Could you save with a credit card that suits your spending habits?

 Millions of Australians could be saving around $250 a year by choosing a credit card better suited to their spending habits. 

Recent Reserve Bank of Australia research found many consumers failed to consider the way they spend when selecting a credit card.

RBA analyst Mary-Alice Doyle said the research also discovered that about 40% of credit card customers received benefits from rewards points and interest-free periods that outweighed the annual fees paid and interest payments accrued.

But the remaining 60% of Australians did not receive benefits that outweighed the cost of their cards.

“Moreover, most cardholders, including those who receive a net benefit, appear not to choose cards that best suit their use patterns,” Ms Doyle said in a report released in October.

Ms Doyle estimated that consumers could reduce their annual credit card costs by around $250 by choosing a more appropriate card.

However, she noted that the plethora of cards on offer with varying annual fees, interest rates, rewards, interest-free offers and late payment fees could make it hard to choose wisely.

With that in mind, below we reveal some of the most outstanding value credit cards rated by Canstar in our 2018 Credit Card Star Ratings across a range of customer profiles.

Canstar’s 2018 Credit Card Star Ratings

After analysing 195 credit cards from 61 institutions we rate, Canstar has announced the lenders that offered outstanding value to customers.

The 2018 Canstar Credit Card Star Ratings involved a sophisticated ratings methodology, unique to Canstar, which compared personal unsecured credit cards in Australia.

The average 5-Star rated low rate credit cards’ interest rate is 9.69% compared to the low rate market average of 16.28%.

To cover the majority of card spending habits, usage behaviours (which includes line of credit and use of Frequent Flyer points), and payment patterns (whether people pay the monthly balance or the minimum), the Canstar Research team adopted five different cardholder profiles, including:

  • Low Rate: for consumers seeking a credit card with a low interest rate and flexible repayment conditions.
  • Low Fee: for consumers seeking a credit card with low ongoing fees and who may be looking to access some premium card facilities.
  • Premium: for consumers seeking a credit card or charge card that comes with extensive benefits beyond the standard offerings. Rewards are generally an added benefit, but not a necessity.
  • Rewards: for consumers seeking a credit or charge card that gives them the optimal return on their everyday spending.
  • Frequent Flyer: for consumers seeking a credit card or charge card that will allow them to redeem points for flights.

Rewards, Frequent Flyer and Premium profiles are further broken down based on the annual purchases made on the credit card.

The annual spend amounts are $12,000, $24,000, $36,000, $60,000 and $120,000 for Rewards and Frequent Flyer cards and $24,000, $60,000 and $120,000 for Premium cards.

Canstar Research reviewed each card based on its comparative costs and features, such as rewards programs, premium card facilities, repayment capabilities and conditions to how interest is charged.

The recipients of our 2018 Credit Card Star Ratings are listed below.

Outstanding value credit cards

Listed in the tables below are the 5-Star rated Outstanding Value winners for each profile considered in this year’s ratings listed in alphabetical order.

Outstanding Value – Low Rate Credit Card

The following Low Rate credit cards received a 5-Star rating in October 2018:

Company Name Product Name
American Express Low Rate Credit Card
Australian Unity Low Rate Visa
Auswide Bank Low Rate Visa
Bank Australia Low Rate Visa Credit Card
Bank First Visa Platinum Credit Card
Bank of us Visa Credit Card
Community First CU Low Rate Black Visa
Community First CU McGrath Pink Visa
Easy Street Financial Services Easy Low Rate Visa
Endeavour Mutual Bank Visa Credit Card
G&C Mutual Bank Low Rate Visa Credit Card
Nexus Mutual Low Rate Platinum Credit Card
Northern Inland CU Low Rate Visa Credit Card
Police Bank Visa Credit Card
SCU Low Rate Visa Credit Card
Teachers Mutual Bank Credit Card
UniBank Visa Credit Card
Woolworths Employees CU Low Rate Credit Card
Source: Canstar Credit Card Star Ratings, October 2018.

Compare Low Rate Credit Cards

Outstanding Value – Low Fee Credit Card

The following Low Rate credit cards received a 5-Star rating in October 2018:

Company Name Product Name
American Express Essential Credit Card
American Express Low Rate Credit Card
Bank Australia Visa Credit Card
Bank First Visa Classic Credit Card
BankVic Visa Silver
Bankwest Zero Platinum Mastercard
Heritage Bank Gold Low Rate
Horizon Credit Union Visa Credit Card
Hume Bank Value
ING Orange One
ME frank credit card
Northern Inland CU Low Rate Visa Credit Card
QBANK Bluey Card
Qudos Bank Lifestyle
Teachers Mutual Bank Credit Card
UniBank Visa Credit Card
Source: Canstar Credit Card Star Ratings, October 2018.

Compare Low Fee Credit Cards

Outstanding Value – Rewards Credit Card – $12,000 Annual Spend

The following Rewards credit cards, with an annual spend of $12,000, received a 5-Star rating in October 2018:

Company Name Product Name
American Express Essential Credit Card
American Express David Jones Card – Rewards Option
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
Jetstar Platinum Mastercard – Rewards Option
Source: Canstar Credit Card Star Ratings, October 2018.

Compare Rewards Credit Cards

Outstanding Value – Rewards Credit Card – $24,000 Annual Spend

The following Rewards credit cards, with an annual spend of $24,000, received a 5-Star rating in October 2018:

Company Name Product Name
American Express David Jones Card – Rewards Option
American Express Essential Credit Card
Jetstar Platinum Mastercard – Rewards Option
Latitude Financial Services Latitude Infinity Rewards
Summerland Credit Union Rewards Card
Source: Canstar Credit Card Star Ratings, October 2018.

Compare Rewards Credit Cards

Outstanding Value – Rewards Credit Card – $36,000 Annual Spend

The following Rewards credit cards, with an annual spend of $36,000, received a 5-Star rating in October 2018:

Company Name Product Name
American Express David Jones Card – Rewards Option
American Express David Jones Platinum Card – Rewards Option
Jetstar Platinum Mastercard – Rewards Option
Jetstar Mastercard – Rewards Option
Latitude Financial Services Latitude Infinity Rewards
Summerland Credit Union Rewards Card
Source: Canstar Credit Card Star Ratings, October 2018.

Compare Rewards Credit Cards

Outstanding Value – Rewards Credit Card – $60,000 Annual Spend

The following Rewards credit cards, with an annual spend of $60,000, received a 5-Star rating in October 2018:

Company Name Product Name
American Express David Jones Card – Rewards Option
American Express David Jones Platinum Card – Rewards Option
Coles Rewards Mastercard
Jetstar Platinum Mastercard – Rewards Option
Latitude Financial Services Latitude Infinity Rewards
Summerland Credit Union Rewards Card
Source: Canstar Credit Card Star Ratings, October 2018.

Compare Rewards Credit Cards

Outstanding Value – Rewards Credit Card – $120,000 Annual Spend

The following Rewards credit cards, with an annual spend of $120,000, received a 5-Star rating in October 2018:

Company Name Product Name
American Express David Jones Platinum Card – Rewards Option
American Express David Jones Card – Rewards Option
American Express Explorer Credit Card
Coles Rewards Mastercard
Jetstar Platinum Mastercard – Rewards Option
Source: Canstar Credit Card Star Ratings, October 2018.

Compare Rewards Credit Cards

Outstanding Value – Frequent Flyer Credit Card – $12,000 Annual Spend

The following Frequent Flyer credit cards, with an annual spend of $12,000, received a 5-Star rating in October 2018:

Company Name Product Name
American Express David Jones Card – Qantas Option
American Express Essential Credit Card
American Express Explorer Credit Card
American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card
American Express Qantas Discovery Card
American Express Velocity Escape Card
ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures Card
Source: Canstar Credit Card Star Ratings, October 2018.

Compare Rewards Credit Cards

Outstanding Value – Frequent Flyer Credit Card – $24,000 Annual Spend

The following Frequent Flyer credit cards, with an annual spend of $24,000, received a 5-Star rating in October 2018:

Company Name Product Name
American Express David Jones Card – Qantas Option
American Express David Jones Card – Rewards Option
American Express Essential Credit Card
American Express Explorer Credit Card
American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card
American Express Velocity Escape Card
ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures Card
Source: Canstar Credit Card Star Ratings, October 2018.

Compare Frequent Flyer Credit Cards

Outstanding Value – Frequent Flyer Credit Card – $36,000 Annual Spend

The following Frequent Flyer credit cards, with an annual spend of $36,000, received a 5-Star rating in October 2018:

Company Name Product Name
American Express David Jones Card – Qantas Option
American Express David Jones Platinum Card – Qantas Option
American Express Explorer Credit Card
American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card
American Express Velocity Escape Card
American Express Velocity Platinum Card
Diners Club Australia Personal Dual Card
Source: Canstar Credit Card Star Ratings, October 2018.

Compare Frequent Flyer Credit Cards

Outstanding Value – Frequent Flyer Credit Card – $60,000 Annual Spend

The following Frequent Flyer credit cards, with an annual spend of $60,000, received a 5-Star rating in October 2018:

Company Name Product Name
American Express David Jones Card – Qantas Option
American Express David Jones Platinum Card – Qantas Option
American Express David Jones Platinum Card – Rewards Option
American Express Explorer Credit Card
American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card
American Express Velocity Platinum Card
Diners Club Australia Personal Dual Card
Source: Canstar Credit Card Star Ratings, October 2018.

Compare Frequent Flyer Credit Cards

Outstanding Value – Frequent Flyer Credit Card – $120,000 Annual Spend

The following Frequent Flyer credit cards, with an annual spend of $120,000, received a 5-Star rating in October 2018:

Company Name Product Name
American Express David Jones Card – Qantas Option
American Express David Jones Platinum Card – Qantas Option
American Express David Jones Platinum Card – Rewards Option
American Express Explorer Credit Card
American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card
American Express Velocity Platinum Card
Diners Club Australia Personal Dual Card
Source: Canstar Credit Card Star Ratings, October 2018.

Compare Frequent Flyer Credit Cards

Outstanding Value – Premium Credit Card – $24,000 Annual Spend

The following Premium credit cards, with an annual spend of $24,000 received a 5-Star rating in October 2018:

Company Name Product Name
ANZ Rewards Platinum
ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures Card
Bendigo Bank Platinum Rewards Mastercard
Commonwealth Bank Platinum Awards – Rewards Option
Commonwealth Bank Diamond Awards – Rewards Option
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
Jetstar Platinum Mastercard – Rewards Option
RACQ Bank Platinum Rewards Mastercard
Source: Canstar Credit Card Star Ratings, October 2018.

Compare Frequent Flyer Credit Cards

Outstanding Value – Premium Credit Card – $60,000 Annual Spend

The following Premium credit cards, with an annual spend of $60,000 received a 5-Star rating in October 2018:

Company Name Product Name
ANZ Rewards Platinum
Bendigo Bank Platinum Rewards Mastercard
Commonwealth Bank Platinum Awards – Rewards Option
Commonwealth Bank Diamond Awards – Rewards Option
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
Jetstar Platinum Mastercard – Rewards Option
RACQ Bank Platinum Rewards Mastercard
Source: Canstar Credit Card Star Ratings, October 2018.

Compare Premium Credit Cards

Outstanding Value – Premium Credit Card – $120,000 Annual Spend

The following Premium credit cards, with an annual spend of $120,000 received a 5-Star rating in October 2018:

Company Name Product Name
ANZ Rewards Platinum
Bendigo Bank Platinum Rewards Mastercard
Commonwealth Bank Diamond Awards – Rewards Option
Commonwealth Bank Platinum Awards – Rewards Option
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
Jetstar Platinum Mastercard – Rewards Option
Macquarie Bank Black Card – Macquarie Rewards
RACQ Bank Platinum Rewards Mastercard
Source: Canstar Credit Card Star Ratings, October 2018.

Compare Premium Credit Cards

To find the card type that best suits your spending needs, it could be worth checking out our guide on how to choose a credit card.

For more information about the 2018 Credit Card Star Ratings and how they were calculated, please view the ratings methodology:

View Methodology

Compare Credit Cards with Canstar

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