner for now if you really want to focus on saving money.

Just like annual fees, interest rates on credit cards vary according to what the card offers.

Credit cards are a business, and as such, credit card providers are not in the business of giving away stuff for free. That’s why you will usually find cards with higher annual fees and interest tend to offer more in the way of features and extras – while cards with lower annual fees and interest are more basic.

However, you can make this work to your advantage, as long as you know what’s most important to you. Do you want to save money on interest and keep your credit card under control? A low rate credit card could help you do that. Do you always clear your balance and want more from your card? As long as your card offers value, a card with a higher rate could work for you.

Want to avoid making mistakes on your new card? One of the most important things to remember when using a low rate card is the fact that you are still paying interest on your balance. Yes, that interest will be growing at a slower rate than if you had a card with a higher rate, but it is still growing.

If you want to make the most of your low rate card, pay off as much of your balance as you can, as often as you can. Try not to let your focus slip just because you think your lower rate lets you off the hook. The goal is always to pay down your balance, and keep it clear month-to-month. Doing this should also let you take advantage of interest free days on your purchases.

Most credit cards offer a certain number of ‘interest free days’ when you clear your balance the previous month. How does this work?

Say your card offers up to 55 days interest free on purchases. The number of days you get interest-free depends on when the purchase is made with regards to your credit card statement cycle.

If you make a purchase on day 1 of your statement cycle, you will have 55 days before that purchase starts accruing interest. This is because there are 30 days of your statement cycle left, and 25 days until your bill payment is due.

If you make a purchase on day 20 of your statement cycle, you will have 35 days before interest starts accruing on that purchase. Ten days of your statement cycle, and 25 days until your bill payment is due.

In general, low interest credit cards offer a low rate over the long term. However, there are cards that offer a lower rate as an introductory offer. With these cards, you pay a much lower rate over a short period of time, making them a handy option if you want to save on interest over the short term. Find out more about 0% Purchase Offers here.

TIP: To make the most of this type of card, plan your purchases and set a repayment plan to pay them all off before they start accruing interest. Make sure you know what the standard purchase rate is after the intro period ends.

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59 questions (showing the latest 10 Q&As)

Shubham

Shubham

23 September 2020
Hey just wandering I’m an international student which company’s credit card should I get very easily
Ads

Ads

5 July 2020
Hi wondering the best option for bad credit history. Is there any guaranteed?
    Roland B Bleyer - CreditCard.com.au Founder

    Roland

    6 July 2020
    Hi Ads, unfortunately with bad credit you are unlikely to get approved for any credit cards. All credit cards in Australia require good credit. What you will need to do is look to repair your credit. You can look for some online resources to assist. Have a look at https://www.tippla.com.au/. This is a great site and has good credit school online courses as part of it.
Zeb

Zeb

25 March 2020
Hi i'm looking to change credit cards and consolidate my cards to pay less interest
    Roland B Bleyer - CreditCard.com.au Founder

    Roland

    26 March 2020
    Hi Zeb, it makes sense. What cards do you currently have and how much is the balance on each? You can look to do a balance transfer of the debt.
Christina

Christina

13 February 2020
Hi, American Express card is offering 0% annual fees and 9% purchase rate, just wondering if this is the lowest rate in the market. I am looking for a no frills card and low purchase rate for emergency use. Please advise if their card is a good choice. Is there any other alternative for this type of deals? Thank you.
    Roland B Bleyer - CreditCard.com.au Founder

    Roland

    13 February 2020
    Hi Christina, if you can use AMEX and not get hit with any surcharges where you spend. Then the AMEX Low Rate is a good card. It has one of the lowest purchase rates in the market. Outside of AMEX then you could look at cards that have a 0% purchase rate for sometime (up to 14 months). Another option is community first- https://www.creditcard.com.au/mcgrath-pink-visa-card/
Natasha Zajaz

Natasha Zajaz

22 January 2020
I am wanting to apply for a CC so that I can purchase flights, accom ect for an overseas wedding. I will be able to pay this of over a period of time and can manage monthly payments. I wouldn’t mind travel insurance included? Thank you
    Roland B Bleyer - CreditCard.com.au Founder

    Roland

    23 January 2020
    Hi Natasha, the right card will depend on your income etc. Plus also how much you will spend and how long it will take you to pay off. Would be good if you could get a rewards card. So that you get points on your flights etc. Though they have high interest rates. Therefore this can be a problem if it takes to long to pay off. This offer is something that may be of interest. Have a look at the NAB Low Rate Platinum. It doesn't earn reward points. Though it has 0% for 15 months on purchases. So as long as you can pay the trip back during the intro period you pay no interest. Then it also comes with a range of complimentary insurances including overseas travel.
Cheryl

Cheryl

17 December 2019