Compare Credit Cards - Find the Lowest Rates and Fees | Finder NZ

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Compare credit cards

The best credit card deals available in New Zealand, all in one place.

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Name Product Purchase Rate Interest Free Period Annual fee
Gem Visa Credit Card
25.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$52
6 months interest free on all Visa purchases $250 and over, plus get long-term interest-free deals at retailers nationwide including Apple, Noel Leeming, Mitre 10 and many more.
American Express Airpoints Card
0% for 6 months (reverts to 19.95% p.a.)
Up to 55 days on purchases
$0
Be rewarded with 50 bonus Airpoints Dollars. Simply apply, be approved, and spend $750 on your new Card in the first 3 months of membership. This offer is available to new Card Members only.
American Express Airpoints Platinum Card
19.95% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$195
Be rewarded with 400 bonus Airpoints Dollars when you apply online by 30 March 2021, are approved, and spend $1,500 on your new Card within the first 3 months. This offer is available to new Card Members only. You will also earn 1 Airpoints Dollar for every $59 you spend on your card.
American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card
2.99% for 6 months (reverts to 19.95% p.a.)
Up to 55 days on purchases
$149
Enjoy a low rate on purchases and earn 20,000 Membership Rewards Bonus Points if you apply, are approved and spend $750 in the first 3 months of Card membership. This offer is available to new Card Members only.
American Express Platinum Card
N/A
Up to 44 days on purchases
$1,250
Get the new metal Platinum Card, 100,000 Membership Rewards bonus points, up to $300 dining credit and $200 to spend on travel each year. Offer available to new customers only who apply by 31 May 2021, are approved, and spend at least $1,500 in the first 3 months. Exclusions, Ts&Cs apply.
Farmers Mastercard
25.95% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$50
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Our free credit card comparison service makes finding the right card simple. Review cards side by side and discover the rewards, fees an benefits of each.

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* The credit card offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of credit cards Finder has access to and are not representative of all the products available in the market. Products are displayed in no particular order or ranking. The use of the terms “best” and “top” are not product ratings and are subject to our disclaimer. You should consider seeking independent financial advice and consider your own personal financial circumstances when comparing cards.

How credit cards work

A credit card is an unsecured revolving line of credit that you can use to make purchases and pay bills. The three major credit card networks used in New Zealand are Visa, Mastercard and American Express. Visa and Mastercard are issued by banks and financial institutions, and American Express issues its own cards.

Based on your perceived ability to make repayments, you are assigned a credit limit, which is the maximum amount of money you can use on your credit card. Some cards have higher limits than others, but also require a higher income.

Unlike a debit card that uses your own money to make purchases, when you use a credit card, it is the lender who pays the retailer. At the end of your billing cycle (once a month), you receive a statement that tells you the total amount you owe for that period. You can either pay the balance off in full or pay an amount that is equal to or greater than the minimum payment due. The bank or financial institution makes money on fees and the interest that accrues on your revolving credit.

Credit card issuers have been offering increasingly shiny rewards, signup bonuses, and travel perks to lure new customers. This can be very helpful if you pay your bills on time and in full. If you don’t you might offset any rewards gained by paying more in fees and interest.

What types of cards are available?

Each type of has specific features and benefits designed to suit a variety of needs. When you know what you want from a credit card, you can narrow down your comparison to a few options. To help you compare credit cards, we have outlined the most common types below:

Person holding phone and card over cityscape
No annual fee
Save on yearly credit card costs with a $0 annual fee credit card, including promotional offers and cards with no annual fee for life.
Woman in meeting room holding paper
Business
Credit cards with features designed to make financial management easier across a company, such as additional credit cards for employees, individual pre-set spending limits and accounting tools.

Rates and fees explained

When you compare credit cards, the rates and fees will help you work out the overall cost of each option. Here are the key features to look at when you start to compare credit cards:

  • Annual fees

Credit card annual fees can range from $0 (The ASB Visa Light) to up to $390 for prestige cards (Westpac Airpoints World Mastercard). This fee is usually charged when you first activate your account, then once a year on the anniversary of your account activation.

When you are comparing cards, think about what features will offset the cost of the annual fee so you can find one that is affordable for you. Remember some credit cards only offer a $0 or lower annual fee in the first year, so check the long-term features of the cards you compare to avoid any nasty surprises after the first year.

  • Purchase rate

This is the interest rate that is charged for most of the transactions you make using your credit card. Standard purchase rates range from around 9.95% p.a. to 21% p.a. (variable) depending on the card you choose. If you regularly pay your balance in full, the purchase rate may not be of major concern, but if you think will carry a balance then choosing a card with a lower interest rate will help keep the cost down.

  • Interest-free days

If you pay your balance in full each month, you can usually receive a certain number of interest-free days on purchases during each statement period. Major banks usually offer 44 or 55 days on new purchases.

If you plan to pay off the balance in full for every statement cycle, the number of interest-free days available could be an important factor for your credit card comparison. However, remember this feature won’t be much use if you carry a balance.

  • Cash advance rate

This interest rate is applied to cash advance transactions, which include ATM withdrawals, foreign currency exchange, bets and other gambling charges. It is usually around 19.95% p.a. to 22.95% p.a. and applies from the time you make a cash advance transaction. While it is a good idea to avoid making cash advances with a credit card, it is important to consider this factor in your comparison so that you know what the potential costs will be for these types of transactions.

  • Cash advance fee

As well as applying interest to cash advance transactions, you may be charged a one-off fee on cash withdrawals. This is usually around 2% to 3.5% of the total transaction cost. As with the cash advance interest rate, it is a good idea to check this fee when comparing cards so you are aware of the cost of cash advances for any option you choose.

    • International transaction fee

    Most credit cards apply a fee for transactions made in a foreign currency or with an overseas merchant. This fee usually adds 2% to 3.5% to an international transaction and is indicated on your bank statement as an ‘offshore service margin’. If you plan to travel with a credit card or want to use one to shop online with overseas retailers, it is a good idea to look at cards that waive this cost or at least have a lower fee than other options you are considering.

    • Late payment fee

    Credit card issuers charge you a fee if you don’t make the minimum payment by the due date on your statement. There is no standard rate for this in New Zealand, with late fees ranging from $2 to $20 across major banks. While you should always aim to pay your credit card off by the due date, checking this fee when you are comparing credit cards can give you an idea of how each option treats late payments and you may want to factor this into your final decision.

    • Overlimit fee

    If you max out your credit card, you could be charged a fee of around $3 to $20. It is important to consider this cost when comparing different cards so that you know what penalties could apply for different options. It may also help you decide on a sensible credit limit when you apply.

    • Other fees and charges

    You may incur other fees including:

    • Additional cardholder fees: If you apply for joint or additional cardholders, an annual fee may be charged.
    • Printed statement fees: If you ask for a printed statement rather than viewing your statement through your Internet banking.
    • Emergency card replacement: If you lose your card or it is stolen and you need a new one urgently, you may be charged a fee to cover the quick processing and sending of a new card.

    Visa, Mastercard and American Express – what’s the difference?

    In New Zealand, Visa, Mastercard and American Express are the major credit card networks used. So what is the difference?

    Visa and Mastercard credit cards are issued by banks. In the past, some banks offered both options, but now stick with one or the other. Westpac is currently the only bank to issue Mastercard, with the other major banks sticking to Visa.

    For the average user, Visa and Mastercard are both widely accepted around the world and get the job done. There are some subtle differences which we explored in our guide to Visa vs Mastercard.

    On the other hand, American Express hasn’t been as widely accepted, but this is improving. Cards are issued by American Express itself, so there are no physical branches to visit.

    Each credit card network offers its own benefits to cardholders, but the majority of perks tend to be reserved for those with a platinum, black and gold card.

    Do I meet the eligibility criteria?

    Like with personal loans and mortgages, banks have certain criteria that you must meet to be eligible for a credit card.

    At a minimum, you should:

    • Be at least 18 years of age
    • Be a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident (you may also be eligible on a work visa)
    • Have a good to excellent credit rating
    • Have a regular income with the ability to meet repayments

    The amount of income that you need to be earning differs between financial institutions and also depends on which card you are applying for. Cards with higher credit limits and more benefits tend to have a higher income requirement. For example, the American Express Platinum Edge requires a minimum income of $50,000, compared to the BNZ Lite Visa which only requires an annual income of at least $15,000.

    If you are temporarily in New Zealand for work or study, or you’ve just moved here, you may be eligible for a credit card. Banks like ANZ and ASB have dedicated migrant banking teams that can help get you set up with the financial products you need.

    Points to consider before applying for a credit card

    1. If you have more than one credit card, you can not use one to pay off another.
    2. Paying only the minimum amount due on your statement will mean that your credit card debt takes a lot longer to pay off.
    3. While perks and rewards definitely sound appealing at first, higher annual fees and interest rates may outweigh the benefits.
    4. You don’t have to keep the credit card until its expiry date. You can cancel your card at any time or move the balance over to another card with a low or 0% interest rate for balance transfers.
    5. Even if you are offered a higher credit limit than you asked for, you don’t need to keep it. You can reduce your limit to remove the temptation to spend more.

    Credit card application tips

    While applying for a credit card doesn’t have to be complicated, it is not guaranteed that you will be approved even if you meet the basic lending criteria. Before moving forward, work through our list of application tips to have the best chance of being accepted.

    1. Assess your needs. Before you begin your search, spend some time considering what you want, need and can afford with your next credit card.
    2. Compare your options. Once you’ve decided what type of card you want, it’s time to compare credit cards to find one that suits your needs.
    3. Are you eligible? Know the requirements for the card application – do you need a minimum income, and do you meet the age limit?
    4. Know your credit history. It can be a good idea to request a free copy of your credit report before applying, so you can correct any possible errors on it and see what the bank will be seeing when they assess your application.
    5. Lower your credit utilisation ratio. If you already have a credit card balance, it’s wise to pay off your existing balances before submitting a new credit card application. Or, if you can’t pay the balance in full, lower it as much as possible before you apply.
    6. Don’t apply for multiple cards at once or within a short period. You may be tempted to apply for a second card just in case your first one doesn’t get approved. Don’t. Each credit enquiry that a lender makes about your credit history leaves a new mark on your credit file for five years.

    Read more on this topic

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    6 Responses

      Default Gravatar
      JayMarch 23, 2018

      Is there a credit card in New Zealand that has no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees?

        Avatarfinder Customer Care
        MayMarch 26, 2018Staff

        Hi Jay,

        Thanks for your inquiry. At the moment, we don’t have a comparison page for credit cards with zero foreign transaction fees, but we have a guide how this card works instead. Please refer to this page. As to the credit card with no annual fee, please check the one we featured on this page and see if this suits your needs.

        Cheers,
        May

      Default Gravatar
      SamehDecember 26, 2017

      Hi there
      I am looking for GE credit card within next few days … is that possible? Cause I need to use it to buy some items from Harvey normal before end of December which the price unbeatable for that items
      Thanks a lot
      Sameh

        Default Gravatar
        ArnoldDecember 30, 2017

        Hi Sameh,

        Thanks for your inquiry

        Actually, you have come to the right page to find options for credit cards in NZ. If you specifically want a GE credit card, you may directly contact the card lender to apply. Please note that you need meet some eligibility requirements to be approved.

        Hope this information helps

        Cheers,
        Arnold

      Default Gravatar
      MeghanNovember 27, 2017

      Hello, I am trying to get a job in New Zealand.. I’m looking into credit cards before I leave. I will be paying off any debt I have on the card I have currently of course. I was hoping you could help me find something like the capital one platinum card in the U.S
      I have a little credit.. I only started a year ago though. And I’m looking for something with no annual fee

        Avatarfinder Customer Care
        asiasantiagoNovember 29, 2017Staff

        Hi Meghan,

        Thank you for your inquiry.

        Upon checking on our website, there is no information about a platinum card that doesn’t require annual fees.

        But we do have a page for no annual fee credit cards, You may want to compare your options on the link address here: https://www.finder.com/nz/credit-cards/no-annual-fee-credit-cards#apply.

        I recommend that it is best to contact your chosen credit card provider to discuss with them your eligibility and options.

        I hope this helps.

        Cheers,
        Asia

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