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You deserve the best credit card deal

That's why we've reviewed dozens to help you find the right one.

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What is the best credit card in New Zealand?

This depends on what you want. Do you want heaps of Airpoints, to pay as little as possible, or some other feature? No matter what you’re after, there are plenty of good cards out there. With our picks, comparison table and expert tips, you’re just a few clicks away from finding the best card for you.

Find the best credit card for you

Use this table to compare cards based on the features you want and the rates and fees that you can afford.

Name Product Purchase Rate Interest Free Period Annual fee
LOW RATE
The Co-operative Bank Fair Rate Credit Card
12.95% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$20
0% p.a on balance transfers for 12 months if you apply by 11 July 2021. Plus benefit from a low rate of 12.95% on both purchases and cash advances.
AIRPOINTS
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.
AIRPOINTS
American Express Airpoints Platinum Card
19.95% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$195
Limited time offer: Be rewarded with 500 bonus Airpoints Dollars when you apply online by 27 September 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. Ts&Cs apply. You will also earn 1 Airpoints Dollar for every $59 you spend on your card.
OFFER
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.
OFFER
American Express Platinum Card
N/A
Up to 44 days on purchases
$1,250
Get the new metal Platinum Card, 80,000 Membership Rewards bonus points, up to $300 dining credit and $200 to spend on travel each year. Offer available to new customers who apply online, 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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How do I know which credit card is best?

Even though there’s no one “best” credit card for everyone, there are a few things that have universal appeal, including:

  • Low fees and interest rates to help you save on credit card costs
  • A low or 0% balance transfer period if you want to pay off debt without interest
  • Airpoints, cashback or other extras that you can use to get more value
  • A bank you want to deal with (think good service, a cool app or mobile payments)

How important each of the above points is to you will help you decide which card will best fit your wallet.

Types of credit cards and how to find the best one for you

When you’re looking for the best credit card, choosing a type or “category” first means you don’t have to look at every card on the market. While there are hundreds of different cards on offer, there are really only four main types: balance transfer cards, no annual fee cards, reward cards and low rate cards.

Different cards will work for different spenders (or savers). Here’s how to find the best one for you.

If you… Are paying too much credit card interest

  • Want to get out of debt faster
  • Want to combine 2+ cards into one

Balance transfer credit cards

What are they?
These credit cards give you a low or 0% interest rate for a period of time when you move money you already owe from your current card to the new card. Having the interest-free period means you save on charges and can pay off your debt faster.

If you’re paying interest on more than one credit card, you can also use a balance transfer credit card to consolidate the cards into one account. There are even some balance transfer cards that let you move debt from personal loans. As well as saving you money on interest charges (and often fees), this means you only have one bill to pay each month.

How to find the best balance transfer credit card
✅‍ ‍‍‏‏‎ ‎Look for: A 0% balance transfer rate that lasts long enough for you to pay off your debt. The introductory period usually ranges from 6 to 12 months and after that, a higher interest rate kicks in. If you can pay off what you owe before that happens, you’ll save more with a balance transfer deal.
⚠️ ‏‏‎ ‎Watch out for: A balance transfer fee that eats too much into your savings. Not all offers charge one, but if they do, it’s typically charged as 1-3% of the money you transfer.

If you… Spend a lot and want to be rewarded for it

  • Want more Airpoints
  • Are looking for value (beyond saving money)

Airpoints other rewards credit cards

What are they?

Airpoints and other rewards credit cards earn you points on your everyday spending, which you can then use to get travel, gift cards, experiences and more. There are also some cards that offer cashback rewards.

Lots of these cards also come with big bonus point offers when you first sign up, which can give you hundreds of dollars in value. But most Airpoints and rewards cards also have higher annual fees and interest rates than other cards. So people who can pay off their balance each month and use all the points and perks will get the best value.

How to find the best Airpoints or rewards credit card
✅ ‏‏‎ ‎Look for: An introductory offer with substantial bonus cashback or bonus points. This will often balance out the card’s annual fee in the first year. The points you earn per $1 spent (the “earn rate”) will help you work out the value beyond that.
⚠️ ‏‏‎ ‎Watch out for: Standard interest rates and annual fees that are higher than you’re prepared to pay. For example, if you’re only getting $250 of value from rewards and other perks but your annual fee is $450, it’s not worth it.

If you… Value a lower cost over lots of perks

  • Want a card for emergencies
  • Hardly ever use your credit card

No annual fee credit cards

What are they?

This type of credit card comes with a $0 annual fee for the first year, or for life. In comparison, some cards have annual fees of $400 or more. This makes a no annual fee card a good choice when you’re looking for a low-cost card, especially if you usually pay off your balance each month (which cuts down on interest charges).

With most no annual fee credit cards, the value really is driven from that $0 yearly cost, so you won’t usually get premium perks and rewards. But there are Airpointsss and rewards cards that offer $0 annual fees for the first year, which gives you time to decide what you value more.

How to find the best no annual fee credit card
✅ ‏‏‎ ‎Look for: How long you’ll get the $0 annual fee and any other features you want on the card. If you get a card that has interest-free days on purchases, check how this works so you can avoid both an annual fee and interest charges.
⚠️ ‏‏‎ ‎Watch out for: Cards that charge a high annual fee after the first year. There are also a few cards that offer an ongoing annual fee waiver if you spend a set amount each year, are a student or meet other requirements – so it pays to check the fine print (or ask).

If you… Actually need credit

  • Usually carry a balance
  • Want to pay off big-ticket items over time

Low rate credit cards

What are they?

These credit cards offer a low interest rate on purchases, typically ranging from 9.95% p.a. to 13.95% p.a. In comparison, some other cards charge purchase rates from 18-22% p.a. There are also cards that offer a 0% interest rate for purchases for the first few months.

If you were paying off something over a year, even a 1-2% difference in the interest rate can save you money, so low rate credit cards are really valuable for people who need some breathing room.

How to find the best low rate credit card
✅ ‏‏‎ ‎Look for: A long introductory 0% purchase period. Check how long the rate lasts and what it reverts to (the rate you’ll pay on any unpaid balance). If you want an ongoing low rate, look for one below 14.99% p.a.
⚠️ ‏‏‎ ‎Watch out for: Annual fees that will outweigh the savings of a low interest rate. And be careful if you want to withdraw cash, because cash advances usually incur a higher interest rate.

Common questions about finding the best type of card for you

Sometimes people will look at two or more types of credit cards – or even another payment method – when they’re trying to find the best one for them. So we’ve answered some of the most common “which is better” questions to help you decide.

Which is better: A low interest rate or no annual fee on your credit card?

Low rate credit cards are better if you don’t pay your bill in full every month. You’ll still have to pay more than what you borrowed, but it will usually cost you less than a card with no annual fee (and therefore a higher interest rate).

A $0 annual fee card is great if you pay as you go or repay everything when it’s due. This means you won’t be paying interest charges anyway, so paying no annual fee means you can effectively pay nothing to use your card.

Which is better: A 0% balance transfer credit card or a personal loan?

A 0% balance transfer credit card works well for credit card debt if you can pay the debt off within the interest-free period (or soon after).

If you want smaller repayments spread out over a longer period of time, personal loans offer terms from 1 to 5 years – and some offer up to 10 years. So you’ll pay interest, but it could make it easier to chip away at what you owe. Personal loans also let you consolidate different types of debts, including credit card debt, other loans and even some buy now, pay later debt.

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Example: Choosing the right card

So we know the best credit card for you might be different from the best credit card for someone else. We also know how to look for the best credit card – at least in theory. But how does this actually work? Let’s take a closer look at a few examples of common spending patterns and cardholders. We’ve given them names to make them easier to relate to – and if one of them sounds like you, you can look at the suggested credit cards to kickstart your comparison.

Alison

Shot of an attractive young woman drinking coffee while using a digital tablet at home

Credit card spend per month:
$200 (small spender)

Pays balance in full every month?
Mostly, but not always

Travels?
Very rarely

Suggested card 1:
No annual fee credit card
Alison doesn’t use her credit card very often, so a no-frills card with a $0 annual fee might make sense. Since she doesn’t spend enough to maximise any rewards points, she could look for a low-cost card and just make sure that the interest she’ll pay won’t outweigh the no annual fee savings.

Carl

Father multi-tasking with son

Credit card spend per month:
$4,000 (big spender)

Pays balance in full every month?
Always

Travels?
Often, at least a few times per year

Suggested card 1:
Airpoints credit card
An Airpoints credit card could earn Carl bonus points on sign up, as well as a lot more over the course of the year through his regular spend.

Suggested card 2:
Cashback credit card
As Carl spends a lot on his card each month, he would have the opportunity to some strong cash rewards on his purchases.

Debbie

Mature Business Woman At Cafe

Credit card spend per month:
$2,000 (average spender)

Pays balance in full every month?
Rarely, balance carried for 2 years

Travels?
No

Suggested card:
Balance transfer credit card
If Debbie stopped spending and paid that $2,000 balance off over 2 years on a 19.74% p.a. card, it would cost her $436.91 in interest. A 0% balance transfer for 6 months would save her that $436.91 if she managed to pay it off over during that period.

Finder Credit Card Awards 2021

★★★★★
Finder Award - credit cards winner

We asked more than 1,100 Kiwis to assess their credit card provider against a number of factors to discover which brand has the most satisfied customers.

Find out which credit cards brands came out on top in the Finder Credit Card Awards 2021.

Results of the Finder Credit Card Awards 2021

What’s next?
Get more value from a credit card by comparing the latest offers and applying now.

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