Is your credit card late fee pushing a hefty $40?

Unless you’ve had to fork out cash for them in the last few years, it may come as a surprise that credit card late fees have been bumped up since 2016, with some now reaching as high as $40. That’s got to hurt!

Mozo’s review of 225 credit cards found a number of cards have increased late fees by up to a mammoth 200%, with rises from this month alone ranging from $10 to $30.

It follows after the High Court in 2016 gave it the all-clear for lenders to charge up to $35 for Aussie’s who miss a credit card repayment, prompting lenders to hike late fees soon after.

“When it comes to credit cards, if you are not in the habit of paying on time each month it’s worth checking your statement to see what fee you’re being hit with. If you don’t like the fee you see it might be time to switch cards,” Mozo Director Kirsty Lamont said.

And with the average late fee now clocking in at $18.50, she encourages people to double check what kind of fees are in place for their own credit cards.

“With some card companies happy to charge $0 it’s clear not all fees structures are the same across the credit card market so it pays to compare.”

RELATED: Top Balance Transfer cards of 2019: Mozo Editors Picks

And it’s not just your hip pocket that could feel the pain of missed credit card repayments. With the introduction of Comprehensive Credit Reporting, lenders have a more thorough view of an applicant’s financial situation, so it’s important to be aware of your own repayment behaviour and how it could affect your credit health.

Geri Cremin, Credit Reporting expert from CreditSmart.org.au, said a ding like this on your credit report can ultimately affect the next time you seek credit, whether it be when you apply for a home loan, personal loan or a credit card. But that doesn’t mean it’s all doom and gloom.

“If you’re diligent in making your repayments on time, you can improve your credit health,” she said. “Good credit health will help you borrow money more easily when you need it, and perhaps at a better interest rate than before.” 

But it’s not just credit cards that look to cash in on late fees, here’s what Mozo found after extending the search to 445 electricity contracts and 206 personal loans:

ProductLate Fee
Range
Average
Late fee
Credit Card$0- $40$18.50
Electricity$0-$20$13
Personal Loans$0-$50$17.70

If you’re paying up to $50 in late fees for any of these products, then avoiding those fees could be as easy as getting organised, start by taking note of when your bills are due and making a conscious effort to pay them on time.

But if you find yourself constantly shelling out cash despite your best efforts, then get in touch with the company to see if you can access a hardship program or consider switching to one of the many products that don’t charge late fees by comparing some of the best credit card deals in Australia.

Some credit cards with no annual fees - last updated 23 October 2021

Search promoted credit cards below or do a full Mozo database search. Advertiser disclosure
  • 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 February 24th 2022.

    Annual fee
    Interest free days
    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    $0
    55
    0% p.a. for 12 months then 20.74% p.a.
    2.99% p.a. for 15 months and then 21.49% p.a.
    Details
  • 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.

    Annual fee
    Interest free days
    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    $59 $0 in the first year
    55
    13.74% p.a.
    No current offer
    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.

    Annual fee
    Interest free days
    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    $0
    55
    8.99% p.a.
    No current offer
    Details
  • BankSA 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 February 24th 2022.

    Annual fee
    Interest free days
    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    $0
    55
    0% p.a. for 12 months then 20.74% p.a.
    2.99% p.a. for 15 months and then 21.49% p.a.
    Details
  • American Express Qantas Discovery Card

    Receive 10,000 bonus Qantas Points when you apply by online by 27 October 2021, are approved and spend $750 on your new Card within the first 3 months. Offer available to new Card Members only. Mozo Experts Choice Qantas Frequent Flyer Credit Card Winner 2020.

    Annual fee
    Interest free days
    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    $0
    44
    20.74% p.a.
    No current offer
    Details
  • American Express Velocity Escape Card

    Receive 10,000 bonus Velocity Points when you apply online by 13 December 2021. No annual fee. Credit Card Provider of the Year in the Mozo Experts Choice Awards 2020^. T&C’s apply

    Annual fee
    Interest free days
    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    $0
    55
    20.74% p.a.
    No current offer
    Details

^See information about the Mozo Experts Choice Credit Card Awards

Mozo provides general product information. We don't consider your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and we aren't recommending any specific product to you. You should make your own decision after reading the PDS or offer documentation, or seeking independent advice.

While we pride ourselves on covering a wide range of products, we don't cover every product in the market. If you decide to apply for a product through our website, you will be dealing directly with the provider of that product and not with Mozo.