Applying for a credit card

Credit cards may not have the best reputation, as the media is often quick to portray the negative connotations associated with them. If you lack self-discipline, a credit card can run you into trouble with debt levels beyond your comfort. On the other hand, credit cards are a very useful financial tool and when used properly, there are many benefits to having the card available in your wallet.

There are many reasons why people apply for a credit card. Just because you don’t have the money sitting in a piggy bank to purchase that much needed item isn’t the only reason to apply for a credit card.

Here’s a few more purposes to needing ‘the plastic’.

No need to carry cash

When you leave home for the day you don’t need to bulk up your purse/wallet with wads of cash. A credit card will get you through the day with any purchases that come your way no matter how big or small they are.

Rewards

Who doesn’t love free stuff?! By using a rewards credit card you can earn points towards an airline ticket, hotel, receive store discounts or even cash back deals. Rewards are a big factor enticing people to apply for a credit card. Check out the latest reward deals right here.

Making purchases and paying bills online

Oh the convenience of shopping online! Having a credit card allows you to sit back and relax in the comfort of your own home and make purchases online without the stress of getting in your car and driving to the shops. Some of the best deals around are found on the internet. You can also use your credit card to pay bills online.

Emergency money

It’s wise to have a credit card just in case of an emergency. A credit card will provide you with instant access to cash via an ATM.

To boost your credit history and score

Applying for a credit card and then using it wisely and making repayments on time will actually improve your credit history and score.

Convenience when travelling

A lot of people apply for a credit card when jet setting overseas for a holiday or business trip. It’s a convenient way of paying for travel expenses without having to continuously find an ATM to withdraw local currency. But be careful of foreign exchange rates! Before you apply for a travel credit card read the Mozo survival guide – overseas credit card woes.

Types of credit cards

There is no shortage of credit card options out there, from the basic plastic to the premium card with lots of incentives and benefits. The credit card you choose to apply for will depend on what type of spender you are and your purpose for having one. But of course if you’re not good at managing debt than a credit card may not be for you! Check out our list of credit cards below.

Credit Card Comparison Table - last updated 21 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
    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 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
    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
  • 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
  • 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
    Rewards program
    16.99% p.a.
    No current offer
    $209 $0 - $149 based on credit limit, $5/month for balances over $20.
    -
    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.
    No current offer
    $99
    -
    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.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    13.74% p.a.
    No current offer
    $59 $0 in the first year
    -
    Details
  • Latitude Gem Visa

    Enjoy now. Pay later with Latitude. 0% interest for 6 months (purchases over $250). 0% interest payment plans at selected retailers. Up to 55 interest free days. Apply in less than 10 minutes. Must be over 18 to apply.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    19.95% p.a.
    No current offer
    $107 $8.95 monthly fee waived if outstanding balance less than $10
    -
    Details
  • Great Southern Bank Platinum Credit Card

    0% p.a. balance transfer for 25 months, $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
  • 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
  • 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
    Rewards program
    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
  • 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.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    20.74% p.a.
    No current offer
    $0
    Qantas Frequent Flyer
    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
  • 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.

    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
  • 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
  • Apply By 30 Nov 2021
    St.George Vertigo

    0% p.a. for 32 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 February 24th 2022.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    0% p.a. for 6 months then 13.99% p.a.
    0% p.a. for 32 months and then 21.49% p.a.
    $55 $0 in the first year
    -
    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
    Rewards program
    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
  • 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 24 Feb 2022
    Westpac Altitude Platinum

    Earn up to 75,000 bonus Qantas Points ($4k min. spend in the first 90 days on eligible purchases). 0% p.a. for 24 months on balance transfers requested at card application. 1% BT fee applies. $49 First Year Annual fee and Rewards fee. New cards only. Offer ends February 24th 2022. T&C's and exclusions apply.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    20.49% p.a.
    0% p.a. for 24 months and then 21.49% p.a. (1.00% balance transfer fee)
    $200 $99 in the first year
    Qantas Frequent Flyer
    Details
  • Balance Transfer credit card – If you’ve accumulated a substantial amount of debt on a credit card with a high interest rate a balance transfer credit card can help get you out of the red. You can move your existing credit card debt to a new BT credit card and receive low if not zero interest for a set period of between 3-24 months. Learn more about balance transfer cards here.
  • Rewards credit card – Are you well disciplined and likely to pay off your credit card in full each month? If ‘yes’ than a rewards credit card could be right up your alley. Rewards credit cards have higher interest rates and annual fees than standard credit cards but you’ll receive, airline, supermarket and general rewards for your spending. Make sure you choose a rewards card that suits your spending habits and has benefits for the things you are interested in. There’s no point choosing a credit card linked to an airline frequent flyer program if you have a fear of flying! Read our guide on the highs and lows of frequent flyer cards.
  • Platinum credit card – Do you like to spend big, have a decent salary (over $60,000 p.a.) enjoy travelling, love going to live events and will pay off your credit card balance in full each month? If this sounds a lot like you, than a platinum credit card could be all yours! Platinum cards generally have higher interest rates and annual fees but come with plenty of perks including complimentary insurance and personal services like concierge.
  • Low interest rate credit card – A low rate card is ideal for those people who are a little forgetful and unreliable when it comes to paying off their credit card in full each month. A low interest rate card generally has interest rates of 14% p.a. or less.
  • Interest free credit card – These cards offer a means of borrowing money with an interest free period (3, 6 or 12 months) to repay it. Who doesn’t want a 0% interest rate on purchases! Learn more and compare interest free credit card deals here.
  • Low or no fee credit card – If you’re someone who is likely to pay off their credit card in full each month then you can be rewarded with a card that has low or even no fees attached. A low annual fee credit card may have higher interest rates and no reward scheme connected to it.
  • Travel credit card – Don’t waste your hard earned savings on currency conversion fees. There are plenty of travel cards on the market specifically designed for overseas travel where you can avoid a foreign exchange fee altogether. Search Mozo's travel credit card hub to find a great card deal for your next holiday abroad.

Mozo can help you find the best credit card deals in Australia, compare over 195 credit cards from 58 banks.

Key features to know before applying for a credit card

To help you make a wise decision about which card suits you and your needs, make sure you have an understanding of the following features before you apply for a credit card.

  • Credit limits: A credit card limit refers to the maximum amount of funds a bank or financial institution will allow you to charge to the card. It’s important that you don’t exceed this limit as your provider may hit you with a penalty. So it’s important to find a card that has a credit limit that you can stick to i.e. don’t borrow more than you can afford as it will cost you much more in the long run.
  • Fees: There is definitely no shortage of fees tagged onto credit cards. Make sure you know which fees come with your credit card before you apply. Factor the fees in when you do your budget. Credit card fees include: Annual fee, cash advance fee, late payment fee and overseas currency conversion fees. Read Mozo’s guide on avoiding credit card fees.
  • Rates: When shopping around for a credit card, it’s extremely important to look at the interest rate the provider will charge. A low interest rate is usually around 14% while some can be as high as 18%. How much interest you’ll pay will depend on the card you have, the purchases you make and when and how much you make in repayments.
  • Interest-free days: This is the number of days you have to pay your bill in full before interest is charged on the balance. Compare and save on credit cards right here.
  • Repayments: For every purchase you make with your credit card you go into debt. The amount which you have borrowed on your credit card needs to be repaid to your provider. Repayments are usually made monthly. Use the Mozo credit card debt payments calculator to see how and when you’ll be debt free!

Should I do a credit check?

There is no harm at all in doing a credit check before you apply for a credit card. If you have a bad credit rating it can delay your credit card application for weeks, if not months. If you’ve never applied for a credit card before or have defaulted on a bill this may affect your credit rating. So it’s a good idea to order your credit report regularly to make sure all information is up to date and there is no incorrect information.

How to apply for a credit card

Applying for a credit card is a relatively easy and quick process. You can do it online, over the phone, or in a bank branch.

Online

Pros

  • Convenience of applying for a credit card at home or work at a time that suits you
  • Online forms take around 15 minutes to complete
  • You don’t need to worry about bringing all the necessary documents

Cons

  • Technical issues can delay or affect your application
  • You can’t ask any questions you may have during the application process

Phone

Pros

  • No queues
  • All your questions can be answered
  • You should have all the essential documents at the tip of your finger

Cons

  • You can only apply over the phone during bank hours
  • You may be put on hold several times which can be rather annoying

In Person

Pros

  • It’s personable and you can ask all the questions in the world you have about credit cards
  • A good excuse to get out of the office/home and go for a walk for some fresh air to your local branch

Cons

  • You’re restricted to bank hours
  • There’s often long queues if you go during lunch time
  • You risk forgetting a crucial document, which therefore can delay the process

Checklist when applying for a credit card

  • Proof of ID: Driver’s licence, passport, Medicare card or proof of age card
  • Employer details: Name, address and phone number. If you’re self-employed you’ll need to provide your accountant's name and contact number
  • Proof of income: Payslips and/or bank statements.
  • Current financial commitments: Details of your spending, what you own and owe e.g. rent or loan repayments

How long does it take for a credit card to be approved?

A credit card application takes around 15 minutes to complete. Once your application has been approved it then takes approximately 5-10 working days to receive your card.

Tips for managing your credit card

  • Stick to a budget and don’t spend money you don’t have.Check out the Mozo budget planner
  • Keep track of the latest purchases on your card by regularly checking your account online
  • Don’t use your credit card to withdraw cash from an ATM, as you’ll be hit with a fee
  • Avoid the minimum payment trap and pay the full amount back each month
  • Make sure you check your statement when it arrives to track your spending and pick up on any incorrect charges
  • To avoid all interest charges, set up a direct debit system to pay off the full amount owing each month

^See information about the Mozo Experts Choice Credit Card Awards

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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.