No Annual Fee Credit Cards

Updated 5 August 2022

With these cards, you can save money on annual fees for either an introductory period, or as long as you keep the card. No annual fee cards often have less perks, but are great for simple, everyday use.

Most credit cards in Australia charge an annual fee, but you can get a credit card without one. Commonly known as no annual fee credit cards, they help you save up to $100 a year (or more!) by charging no ongoing fees for using the card.

What to know about no annual fee credit cards:

  • The no annual fee offer may be a permanent feature of the card or it might be a limited offer. If it’s a limited offer, you will be charged an annual fee from the second or third year.
  • No annual fee cards don’t usually offer perks such as rewards point.
  • You can also enjoy other benefits, such as 0% purchase rate or 0% balance transfer rates, with no annual fee cards.
We’ve found some no annual fee credit cards for you to compare below. If the annual fee is waived for only the first or second year, we’ve listed what it will be. Make sure you check what other fees and interest rates come with the card before you apply.
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Average card rating for this category
235 reviews for 25 cards listed
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Coles No Annual Fee Mastercard

6 reviews
$0 saved over 12 months

St.George Vertigo Credit Card

20 reviews
$0 saved over 32 months

Citi Rewards Card – Purchases and Balance Transfer Offer

6 reviews
$0 saved over 14 months

Virgin Money No Annual Fee Credit Card

19 reviews
$0 saved over 12 months

Citi Rewards Credit Card – Velocity Points Offer

1 review
$0 saved over 15 months

Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer – 0% Balance Transfer

61 reviews
$0 saved over 28 months

NAB Low Rate Credit Card

27 reviews
$0 saved over 32 months

American Express Low Rate Credit Card

2 reviews
$0 saved over months

NAB StraightUp Card

5 reviews
$0 saved over months

American Express Essential Credit Card

8 reviews
$0 saved over months

American Express Velocity Escape Credit Card

10 reviews
$0 saved over months

Qantas American Express Discovery Credit Card

3 reviews
$0 saved over months

American Express Cashback Credit Card

0 reviews
$0 saved over 0 months

American Express Velocity Business Charge Card

2 reviews
$0 saved over months

Is no annual fee right for you?

A credit card with no annual fee saves you from ongoing costs that add up over time. It’s perfect for anyone looking for a simple card with a few perks and a focus on saving money over features. Here’s how to know if a no annual fee card is right for you, and the full pros and cons.

No Annual Fee Cards 101

A no annual fee card doesn’t charge ongoing yearly fees, which will save you anywhere from $100 or less each year, up to $1,450 depending on the card.

While that seems like an unbeatable bonus, the decision to use a no annual fee card depends on how you’ll use your credit card each day, because they’re often lower in features and perks.

What’s the difference between a credit card with or without an annual fee?

Annual fees are charged by credit card providers to cover their costs, which is why a card with no annual fee may not include all the same bells and whistles.

Many no annual fee cards don’t offer rewards, frequent flyer points or discounts with partnering businesses, which might negate the savings on the annual fee.

That said, it’s worth comparing no annual fee cards because some offer an introductory fee-free period with all the rewards of a regular card, which might suit you if you’re looking at trialling a card, earning quick bonus points, or wanting to increase your credit score.

Or, you might just be looking for a simple card that’s as close to a free credit card as you can get.

What are the benefits of a no annual fee card?

  • Pay zero in annual fees to have the card, potentially saving hundreds of dollars.
  • No annual fee cards can still offer limited perks, like frequent flyer points and rewards per dollar spent.
  • Can be a great way to pay down debt by doing a zero-fee balance transfer and saving on the annual fee.

What are the cons of no annual fee cards?

  • No annual fee cards may not earn rewards points, or at least earn less points than cards with an annual fee. Typically, the higher the annual fee, the better the rewards and extras.
  • The no annual fee period may only be a limited time ($0 annual fee for the first year, for example).
  • A higher purchase rate often applies on no annual fee cards, which is why it’s important to pay your balance each month in full if you really want to get bang for your buck with this type of card. Check the purchase rate in our comparison guide, and particularly the balance transfer rate if you’re moving your debt from another card. Balance transfers on no annual fee cards often attract the higher cash advance rate once the introductory interest-free period is over.

Who suits a no annual fee card?

There’s no such thing as a free credit card, because there’s always the risk of paying interest on your balance if it’s not paid off in full each month.

But, if you’re diligent about repayments, a no annual fee credit card will cost you nothing to keep in your wallet, which can be a great option for the right person.

A no annual fee card is perfect for:

  • First-time credit card holders as a way to build a credit score, without paying ongoing fees.
  • Having as an emergency card or for infrequent use.
  • Those who pay off their credit card each month in full, and don’t carry any balance over to the next month (so you’ll have no out-of-pocket expenses for your credit card).
  • Anyone who is happy to casually earn rewards and frequent flyer points, or none at all..
  • Those who track their credit card use and switch to a new provider when the annual fee is about to kick in, if it’s an introductory offer.

When another card might be a better option:

Comparing cards for the best no annual fee deal

When you’re using our comparison guide, you’ll find some cards waive the annual fee for life, while others have conditions applied. You’ll see the details alongside each credit card to make it easy for you to compare.

When comparing, look for factors like:

Annual fee: is it free for life or just for a limited time? (A limited time annual fee waiver can still be a good option if you cancel the card before the offer ends).

Balance transfer: what’s the purchase rate (the interest charged) if you’re transferring a balance from one credit card to a no annual fee card? Some cards don’t allow interest free periods on a balance transfer.

Interest free days: some no annual fee cards don’t offer interest free periods.

Purchase rate: it’s not uncommon for no annual fee cards to have a slightly higher purchase rate, or apply the cash advance rate after an interest free period. If you plan to pay off your card in full each month, the purchase rate isn’t as important overall.

Rewards earn: some cards still offer rewards on your spending, but check if the no annual fee waiver may be an introductory offer only. You can also look for bonus offers that include annual fee waivers, like the Qantas American Express Discovery Card that offers uncapped Qantas points with a free-for-life no annual fee as a limited time offer.

Other benefits: does the card have any other helpful discounts, privileges or incentives?

Previous cardholder: some no annual fee cards are only available to new customers.

All rates, fees and offers correct at the time of publication as of 22nd September 2021.

No annual fee cards are simple credit cards that help lower ongoing costs. They’re a good choice if:

  • You want to save money. A no annual fee card lowers the ongoing costs of keeping a credit card to zero (as long as you avoid interest as well).
  • You want a basic card. No annual fee cards tend to have fewer extras on offer, which suits those looking for simplicity, or to build a credit score.
  • You don’t use your card that often. With a no annual fee card, you can use it when you need it, without paying an ongoing fee for the privilege.
  • You want a credit card for emergencies. A no annual fee card is there when you need it, helping you cover unexpected costs. And when you don’t need it, you’re not paying for it.

While some cards charge no annual fee for the life of the card, others provide no annual fee deals that expire after certain criteria are met.

Here are the two types of no annual fee offers to keep an eye out for:

No Annual Fee Introductory Offer

Most introductory offers waive the first years’ annual fee. Once the time period has ended, you’ll pay the standard card fee. This type of offer can provide a great way to trial a card as a new cardholder, or see how much you benefit from the rewards it offers.

You could then cancel the card before the introductory offer expires, or continue using it if the annual fee is affordable or outweighed by the card’s rewards program and benefits.

No Annual Fee After Meeting A Minimum Spend

With this type of card, you pay no annual fee as long as you spend a certain amount on the card each year. As long as you can afford to spend this amount – and you pay it off each month before it starts accruing interest – this can provide an easy way to make use of the card’s features while saving on ongoing fees.

Yes! Although they’re a more basic form of credit card, plenty of providers still offer bonuses like rewards points, cashback and gift cards. For example, the Coles No Annual Fee Mastercard gives $100 off your Coles shopping when you spend $1500 on eligible purchases within 60 days.

You’ll also find offers on balance transfers, low purchase rates, and free additional cardholders. Easy summaries of introductory offers can be found in our comparison guide alongside each card.

Comparing a no annual fee card to the benefits of a rewards card is a totally personal decision.

You can work it out by comparing the annual fee to the rewards earn rate to calculate which one would benefit you more over the course of a year. For example, the popular ANZ Rewards Platinum credit card charges $95 annual fee and earns 2 points per $1 up to $2000 per month, and 0.5 per $1 thereafter.

22,225 points will get you a $100 Woolworths gift card (although points can be spent on travel and merchandise at various rates), so you’d need to spend around $926 per month on your card to outweigh your annual fee with a gift card redemption.

Typically, the higher the annual fee, the better the rewards, so you’ll need to run some comparisons on rewards cards to see if it’s a good fit for you.

Plenty of no annual fee cards offer zero fees for a balance transfer, and an introductory 0% rate. Be aware that it’s common for balance transfers to have a high purchase rate or the cash advance rate applied after the waived period. If you can set up a plan to pay off your debt within the 0% timeframe, you’ll have paid no interest and no fees for the privilege of being debt-free.

Compare the options on the best Qantas and Frequent Flyer comparison guide and select the arrow to sort by annual fees. You’ll find most cards with great frequent flyer incentives also charge higher annual fees, but providers regularly offer bonuses or 12-month no annual fee offers.

The American Express Velocity Escape Credit Card and Qantas American Express Discovery Credit Card are solid performers who usually offer low or no annual fees and reasonable frequent flyer earn rates, and are worth checking out.

Also look for:

Bonus points offers: some cards offer big sign-up bonus points, although the annual fee waiver is most likely to be for the first 12 months, and can be quite high thereafter.

Points per dollar: a no or low annual fee card with frequent flyer points may have a lower earn rate, such as 0.75 points per dollar rather than 1 or 2.

Other benefits: many credit cards offer other bonuses like discounts on merchandise and entertainment, free travel insurance and perks on holidays and car hire. Sometimes the perks can outweigh the annual fee, so make sure you’re choosing a card that benefits your lifestyle.

No annual fee cards still attract the same penalties and fees as other credit cards, including:

Cash advance fees: you should always avoid withdrawing cash from your credit card because it attracts interest immediately, which will hurt your wallet more with the higher purchase rates attached to most no annual fee cards. Some cards charge up to 22% interest on cash advances, so it’s best to avoid the practice altogether.

Late payment penalties: if you’re late on your minimum payments, you’ll be charged a late fee as per standard credit card custom. You can avoid this by setting up automatic payments from your bank account. Many providers give you the option to autopay the full amount each month so you never have to pay interest.

Currency conversion fees: when you buy from an overseas merchant or you’re travelling internationally, your spending may include a foreign exchange fee, usually a percentage of the purchase amount. Some providers waive this fee, so check the card’s terms and conditions if you’re a frequent global spender.

Once you’ve found a card that suits you using our comparison guide, you can click through to the provider’s online application form and apply directly.

You’ll need to provide some details like identification, bank statements, and payslips, and meet certain eligibility criteria such as age and proof of residency.

Pauline Hatch

Pauline Hatch is a personal finance expert at Creditcard.com.au with 8 years of finance writing under her belt. She loves turning complex money concepts into simple, practical actions so you can win financially. You can ask Pauline any questions by submitting a comment below and get a personal reply.

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112 questions (showing the latest 10 Q&As)

Chris

Chris

12 July 2022
I’m looking for credit card that has bonus points for new customer, no an fee and lounge access with flight points.
    Pauline - CreditCard.com.au

    Pauline

    13 July 2022
    Hi Chris, quite a specific list you have there, good to see. There’s a few things to unpack here. The first is that no annual fee cards are generally no-frills cards. By not charging an annual fee there’s no extras available to you. Some rewards cards do offer a first year fee waiver though! Bonus points cards with lounge access will most of the time attract an annual fee to offset the perks you get. You can use our comparison tool to see some of the credit cards with bonus point special offers or credit cards with priority pass access. Some of the cards also offer no annual fee and lounge access. Click the “heart” icon to add the card to your shortlist so you can compare them side-by-side. Hopefully this has given you a few starters!
David Bodycottg

David Bodycottg

2 June 2022
What's the best credit card for me?
    Pauline - CreditCard.com.au

    Pauline

    3 June 2022
    Hi David, the best card comes down to what you need and how you plan to use it. You’ll need to compare such things as interest rate, annual fee, balance transfer offers or whether you want a credit card that earns rewards among others. We’ve written detailed guides to help you navigate the credit card landscape as well as expert reviews of the credit cards in Australia.
Leo

Leo

20 May 2022
What is minimum credit i can have
    Pauline - CreditCard.com.au

    Pauline

    23 May 2022
    Hi Leo, the credit limit will be set by the card issuer depending on several factors. These include your credit score, eligibility to pay, any other debts, annual income, etc. These are not the only factors, banks also have their own internal criteria they don’t publish. I strongly encourage you to read the card’s terms, conditions, and TMD before applying.
Gary

Gary

14 April 2022
What the definition/meaning of purchase rate
    Pauline - CreditCard.com.au

    Pauline

    19 April 2022
    Hi Gary, good question! The purchase rate is the interest rate applied to any purchases you make in-store or online.
Alan

Alan

19 March 2022
Why does the filter on this website not work? I selected it to display results by purchase percentage rate (low to high) and it completely failed to do so. If this isn't fixed the site is useless.
    Pauline - CreditCard.com.au

    Pauline

    23 March 2022
    Hi Alan, thanks for the feedback on the site's functionality. We’ve passed it on to our engineering team to investigate.
Barb.Ann

Barb.Ann

4 March 2022
I am not a big spender on my Visa Low Interest ard through Bank of Queensland. I have just been charged $5 annual fee but what made me angry was a $30 late payment fee. I did not pay on Feb. 28th due to woying about the war in Ukraine and friends suffering floods. I also had a house guest from Melbourne. I paid my account in full (like II usually do) on Marh 2nd.. After contacting the Call entre I was told they would waive the late fee but would not credit my account until April. I have been a long///loyal user. I am a Pensioner, I have no debts of any I think it could be good money management to use the Coles Mastercard for all my expenditure Woiuld I be eligible fo a Coles Masrercard??? Thank You for your ressponse.Babara
    Pauline - CreditCard.com.au

    Pauline

    7 March 2022
    Hi Barb, thanks for your message and you’re right, there’s definitely a lot going on in the world today. We can’t comment on your eligibility for a Coles credit card, but what card you apply for will come down to your usage. For the Coles card you mentioned you’ll need to have a clean credit file, Minimum income of $25,000 p.a., be an Australian permanent resident and have your details ready to apply online. Let us know how you go!
Shayne

Shayne

10 February 2022
I am on an aged pension with an additional $6K pension from the UK. Do I qualify for a credit card? If so, I am a secondary card holder on my deceased husbands ANZ card. Will that affect my application?
    Pauline - CreditCard.com.au

    Pauline

    11 February 2022
    Hi Shayne, we can’t comment on whether you can or can’t get a credit card - that’s entirely up to the bank's discretion. However, we did reach out to a few banks around their criteria for pensioner credit cards. We hope you find the information in that guide helpful!
Azeem

Azeem

5 February 2022
Hi, I already have ANZ rewards platinum credit card. Can you please suggest me any other good credit card within ANZ for rewards ?
    Pauline - CreditCard.com.au

    Pauline

    8 February 2022
    Hi again Azeem, you can use our ANZ credit cards comparison tool to check the other cards they have that we have access and to compare the different offers they have side by side to check what card suits you best. It’s worth calling out that you may not be eligible for any bonus points. The ANZ site states you’ll miss out on bonus points if “you currently hold and haven’t opened or closed an ANZ Frequent Flyer Black, ANZ Frequent Flyer Platinum, ANZ Frequent Flyer Gold or an ANZ Frequent Flyer credit card in the last 12 months”. If you’re looking for a rewards credit card, our comparison tool will show you some of the cards in the market right now.
Dennis

Dennis

18 December 2021
If I had $10.000 Dollars and put it in a account how much interest
    Pauline - CreditCard.com.au

    Pauline

    20 December 2021
    Hi Dennis, we’re not quite sure what you mean by this. Could you please elaborate more. Are you looking to pre-load up your card with cash, or are you looking for an interest bearing account? Looking forward to hearing back from you.
Yash Khandare

Yash Khandare

29 November 2021
I am looking for an Introductory Sign-Up Rewards Bonus Credit Card. However, without any Visa restrictions, since I am not a PR holder. Annual fees and interest rate is not a concern.
    Pauline - CreditCard.com.au

    Pauline

    30 November 2021
    Hi Yash, it will all come down to what type of visa you are on. If you’re on the 457, you can check out our guide to credit cards for 457 holders. If you’re on another type of Visa you can compare some of the credit cards for temporary residents. You can sort by annual fee and interest rate, and click “save card” to add it to your shortlist to compare. Happy hunting!
S

S

28 November 2021
i have 5 credit cards, all are paid. can I combine into one card ?
    Pauline - CreditCard.com.au

    Pauline

    29 November 2021
    Hi there, thanks for writing in. If you’re looking to combine all your cards, you should work out what is more important to you with your plastic. Do you want rewards, no annual fee or low interest rates. Have a read of our guide on choosing what card is best for you to help narrow down your choices. Choosing what card you may apply for comes down to what you will use it for. Good luck in your search!
elle

elle

28 October 2021
I'm looking for a credit card with no annual fee, lowest interest rate and with a credit limit of $500
    Pauline - CreditCard.com.au

    Pauline

    29 October 2021
    Hi Elle, the credit limit is actually approved by the credit card provider depending on a range of factors like your credit score, annual income, debt serviceability etc.Right now, there are a few credit cards that do not have an annual fee that also have either a low or zero purchase rate. These include the Virgin Money No Annual Fee Credit Card and NAB StraightUp Card. The range of “no interest, monthly fee” credit cards could be worth comparing too. Thanks for your question.
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