Australia’s Best Credit Cards for December 2021
It’s December and, come Christmas time, credit cards are a common and useful way to pay incrementally for just about anything you might need for the holiday season.
In Australia, there are a huge variety of credit cards on the market, so it’s important to consider what you want and find a credit card that suits your lifestyle and budget best.
With over 200 cards from 60 providers compared in the Mozo database, there is sure to be more than one that meets your needs. From premium rewards credit cards to cards with no annual fee, it’s key to know what you’re looking for in order to take advantage of the best credit card deals available.
The interest rate of a credit card will depend on the type of card you choose.
While the average interest rate across all credit cards in the Mozo database is 16.96%, rewards credit cards, which come with the ability to earn redeemable points and shopping perks, generally have higher rates - with an average rate of 19.86%. There are low rate credit cards, which have fewer perks but competitive rates (usually under 10% p.a.), as well as 0% p.a. interest rate offer credit cards, which charge no interest for an introductory period.
The money experts at Mozo keep track of credit cards from all types of Australian banking and finance institutions, from the Big Four banks to smaller customer-owned and specialist card providers - all of which are regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).
Best credit cards for December 2021
- American Express Low Rate Credit Card
- Bank of Melbourne Vertigo
- Paypal Rewards Card
- Bank SA No Annual Fee
- Bendigo Bank Low Rate Credit Card
- Coles No Annual Fee Mastercard
- NAB Qantas Rewards Signature Card
- American Express Explorer Credit Card
- Humm90 Mastercard
- NAB StraightUp
Expert recommendations: Mozo Experts Choice Award-winning best credit cards
To decide the winners of the Mozo Experts Choice Awards^, each year, Mozo’s team of finance experts assess and compare every credit card in our database to determine which ones offer Australians the best deals. In 2021, our data analysts compared 222 personal and 48 business credit card products issued by 75 Australian financial institutions, with only the best value in each category taking the titles.
Learn more about our rigorous selection process on the credit card awards page. Check out a selection of some the of Mozo Experts Choice Award winners:
Best Low Rate Credit Card
American Express Low Rate Credit Card
- 8.99% purchase rate and no annual fee
- No annual fee
- AMEX purchase protection
Why it won: With a low purchase rate of 8.99%, the American Express Low Rate Credit Card caught the attention of our experts again in 2021. While offering one of the lowest rates in the Mozo database, as well as no annual fee, this card does not skimp on benefits. It not only comes with up to 55 days interest-free days, but cardholders are also covered by American Express’ refund and purchase protection. This means that Amex will repair or refund the cost of eligible items bought on the card that are damaged or stolen within 90 days of purchase (terms and conditions apply). Although it is a low rate card, keep in mind that there is a $30 late payment fee, so make sure you stay on top of your repayments.
Best balance transfer credit card
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo
- 0% p.a balance transfer rate for 32 months
- 0% purchase rate for the first six months
- Annual fee waived the first year
Why it won: The Mozo experts took notice of the Vertigo card’s very competitive 0% p.a balance transfer rate for 32 months (offer ends 24 February 2022), which could be helpful for anyone wanting to pay off any existing debt. Just bear in mind, if you still have debt left on the card after those 32 months, the balance will revert to the cash advance rate of 21.49%. The card also has a purchase rate of just 13.99%, which, as an added perk, is dropped to 0% for the first six months. Plus, with a comfortable 55-day interest free period, you’ll have plenty of time to make your repayments. There are some fees associated with the Vertigo card. If you’re late on repayments, you can be charged a $15 late payment fee, and the annual fee is just $55 – although this fee is waived in the first year.
Best rewards credit card
Paypal Rewards Card
- Receive 50,000 bonus points (terms and conditions apply)
- Spend your rewards points at over 750,000+ eligible PayPal businesses
- 0% p.a. for 20 months on balance transfers
Why it won: If you love the idea of a rewards credit card but don’t want to be told how to spend your points, then the PayPal Rewards Card could be a top contender. The PayPal Rewards Card stood out to our experts for its really unique ways to utilise points. Cardholders can spend their points online with 750,000+ businesses where Pay with Rewards is offered. You can also select a transaction in your account after purchasing an item and use your points to pay for it instead. The Paypal Rewards card offers a 20.99% p.a purchase rate, 55 interest free days on purchases, and a 0% balance transfer rate for the first 20 months. Although you should keep in mind, this reverts to a high 21.74% cash advance rate after the introductory balance transfer period. You should make sure not to miss a payment because the card does come with a $30 late payment fee. And if you’re planning on using the card to shop overseas, keep in mind that there is a 3.4% foreign exchange margin on all international purchases.
Best Payment Plan Credit Card
Bank SA No Annual Fee
- No annual fee
- Introductory 0% p.a. purchase rate for first 12 months
- Plan & Pay instalment plan option
Why it won: The Bank SA No Annual Fee card comes with a bunch of great features, such as the 0% annual purchase rate offer for 12 months (offer ends 24 February 2022) and up to 55 interest free days. However, be aware that after the first 12 months, the interest rate will increase to 20.74%. The card also comes with a $15 late fee if you’re not on time with your payments. Bank SA also makes paying off your balance manageable, with its Plan & Pay instalment option. You can select up to eight purchases over $200 on your statement and then choose the repayment timeline that suits you best - all with no interest. Plan & Pay does come with a minimal upfront fee - between 1% and 3% of the purchase price, based on your chosen payment plan. Also, if you’re looking for a balance transfer, the Bank SA No Annual Fee card offers a 2.99% p.a. balance transfer rate for 15 months, but keep in mind that it reverts to the 21.49% p.a. cash advance rate.
Customer favourites: Best credit cards from Mozo People’s Choice Award winners
Mozo People’s Choice Awards^ are awarded to financial institutions based on a national survey of everyday Australians. These providers are assessed on factors such as customer satisfaction, customer service, friendliness, trust and whether customers would recommend them to others. Check out some of the 2021 Mozo People Choice Award winners in the credit card category.
Bendigo Bank Low Rate Credit Card
- 0% purchase rate for first 18 months (low 11.99% after)
- Up to 55 interest free days
- Low $45 annual fee
Key details: Bendigo Bank won four 2021 Mozo People’s Choice Awards^, including one for credit card customer satisfaction. Its Low Rate Credit Card has a 0% p.a. intro rate for the first 18 months, which then reverts to a low 11.99% p.a. purchase rate. Additionally, cardholders have up to 55 interest free days. There is a low $45 annual fee to factor into your budget, as well as a $15 late fee if you miss a payment.
Coles No Annual Fee Mastercard
- No annual fee
- 1 flybuys point per $2 on eligible spends (terms and conditions apply)
- 0% balance transfer rate for 12 months
Key details: The Coles No Annual Fee Mastercard is linked to the flybuys program, so you'll collect 1 point per $2 on eligible spends, plus you'll also earn the usual points at select partners (terms and conditions apply). If you are interested in transferring debt from one card to another, the Coles Mastercard offers a 0% p.a. balance transfer rate for the first 12 months. Be aware that the rate reverts to the 19.99% p.a. cash advance rate after the introductory period. The card also has a purchase rate of 19.99% p.a. and offers up to 55 interest free days. Although it has no annual fee, you’ll want to keep up with your repayments, as there is a $30 late payment fee.
Editor’s pick of the month: best credit card deals on Mozo in November
Below are some of the top deals available currently in the Mozo database, specially selected by our editors. These are a selection of offers that we believe are worth paying attention to if you’re looking for a great credit card. Check out our credit card hub to do a full database search, read guides or more detailed product reviews.
Earning Qantas Points
NAB Qantas Rewards Signature Card
- 1 point per $1 spent, up to $5,000 spend per month (terms and conditions apply)
- 110,000 bonus points (terms and conditions apply)
- Access to NAB's 24/7 Platinum concierge service
Key details: The NAB Qantas Rewards Premium Card allows you to earn approximately 1 point per dollar on Visa, up to $5,000 per month, then 0.5 points per dollar on Visa, up to $20,000 per month. Plus, if you spend $3,000 on everyday purchases in the first 60 days and keep your card open for over 12 months, you could be eligible to get an extra 110,000 Qantas Points (Terms and conditions may apply to all points offers). In addition to earning points, cardholders also gain Concierge access, international travel insurance, transit accident insurance and interstate flight inconvenience insurance. Although these perks come at a price; the card has a 19.99% p.a. purchase interest rate, a $395 annual fee and a $15 late fee. Travellers will also want to keep in mind that the NAB Qantas Rewards Signature Card does have a 3% foreign exchange fee.
Earning Membership Points
American Express Explorer Credit Card
- 2021 Mozo Experts Choice Award^ winner
- 2 Membership Rewards Points for every $1 spent (terms and conditions apply)
- Receive 240,000 Bonus Membership Rewards Points (terms and conditions apply)
Key details: It's no surprise that the AMEX Explorer card took out two 2021 Mozo Experts Choice Awards for rewards credit cards, as you can earn up to 2 Membership Rewards points on eligible purchases. Plus, if you lodge a new application online, are approved and spend $3,000 on your card within the first three months, you could be eligible for 240,000 Bonus Membership Points. Designed for frequent travellers, cardholders can get bonuses including $400 travel credit each year to use towards any flight, hotel, experience or car hire, as well as access to the American Express Lounge at Sydney Airport twice a year. Terms and conditions apply to all membership rewards points and travel bonuses associated with this card. The AMEX Explorer comes with a 20.74% p.a. interest rate with up to 55 days interest free. Keep in mind that this card offers no cash withdrawals or advances and does come with a hefty $395 annual fee, in addition to a $30 late fee if you miss a payment.
Extended interest free period
- 110 days interest free
- Humm90wrap instalment plan option
- $400 cashback (terms and conditions apply)
Key details: The humm90 Mastercard credit card could be a good choice for keen globetrotters as it has no foreign transaction fees on overseas or international online purchases. You can enjoy 110 days interest-free on your buys, but you’ll be wise to stay on top of repayments to avoid the 23.99% p.a. purchase rate and $35 late payment fee. The card has a $99 annual fee, which is waived for the first year. The humm90 Mastercard also comes with the ability to convert purchases of over $250 to a humm90wrap, which is a 9, 12 or 15-month instalment plan incurring no interest whatsoever. Keep in mind that there is a small establishment fee based on the total amount payable. If you apply for the humm90 card before 20 December 2021, you could get $400 cashback when you spend $4,000 within the first 120 days.
Zero interest credit card
- 0% p.a. interest
- No foreign exchange fee
- No late fees
Key details: What makes NAB StraightUp stand out from other credit cards is that, instead of paying interest on purchases like with most cards, with the StraightUp card, there’s a set monthly fee, dependant on your credit limit - $10 for $1,000, $15 for $2,000 and $20 for a $3000 limit. This card is also free from some of the usual credit card fees, like foreign exchange or late payment fees, and if you don’t use your card at all during a statement period or have zero balance, you won’t be charged the monthly fee.
Most common FAQs about credit cards
What is the best type of credit card?
It is impossible to select a best credit card for everyone, as what is important is to find the best credit card for you. This depends on what you’re looking to get from your credit card. For example, are you hoping to earn rewards or airline points on your purchases? Then a rewards credit card will likely suit your needs best. Are you looking to transfer debt? You should check out credit cards with 0% p.a. balance transfer offers. No matter what it is that you prioritise, there are a lot of good credit card options. Head to our credit card hub for comparisons and guides.
How can I get the best chance of getting approved for a credit card?
One of the best ways to ensure getting approved for your chosen credit card is to make sure you meet the eligibility criteria before applying. Generally, these can include:
- Be at least 18 years of age
Hold Australian citizenship or an eligible visa and reside in Australia.
Meet minimum income requirements
Pass a credit check
To put your best foot forward, remember that each credit provider, and even individual credit cards, have their own set of requirements. So, be sure to thoroughly review that you meet the criteria of the particular card you are applying for.
How do I best prepare to apply for a credit card?
Nearly all credit card applications will ask for the same information and documentation, so to be best prepared, it’s a good idea to have these ready before starting the application:
- Personal details - You should be prepared to share some basic personal information on your application, including your name, date of birth, address and contact information. Some creditors may also ask for your marital status and number of dependants in order to provide a complete picture of your financial situation. Additionally, you will likely need to provide a form of identification, such as your driver’s license number, passport number or Medicare number.
- Proof of financial status - As well as your regular work income, you will likely need to share any other money you have, such as shares or savings. Applicants should also be prepared to provide information on any debts and liabilities. Additionally, you will likely be asked to estimate your weekly or monthly expenses, such as rent or mortgage payments, bills and food costs.
- Employment information - Most credit card applications will require you to provide information on your current employment status, including your salary, job title, place of work and contact information for your employer. Some creditors may ask for your employment history, or if you’re self-employed, you might be asked to provide details of your work. Sometimes, the provider can contact you with follow-up questions or might request further documentation, such as payslips, a recent tax assessment or your employment contract.
Long term, preparing your credit score to be closely analysed by a creditor will put you in the best position to be easily approved for the card of your choice. An applicant with an excellent credit score is always more likely to be approved for a financial product than someone with good or poor credit.
Are these credit cards best for me?
We have provided some of our editor’s picks and information about credit cards that have got Mozo’s seal of approval through the Mozo Experts Choice Awards or Mozo People’s Choice Awards. That said, there is a wide variety of credit cards on the market, and you need to decide which option best suits your financial needs and spending style. Be sure to read the product information available on the card providers’ website thoroughly before applying for a credit card.
If you are looking to get your first credit card or you’re interested in learning more about how credit cards work, check out our credit card guides section where you’ll find dozens of helpful buyer guides and credit card payments info written by Mozo’s team of financial journalists.