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Choosing a credit card

 

Rewards, Low Rate, Low Fee, Platinum and more – different cards will suit different needs. With so many options, finding the right card can seem like a complex process. But don’t worry – it's not. Before deciding which is right for you, just ask yourself the following questions.

 

How much do you spend?

Try and average out what you're likely to spend per month. Asking yourself this question may help you decide whether you're best off with a premium card (such as a rewards card), a low rate card or a low fee card.

Generally, the more features a card has, the higher the annual fee and interest rate are likely to be. Features of premium cards include rewards points that can be redeemed for frequent flyer miles or gift cards1 as well as complimentary insurances2 and concierge services3. If you use your card enough, these extras could provide surprisingly good value.

However, if you'll be keeping your credit card purchases to a minimum, you might want to consider a card with a low annual fee or interest rate. As a rule of thumb, there's probably limited value in getting a premium card if you're spending less than $1,000 a month on your card.

 

How much do you intend to pay off each month?

If you're aiming to pay off the full amount you owe by the due date each month, then it’s worthwhile considering a card that offers interest-free days (St.George cards, for example, all offer up to 55 interest-free days, subject to conditions).4 And although the interest rate is always important to consider, if you'll be paying off the full amount, you may weigh the interest rate up against any added extras such as rewards points or complimentary insurances.

If you won't be paying the full amount by the due date each month, then consider a card with a lower interest rate. The lower the interest rate, the less interest you'll pay (of course), but also the easier it will be to pay off the balance. Keep in mind though that if you're carrying a balance over each month, you won’t get any benefit from interest-free days on anything you buy on your card.

 

Don't forget to factor in the annual fee

Once again, the more features your card has, the higher your annual fee is likely to be. So if you're keeping your spend to a minimum (think less than $1,000 a month), you're probably unlikely to get as much value as you could from a card with more benefits.

 

A word on rewards cards …

Rewards cards can certainly offer some bonuses – think frequent flyer miles that can be redeemed for flights or upgrades or even gift cards from some of Australia's leading retailers. But before signing up for a rewards card, ask yourself:

  • Are you likely to pay off your card balance by the due date?
  • What rewards are on offer?

How much will you have to spend to get the reward you'd like?

Finding the right card for you can be quite a personal process. If you'd like to do some more research, try comparing credit cards side-by-side. Alternatively, use our online calculator to help you choose a credit card.

Important information

Conditions and fees apply. Credit criteria apply to all credit products. The information on our website is prepared without knowing your personal financial circumstances. Before you act on this, please consider if it's right for you. If you need help, call 13 33 30.

1. Depending on your choice of Reward program, you can earn Amplify Points or Qantas Points on eligible purchases. The earning and redemption of Amplify Points or Qantas Points is subject to the Amplify Rewards Terms and Conditions. You do not receive Points if your account is in arrears for 2 consecutive statement cycles and other circumstances. You must be a member of the Qantas Frequent Flyer program to earn and redeem points in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Qantas Frequent Flyer program.

2. QBE Insurance (Australia) Limited ABN 78 003 191 035 AFSL 239545 has issued an insurance group policy to Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 which allows eligible St.George account holders and cardholders to claim under it as third party beneficiaries.  The terms, conditions, limits and exclusions, of the group policy, are set out in the Credit Card Complimentary Insurance Terms and Conditions, which may be amended from time to time. Westpac does not guarantee the insurance. You can get a copy of the policy booklet by calling 13 33 30 or download the Credit Card Complimentary Insurance Terms and Conditions

3. Visa Platinum/ Visa Signature Concierge ("Concierge") is serviced by a third party supplier. By accessing or using the Concierge, or attempting to do so, you are deemed to have understood and agreed to the terms of usage. For details and terms of usage, call 1300 859 100.

4. Up to 55 days interest free on purchases when you pay the full closing balance (including any balance transfer amount) by the statement due date each month.

© St.George Bank – A Division of Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141
AFSL and Australian credit licence 233714

Read the disclosure documents.