Top credit cards for online shopping: Mozo editor’s picks for Christmas spending

womans hands over white laptop holding credit cards to pay for her christmas shopping surrounded by christmas decorations

We’re heading into the final month of 2021, and it’s time to start thinking about Christmas shopping.

You’re always looking for the best deals on presents, but did you know you could save even more by shopping with the right credit card?

You can maximise your deals by earning rewards on your holiday purchases, as well as save money by avoiding high interest charges.

As Australians prepare to go all out for Christmas this year, our editors have picked some of the top credit cards on the Mozo database for saving money, getting cashback or earning points while you shop - as well as those that provide some extra purchase protections.

A credit card isn’t just for Christmas. While credit cards can provide many benefits, make sure any card you select has interest rates and fees that suit your budget long-term. Terms and Conditions apply to all credit cards and offers shown below, so please check the relevant policies and information provided on the provider's website.

It’s also worth noting that while some providers could issue you with a ‘virtual card’ once approved, it could take a number of weeks for a physical card to arrive in the mail.

0% interest offers on purchases

While many credit cards on the market have interest rates of over 20% p.a., some cards will offer an introductory 0% p.a. interest period, which can save you heaps in interest charges as it will allow you to spread out the cost of your Christmas shopping over several months without paying interest.

Bendigo Low Rate
  • 0% p.a. purchase rate for the first 18 months (reverts to low 11.99% p.a.)
  • Up to 55 interest free days
  • Low $45 annual fee
Find out more

Bendigo’s Low Rate Credit Card offers a 0% p.a. intro rate for the first 18 months, which will give you plenty of time to pay off your purchases interest free. After the interest free period ends, the purchase rate reverts to a low 11.99% p.a, which is still one of the lower rates on the Mozo database,  and has up to 55 interest free days. Keep in mind, there is a low $45 annual fee to factor into your budget and a 3% foreign exchange margin to consider if you are planning on shopping at international stores.

Bankwest Breeze
  • 2021 Mozo Experts Choice Award^ winner
  • 0% p.a. purchase rate for the first 15 months (reverts to low 9.90% p.a.)
  • No annual fee for the first year
Find out more

It's no wonder this card was awarded a 2021 Mozo Experts Choice Award for best Low Rate Credit Card, with a 0% interest rate for the first 15 months, which reverts to a very competitive 9.90% p.a rate. The $49 annual fee is waived for the first year and you’ll need to factor in the 2.95% foreign exchange margin. After the introductory period, you’ll get 55 interest free days on purchases as long as you pay your balance off in full each month.

St.George No Annual Fee
  • 0% p.a. annual purchase rate for first 12 months (for new cardholders approved by 24 February 2022)
  • No annual fee
  • 55 days interest free
Find out more

The St George No Annual Fee card offers a purchase rate of 0% p.a. for the first 12 months. After this period, the purchase rate will increase to 20.74% p.a but you’ll have up to 55 interest free days, so once the purchase rate reverts, you'll still have a fair amount of time to pay off your balance before the interest rate kicks in. While the card has no annual fee, there is a 3% foreign exchange margin to consider if your fave online shopping haunts are international.

Earning cashback

Earn money while holiday shopping? It’s possible with a cashback credit card. Most cashback cards work in the same manner as other reward credit cards, in that every time you use your card to make a purchase, you earn rewards. However, instead of points, you earn back a small percentage of the money you’ve spent. There are some cards that instead offer cashback deals, offering a lump sum when the spending conditions have been met.

Westpac Low Rate
  • $400 cashback offer
  • Annual fee waived the first year
  • Up to 55 interest free days
Find out more

For a limited time (until 24 February 2022), the Westpac Low Rate credit card comes with a $400 cashback offer when you spend $4000 on purchases within 120 days of approval (T&Cs apply). It also comes with a competitive 13.74% p.a. interest rate, and up to 55 interest-free days. The $59 annual fee is waived in the first year and there is a 3% foreign exchange margin to consider.

American Express Cashback Credit Card
  • 5% cashback on eligible purchases in the first three months
  • No monthly fee for the first 12 months
  • Up to 55 interest free days
Find out more

Cardholders have many opportunities to earn money back on their purchases with the American Express Cashback Credit Card. To start, there is a 5% cashback offer for new card members in the first three months (up to $200) when your online application is approved (T&Cs apply). You can also get 1% cashback per $1 spent on eligible card purchases (T&Cs apply). Additionally, there is a bonus 1.5% cashback up to $200 when you spend in-store or online at a participating Shop Small business (T&Cs apply). The card also comes with numerous AMEX perks, such as a basic BINGE subscription and complimentary American Express airport lounge access. Keep in mind that while the AMEX cashback card has no annual fee, it does have a fairly high 20.74% p.a. interest rate, a $10 monthly fee (after the first year) and a 3% foreign exchange margin to budget for.

No overseas transaction fees

Overseas transaction fees are charged when making purchases abroad and sometimes when shopping online from an international retailer. This means that with each international transaction (in person or online), you are charged a percentage additionally on top. Although the percentage is small, the charges can stack up while shopping. While most credit cards on the Mozo database have some foreign exchange fee, ranging between 1.50% to 3.65%, there are credit cards with a 0% foreign exchange margin available. So, you can skip the overseas transaction fee when buying from a foreign retailer.

NAB StraightUp Card
  • No interest on purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Monthly fee scaled to your credit limit
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The NAB StraightUp card could be a good choice for keen online shoppers as it has no foreign transaction fees on international online purchases. What really makes NAB StraightUp stand out from other credit cards is that, instead of paying interest on purchases like with most cards, with the StraightUp card, there’s a set monthly fee, dependant on your credit limit - $10 for $1,000, $15 for $2,000 and $20 for a $3000 limit. If you don’t use your card at all during a statement period or have zero balance, you won’t be charged the monthly fee.

Fast approval and virtual card

When you apply for a new credit card, you expect to have to wait; there is a waiting period to hear if you’re approved and then another wait for your card to arrive. Now, the wait is over. If you want to shop ASAP, there are providers that advertise speedy approval times and an instant digital card.

MoneyMe Freestyle Virtual Mastercard
  • MoneyMe states you could be approved within 60 minutes
  • Digital-only card
  • Annual fee scaled to card limit
Find out more

According to MoneyMe, with the digital-only Freestyle Virtual Mastercard, you can be approved within 60 minutes of submitting your online application. What sets this card apart is that instead of paying interest, there’s a set annual fee, dependant on your credit limit - $0 for $3,000, $49 for $3,001-$5,000 and $149 for a limit between $5,001 and $20,000. A good option for online shoppers, the MoneyMe Freestyle Virtual Mastercard card offers up to 55 interest free days, the ability to pay via Apple and Google Pay and a competitive 16.99% p.a. purchase rate. Also, you can manage your entire account through the MoneyMe app. Some fees are associated with this credit card, such as a $5 monthly fee for balances over $20 and a 2.99% foreign exchange margin, so you’ll want to keep that in mind when buying from international sellers.

Earning bonus points

A rewards credit card allows you to earn points as you spend, which can be cashed in for products or perks such as free flights, upgrades, cashback or gift cards. Many also offer large introductory bonus point offers with initial spend requirements. So, if you know you’re going to purchase a lot off your Christmas list, it could be the perfect time to bag a heap of points.

American Express Explorer® Credit Card
  • 2021 Mozo Experts Choice Award^ winner
  • 2 Membership Rewards Points for every $1 spent
  • Receive 240,000 Bonus Membership Rewards Points

With the American Express Explorer® Credit Card, you can earn up to 2 Membership Rewards points on eligible purchases (T&Cs apply). Plus, if you lodge a new application online, are approved and spend $3,000 on your card within the first three months, you could be eligible for 240,000 Bonus Membership Points (T&Cs apply). The Mozo Expert Choice Award^ winner has a relatively high 20.74% p.a. interest rate with up to 55 days interest free. Keep in mind that this card does come with a hefty $395 annual fee, in addition to a 3% foreign exchange margin.

St.George Amplify Rewards Signature
  • Up to 200,000 bonus Amplify points in the first two years
  • Double points on purchases from international merchants online
  • Up to 55 interest free days
Find out more

With the St. George Amplify Rewards Signature card, you can bag 1.5 points for every $1 spent on eligible purchases (T&Cs apply). Not to mention, from now until 24 February 2022, you can score 100,000 bonus Amplify Points in the first year, plus a further 100,000 in the second year when you spend at least $12,000 on eligible purchases each year (T&Cs apply). The card also offers double points on overseas purchases (including online shopping at international retailers), as well as a birthday bonus of an extra 10% of the points you earned in the previous year (T&Cs apply). The St. George Amplify Rewards Signature card has a 19.74% purchase rate and offers up to 55 interest free days. Additionally, the card carries a hefty $279 annual fee, as well as a 3% foreign exchange fee, so you will want to keep on top of your balance when shopping online.

Complimentary price protection and warranty insurance

There are non-points benefits available on some platinum and rewards credit cards. You can be covered by price protection insurance, which means the cardholder gets the best price if you alert the credit card company to a better price for a purchased good - a handy tool for comparison shopping. If an item you bought on your credit card was lost, stolen, or damaged accidentally, it might be covered under your card’s purchase protection insurance. Additionally, if you make your Christmas purchases on a card that offers warranty insurance, your items could be protected for a longer period of time beyond the manufacturer’s warranty.

HSBC Platinum Credit Card
  • 1 reward point per $1 on eligible spend
  • Access to the HSBC home&away privilege program
  • Complimentary purchase protection and warranty insurance
Find out more

In addition to complimentary purchase protection and warranty insurance, the HSBC Platinum offers excellent reward point earning capacity with one point for every dollar spent (T&Cs apply). Cardholders also gain access to the exclusive HSBC home&away privilege program, which offers discounts on shopping, travel and fine dining in 40 countries across the world. The card does come with a $129 annual fee ($29 in the first year), but the good news is that if you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases within the following 12 months, HSBC will refund this fee to you. You will want to stay on top of your repayments, as there is also a 3% foreign exchange fee to consider.

American Express Low Rate Card
  • 2021 Mozo Experts Choice Award^ winner
  • Low 8.99% p.a. interest rate
  • Complimentary refund and purchase protection

With the American Express Low Rate card, cardholders are covered by American Express’ refund and purchase protection. This means that Amex could repair or refund the cost of eligible items bought on the card that are damaged or stolen within 90 days of purchase. It also offers a low purchase rate of 8.99% p.a., so it’s no wonder the American Express Low Rate Credit Card won a 2021 Mozo Experts Choice Award for best low rate credit card. While offering one of the lowest rates in the Mozo database, as well as no annual fee, this card also comes with up to 55 days interest-free days. Although it is a low rate card, keep in mind that there is a 3% foreign exchange fee to budget for.

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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.