If you decide you need a credit card, it's important to choose a card that suits your situation and goals. We’ll run through some of the key things you should be considering when choosing a credit card from rates and fees, reward programs and premium services.

Give me the main points

  • Think carefully about whether you can manage a credit card before you get carried away with choosing one of the many credit cards out there.
  • Consider your spending habits — how much you might spend each month and how likely you are to repay the closing balance in full.
  • Look at choosing a card with a low rate or fee if you just want to make purchases on essentials and emergencies.
  • Think about choosing a premium card if you want the benefits of travel insurance and other complimentary insurances.
  • Wanting to earn reward points to use for travel, then a rewards card may be the right one for you.
  • Whatever choice you make, research well and understand how the credit card fees and interest rates work.

But first: is a credit card right for you?

Before you start daydreaming about tropical beaches and all the holidays you could take with frequent flyer points earned from swiping your card, you need to really think about whether a credit card is the right thing for you.

While a credit card can offer flexibility, convenience and great rewards, it also makes it easier to spend money and get yourself into debt. Like any debt, you need to pay it off at some point and there may be interest and late fees to pay as well. If you’re unsure about whether you can manage a credit card, then give it some careful thought. A debit card may be a better option for you.

Think about your spending habits

The amount you spend per month on your credit card and whether you’ll be repaying the balance in full, or just the minimum amount, can help you determine what type of credit card is best for you.

Reasons for choosing a premium card

Premium cards usually have higher annual fees than standard credit cards, but the extras you get with them like higher points earn rate or complimentary insurance on purchases or travel is appealing.

Try and do a rough estimate of how much you’ll spend, so you can work out how many reward points you may earn. A rewards scheme, may be worth the extra fees.

But, take note of the interest rate, as credit cards that offer rewards programs, sometimes have higher interest rates and annual fees.

Rewards schemes

We’ve partnered with three rewards partners across our cards so you can earn points on your purchases. These include Velocity Frequent Flyer™ (Virgin), Qantas Frequent Flyer™ and flybuys™. You can redeem these points for flights, accommodation, car hire, and a range of merchandise (which, of course, is subject to eligibility criteria, terms and conditions, and fees and charges apply).

Reasons for choosing a standard card

If rates and fees are important and you only want a credit card that offers the essentials, then a standard credit card may be the right choice.

A low rate card can save you a lot in interest. This can be worth more than a rewards program or premium services such as insurance.

Whatever card you choose, knowing how a credit card works and how to avoid credit card interest will pay off.

See how our different credit cards compare

So you’ve thought about your spending habits. And you’ve considered rates, fees, and reward schemes, but you’re still not sure what type of credit card suits you? Our credit card selector tool can help you compare all our different cards so you can find a card that suits your needs.

People also read

We're ready to help you

Talk to an expert
Call 13 22 65

Mon-Fri 8am - 7pm (AEST/ADST)
Sat-Sun 9am - 6pm (AEST/ADST)