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 16 October 2021

Search promoted credit cards below or do a full Mozo database search. Advertiser disclosure
  • Apply By 31 Oct 2021
    Bendigo Bank Low Rate Credit Card

    0% p.a. on purchases for up to 12 months (Reverts to 11.99% p.a). Also 0% balance transfer for up to 12 months. Low annual fee of $45 and no fees for additional cardholders.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    0% p.a. for 12 months then 11.99% p.a.
    0% p.a. for 12 months and then 11.99% p.a. (2.00% balance transfer fee)
    $45
    Details
  • Bankwest Breeze Mastercard

    Enjoy 0% p.a on balance transfers for 15 months then 9.90% thereafter. No annual fee for the first year. Limited time only. Other fees, T&Cs apply. New Breeze Mastercard customers only.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    0% p.a. for 15 months then 9.90% p.a.
    0% p.a. for 15 months and then 9.90% p.a.
    $49 $0 in the first year
    Details
  • Great Southern Bank Low Rate Credit Card

    0% balance transfer rate for 25 months and up to 55 interest free days. No annual fee for the first year and $49 after. Mozo Experts Choice Balance Transfer Platinum Credit Card Winner 2020^

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    11.99% p.a.
    0% p.a. for 25 months and then 21.74% p.a.
    $49 $0 in the first year
    Details
  • MoneyMe Freestyle Virtual Mastercard

    Use your virtual card instantly once approved (typically within 60 minutes). Features include Tap n Pay with up to 55 days interest-free, transfer money to any bank account and exclusive access to MoneyMe perks. $0 annual fee for lower limits. Must be employed with decent credit history.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    16.99% p.a.
    No current offer
    $209 $0 - $149 based on credit limit, $5/month for balances over $20.
    Details
  • NAB StraightUp Card

    Pay no interest and no late payment fees, just a $10 monthly fee for a $1,000 credit limit. Plus, if you don't make any purchases and have an outstanding balance of $0 during the whole statement period, the monthly fee will be reversed. Also pay no foreign currency fees when you shop online or overseas. Mozo Experts Choice Credit Card Innovation Winner 2020^.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    0% p.a.
    No current offer
    $120 $10/month - waived if no spend & no balance owing
    Details
  • St.George No Annual Fee

    0% p.a. for 12 months on APR requested at card application. The special promotional purchase rate applies from card approval, after the promotional period, the rate will switch to the variable purchase rate. New cards only, Eligibility criteria and T&Cs apply. Offer ends November 30th 2021.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    0% p.a. for 12 months then 20.74% p.a.
    2.99% p.a. for 15 months and then 21.49% p.a.
    $0
    Details
  • NAB Low Rate Card

    0% p.a. interest on balance transfers for the first 32 months, plus a low ongoing purchase rate after that means you can spend with confidence. There's also up to 55 interest free days on purchases to help you manage your budget better.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    12.99% p.a.
    0% p.a. for 32 months and then 21.74% p.a. (0% balance transfer fee)
    $59 $0 in the first year
    Details
  • Hot Deal
    Westpac Low Rate - Cashback Offer

    Enjoy a super low rate of 13.74% with 55 days interest free plus $400 Cashback with $4k+ spend on eligible purchases within 4 months of card approval. No annual card fee for the first year, $59 thereafter. New Cards only. Offer ends November 30th 2021. T&C's and exclusions apply.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    13.74% p.a.
    No current offer
    $59 $0 in the first year
    Details
  • American Express Low Rate Credit Card

    Competitive low rate with $0 Annual Fee. Get $100 back when you apply online by 27 October 2021, are approved and spend $1,000 on your new Card by 31 December 2021. T&Cs apply. New Card Members only. Customers need an annual income of $50,000 or more.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    8.99% p.a.
    No current offer
    $0
    Details
  • Bankwest Zero Mastercard

    No annual fee and up to 55 days interest free on purchases. 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 26 months and then 14.99% p.a. thereafter (2% BT fee applies).

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    14.99% p.a.
    0% p.a. for 26 months and then 14.99% p.a. (2.00% balance transfer fee)
    $0
    Details
  • Westpac Low Rate

    Enjoy a super low rate of 13.74% with 55 days interest free plus 0% balance transfer for up to 28 months at 1% BT fee. No annual card fee for the first year, $59 thereafter. New Cards only. Offer ends November 30th 2021. T&C's and exclusions apply.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    13.74% p.a.
    0% p.a. for 28 months and then 21.49% p.a. (1.00% balance transfer fee)
    $59 $0 in the first year
    Details
  • Apply By 30 Nov 2021
    St.George Vertigo - Cashback Offer

    $300 cashback when you take out a new Vertigo Credit Card and spend $4k on eligible purchases within 120 days of the new card approval. No annual fee for the first year, $55 thereafter. New cards only, Eligibility criteria and T&Cs apply. Offer ends November 30th 2021.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    13.99% p.a.
    2.99% p.a. for 15 months and then 21.49% p.a.
    $55 $0 in the first year
    Details
  • Apply By 30 Nov 2021
    Bank of Melbourne Vertigo

    0% p.a. for 30 months on balance transfers requested at card application. 0% balance transfer fee applies. Rate then switches to applicable variable cash advance rate. No annual fee for the first year, $55 thereafter. New cards only, Eligibility criteria and T&Cs apply. Offer ends November 30th 2021.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    13.99% p.a.
    0% p.a. for 30 months and then 21.49% p.a.
    $55 $0 in the first year
    Details
  • Apply By 30 Nov 2021
    BankSA Vertigo - Cashback Offer

    $300 cashback when you take out a new Vertigo Credit Card and spend $4k on eligible purchases within 120 days of the new card approval. No annual fee for the first year, $55 thereafter. New cards only, Eligibility criteria and T&Cs apply. Offer ends November 30th 2021.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    13.99% p.a.
    2.99% p.a. for 15 months and then 21.49% p.a.
    $55 $0 in the first year
    Details
  • Apply By 30 Nov 2021
    Bank of Melbourne Vertigo - Cashback Offer

    $300 cashback when you take out a new Vertigo Credit Card and spend $4k on eligible purchases within 120 days of the new card approval. No annual fee for the first year, $55 thereafter. New cards only, Eligibility criteria and T&Cs apply. Offer ends November 30th 2021.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    13.99% p.a.
    2.99% p.a. for 15 months and then 21.49% p.a.
    $55 $0 in the first year
    Details
  • Apply By 30 Nov 2021
    St.George Vertigo

    0% p.a. for 30 months on balance transfers requested at card application. 0% balance transfer fee applies. Rate then switches to applicable variable cash advance rate. No annual fee for the first year, $55 thereafter. New cards only, Eligibility criteria and T&Cs apply. Offer ends November 30th 2021.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    13.99% p.a.
    0% p.a. for 30 months and then 21.49% p.a.
    $55 $0 in the first year
    Details
  • Apply By 20 Oct 2021
    David Jones American Express Platinum Card

    Earn 70,000 Membership Reward Points or 35,000 Qantas Points when you apply online by 20 October 2021, are approved and spend $1,500 at locations excluding David Jones on your new Card within the first three months. Available to new David Jones American Express Platinum Card Members only.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    0% p.a. for 6 months then 20.74% p.a.
    No current offer
    $295
    Details

^See information about the Mozo Experts Choice Credit Card Awards

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