Low Rate Cards
Low Fee Cards
Frequent Flyer Cards
How much do you prefer to pay off your monthly credit card bill?
I'd prefer to just pay the minimum
What are you looking for from a credit card?
A simple card without the extras
A card with extra features like travel insurance or concierge service
Which rewards types will you redeem the most?
Cashback / Shopping Vouchers / Online shopping
Flights and Airline Discounts
With ongoing purchase rates starting at 6.64% p.a on low rate cards, and up to 400,000 bonus rewards points for sign up offers, now could be a good time to see how your credit card stacks up.
Credit Card Rewards - September 17th
Can you pay your rent with a credit card? The bottom line is when it comes to payment of your rent, it depends on whether your real estate agent or landlord offers credit card options. If you…– Read more
Credit Cards - August 23rd
The level of credit card debt held by Australians was also brought into focus recently by a report from the financial services regulator ASIC. It found that nearly 1 in 5 Australian consumers are struggling with…– Read more
Credit Cards - August 22nd
Here we explain what happens to debt, such as outstanding credit card balances, when a person passes away. This is particularly relevant for many Australians, as according to a 2017 review by ASIC, outstanding credit card…– Read more
CANSTAR uses a sophisticated and unique star ratings methodology to compare credit cards. We compare a wide range of credit card products in Australia and present the results in a simple, user-friendly format. Our rating methodology for comparing credit cards is transparent and extensive.
CANSTAR’s methodology compares all types of personal unsecured credit cards in Australia and accounts for an array of characteristics such as:
The results are reflected in a consumer-friendly 5-star concept, with 5 stars denoting a product offering outstanding value.
A credit card is a form of unsecured personal loan that gives the cardholder access to a revolving line of credit. That line of credit is accessed via a small, plastic card – the credit card.
The cardholder can make purchases up to a specified limit. The ‘spent’ credit can be repaid by the cardholder to the bank by the due date in full or in part. If the credit is only repaid in part, the remaining balance is taken as extended credit and interest will be charged on that amount until the cardholder repays it. For some cards, interest is charged on all purchases and transactions from the day of the transaction.
A credit card can present a higher personal risk to customers financially. It can make it all too easy to spend on impulse if you’re not disciplined about how and when you use the card. Credit cards also typically have high interest rates than other forms of credit such as personal loans, because they are an unsecured debt.
However, credit cards can be useful for a variety of reasons if used responsibly:
There are several different types of credit card, each of which can be compared on the CANSTAR website:
Then there’s the question of MasterCard vs Visa, or AMEX vs Diner’s Club. In terms of credit card providers, your lender can offer you different credit cards depending on which card payment service they partner with:
There is a wealth of different features that are available with credit cards, with options to suit all sorts of needs and budgets. It’s important to consider your circumstances when choosing which credit card is right for you, including:
CANSTAR rates rewards programs for four different levels of annual spending on your credit card – $12,000/year, $24,000/year, $60,000/year, and $120,000/year. A summary of features that we look for in an outstanding value credit card is contained in the Methodology attached to our Credit Card Star Ratings report.
Written by: TJ Ryan
Please note that these are a general explanation of the meaning of terms used in relation to credit cards.
Your bank or financial institution may use different terms, and you should read the terms and conditions of your credit card carefully to understand all rewards, features, fees and charges, and interest rates that may apply to your card.
You cannot rely on these terms when buying a credit card. Refer to the product disclosure statement (PDS) for the credit card you are considering and CANSTAR’s Financial Services and Credit Guide (FSCG).
Annual fee: A fee charged annually for the use of the credit card. Find out the average annual fees on credit cards.
Balance transfer: Transferring the outstanding balance on your credit card to another card, usually one with a better (lower) rate as part of a special promotion.
Balance transfer fee: A fee charged when you make a balance transfer. It may be a flat fee or a percentage of the amount you transfer.
Cash advance: Withdrawing cash from a line of credit, by using your credit card to get cash out from an ATM, buy foreign currency, buy traveller’s cheques, or pay a gambling debt. Usually incurs a cash advance fee and/or a higher interest rate.
Credit limit: The maximum amount you can spend with your credit card before having to pay off some of the balance. Find out how credit limits are determined.
Credit report or credit history: A report from a credit agency that contains a history of your payments on current and previous credit cards and loans. Lenders use your credit report to decide how likely you are to repay a future debt and whether or not to lend money to you. Find out what is included in your credit report.
Credit rating or credit score: A numerical score that represents your credit-worthiness, based on your credit repayment history. The score is based on whether you pay your bills on time, your current level of debt, the types of credit and loans you have, and the length of your credit history. Your credit rating is used by lenders when deciding whether or not to lend money to you. Find out how to check your credit rating.
Default: When a cardholder fails to make the minimum required payment on their credit card bill, loan, or other line of credit. Defaults are a serious black mark on your credit report and negatively affect your credit rating.
Interest rate: The rate at which your outstanding balance increases per month if your bill is not paid in full. Learn about how interest is calculated.
Interest-free days: The number of days you have to pay your bill in full before interest is charged on the outstanding balance. It is the period of time between the date of a purchase and when the payment is due. Learn about how interest-free days are calculated.
Introductory rate: An initial interest rate offered to entice new cardholders to sign up for a credit card. These rates usually begin low but revert to the standard rates after 6 months or so. Learn about introductory rates.
Minimum payment: The amount listed on your bill as the minimum your bank requires you to pay off your credit card balance for that month.
Penalty fees: Fees charged if you violate the terms of your cardholder agreement or other requirements related to your account. For example, your credit card company may charge a penalty fee if you make a late payment on your card or if you exceed your credit limit.
Pre-approval: An initial notification that a customer is likely to be approved for a certain credit limit if they apply for that type of credit card. This is based on the information the bank has about their credit history (as opposed to their official credit report), so it does not guarantee the customer will actually be approved if they apply.
Rewards program: Benefits that come from using a rewards credit card, in proportion to the amount of money spent. Rewards come in four main types: cash back, frequent flyer miles, merchandise (gift cards or general merchandise), and instant rewards (shopping discounts).
Below are some of our popular credit card providers we rate or view more here: