Low Interest Rate Credit Cards

Updated 1 July 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.

Recently Asked Questions

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57 questions (showing the latest 10 Q&As)

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
I have a velocity debit card and im on an Age pension can i apply for a virgin low interest credit card to transfer $6000 card balance ?
    Roland B Bleyer - CreditCard.com.au Founder

    Roland

    18 December 2019
    Hi Cheryl, Virgin are not very pensioner friendly. You would need to have income outside of the pension to apply. Even though its a low rate card, it still requires at least $35,000 income to apply. I would try a bigger bank such as ANZ with the low rate Mastercard. Though you will need good credit and also be able to show that you can afford the card.
Lisa

Lisa

22 October 2019
I want a credit card where I can get interested free for 12 months plus but can make monthly payments
Glen King

Glen King

26 July 2019
Which is the cheapest no frills, low fees visa credit card? It has to be a visa card.
George

George

13 July 2019
What’s the best credit card for everyday purchase, 1 international trip every year and 2-3 domestic travel every year
    Roland B Bleyer - CreditCard.com.au Founder

    Roland

    16 July 2019
    Hi George, it depends on how much you spend each month and if you pay off your balance in full or not. I like the HSBC Platinum Qantas for lower spenders. Great earn rate and features for a low annual fee.
Paul Ovens

Paul Ovens

9 June 2019
Im looking for a credit car that I can get as much air miles as possible preferably emirates
    Roland B Bleyer - CreditCard.com.au Founder

    Roland

    11 June 2019
    Hi Paul, out of all, I would say the AMEX Platinum card would be best. 2 MR = 1 Skyward Mile, uncapped. So you can rocket them in. Qantas are a partner airline with Emirates. Therefore you can look at Qantas point earning cards. The right card will depend on how much you are likely to spend each month. If you can let me know that amount. I can provide some suggestions. Otherwise check out https://www.creditcard.com.au/frequent-flyer-credit-cards/. Use the sliders to put your monthly spend in. Then get a guide of how many points you would earn from that spend per card.
Dana

Dana

5 June 2019
Hi Roland ! Thank you for answering all our queries . I have been paying off my personal loan from 40k- down to 20k with no missed payments, a good credit history and I am employed and a resident. I do pay close to $400 interest per month - Which 0% interest credit card can you suggest for me please? More than 12 months please Kind regards, Dana
    Roland B Bleyer - CreditCard.com.au Founder

    Roland

    7 June 2019
    Hi Dana, Citi are the only provider that can take personal loan debt as part or all of a balance transfer. As long as the personal loan debt is not Citi then you have some options. Firstly, check out the Citi Rewards Platinum with 0% for 26 months. Virgin cards are issued via Citi also. Therefore the Virgin Flyer balance transfer could work out. It has 0% for 18 months on balance transfer with no balance transfer fee. If you feel you could pay off in 18 months or around $1112 a month. Then this could be a good option as its reduced fee. Let me know if neither of these work for you.
Courtney

Courtney

25 April 2019
Hi, I’ve never had a credit card before. I’m after something with as little fees as possible, something that I will only be using every now and then if I have a short pay or for emergencies. What would be best? I’m also unsure how the fees work, what do I pay interest on, the whole amount or just the money I use? And how does paying it back work? Can I cancel at any time as long as I’ve paid my debt back? Thanks
    Roland B Bleyer - CreditCard.com.au Founder

    Roland

    29 April 2019
    Hi Courtney, with credit cards, you only pay interest on the amount you are using. If you can pay the card off in full each month. Then this will help you afford paying any interest. A no annual fee card like the Citi Simplicity could work. This way you are not paying an annual fee for minor use. You can cancel any credit card at any time you can pay the debt back in full.
Kurtis

Kurtis

7 April 2019
Hi Roland can you please help me out with the best low interest rate plus transfer fee with a card limit of around 5k.im also wanting to transfer a balance from another card I have to the one you would recommend.if there is a possibility of no payment Pa also that would be great.looking to move away from st george bank also.thanks for any recommendations Roland. Regards Kurtis
    Roland B Bleyer - CreditCard.com.au Founder

    Roland

    8 April 2019
    Hi Kurtis, you will always need to make minimum payments. Even if you are on a 0% balance transfer. The Westpac Low Rate could be an option. It has no balance transfer fee. A reasonable annual fee and 0% for 18 months on balance transfer. It will accept St George credit card debt. Let me know if you would like some more options.
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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