Low interest credit cards

Why pay more when you don't have to?

Are you paying double-digit credit card interest?

Have you just received a big Christmas credit card bill? You're in good company since about 30% of Australians carry a balance on their credit card and end up paying interest. But there's no need to despair, there are plenty of low-rate credit cards that can really speed up the process of paying down the debt once and for all.

Standard and rewards credit cards from ANZ, CBA, GE Money, NAB and Westpac still charge around 20% interest, so unless you enjoy paying more than you have to, now's a good time to find a better rate.

Sometimes all it takes is a phone call to your credit card provider. For example, the big banks all offer low-rate cards that charge less than 14% interest, a rate cut of about six percent. But if you really want to get smarter with your money, look for a good low-interest credit card.

When we investigated the market in November 2014, our top-ranked low-rate card, the Community First McGrath Pink Visa, charged 8.99% for both purchases and cash advances. That offer is still on the table from Community First – but now Quay Credit Union offers an even better rate of 7.99% on purchases and cash advances.

Looking to save on health insurance? Compare the best funds in our health insurance reviews.

What makes a good low-rate card?

Interest rates are arguably the most important consideration when it comes to picking a credit card, but other factors should be taken into account. The top things to consider are:

Rates for cash advances: with the best of the low-interest cards, they generally hover in the 10% to 11% range.

Annual fees: Your low-interest card can really lose its sparkle if you get hit with high annual fees. They can range from $0 to $99, so be sure to check before you apply for a new card. 

Interest-free days: Most low-rate credit cards offer interest-free days. Yours should too.

Late payment fees: These should be reasonable, not punitive. They can range from $0 to $25 with low-interest cards, and many of credit cards charge $10 or less.

Credit cards compared

Low rate cards from the big banks
Interest rate (18 January 2016*)
American Express
Low rate credit card 11.99%
Low rate credit card 13.49%
Commonwealth Bank Low rate credit card 13.49%
Low rate credit card 13.99%
Vertigo credit card
Westpac Low rate credit card
Cards with the lowest rates in the market
Interest rate (18 January 2016*)
Quay Credit Union Visa 7.99%
Community First Credit Union McGrath Pink Visa 8.99%
Bank Australia (Mecu) Low Rate Visa 9.89%
Me Bank
Frank credit card 9.99%
Victoria Teachers Mutual Bank
Visa Platinum credit card
G&C Mutual Bank
Low Rate credit card
Intech Credit Union
Titanium 55 credit card

*For today's rates see our comparison website.

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