How to compare credit cards in 4 steps

young woman comparing credit cards online

So you’re on the market for a fresh credit card

Whether you’re switching from your current card or are completely new to it all, comparing credit cards can seem a daunting task with all the options out there. 

But that’s where our four steps come in handy! 

From finding the right credit card type to snagging the best credit card features for you, with this quick guide you could find your perfect match …  

Step 1: Choose your card type 

Not all credit cards are created equal. In fact, they can be quite different. When comparing credit cards it’s important to consider choosing the right credit card for your needs

There are four main credit card types to weigh up: 

Credit Card TypeWhich spender it suitsBenefit
Low interest credit card- Uses credit card on everyday purchases 

- Always pays minimum repayment each month (to avoid late fees) 

- Doesn’t always pay down balance each month so often pays interest
By choosing a low interest credit card you’ll avoid paying hefty interest repayments. By accruing less interest on your spending, it may be a more manageable option for your budget.
No annual fee credit card- Not a big spender 

- Rather use debit card for everyday spending (credit card is a backup)

- Always pays down balance each month
Opting for a no annual fee credit card could mean that you save on costly annual fees. Because you aren’t likely being charged interest, it’s a savvier option to avoid hefty fees instead.
Rewards credit card- Uses credit card for everything 

- Pays down balance each month 

- Avid points collector and loves a freebie
You use your credit card responsibly and for everything so a rewards credit card option might give you the best value. Although these cards can come with high interest rates and fees, the bonus points and perks can make up for it.
Balance transfer credit card- Has existing credit card debt and want to clear it 

- Tends to overspend
 
- Currently paying a lot in interest
If clearing your credit card debt is what you desire, a balance transfer is the right way to go. With 0% interest for anywhere from 3 to 30 months, you can focus on paying back what you owe.

Just bear in mind these cards can come with a balance transfer fee and any new purchases made on the card during the balance transfer fee will accrue interest.

Step 2: Determine your credit card limit 

Choosing the right credit card limit could be the difference between you managing your spending and spiralling into unnecessary debt. 

The truth is, there are a few factors that may determine the maximum credit limit you are eligible to receive from a particular provider, such as your income and credit history. However, if you are eligible for a larger credit limit, this doesn’t mean you have to have this limit on your card. Often you can lower your credit card limit, which can be a good idea if you tend to overspend. 

When comparing credit cards it’s important to check what the minimum and maximum credit limits available are. Because there is no point applying for a card that has too high or too low limits that don’t match your current spending patterns. 

Step 3: Check out the rates and fees 

Credit card rates and fees can determine whether or not you are getting a good deal or going home with a dud. So when weighing up your options make sure you keep an eye out for the following costs: 

  • Purchase rate: This is the interest rate you may be charged on the purchases you make using your credit card. At the moment on the Mozo database, the average interest rate across all types of credit cards sits at 16.93%. 
  • Intro rate: Some credit cards come with an introductory 0% purchase rate,  generally between 6 and 18 months. After the intro period is up, the rate reverts to the purchase rate advertised on the card. 
  • Annual fee: Unless you opt for a no annual fee credit card, each year you’ll face a cost for using your credit card. On the Mozo database, annual fees range from $0 to $1,450, with the average sitting at $130. Often cards with high annual fees come with a range of bonus features such as a rewards program, free perks and complimentary insurances. 
  • Ongoing fees: Some credit cards might also come with ongoing costs such as a monthly fee or rewards program fee. It’s important to crunch the numbers when weighing up these charges as they may really add up over time. 
  • Late repayment fee: If you miss a minimum repayment on your credit card you are likely to incur a late repayment fee. It’s always a good idea to pay at least your minimum repayment each month to avoid this additional cost. 

Important note: most credit cards come with a cash advance rate and cash advance fee when you take money out of an ATM using your card. When getting cash out, it’s better to avoid your credit card and opt to use your debit card instead to avoid these additional costs. 

Step 4: Weigh up the bonus features 

So you’ve now gone through the nitty gritty, but what about the fun stuff? Well, depending on what type of credit card you are after there can be plenty of that on offer. 

Here are some credit card bonus features to compare: 

  • Interest-free days: Some credit cards have interest-free days attached to them, normally 44 or 55 days (but sometimes more). This means that depending on what time of the month you make a particular purchase, that transaction could not be charged interest for up to 55 (or more) days. 
  • Rewards program: If you like to be rewarded for your spending, rewards points are probably quite a flashy feature for you. Some rewards programs are attached to the provider themselves, while others offer frequent flyer options.
  • Bonus points: And while we are on the topic of points, if you are looking for a way to beef up your credit card points stash, a bonus points offer may suit you. At the moment on the Mozo database, these offers go up to a whopping 200,000 bonus points. Keep in mind though, often customers must meet certain spending criteria in order to receive these points, so only consider a bonus points option if it suits your current spending (avoid spending more just to get points). 
  • Complimentary insurances: A whole bunch of credit cards come with complimentary insurances. These include: travel insurance, extended warranty, purchase protection and price protection. 

Another important note: Don’t apply for multiple credit cards at once as this can leave a negative mark on your credit history. It’s crucial to do all your research into the credit card you want before applying to ensure it is a good option for you and that you are unlikely to be rejected. 

Ready to compare credit card options right now? Check out these deals below or jump over to our credit card comparison hub for more!

Compare credit cards - last updated 24 January 2022

Search promoted credit cards below or do a full Mozo database search. Advertiser disclosure
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    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    0% p.a. for 18 months then 11.99% p.a.
    No current offer
    $45
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  • Virgin Money Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Bonus Points Offer

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    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
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    $129 $64 in the first year
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    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    13.74% p.a.
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    $59 $0 in the first year
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    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    23.99% p.a.
    No current offer
    $99 $0 in the first year
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  • Bendigo Bank Platinum Rewards Credit Card

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    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    0% p.a. for 12 months then 19.99% p.a.
    No current offer
    $89
    Bendigo Rewards
    Details

^See information about the Mozo Experts Choice Credit Card Awards

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