Visa Credit Cards

Updated 24 January 2021

Visa is a global payment system available in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. The extensive network that first started in 1958 as a BankAmericard, now has over 2.4 billion Visa cards in use globally.

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HSBC Platinum Credit Card – 0% Balance Transfer Offer

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St.George Vertigo Credit Card

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Virgin Money No Annual Fee Credit Card

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BankSA Amplify Platinum Credit Card

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The power of Visa

Packed into that little piece of plastic is a whole world of functionality, offering cardholders not just a way to pay, but handy extras such as offers and entertainment perks, concierge services and insurance cover.

Accepted at 37 million merchants in more than 200 countries, Visa offers cardholders an easy way to pay, wherever they happen to be. But, what else does Visa have to offer? Packed into that little piece of plastic is a whole world of functionality, offering cardholders not just a way to pay, but handy extras such as offers and entertainment perks, concierge services and insurance cover.

If you’re thinking about applying for a Visa card, you probably want to know more about what’s on offer, so you can compare all your options. Fortunately, at CreditCard.com.au, we do all that hard work for you. Read on to find out more about the benefits Visa has to offer, what to look for in a Visa card, and whether Visa or Mastercard is better. Then it’s time to compare. Easy as that!

What is Visa?

Before we go any further, it’s important for us to understand exactly what Visa, as a company, actually does. Like Mastercard, Visa does not issue or distribute credit cards. Credit cards are issued by banks and other financial providers, who decide what each card will offer in features and extras, while also setting the annual fees and interest rates charged to cardholders.

While it may have its logo on the card, Visa is in fact, the payment network used by the card provider. That means Visa processes payments between card providers and merchants when purchases are made using the card. However, Visa does offer cardholders a range of benefits separate from those on offer from the card provider. Let’s have a look at those now.

What benefits does Visa have to offer?

Cashless Payments

Introduced back in 2011, Visa payWave offers cardholders the opportunity to save time at the checkout, allowing them to tap-and-go on purchases less than $100. For purchases of more than $100, the cardholder simple inserts or swipes their card and uses their PIN to authenticate the purchase.

Visa Checkout

Another time-saver, Visa Checkout helps makes online shopping easier when buying from partnered merchants, allowing cardholders to securely save their payment and shipping information for easy access during each purchase.

24/7 Customer Service

Visa cardholders can access Visa’s round-the-clock Global Customer Assistance Service to report lost or stolen cards anywhere in the world. Call 1800 450 346 (within Australia) or +1 303 967 1090 (from overseas).

Concierge Service

Platinum Visa cards may offer a global concierge service, available 24/7 to assist cardholders with tasks such as booking flights, buying tickets, making restaurant reservations or sending flowers to loved ones.

Complimentary Insurance Cover

Some Visa cards offer a selection of insurance covers to cardholders. These complimentary insurances can offer cover for purchases, with purchase cover insurance and extended warranty insurance, as well as travel cover, with interstate flight inconvenience insurance, international travel insurance and transit accident insurance.

Visa Premium

Cardholders who have Visa Premium, Signature or Infinite cards are provided a range of exclusive perks and benefits, such as concierge services, complimentary insurance cover, and privileges at a range of stores, hotels and restaurants.

Visa Offers

Designed to offers cardholders extra perks when using their card, Visa Offers provides exclusive offers and discounts with partnered merchants, from hotels and restaurants, to spas and retailers. Check out the full list of offers on the Visa website.

Visa Entertainment

Providing cardholders with a range of entertainment offers, Visa Entertainment provides access to exclusive competitions and pre-sale tickets for festivals and concerts, with the opportunity to sign up for email alerts.

Card Options

Offering more than just credit cards, Visa also offers debit cards (issued through financial providers such as banks and credit unions), and prepaid cards (again, issued by other providers, such as Australia Post). These cards allow cardholders to use their own money rather than accessing credit.

Online Security

Verified by Visa works to protect cardholders when using their Visa card online. As an optional service the cardholder must register for, Verified by Visa prompts the cardholder to enter a password or unique SMS code when making purchases at participating online stores.

Visa or Mastercard?

When comparing credit cards, most people don’t pay too much attention to whether the card they choose has a Visa or Mastercard logo on it. So, does it really make that much difference?

While Visa’s operation is much bigger than Mastercard’s, the service each company offers is pretty comparable, because, unlike American Express, Visa and Mastercard operate in a very similar way.

Where Visa and Mastercard function exclusively as payment-processing systems, American Express offers more of a one-stop-shop, not only processing payments, but also issuing its own cards.

This is one reason why credit card surcharges for Visa and Mastercard are usually lower than that of AmEx. It also explains why some retailers choose not to accept American Express, but will usually accept Visa and Mastercard. However, it is rare to find a retailer that accepts Visa but not Mastercard, and vice versa.

As for financial providers, in Australia, some have chosen an alliance with one payment processor over another. Within the Big 4, NAB’s agreement with Visa means it will only be issuing Visa cards, while Commonwealth Bank only issues Mastercard, and ANZ and Westpac both issue both products.

Visa and Mastercard make their money by charging the retailer for using their payment method, so the service and fees set out by Visa and Mastercard to each financial provider doesn’t differ much. That means it’s up to the financial provider to decide what to offer on each card.

As a cardholder, unless you have a specific preference for Visa or Mastercard, the logo on your card shouldn’t make too much difference. Both Visa and Mastercard offer comparable benefits, so it really depends on what the card issuer is willing to provide, not what Visa or Mastercard is offering.

What should I look for when comparing Visa cards?

When comparing Visa cards, there are some important factors to consider.

Interest Rates: When you don’t pay off your balance in full at the end of each statement period, the remaining balance will accrue interest at the card’s standard variable purchase rate. If you tend to carry a balance, that purchase rate will be very important, as the higher the rate, the more you will pay in interest.

Annual Fees: Big feature cards such as platinum cards and rewards cards tend to charge higher annual fees, however, no annual fee cards are available. Think about the value of the features the card has to offer – and whether you will actually benefit from those features – and weigh that against the annual fee.

Other Fees: Credit cards can charge a wide range of fees, such as foreign currency conversion fees, foreign currency cash advance fees, ATM cash advance fees, late payment fees, over the limit fees, dishonour fees and replacement card fees. Try to avoid unnecessary fees, or choose a card that does not charge fees that may affect you.

Complimentary Extras: Similar to the extras provided by Visa, card providers may also offer extras such as airport lounge access, retail and travel benefits, insurance cover or a concierge service. Cards offering these ‘complimentary’ extras usually have a higher annual fee, so make sure they are extras you will make use of.

Rewards: If you want a credit card with a rewards program, be sure to find out how many points you can earn on eligible purchases, what those points equate to in terms of reward value, and what rewards are on offer. Be sure to choose a rewards card that rewards the spending you do most, while giving you rewards you actually value.

Additional Cardholders: Having the ability to add an additional cardholder to a credit card account can be beneficial, especially within families. This can allow the main cardholder to track spending, while dealing with just one credit card account – and one credit card payment at the end of the month. With a rewards card, this can help cardholders earn points faster.

Interest Free Days: Many cards offer interest free days on purchases, as long as the cardholder clears their balance at the end of each statement period. Check out the terms and conditions to find out how many interest free days are on offer, and how the system works.

Introductory Offers: Designed to entice new cardholders to sign up for a card, introductory offers can provide special offers on balance transfers, purchase rates, rewards points and annual fees. If you plan to keep the card after the introductory period ends, make sure you understand how the offer works and what happens at the end of the offer.

Security Services: Just as Visa offers its own security, card issuers also provide additional security features for their cardholders, such as 24/7 fraud-monitoring services, daily transaction limits, or the ability to temporarily lock the card if it has been misplaced.

Credit Limit: Your credit limit will usually depend on your credit history and your current income, but it may also be affected by the card you are applying for. Low feature, low rate and low fee cards may come with a lower credit limit, while prestige cards may have a higher credit limit – and a higher minimum credit limit, as well.

Eligibility Requirements: As each card has different eligibility requirements, you should check your eligibility before applying. These requirements typically pertain to minimum annual income, credit history, age and residential status.

Recently Asked Questions

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18 questions (showing the latest 10 Q&As)

David

David

24 July 2021
I am a resident of Australia but I want to get a visa card in Canadian dollars and link it to a company I own in Canada. How can I get this done please?
Ben Copland

Ben Copland

7 July 2021
Hi, I don’t have a credit but received a phone call today with a recorded message asking about recent transactions and if I wanted to proceed or cancel the transactions by pressing 1 or 2 on the keypad.. I am concerned there’s a fake card with my name on it. What can I do to find out? Any help appreciated, thanks
    Roland B Bleyer - CreditCard.com.au Founder

    Roland

    9 July 2021
    Hi Ben, thanks for writing! I suggest calling your bank directly asap to check and get more information about what the call is about. Take a look through a few of our guides on credit card fraud and credit card scams for more information.
Sue

Sue

11 February 2019
what does the westpac 0% transfer from westpac mean
    Roland B Bleyer - CreditCard.com.au Founder

    Roland

    12 February 2019
    Hi Sue, a balance transfer must be between different banks. Therefore you cannot transfer a balance from one Westpac credit card to another.
Rachael Elson

Rachael Elson

16 January 2019
Hi this is Rachael, I would like to know if i'm eligible to get a credit card? I'm on a disability support pension
    Roland B Bleyer - CreditCard.com.au Founder

    Roland

    17 January 2019
    Hi Rachael, many banks do see the disability pension as income. Though approval will depend on a range of other factors. I suggest you look at a card like the ANZ Low Rate. It has a low minimum income requirement of $15,000. Your income v expenses, assets v liabilities and your credit history will play a large role in whether you are approved.
Colleen

Colleen

7 January 2019
Is there a low annual fee credit card that offers frequent flyer points?
ERIKA

ERIKA

4 January 2019
which card gives most reward points
    Roland B Bleyer - CreditCard.com.au Founder

    Roland

    4 January 2019
    Hi Erika, if you go to this page: https://www.creditcard.com.au/reward-credit-card-offers/. Then click on $1 earn rate to sort the column. Then the cards earning the highest points will be displayed first. Not all points have the same value. The amount you spend each month will have a big impact. The type of rewards you are after will have a big impact.
Frank

Frank

28 August 2018
Hello Roland, I would to pay my sister-in-law in Washington DC her visa credit card which she used to purchase a small item in the US and delivered to me here in Sydney. Unlike Amex where I can pay directly to their office is there a way to pay her credit card through a bank?
    Roland B Bleyer - CreditCard.com.au Founder

    Roland

    28 August 2018
    Hi Frank, what bank and credit card name is her card with? I am not sure that you would be able to pay off her card from here. Does she have a PayPal account? That would be an easier way to give her the funds then she can pay off the card herself. Additional you could send her a wire but the costs of doing so tends to be around $20 depending on your bank. There are apps out there also that can facilitate payments to people overseas at low cost.
Ron Stubbs

Ron Stubbs

3 July 2018
Have you come across any issues with the 28 Degree Mastercard?
    Roland B Bleyer - CreditCard.com.au Founder

    Roland

    3 July 2018
    Hi Ron, I have had my 28 Degrees credit card for nearly 10 years now and have not run into any issues with it.
Jenny

Jenny

26 June 2018
Is there a visa card that is equivelant to the 28 degree mastercard? Ie low fees and good exchange rate?
    Roland B Bleyer - CreditCard.com.au Founder

    Roland

    26 June 2018
    Hi Jenny, with no foreign fees and a great exchange rate. The only Visa credit card that comes to mind is the ANZ Rewards Travel Adventure. It has some great features with 40,000 bonus velocity points. You earn rewards points on your spend plus get a free return domestic flight a year to cover the annual fee.
jenny

jenny

22 June 2018
Do visa do a version of the 28 degree mastercard? My experience in south America was that a lot of businesses did not accept MC but did accept visa (which I didn't have)
    Roland B Bleyer - CreditCard.com.au Founder

    Roland

    26 June 2018
    Hi Jenny, For a Visa credit card without foreign fees, check out the ANZ Rewards Travel Adventure. Whilst it does not have no annual fee. It has a range of great feature such as travel insurance, reward points earning, lounge passes and more.
diane

diane

20 June 2018
looking at the Virgin low rate credit card it says $100 back on purchases when you spend %500 per mth for the1st three months - is this correct. I get $100 back on the cost of my purchases. Are points or frequenty flyers applicable after that.
    Roland B Bleyer - CreditCard.com.au Founder

    Roland

    21 June 2018
    Hi Diane, yes on the Virgin low rate offer you do get $100 cash back when you spend $500 within the first 3 months. There is not rewards program with the Virgin low rate card, thus no points earning.
Raymond Bell

Raymond Bell

14 June 2018
I have had a credit back into my c/card acc done this morning but it hasn't shown up into my acc yet. How long before it will ?
    Roland B Bleyer - CreditCard.com.au Founder

    Roland

    15 June 2018
    Hi Raymond, you will need to speak to your bank directly in regards to this. As a guide I would expect to see it reflected in your account over the next few days.
Ross Altmann

Ross Altmann

5 May 2018
On my statements i have been charged 6/2 cash adcance fee of 14.44 1/3 10.50 3/4 10.23 3/5 .15c. Please explain these fees.
    Roland B Bleyer - CreditCard.com.au Founder

    Roland

    7 May 2018
    Hi Ross, we are not your bank. You will need to contact your credit card company to query any charges on your account.
graham mcpherson

graham mcpherson

29 April 2018
I have made arrangements to travel overseas and attempted to charge my airfare to my visa card. it has been stopped by the bank. can I rely on the bank to pay for these fares. If not the air fares will be cancelled. This will effect my overseas expenses for accommodation etc.
    Roland B Bleyer - CreditCard.com.au Founder

    Roland

    29 April 2018
    Hi Graham, reach out to your bank ASAP. They sometimes put a temp block on cards if they think fraud could be occurring. They will be the only one that can assist you.
graham mcpherson

graham mcpherson

29 April 2018
Why has 3 bills to be paid by my visa card been stopped?
    Roland B Bleyer - CreditCard.com.au Founder

    Roland

    29 April 2018
    Hi Graham, you will need to contact your bank directly in regards to why any transactions have not been completed.
paula

paula

26 April 2018
Do you earn point of any sort with the Ignite paypass credit card. If not which card has no annual fee and earns me either frequent flyere or velocity points>
    Roland B Bleyer - CreditCard.com.au Founder

    Roland

    26 April 2018
    Hi Paula, Ignite does not earn points. There are 2 cards and they both come from AMEX. Therefore if AMEX is a problem then you will need to pay an annual fee to earn rewards. Have a look at the AMEX Qantas Discovery and AMEX Velocity Escape. Both these cards have great points earning with no annual fee for life. On Velocity points for a Visa the Virgin Flyer could work. It has a $129 annual fee but you receive this back in the form of a travel credit. For Qantas points earning. Something like the St George Amplify Platinum would be entry level at $99 annual fee.
susan

susan

23 April 2018
i have a westpac altitude visa credit card. how do i change to a Virgin australia velocity card?
    Roland B Bleyer - CreditCard.com.au Founder

    Roland

    25 April 2018
    Hi Susan, there are 2 different Virgin Flyer offers in market right now. The 0% for 14 months on purchase offer plus the more focused balance transfer offer for 18 months. Once you have decided which offer you are after. You simply apply online on the Virgin site. You can follow the links from my site. If you are transferring debt from your Westpac card. Then during the application process there is a balance transfer section. You complete the details of your Westpac Altitude card with the amount you wish to transfer. Once approved for the new card and once the debt of the Westpac card is $0. You then manually close the Westpac account. Now you are all set with your Virgin Flyer card. Best of luck with your application.
Carolyn

Carolyn

31 March 2018
In a few weeks I will be travelling to Europe for a good 3 weeks. As I’m going by myself and I’m visually impaired which card do you suggest.
    Roland B Bleyer - CreditCard.com.au Founder

    Roland

    3 April 2018
    Hi Carolyn, I suggest the 28 Degrees MasterCard. It has no annual fee and most importantly no fees on foreign purchases. This can save you a heap of money as most cards charge a 3% fee for foreign transactions. I myself have used this card in Europe many times over the past 8 years and still have this card in my wallet.
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