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Compare the Best Credit Cards in Australia

Sean Callery Editor Money.com.au

Written By Sean Callery

Shaun McGowan Money.com.au founder

Reviewed by Shaun McGowan

Compare the best credit cards from over 260 options with Money. Sort and filter your options based on what you need and get our expert take on each card to help you decide which card is best for you.

Compare the Best Credit Cards in Australia

Sean Callery Editor Money.com.au

Written By Sean Callery

Shaun McGowan Money.com.au founder

Reviewed by Shaun McGowan

Compare the best credit cards from over 260 options with Money. Sort and filter your options based on what you need and get our expert take on each card to help you decide which card is best for you.

Featured credit card offers

Sponsored

American Express Velocity Platinum

60,000 Bonus Velocity Points

With the American Express® Velocity Platinum Card when you apply online, are approved, and spend $3k on eligible purchases in the first 3 months. T&Cs apply. New Amex Card Members only.

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American Express Qantas Discovery Card 2024

$0 annual fee with Qantas points

Enjoy a $0 annual card fee and earn Qantas Points with no limit on the number of points you can earn with the Qantas American Express® Discovery Card.

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Amex Essential Credit Card

Earn up to 80,000 Bonus Points

With the American Express Essential® Rewards Credit Card. Earn 20,000 Membership Rewards points for each 30-day period you spend $1k on eligible purchases for the first 120 days. Apply by 23 July 2024. New, approved Amex Card Members only. T&Cs apply.

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Discover your best credit card option

We have nothing to hide, so we don’t put credit cards behind a filter if they don’t pay us. See how it works.

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Rates updated 15 July 2024

Top 10 best credit cards & offers in Australia (our picks for July 2024)

1

Low interest rate

G&C Mutual Bank Low Rate Visa Credit Card: 7.49% p.a. interest rate on purchases, with $50 annual card fee.

2

No annual fee credit card

Virgin Money No Annual Fee Credit Card: $0 annual fee, with 0% p.a. on purchases for 6 months (reverts to 19.99% p.a.)

3

Longest 0% balance balance transfer offer

Bank of Melbourne, BankSA and St.George Vertigo Visa: 0% on balance transfers for 28 months, then reverts to 21.49% p.a. Balance transfer fee of 1%, plus $55 annual fee applies.

4

Biggest rewards sign up bonus

Citi Prestige Credit Card: 275,000 bonus points when you spend $10k in first 90 days. 21.49% p.a on purchases, with $700 annual card fee.

5

Highest rewards card earn rate

Bankwest More World Mastercard: Earn 2.5 points per $1 spent on eligible purchases. 19.99% p.a. on purchases, with $270 annual fee.

6

Interest-free credit card

Bankwest Breeze Platinum Mastercard: 0% p.a. on purchases for 12 months (then 12.99% p.a.), with $69 annual fee. Comes with complimentary overseas travel insurance.

7

Top Qantas frequent flyer card

Qantas American Express Ultimate Card: Up to 1.25 Qantas Points per $1 spent on everyday purchases (uncapped earning potential*). Plus, earn up to 90,000 bonus Qantas Points. That's 70,000 points when you apply online by 3 Sept 2024, are approved, and spend $3k on eligible purchases in the first 3 months. Plus, an extra 20,000 points in your 2nd year upon fee renewal. T&Cs apply, new members only. Annual fee: $450.

8

Top Velocity frequent flyer card

American Express Velocity Platinum: Earn 1.25 points per $1 spent on eligible everyday purchases. Plus, get 60,000 bonus Velocity points when you apply online, are approved, and spend $3k on eligible purchases in the first 3 months. T&Cs apply. New Amex Card Members only.

9

Travel credit card

Bankwest Breeze Zero Platinum Mastercard: 0% international transaction fees with travel insurance included. Purchase rate of 14.99% p.a. with up to 55 interest free days and $0 annual card fee.

10

Top business rewards card offer

American Express® Qantas Business Rewards Card: Earn 150,000 bonus Qantas Points plus a $200 credit when you apply by 1 October 2024, are approved and spend $6k on eligible purchases on your card in the first 3 months. New Amex Card Members only. T&Cs apply. Annual card fee: $450.

Credit card news – July 2024

Sean Callery Editor Money.com.au

Sean Callery, Editor

Rolling into a new financial year means searching high and low for tax deductions. Can credit card costs be deducted? According to the ATO, only if the card is used for business. For the annual fee, that would mean needing to work out how much of the card’s use was for business and claiming only that portion of the fee. The same would go for any interest charges or international fees. Working this out could get complicated. It’s one of the reasons a lot of business owners ring fence business spending with a separate business credit card.

Sean Callery, Editor

What's the best credit card type for you?

How they work: Low rate credit cards are designed to be a relatively cheap credit card option based on the interest rate. They are usually fairly basic in terms of the features, perks and rewards on offer.

Purpose: Often used by people who will occasionally have an outstanding balance that interest is charged on. Offers payment flexibility while keeping costs lower than some other credit cards.

Interest rates: 0.00% - 13.99% p.a.

What's good: Access credit at a relatively low rate (rates may even be lower than a personal loan in certain situations.)

What to watch for: Cards where the low interest rate is based on a special introductory offer that will revert to a higher rate later on.

How it works: Interest-free credit cards charge no interest, but usually come with a monthly fee for using the card instead. Some standard credit cards offer a 0% introductory rate for a limited period.

Purpose: These are basic cards designed for light usage, as the credit limit is generally capped at $1,000 - $3,000. They may be handy as an emergency/backup source of funds. If you don't use the card, it likely won't cost you anything.

Interest rates: 0% either ongoing or for an introductory period.

What's good: No interest and low credit limits mean there is a cap on the cost and how much debt you can build up.

What to watch for: Monthly fees can be relatively expensive. If you actually use the card, it may not be any cheaper than a standard credit card. These cards also typically do not offer rewards.

How they work: A type of no-frills credit card with no annual fee. It can help keep costs as low as possible, particularly for people who only use their card for emergencies, and/or repay their balance in full each month. Note, credit cards with no annual fee won’t necessarily have a low interest rate.

Purpose: An option for people who rarely use their credit card and don’t want the kinds of perks that come with more expensive cards.

Interest rates: 8.99% - 23.99% p.a.

What's good: Depending on how you use it, the card might cost you absolutely nothing, ever.

What to watch for: No annual fee offers that are only for the first year, or conditional on you sending a minimum amount in a set period.

How they work: Rewards credit cards are linked to a rewards program that allows you to earn points when you spend, and redeem those points for rewards like cashback, gift cards, hotel stays, and shopping across a wide range of products.

Purpose: Rewards credit cards are all about earning points and getting access to more premium card features, like complimentary insurance.

Interest rates: 12.49% - 23.99% p.a.

What's good: Allows you to earn points for spending you would be doing anyway.

What to watch for: Cards that lure you in with rewards sign-up offers and perks, but have very high fees, interest rates or restrictive caps on the number of points you can earn.

How they work: Frequent flyer credit cards are rewards cards, tailored to customers who travel a lot. The rewards and benefits of the card are geared towards frequent travellers (e.g. points earning and redemption on flights and accommodation, airport lounge access, travel vouchers and travel insurance). Most commonly these cards are Velocity or Qantas credit cards.

Purpose: Earn and redeem points and other perks on travel related spending.

Interest rates: 12.49% - 23.99% p.a.

What's good: More targeted and valuable rewards for the right cardholder.

What to watch for: Cards that offer very niche travel perks that are only worthwhile if you fly often and spend a decent amount of time overseas.

How it works: Balance transfer credit cards allow you to transfer the balance of an existing credit card, and pay 0% interest on that balance for a period of time. Balance transfers can be available with low rate or reward cards.

Purpose: Consolidate credit card debt and pay it off during the limited-time 0% interest period.

Interest rates: 0% during the balance transfer period but reverting to higher rates from 8.99% - 23.99% p.a.

What's good: The 0% interest periods available can be quite generous – up to 24 months, depending on the card.

What to watch for: Balance transfer fees that sometimes apply, either as a flat fee or a percentage of the balance being transferred. There are also no interest-free days on new purchased during the balance transfer period.

How it works: Premium credit cards generally have the highest annual fees, credit limits and offer the most rewards. Gold, platinum, and black credit cards are all premium versions of standard credit cards, and often require the cardholder to spend a certain amount of money to access benefits.

Purpose: Designed to maximise rewards and perks for high income, high spenders.

Interest rates: 19.99% - 23.99% p.a.

What's good: High-end perks, some of which may be exclusive to cardholders.

What to watch for: The temptation to spend more than you can afford in an effort to chase premium card rewards.

Travel credit cards Travel credit cards allow you to earn frequent flyer points that can be used towards flights, accommodation, and other travel perks. Some come with additional travel-friendly features like 0% foreign transaction fees.

Cashback credit cards Cashback credit cards reward a percentage of your spending as credit. Alternatively, you can get your cash back in other forms such as gift cards.

Business credit cards Business credit cards are designed to offer a line of credit for business customers. All of the perks of personal credit cards also apply to business cards such as rewards schemes, interest-free days, and balance transfers. Corporate credit cards are designed for larger businesses.

Charge cards Charge cards are very similar to credit cards, but there is no set credit limit and the cardholder must pay off the full balance each month. There are no interest charges on charge cards.

Student credit cards Student credit cards are targeted specifically towards students who have little to no credit history. These are usually a fairly basic credit card, with low costs and few significant perks.

Store credit cards Store credit cards are offered by specific retailers to earn points as part of their rewards program. The other aspects of the cards will be similar to standard credit cards. Store credit cards are no longer widely available in Australia.

How to compare credit cards

To compare credit cards, start by figuring out how you plan to use the card. It’s important to get a card that matches your spending habits.

But here are some key factors to look at across the board, whichever type of card you need.

The best credit cards will have...
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Useful rewards

Look for cards offering rewards you'll actually use. And pay close attention to the conditions you need to meet to be eligible. For example, you might only get bonus points for signing up if you spend a certain amount after getting your card.

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Competitive interest rates

This is the cost of borrowing using your credit card. You'll pay interest on purchases if you have a balance outstanding after the interest-free period each month, and a separate rate of interest on cash advances (with no interest-free period typically).

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High interest-free days

This is the maximum number of days you have from the start of each statement period before you're charged interest on purchases. Ideally you want a card with a high number of interest-free days – e.g. 55 days or more.

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Low credit card fees

Credit card annual fees can range from $0 all the way up to $1,750. There are other fees that might apply depending on how you use the card. If a card charges fees, consider what you're getting in return

Credit card fees explained

  • Annual fee This can range from $0 to well over $1,000 for premium rewards cards. It's fairly common for credit cards to have the annual fee waived in the first year, or every year if you spend a certain amount.
  • Extra cardholder fee Some lenders charge an additional yearly fee for each extra card that’s part of your account. There is generally a limit on how many extra cards you can add to your account.
  • Foreign currency conversion fee This is charged on transactions made in a foreign currency (even if you're in Australia when you make the purchase). This generally ranges from 2-3% but there are a number of credit cards with no international fees.
  • Late payment fee If you don't make at least the minimum repayment on your credit card by the due date, you could be charged a late payment fee. This fee generally ranges from between $10 to $35 depending on the provider.
  • Over limit fee This is a fee that may be charged if your balance exceeds the limit on your credit card limit.
  • Cash advance fee Using your credit card to withdraw cash can cost you up to 5% of the withdrawn amount in fees, plus interest.
  • Foreign currency cash advance If you are in a foreign country and withdraw cash from your credit card, then you could be charged a foreign currency cash advance fee as well as the standard ATM fees.
  • Balance transfer fee Some cards with a balance transfer offer (but not all) charge an upfront fee of between 1-3% of the balance you're transferring. That fee will be in addition to the card's annual fee.
  • Dishonour of direct credit fee If you are paying off your credit card balance by direct credit and you dishonour that payment, then you may be charged a dishonour fee of up to $2.50.
  • Replacement card fee It can cost you up to $25 to have a replacement issued if you lose your card or make it unusable.

What credit card insurance can I get?

Your credit card may include various types of complimentary insurance and protection (particularly if it's a more premium card). Here are the most common inclusions:

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Travel insurance

Covers the likes of emergency medical expenses, loss or theft of personal belongings, and flight cancellation. Credit card travel insurance may cover international and/or domestic travel.

car

Rental car insurance

May cover theft, damage, towing and other charges related to your rental vehicle. This often simply covers the excess on the insurance available through the car rental company.

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Price protection

Covers the cardholder for changes to product prices and allowing you to claim the difference as a refund.

credit-card-shield

Purchase protection

Covers accidental damage, loss or theft of items you have paid for using your card.

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Extended warranty cover

This means items you purchase using your card may be covered for defects for longer than they would be if the standard manufacturer warranty applied.

How to qualify for a credit card in Australia

Qualifying criteria for credit cards will vary between cards and issuers. To qualify for the majority of credit cards in Australia, you will need to meet some basic requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be an Australian citizen, permanent resident or hold an eligible visa
  • Have a reliable source of income
  • Have good credit score

If you are a temporary resident, or have bad credit, you could still get approved for a credit card. The number of cards to choose from will be limited, however, and you may need to supply additional supporting documentation with your application.

How to apply for a credit card

You can apply for a credit card online over the phone, at a bank, and even at the checkout at certain stores. A typical credit card application process can take between 15 and 20 minutes.

As part of the application, you’ll need to provide the card issuer with supporting documentation. This is so they can assess your ability to comfortably meet repayments, and to determine your credit limit. You’ll be asked for:

1

Personal details

2

Valid ID, such as a driver licence or passport

3

Employment history and current salary (verified with payslips)

4

Your assets - such as your home and motor vehicle

5

Your current expenses and other loans you may have

Remember, a declined application could affect your credit score, and make it difficult to gain approval for a loan or credit card in the future.

Credit card pros and cons

Pros
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  • Financial back up if you need it
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  • Offers payment and cash-flow flexibility
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  • Some cards come with no annual fees and/or 0% interest
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  • Insurance and fraud protection often included
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  • A lot of cards offer rewards
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  • If repaid in full consistently, may help build your credit score
Cons
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  • Can encourage overspending
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  • High interest rates and fees on some cards
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  • Not always obvious if rewards and perks are worth the cost
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  • Your card limit could impact future loan applications
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  • Cash advances can be particularly expensive
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  • Can damage your credit score if you miss repayments
Bad credit debt consolidation loans

Is a credit card worth it for me?

(Expert tips)

If used responsibly, a credit card can be a handy tool for your day-to-day finances. But they're not for everyone, explains David Rankin, financial coach at Sort My Money and former bank manager at ANZ and Westpac.

Your questions answered

The vast majority of credit cards include interest-free days, where the card issuer will only charge interest on a purchase after a set period of time. If you pay off your card’s balance within this period you generally won’t need to pay any interest.

Interest-free days vary, but it’s common for credit cards to include an interest-free period of 55 days.

With most cards, your interest-free days start on the first day of your statement period, and not on the day you make a purchase. Here’s an example:

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  • Your credit card offers 55 days interest-free purchases
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  • Your interest-free days will begin on the first day of your statement period
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  • Your statement period begins on 1 November
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  • Your statement period ends on 30 November
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  • Any purchases made between that period will not accrue interest until 25 December

Most lenders require you to have good credit before they issue you a credit card. You can request a copy of your credit history from any of the main credit agencies in Australia before applying for a card.

It's generally more difficult to be approved for a credit card if you have a bad credit score. That said, a bad credit score does not automatically disqualify you from getting a credit card. It will come down to your individual circumstances and the lender.

But you should think carefully about whether it will be suitable for you if you have bad credit. It may be worth spending some time improving your credit score before applying.

Remember, having a credit card application declined could damage your credit score further.

You can still get a credit card with no credit, provided you have a stable source of income and are in a good overall financial position. You may only be able to get approval based on a low credit limit if you have a limited credit history.

Cards that have a low credit limit are easier to get approved for than those that have high limits. Standard credit cards that don’t have a lot of extras or additional fees may also be easier to get approved for than gold, platinum, or black credit cards.

In most cases, the card’s annual fee is the main cost of your credit card. But the cost of a credit card will depend on the type of card you apply for, and how you use it. You can often reduce the cost of your credit card by qualifying for interest-free days, and always repaying your balance in full each statement period.

If you let interest build up, credit cards can be very expensive.

The credit limit of your credit card is the total amount of funds the lender makes available for your to borrow any given time (i.e. the maximum outstanding balance).

The limit offered to you by a lender will depend on your:

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  • Income
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  • Credit score
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  • General financial health

The minimum and maximum credit limit will also depend on the type of credit card. For example, a premium credit card may have a minimum limit of $15,000 and a maximum of $100,000, while a student credit card may have a minimum limit of $500 and a maximum of $10,000.

Choosing a suitable credit limit is important as the available limit on your credit card (not the balance) will be considered by lenders if you make a loan application in future.

According to the RBA, the average credit card limit in Australia is around $9,500.

You can increase the credit limit on your credit card by calling your card issuer. The amount that you can increase your credit card limit to will be determined by the issuer and will often be subject to a credit check before additional funds will be made available.

Approval of an initial credit card application can be very quick – within minutes if you apply online. However, it’s common to be asked to provide documents, like payslips and bank statements, in order for your application to be assessed in full.

Overall, a lot of people can get approved with a day or two and have their credit card ready to use within 1-2 weeks.

If you have applied for a credit card and wish to cancel your application, you will need to call the card issuer and ask them to process your request. If you were issued with an application number or reference when submitting your application, you can provide this to help speed up the process.

You can save on interest and fees by consolidating debt from multiple cards into one. This is called a balance transfer. You may find balance transfer cards with a 0% interest introductory offer to help you repay your debt without accruing further interest.

You can avoid paying interest on your credit card by repaying the full amount at the end of your statement period. You can also consider changing to a low-interest or interest-free credit card if you will carry the balance over from month to month.

Another option is a charge card which works similarly to a credit card but with no interest applying. However, you need to clear the balance in full each month. Only American Express offers charge cards to consumers in Australia.

The number of credit cards you can have is determined by the card issuer(s). There is no hard limit, and many people use multiple cards with different rewards structures to take advantage of various promotions.

Each application will be assessed separately by the lender, based on your ability to repay the balance comfortably.

Be aware, however, that multiple cards with a high combined credit limit can negatively impact your credit score.

Additional credit cards are offered to people who are approved for a card and want to pass on a secondary card to a spouse or other family member.

The person who uses the card must be over 18 years of age. You remain responsible for paying the balance, interest, and fees on the supplementary credit card.

You can usually activate a credit card through the provider’s mobile app or online banking. Once the card is activated, it’s ready to use and add to your device’s mobile wallet for mobile payments.

You can cancel your credit card by calling your card issuer. A representative will inform you of the next steps and how you can pay off your remaining balance if necessary.

You should dispose of old credit cards securely to prevent anyone from accessing your financial information. To properly dispose of your card, you will need to cut it up with scissors and disable the card’s chip.

Sean Callery Editor Money.com.au

Written by

Sean Callery

Sean Callery is the Editor of Money.com.au. He has over 15 years of international experience. He is qualified with a Certificate IV in Finance and Mortgage Broking (FNS40821) and is compliant to provide general advice in Tier 1 General Insurance (RG 146) products.

Shaun McGowan Money.com.au founder

Reviewed by

Shaun McGowan

Shaun McGowan is the founder of Money.com.au. He's determined to help people and businesses pay as little as possible for financial products, through education and building world class technology. Previously Shaun co-founded CarLoans.com.au and Lend.

Important information

General information only

The information on this page is general in nature and has been prepared without considering your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider whether the information provided and the nature of the credit card product is suitable for you and seek independent financial advice if necessary.

We are not providing you with a recommendation or suggestion about a particular credit product. You should read the relevant disclosure statements or other offer documents before deciding whether to apply for or continue to hold a particular credit card.

What products, features and information are shown

While we make every effort to ensure all credit cards available in Australia are shown in our comparison tables, we cannot guarantee that all products are included. Where we become aware of a card that is missing from our tables, we commit to adding it within one business day.

Our product comparisons may not compare all card features and attributes relevant to you.

Product information, such as interest rates, fees and charges, is subject to change without notice. Before acting on any information, you should confirm the relevant product information with the card issuer. While we do our best to ensure the information provided on this website is accurate, all information on this website is provided without any representation or warranty, either express or implied, being given as to the accuracy, completeness, timeliness, reliability or otherwise of its content. No responsibility is accepted by us for any errors, omissions or any inaccurate information on this website.

How cards are sorted and filtered by default

Users can easily change the sort order and apply product filters to our product comparison tables. However, when you arrive on a page initially or select a particular card type via the ‘card features’, a default sort order is applied as follows:

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  • All cards shown: Consumers credit cards sorted by lowest purchase rate, then alphabetically by product name.
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  • No annual fee cards: Consumers credit cards sorted by lowest purchase rate, then alphabetically by product name.
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  • Low rate cards: Consumers credit cards sorted by lowest purchase rate, then alphabetically by product name.
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  • Balance transfer cards: Consumers credit cards sorted by lowest balance transfer rate, then lowest purchase rate.
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  • Rewards and frequent flyer cards: Consumers credit cards sorted by highest points per dollar earned on everyday purchases, then alphabetically by product name.
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  • Cashback cards: Consumers credit cards sorted by highest cashback per dollar earned, then alphabetically by product name.
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  • Interest-free cards: Purchase rate, then alphabetically by product name.

We may earn a commission from product providers if you are issued with a credit card via a link from this page. Cards marked as ‘sponsored’ are not selected or positioned on the page based on their product attributes. However, in our comparison tables, products are displayed based on the relevant default sort order and filters applied for that card type, or the sort order and filters selected by a user. We do not sort or filter comparison tables based on whether or not we will make money from a particular card, but we may earn a commission if you are issued with a card via a link from our organic comparison tables.

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Money Pty Ltd (trading as Money) Australian Credit Licence 528698 provides information about credit products and is authorised to do so as the holder of Australian Credit Licence 528698. Money does not compare every Lender all products or issuers available in Australia. We are not a broker or credit provider and when we provide information via this website, we are not providing you with a recommendation or suggestion about a particular credit product.

This material has been prepared by Money Pty Limited (ABN 40 664 954 536) (Money, ‘us’ or ‘we’). Money is a corporate authorised representative (CAR 001307399) of 62 Consulting Pty Limited (ABN 88 664 809 303) (AFSL 548573) (62C). The material is for general information only and is not an offer for the purchase or sale of any financial product or service. The material is not intended to provide you with financial or tax advice and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Although we believe that the material is correct, no warranty of accuracy, reliability or completeness is given, except for liability under statute which cannot be excluded. Please note that past performance may not be indicative of future performance and that no guarantee of performance, the return of capital or a particular rate of return is given by 62C, Money, any of their related body corporates or any other person. To the maximum extent possible, 62C, Money, their related body corporates or any other person do not accept any liability for any statement in this material.

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