Credit Card Recommendations

I am interested in getting a credit card but am clueless as to what would be the best for me.

I am mainly interested in improving my credit score, obtaining flight points as well as insurance on my purchases. I am not quite keen on really using the credit card money and even if I do, I intend to pay it back well before I get charged on it. Would also like airport lounge passes as well as no annual fee on the card.

Also keen on hearing if it is a bad decision to get a credit card and to just get it later. I am quite financially responsible and am not the type to incur a credit card debt nor is it very tempting for me.

My general situation;

  • Roughly 36k Annual Income for 2020/21 FY
  • Payslips proving $1000-$2000 a fortnight for roughly the past 6 months.
  • About 50K in savings
  • 20
  • Have debit cards with Commbank, ANZ and NAB.
  • Full Time Uni hence HECS Debt (15k)



    Don't do it!

    If anything, consider just using Buy Now Pay Later, where you have to pay off the balance of purchases unlike credit cards where only the minimum is required.

    • +3 votes

      BNPL with CC repayment is a great combo. Why not have both?

    • +1 vote

      There's nothing wrong with taking a credit card out to churn points. If anything it's mandatory if you're on Ozbargain.

      The OP doesn't require the credit facility so may as well get some benefit out of spending money.

      I averaged a ~20% rebate through my credit cards last year.


        This is what I was essentially going for. Thanks!

  • +1 vote

    My first credit card was the CBA Low Fee credit card (No annual fee if spend 1K+ every year) also
    you're gonna wanna pay off stuff within 55 days cause the Interest rate is around 20%

    • +1 vote

      CbA low fee GOLD credit card currently have promo..
      $200 cashback.. :D

    • +1 vote

      I just want to add to this because a lot of people get caught out. It's UP TO 55 days depending on when you make the purchase during your billing cycle.

  • +4 votes

    "Also keen on hearing if it is a bad decision to get a credit card"
    Not a bad decision at all, if you are responsible with money then a CC is a very handy thing to have.
    Use it wisely and pay in full every month.
    I don't know of one that has everything you are looking for but zero annual fee should be top of that list.

  • +3 votes

    Would also like airport lounge passes as well as no annual fee on the card.

    Not gonna happen. Only way is through credit backs ie. Spend x to get annual fee back. Cards with Qantas lounge tend to be higher tier CC, so more expensive annual fee, minimum credit limit and minimum income. You can get platinum cards which can get qantas points, but most likely not lounge.

    • +4 votes

      Would also like airport lounge passes as well as no annual fee on the card.

      Not with an income of $36K anyway. While commendable that the OP has $50K in savings at their age, credit card companies don't care about that.

  • +1 vote

    Only PayPal or Kogan CC by Citi suits your situation the best, considering $36k income.

  • +1 vote

    If there are airport lounge passes, there is usually a large annual fee tagged onto the card. Back in the old Ozbargain days, there is a program for Citi Platinum which is no annual fee for life and 2 annual lounge passes. But the income requirement is pretty high. Not that they are of any value these days given the situation.


      Yes I have realised thats the case with the lounge passes.

      I will need to do more research on which ones would approve me easily.
      Thanks for the input!

  • +6 votes

    I am more impressed with the fact that you saved $50k while earning $35k per year. Well done.

    The only thing I’d say about credit cards is that it’s all good when you are responsible, however should anything happen in your life and you make use of the card, it is really easy for things to spiral out of control and all of the sudden you are stuck in a debt that is difficult to pay back due to high interest rates.

    Further to this, because of your low income, you are likely to get declined, which perhaps isn’t a good look for the first enquiry on your credit file.


      I really need to look more into getting approved and seamlessly obtaining a credit card.

      I am only able to save because my general expenses are very low as I do not pay rent and live with my parents.

      I am happy to pay rent and can comfortably afford to pay an average rent however I come from an asian background where children paying rent is not something that is practiced. Instead, I am encouraged and have opted to save the money instead.

  • +1 vote

    You seem to want too many features on the card, which won't be applicable to your income level for applying for those kind of cards. You could probably get a card with a low/no annual fee that earns flyer points but not much more than that. Lounge passes aren't really that worthwhile at the moment (have used both Virgin and Qantas lounges in the last 12 months and they weren't great)

    As you're just starting out I would recommend a $0/low fee card as a start.

    Amex tend to be a bit more lenient for card applications when it comes to income - maybe check out their $0 annual fee cards.

    Suggest reading through Point Hacks as their card guides normally advise the minimum income required to get a card.

    There's also nothing wrong with holding off from entering the credit card world, you're still very young!


      I am not expecting all the features on the card but typically want no annual fee or an annual fee that can be offset by some sort of signing bonus.
      Lounge passes are something I would like but it is not make or break. I am mostly interested in the insurance benefits that come with buying stuff from a credit card.

      Also, yes I want to weigh the risks and benefits of whether I actually need to get a credit card or not.

      Thanks for the advice, mate!

  • +1 vote
  • +1 vote

    My go to would be this one

    Not sure of the income requirement though.

  • +1 vote

    Just make sure you pay the full amount every month and everything will be fine.

    Don't ever think that you should buy something without having the money because you have a credit card limit. This is a recipe for financial disaster. For situations like that, you get a loan with decent interest rates, never use the credit card.

    Start with one of the low income Amex. If you pay 100% of your balance every month, they will increase your credit limit every 6 months, then you can get different credit card after some time.

    It's also great if you want to buy something that is more expensive because generally you can just transfer the amount to temporarily increase your credit limit (not sure if there are limitations or conditions, but I've done that a few times). Not all credit cards allow you to do that.

    Amex acceptance is pretty good in Australia. Not the same as Visa or MC, but they are much more alike these days.

    Amex approval process is a bit weird. Years ago, my partner was rejected for the Explorer despite having excellent credit and good income. I applied and was approved in two days with much less income proven. I had had Amex overseas before, in the early 2000, but I am not sure there is any correlation as the "member since" shows the Australian period only.


      Ill be sure to look into AMEX. Thanks for the advice!

  • +1 vote

    this offer comes and goes quite frequently:-

    It was effectively 90k points for $0 if you can meet the minimum spend criterial, which is easy ($3000 in 3 months). But I'm sure it will be back at the usual 75k pts/$0.

    Minimum annual wage recommendation is $40k, but they rarely check properly. If you send 2 payslips with est 1k per week / 2k per fortnight pre-tax they might just auto grant. So time it perfectly with your holidays (I assume you're a student) when your paycheck is inflated or when you've pumped extra hours on a public hol or weekend shift.

    Years back I applied for a Amex Ultimate (75k minimum income) when my salary was est 50k and no one even rang me to check/verify income.


      Wow thats amazing advice. I do have a few payslips that total close to 2k so will use those.

      Thanks, will keep an eye out for the deal to come back.

  • -1 vote

    What's the best current credit cards? I earn more than OP.

    I haven't card flipped for ages, been spending quite a bit and have some car repairs this thought I better make the most of it.

    ANZ Rewards Black card the current king? $800 in gift card for the 180k pts.


    Just a thing on the credit score, Australia doesn't put so much of an emphasis on your "credit score". OZ banks, when talking about loans (home, car, personal whatever) put more weighting towards your personal finances and earning capabilities.

    Having credit cards or having applied for numerous credit cards can actually negatively affect your borrowing capacity / "credit score". Credit cards are counted as a liability / debt for the full amount of your credit (You can use your CC up to 10k, banks will count the full 10k as potential debt). Multiple credit checks over a short period of time also damages your score and lowers your borrowing capacity.

    WITH THAT SAID, credit cards are a great way to reduce personal financial risk assuming of course you are responsible with it. It also allows you to have a lower emergency fund due to credit being available to you, which means a bigger investment fund if you are going into that area. The insurance benefit is kinda whatever but nice to have I guess.

    Not financial advice, I'm a random on the internet so bags of salt required


    I'd personally recommend any zero annual fee card but get one visa/mastercard and amex essential. Reason to get amex essential is that it has no annual fee but you can still earn rewards (not a lot but better than nothing). Use amex essential as your daily driver and only use visa/mastercard if amex is not accepted.