Credit card fees. Some are impossible to avoid, while you can prevent others altogether. Have you ever wondered if there were ways to get around paying them? We’ve put together a list of common credit card fees, with possible ways to get around paying them.

Give me the main points

  • You can’t avoid annual fees, but you could pay less with another credit card.
  • Cash advances are expensive should be avoided unless it’s an emergency.
  • Avoid late payment fees by using direct debits or payment reminders.
  • Paying in other currencies or shopping online can attract international fees.
  • Some fees are charged by other banks, not us. That’s why you should use a NAB ATM.

Annual fee

Depending on which you choose, you may pay less fees with one credit card when compared to another.

Your annual fee could be as low as about $30 for the NAB Low Fee Card, or you could pay up to $250 a year for the NAB Qantas Rewards Premium Card. Usually, the more features a card has – like rewards points and insurance – the higher its annual fee.

But what if you’re paying for a premium card and find you’re not using most of its features? There’s no reason why you shouldn’t transfer to a lower-fee card.

And unless you’re a shareholder or have a NAB Choice Package, you’ll be charged an annual card fee for any card you choose. You really can’t avoid this fee. Our packages provide different discounts and benefits for an annual package fee and could help you save money overall on your home loan or other accounts.

Cash advance fee

A cash advance means withdrawing cash or transferring funds from your credit card1.

Only “advance” cash if you need to. Like, really need to. Emergencies. Because cash advance fees are a percentage of the amount you advance. The larger the cash advance, the higher the fee. A fee amount determined entirely by you.

The fee itself is a once off, but it doesn’t include the interest that’s charged from the day of the cash advance to the day it’s paid off. That’s daily interest you’ll have to pay.

We go into more detail about cash advances in How to avoid credit card interest.

Late payment fee

To avoid paying a late payment fee you need to make – at the very least – your minimum payment by your statement due date. (When you read about avoiding credit card interest you’ll see that making the minimum payment is not enough to avoid interest.)

You can set up a regular payment or direct debit to avoid being stung with a late payment fee. This way you’ll never be late with your payments. You’ll just need to make sure you have enough funds in your nominated account. You can read more about these and more in How to avoid credit card interest.

Another way to avoid paying a late payment fee is to set up a NAB Alert. You can set a weekly, fortnightly or monthly email balance reminders. And you can schedule them at 8am, 11am, 2pm or 5pm (AEST/AEDT).

International transaction fees

International transaction fees vary depending on your credit card type (Visa, MasterCard®2, or American Express®3) and transaction type. Regardless, it’ll always be a percentage of the total you spend.

And you don’t have to be overseas for an international transaction fee to apply. If you love online shopping, any purchase you make with an international store or in any international currency (like USD or GBP) will attract the fee.

Repeat statement fee

Not as common as other fees, but if you ask us to post you a copy of an old credit card statement we’ll charge you a fee to do this.

Just because you may need to check transactions from a few years ago doesn’t mean you need to pay for it.

To avoid paying it, set up Smart Statements online through NAB Internet Banking. You can download statements for an open account going back as far as seven years.

Non-NAB ATM fees

Not technically a 'credit card fee' because it’ll apply regardless of the NAB card you use. But you’ll probably have to pay one if you use an ATM other than a NAB ATM or rediATM.

Whoever owns the ATM (the bank or company) will directly charge you this fee. You’ll see the amount onscreen and have the option to cancel your selection rather than pay the fee and continue.

Download the NAB app for your smartphone and use it to locate NAB ATMs or rediATMs so you can avoid paying non-NAB fees.

Important information

1 Cash advances - Other types of cash advances include bills paid with your credit card over the counter at another bank or at a post office, or purchases that work more or less like cash (like traveller’s cheques or gift cards).

2 MasterCard - MasterCard® and the MasterCard Brand Mark are registered trademarks of MasterCard International Incorporated. Priceless Cities and SecureCode are trademarks of MasterCard International Incorporated.

3 American Express - American Express is a registered trademarks of American Express. The NAB American Express Cards are issued by National Australia Bank pursuant to a licence from American Express.

Credit cards issued by National Australia Bank Limited. © 2016 National Australia Bank Limited ABN 12 004 044 937 AFSL and Australian Credit Licence 230686

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