Top tips and tricks for avoiding credit card fees

woman sitting on her couch and shopping online using credit card avoiding fees by following a budget and not over spending

Credit cards are a common and useful way to pay for just about anything incrementally. Many cards also offer extra benefits, such as rewards programs or insurances. That said, credit cards also often come with fees.

Credit card fees - such as late fees, annual fees, cash advance fees, or even unnecessary insurance fees - can quickly add up and become a hefty additional expense. Luckily, by utilising these quick and easy tips, you can almost completely say goodbye to credit card fees!

  1. Pay your minimum amount due on time – When your credit card bill is due, it is best to pay at least the minimum amount owing on time in order to avoid any late payment fees. Additionally, if possible, paying your entire balance will save you more in interest payments in the long run. 
  2. Set up an automatic payment plan – Dodge late payment fees and set up an automatic payment plan. Set it and forget it.
  3. Don’t withdraw cash – Credit card cash advance fees can be pretty high - up to 25.99%, according to the Mozo database - so you’ll really want to avoid using your credit card to withdraw money from an ATM. It’s always a good idea to keep a little bit of cash in your wallet just in case, so you’re never in a situation where you have to use your credit card for cash.
  4. Make a budget and stick to it - If you know you’re prone to spending too much on your credit card, then it’s probably best to impose a budget on yourself. By keeping an eye on your balance online or through your provider’s app, you can prevent exceeding your credit card maximum and being slapped with an over-limit fee.
  5. Say goodbye to steep annual fees – If you have a credit card with a high annual fee, such as a premium rewards card, it could be time to trade it in for a card with fewer bells and whistles. Unless you’re reaping the benefits of the rewards program, consider a low-fee credit card with no annual fee.
  6. Be wary of ‘junk insurance’  – If you have them, you should double-check your Consumer Credit Insurance (CCI) and Purchase Protection Insurance (PPI) policies. According to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), many CCI policies were sold to people who were ineligible to claim, unlikely to benefit or unaware of what they were buying. Additionally, PPI policies are usually included with premium cards for free, so if it is charged as an expense, that could count as ‘junk insurance’. Services, such as Remediator, can help you get some money back if you have paid for ‘junk insurance’.
  7. Find the card for you! – Take the time to compare and save on credit cards and find one with minimal fees. There are plenty out there!

Check out some top low-fee credit cards below:

Top low-fee credit cards - last updated 3 March 2024

Search promoted credit cards below or do a full Mozo database search. Advertiser disclosure
  • NAB Low Rate Card - Balance Transfer Offer

    Spend with confidence with a low 13.49% p.a. variable purchase rate and 0% p.a. interest on balance transfers for the first 28 months (T&Cs apply). 2% balance transfer fee applies. There’s also up to 55 interest free days on purchases to help you manage your budget better when you make minimum repayments. Minimum credit limit $1,000. No annual fee for the first year (usually $59).

    Purchase rate
    13.49% p.a.
    Balance transfer rate
    0% p.a. for 28 months and then 21.74% p.a. (2.00% balance transfer fee)
    Annual fee
    $59 $0 in the first year
    Compare
    Details
  • American Express Low Rate Credit Card

    Competitive low rate with $0 Annual Fee. Offers Card Refund Cover and Card Purchase Cover. Must have no history of bed debt or payment default, be aged 18 years and over, and be an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or hold a long term visa.

    Purchase rate
    10.99% p.a.
    Balance transfer rate
    No current offer
    Annual fee
    $0
    Compare
    Details
  • HSBC Low Rate Credit Card

    Purchase rate
    12.99% p.a.
    Balance transfer rate
    0% p.a. for 20 months and then 25.99% p.a. (2.00% balance transfer fee)
    Annual fee
    $99
    Compare
    Details
  • Australian Unity Low Rate Visa Credit Card

    Purchase rate
    9.90% p.a.
    Balance transfer rate
    No current offer
    Annual fee
    $59
    Compare
    Details
  • MOVE Bank Low Rate Credit Card

    Purchase rate
    8.99% p.a.
    Balance transfer rate
    0% p.a. for 6 months and then 8.99% p.a.
    Annual fee
    $59 $0 in the first year
    Compare
    Details

^See information about the Mozo Experts Choice Credit Card Awards

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