Do you really save with a no annual fee credit card?

girl-thinking-about-her-no-annual-fee-credit-card

Whether you’re new to plastic or well seasoned, you have asked yourself: will I save by paying no annual fee on my credit card

Well, that all depends on your spending habits.  

According to the Mozo database, credit card annual fees range from $0 to $1,200. In some instances it may be more cost effective to pay no fee and save the amount annually. But on the other hand, it could be better to pay a fee and offset it in rewards and perks or a lower interest rate. 

The simple way to find out if you’ll actually save money with a no annual fee credit card is to determine what type of spender you are. 

How exactly? Check out this scenario … 

Credit card user types: Meet Nelly, Ben, Linda and Ray 

Nelly, Ben, Linda and Ray all have the same credit card with a 20.00% interest rate and $200 annual fee. However, each person is considering making the switch to a no annual fee credit card. 

Let’s see who would actually benefit from the change and who may be suited to something different. 

Nelly the occasional spender

nelly-the-ocassional-spender-no-annual-fee-credit-card
  • Verdict: By making the switch to a no annual fee credit card, Nelly would save $200 each year. Because she pays down her balance in full each month, she would benefit more from no annual fee than from a low interest rate or rewards option.

Ben the overspender with debt

Ben-the-overspender-balance-transfer-credit-card
  • Verdict: While a no annual fee option may help Ben in the short term (by sparing him $200), he’d be better suited to a 0% balance transfer credit card. If he wants to clear debt quickly and save on hefty interest repayments, switching to a card with a balance transfer offer is a savvy way to do it. According to the Mozo database, these 0% offers range from 5 months to 30 months, so Ben will need to choose the term that suits him.

Linda the minimum amount repayer

Linda-minimum-amount-repayer-low-interest-credit-card
  • Verdict: A no annual fee credit card may save Linda a bill each year, but what she actually needs is a low interest rate credit card. Because she isn’t paying off her balance in full each month she will likely be accruing interest on her expenses. In the long run it’s more beneficial for her to fork out a small annual fee in order to receive a lower interest rate.

Ray the rewards points collector

Ray-rewards-collector-rewards-credit-card
  • Verdict: Because most cards with no annual fee have minimal perks and rewards, this type of card wouldn’t be up Ray’s alley. Instead, he’ll probably get the biggest bang out of his buck by opting for a rewards credit card. While these cards often come with a high interest rate and/or annual fee, savvy spenders will use the opportunities for bonus points and accumulate where they can. 

    Want to start comparing credit cards today? Take a look at some options below or head over to our credit card comparison hub.

Compare Credit Cards 2020 - last updated 25 September 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
    Rewards program
    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
  • Great Southern Bank Low Rate Credit Card

    0% balance transfer rate for 20 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
    Rewards program
    11.99% p.a.
    0% p.a. for 25 months and then 21.74% p.a.
    $49 $0 in the first year
    -
    Details
  • Apply By 10 Oct 2021
    humm90 Mastercard

    With up to 110 days interest free on your spending, this card is pretty unique in the market, and great for managing your daily spend. Plus, no foreign transaction fees overseas or online.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    23.99% p.a.
    0% p.a. for 36 months and then 25.99% p.a. (0% balance transfer fee)
    $99
    -
    Details
  • Apply By 28 Oct 2021
    PayPal Rewards Card

    Enjoy 50,000 bonus points (conditions apply). Receive 55 interest free days on purchases and 0% balance transfer rate for the first 20 months.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    20.99% p.a.
    0% p.a. for 20 months and then 20.99% p.a.
    $0
    PayPal Rewards
    Details
  • Great Southern Bank Platinum Credit Card

    0% p.a. balance transfer, $0 annual fee for the first year and also receive 1 rewards point for every dollar spent. Purchase protection insurance. Mozo Experts Choice Balance Transfer Platinum Credit Card Winner 2020^.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    19.99% p.a.
    0% p.a. for 25 months and then 21.74% p.a.
    $149 $0 in the first year
    Great Southen Bank Platinum Rewards
    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
    Rewards program
    13.99% p.a.
    2.99% p.a. for 15 months and then 21.49% p.a.
    $55 $0 in the first year
    -
    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
    Rewards program
    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
  • Mozo Expert Choice Badge
    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
    Rewards program
    8.99% p.a.
    No current offer
    $0
    -
    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
    Rewards program
    0% p.a.
    No current offer
    $120 $10/month - waived if no spend & no balance owing
    -
    Details
  • Apply By 19 Oct 2021
    Mozo Expert Choice Badge
    American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card

    Receive 50,000 Bonus Membership Rewards when you apply online by 19 October 2021, are approved and spend $1,500 on your new Card within the first 3 months. T&Cs apply. New Card Members only. $0 introductory annual Card fee for the first year..

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    20.74% p.a.
    No current offer
    $195 $0 in the first year
    Membership Rewards
    Details
  • HSBC Platinum Credit Card

    0%p.a. on balance transfers for 36 months with no balance transfer fee. Terms and Conditions apply. Mozo Experts Choice Premium Rewards and Balance Transfer Platinum Credit Card Winner 2020.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    19.99% p.a.
    0% p.a. for 36 months and then 21.99% p.a.
    $129 $29 in the first year
    Rewards Plus
    Details
  • Apply By 26 Oct 2021
    Mozo Expert Choice Badge
    American Express Explorer® Credit Card

    Receive 150,000 Bonus Membership Rewards Points when you apply online by 26 October 2021, are approved and spend $3,000 on your new Card within the first 3 months. T&Cs apply. New Card Members only.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    20.74% p.a.
    No current offer
    $395
    Membership Rewards
    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
    Rewards program
    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
  • Mozo Expert Choice Badge
    American Express Qantas Ultimate Card

    Receive 110,000 bonus Qantas Points plus $200 back when you apply online by 27 October 2021, are approved and spend $3,000 on your new Card within the first 3 months. Offer available to new Card Members only. Plus, receive up to 40,000 extra Qantas points with Shop Small (T&Cs apply)

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    20.74% p.a.
    No current offer
    $450
    Qantas Frequent Flyer
    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
    Rewards program
    13.99% p.a.
    0% p.a. for 30 months and then 21.49% p.a.
    $55 $0 in the first year
    -
    Details
  • Mozo Expert Choice Badge
    American Express Cashback Credit Card

    Get 5% Bonus Cashback in the first 3 months and no monthly fee for the first 12 months. Additional 1.5% cashback with American Express Shop Small Campaign (conditions apply). Complimentary perks and insurances. Eligibility criteria and T&Cs apply.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    20.74% p.a.
    No current offer
    $120 $0 in the first year
    Cashback Rewards
    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
    Rewards program
    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
    Westpac Altitude Platinum

    Earn up to 60,000 bonus Qantas Points ($3k min. spend in the first 90 days on eligible purchases). 0% p.a. for 18 months on balance transfers requested at card application. 1% BT fee applies. $99 + $50 Annual Qantas Rewards card fee for the first year. New cards only. Offer ends November 30th 2021. T&C's and exclusions apply.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    20.49% p.a.
    0% p.a. for 18 months and then 21.49% p.a. (1.00% balance transfer fee)
    $200 $149 in the first year
    Qantas Frequent Flyer
    Details

^See information about the Mozo Experts Choice Credit Card Awards

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