NAB Low Fee Card

My rate: 
17%
 
My annual fee: 
$90
 
Transfer: 
$5,000
 
From: 
All banks
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Offer
Card features
balance transfer
purchase rate
annual fee
Money saved
0% p.a. on balance transfers for 16 months.
Low $30 p.a. ongoing annual fee.
Complimentary purchase protection insurance.
Add to comparison
16 months
0% p.a.
then 21.74%
with a 2% fee
19.74% p.a.
ongoing
$30
ongoing

Pros & cons

What's good?

What's not so good?

0% p.a. on balance transfers for 16 months.
Low $30 p.a. ongoing annual fee.
Additional cardholder at no extra cost.
Complimentary purchase protection insurance.
Handy payWave “tap and go” technology to make in store purchases even faster.
After the promotional period, the fallback is the cash advance rate. Which is a high 21.74% p.a.
If you do a balance transfer a one-off 2% fee balance transfer applies to the amount that you transfer.

BT reverts to cash advance rate. *NAB may vary or end this offer.

Our review

Our review of the NAB Low Fee CardReviewed by Yvonne Taylor

Low fee, or no fee? Which is best?

It all depends on how much built-in value you expect from your credit card. While it’s not difficult to find a credit card charging no fee at all, a no-fee card is often a 'no benefits’ card too. If you want your credit card to deliver some inexpensive perks as well as just being a convenient line of credit, you may want to compromise with a low-fee card, rather than one that is completely free. The NAB Low Fee Card has a zero-interest introductory offer on balance transfers, complimentary purchase protection insurance, the added advantages that come with a Visa card, plus the latest speedy payment and transaction security technology.

0% p.a. on balance transfers for 16 months

Although NAB’s standard balance transfer rate is 0% p.a. for six months, you can currently take advantage of a very special offer. You can transfer a balance from your existing non-NAB credit card (or cards, if you have more than one) and pay no interest on the outstanding amount for 16 months. This will give you some breathing space to get your financial life in order if you are having difficulty repaying your balance and are currently being charged interest of 20% p.a. or more.

Use a balance transfer to reduce your mortgage cost

Even if your finances are perfectly organised and you can afford to pay off your balance immediately, you could still take advantage of a balance transfer by depositing the cash in a bank account instead of paying off the balance, allowing you to earn interest on it instead.

Better still, put it in your mortgage offset account and reduce the balance on which you are paying mortgage interest at around 4% p.a. If you put $3,000 in a mortgage offset account instead of using it to clear your balance, you could reduce your mortgage interest cost by around $164 over a 16 months period.

Use a balance transfer to finance a major purchase

Alternatively, you might want to make a major purchase on your existing card, then transfer the balance to your NAB card and take your time paying it off without incurring interest. Don’t do this kind of thing too often, though. Switching credit cards too frequently may have an adverse effect on your credit history and rating.

Balance transfer risks

Unfortunately, NAB have now introduced a balance transfer fee, so you’ll find that a 2% charge is added to your transferred balance. Transfer a $3,000 balance and you’ll end up having to repay $3,060.

Having an unpaid balance transfer on your account also means you’ll forfeit the Up to 44 days on purchases that you would normally be entitled to every month. So for the first 16 months you’d probably want to use another card, or cash, for purchases.

If you can’t pay off the transferred balance in full after the 16 months interest hiatus, you’ll come crashing down to earth when the revert rate of 21.74% p.a. is applied to your balance.

'Low fee’ does not mean 'low rate’

Remember that this is a low-fee card but not a low-rate card. The ongoing purchase rate of 19.74% p.a. and the cash advance rate of 21.74% p.a. are both near the top end of credit card interest rates. If you think there is a possibility that you will have credit card debt (other than the interest-free balance transfer) for more than a few weeks at most, choose a low rate card instead.

Complimentary purchase protection insurance

Shop with confidence knowing that most new items for your personal use, purchased using the card, are protected against loss, theft or damage for three months. Motor vehicles and boats are not covered, however, and the maximum claim for jewellery, watches and artworks is $2,500. The cover is otherwise very extensive, with a generous annual claim limit of $100,000.

Built-in Visa benefits

Although this is not a platinum card, it still comes with several advantages provided by Visa:

  • Visa Entertainment. Get access to the best seats in the house for live events before they go on sale to the general public.
  • Visa Global Customer Assistance Service. If your credit card is lost or stolen in Australia, it’s relatively easy to contact the issuing bank to cancel the card and get a replacement. When you are travelling overseas it could be much more difficult, but Visa is there to lend a helping hand with a list of toll-free telephone numbers to use in card emergency situations, wherever you are in the world.
  • Verified by Visa. Online shopping is a whole lot safer with the extra layer of security provided by optional passwords or one-time PINs delivered by SMS, to make sure that the person using the card online is in fact you, the authorised user.

More security from NAB Defence

When you have a credit card issued in your name, you are expected to take normal precautions, like keeping it in a safe place, not disclosing your PIN, and advising the bank or Visa immediately if the card is lost or stolen.

But even the most careful people can fall victim to credit card fraud. That’s where NAB Defence comes in. NAB will monitor your account, looking for high-risk transactions. They’ll advise you of any suspected fraud, and investigate it. And they’ll reimburse you 100% of any fraudulent transactions that were not your fault.

Latest payWave technology

A low-fee card does not have to be a low-tech card. For purchases under $100 you can sail through the checkout in seconds, courtesy of the 'tap and go’ embedded chip which cuts out the need for either swiping or inserting the card and entering a PIN. You can still tap for transactions over $100, but you will need to enter your PIN.

Digital wallet enabled for smartphone users

There are two things you can do to access even more hi-tech features: download the NAB app and install NAB Pay for Android. This will allow you to:

  • Do you internet banking using your phone, logging in securely with One Touch ID
  • Block and unblock your card if you temporarily lose it, without having to cancel your card permanently
  • Switch between on and off for payWave, overseas transactions or online transactions, with just one swipe
  • Convert your phone into a digital wallet able to be used for tap and go credit card payments

A couple of shortcomings

Unfortunately, most of NAB’s credit cards come with 'Up to 44 days on purchases’ instead of the more generous 'up to 55 days interest free’ that many card issuers offer. The NAB Low Fee Card is one of the 44-day cards, so you will receive 132 fewer interest-free days each year when compared with a 55-day card. That’s 132 days less for your cash to spend in a savings or mortgage offset account. In the current low-interest environment it doesn’t make an enormous amount of difference (about $43 per year in lost interest income if your average monthly balance is $3,000), but it’s something you’ll need to think about before making your decision.

Another drawback is the $100 overseas emergency card replacement fee, which is certainly on the steep side. The message here is that you should keep a tight hold of your card when travelling.

A lot of freedom from interest plus peace of mind for $30 p.a. per year

So, what do you get for paying this card’s very low $30 p.a. annual fee? First of all, you’ll get a supplementary card free of charge. Then you’ll get the interest-free balance transfer option. And every year you can experience the extra security of a purchase protection insurance policy, the convenience of a digital wallet, and the confidence of using your card without worrying about fraud because both NAB and Visa are taking care of that situation.

Ticks most boxes for a low annual cost

The NAB Low Fee Card would make a great starter card for anyone embarking on their financial life – perhaps a student or someone in their first full-time employment. It costs very little, does everything expected of an up-to-date card, and unlike some 'no-fee’ cards it provides a few extra benefits to give you the feel of what a credit card can do for you beyond handling everyday transactions.

You could test the water with this basic card without making a major cost commitment, before upgrading to a more expensive card with additional features such as broader insurance cover or even rewards points. On the other hand, you may decide to stick with the NAB Low Fee Card because it more than justifies its low cost, without the need for any further complications.

User reviews

3.6 out of 5.0 based on 57 reviews91% of reviewers would recommend this card

Rates and fees
Rewards
Customer service
Convenience
Trust

Reviews from users

My first ever credit card and not the best choice

Reviewed and not recommended by s on 03 Aug 2016

It was my first ever credit card and I did not do my research before choosing a provider. In the future I will compare different offers before making a decision. It had hidden fees and no rewards and it was not the cheapest interest rate available at the time. I know for next time, don’t rush in.

It's been helpful to have this card

Reviewed and recommended by Rebecca on 26 Jun 2016

It hasn’t got the best rate, but NAB customer service is always lovely to deal with. The card is accepted overseas, although the overseas rate is not the best.

NAB do offer card upgrades, which is good for if your situation changes. Having a low rate is helpful for when you don’t use your card to earn rewards and is mainly there for emergencies.

It's easy to handle

Reviewed and recommended by Anon on 14 Jul 2015

It’s easy to use and it’s got low fees. Low maintenance, easy to carry, and saves lots of money. You can use it when you go away or if you are low on cash you can use your card for anything. You can pay bills with it and use it to buy anything online.

Great card and service, but too tempting for me

Reviewed and recommended by Tara on 19 Dec 2016

I had previously obtained this card because I have been through NAB for a number of years, and it was offered. At first I was questioning whether or not I wanted a credit card, because we all know they can be tricky little things to have. I researched and researched I weighed up pros and cons (not that there were many) and decided I’d give it a go.

It was my first credit card, and I could not have been happier. NAB has been such a blessing to deal with — friendly staff that offer to help as much as possible, they talk to you like a person and not just a customer. They help you find what product is best suited for your needs. I recommend NAB to everyone I know. However, since obtaining this card I have paid the outstanding balance and requested it to be closed, because I was always finding it too tempting to buy the latest technology, or the little decor touches that make a house feel like home. Things that were unimportant and I didn’t need them.

Bank changed cards without asking me

Reviewed and not recommended by Marty on 17 Aug 2013

The bank just sent me out a new card with no fly buys on it & my old card had two years to go. When I finally go to speak to a human they said if I wanted fly buys it would be an extra $65 per year. I am a widower on a disabled pension so I wouldn’t even make that on points. I am not happy & I am sorting out my finances at the moment & will change banks.

Convenient, not interested in rewards

Reviewed and recommended by Barbara on 22 Jul 2016

I took this card out because it is a low rate card and I did not want the rewards as I am a pensioner and didn’t need any of them. I just want a card that will not cost me much. I wanted a card for convenience not rewards, yet did not want to pay much for it on a yearly basis. Would recommend this credit card.

My experience with the NAB Mastercard

Reviewed and recommended by Gary on 11 Aug 2013

The card is well known and travels well, i.e. it is easy and safe to use internationally. However, the interest rate is high for a “low cost” card. There are not really any “different” rewards offered for long term customers, like reward competitions etc. I would like to see NAB form more discount relations with some of the major retailers.

Provides cash when needed

Reviewed and recommended by Lisa on 26 Sep 2016

This card allows me to always have cash when needed, for groceries, holidays and anything that randomly pops up.

I definitely recommend this card to friends and family.

12+ months and no interest - I am almost debt free

Reviewed and recommended by Megan on 21 Nov 2016

This isn’t a credit card packed full of rewards but it has one HUGE thing going for it — a 12 month (or more) interest-free period! Thanks to the interest-free period I was able to consolidate my debts and pay them all off within the year, without paying a cent of interest. If you can be strict with yourself and need to make a large one-off purchase or consolidate debts, then this card is as good as an interest-free loan.

Remember though, this is not free money. After 12 months the normal interest rate applies, so if you have reached your limit and paid nothing off you will feel it. This is a great card for those putting a plan in place for their budget.

Looking for an interest-free card

Reviewed and not recommended by Sandy on 04 Jul 2016

I am not happy. I have had this card forever and NAB is not looking after my interests. I was told that I could get interest-free for 2 years on balance transfers. NAB have not given me anything good. When you ring, it takes a long time to get through, but I guess that is all of them these days. I feel that banks just aren’t fair anymore.

Show 47 more reviews
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed about credit cards are the reviewer's alone, and do not reflect the views of Credit Card Compare or the credit card issuer. Reviews have not been approved or otherwise endorsed by Credit Card Compare.

The basics

About this card

Card setup
Single
Card tier
Standard
Card type
Visa
Card use
Personal
Credit rating
Any
Gambling transactions allowed
No
Joint application
No
Minimum age
18 years old
Minimum income
N/A
Minimum income for pensioners
$Same as standard
Pensioners
Rewards program
None
Temporary residents
Yes

Cardholders

Additional cardholders
1
Additional card fee
$0 p.a.

Credit limits

Minimum credit limit
$500
Maximum credit limit
N/A

Repayments

Interest charged from
Purchase date
Interest free period
Up to 44 days on purchases
Minimum repayment
N/A

Balance transfers

The offer

Interest ratePeriodFeeLimitRevert rate
Balance transfers0% p.a.16 months2%90% of credit limit21.74% p.a.

Balance transfers to this card

Balance transfer earns rewards
No
Balance transfer fee payment due
First statement
Balance transfer from personal loan
No
Balance transfer processing time
10 - 14 days
Interest free days with unpaid balance
0 days
Maximum balance transfer
90% of credit limit
Available to existing customers
No

Banks you can't balance transfer from

You can't balance transfer to the NAB Low Fee Card at the promotional balance transfer rate from:

  • NAB

Rates & fees

Promotional interest rates

Interest ratePeriodFeeLimitRevert rate
Balance transfers0% p.a.16 months2%90% of credit limit 21.74% p.a.
PurchasesN/AN/AN/AN/A N/A

Ongoing interest rates

MonthlyAnnually
Cash advances 1.81% 21.74% p.a.
Purchases 1.65% 19.74% p.a.

Fees

Annual fee
$30 p.a.
Cash advance fee
2%
Dishonour fee
$5
Duplicate statement fee
$7
Foreign exchange fee
3%
Late payment fee
$9
Over limit fee
$0
Overseas ATM balance fee
$0
Overseas ATM withdrawal fee
$4
Overseas emergency card replacement fee
$100
Transaction verification fee
$5

Benefits

This card comes with benefits worth an estimated $40

ShoppingEstimated value
Purchase protection
Valuation based on the assumption of making a $200 claim once every 5 years. There is no retail market for this type of insurance, so no premium saving.
$40
Total estimated value$40
Annual fee$30
Net customer value$10
Disclaimer: Details of who, what, and where coverage applies to, as well as its duration and any coverage limitations will be listed in the credit card insurance product disclosure statement (PDS) on the card issuer's website. The names/labels of complimentary insurance products may differ from one issuer to another. Terms and conditions apply. Always check the insurance PDS when considering a financial product. Accurate as of 31st October 2015.

Minimum criteria for this card

What you need before applying

Be over 18 years old
You are a resident or citizen of Australia
You have your personal details ready to complete the online application
Have not applied for multiple credit cards recently
Joint applications are not allowed
Temporary residents are eligible
Age Pension, Disability Pension, Overseas Pension, Veteran's Pension and Widower's Pension are acceptable.
Austudy, Carer's Allowance, Child Support Payments, Family Tax Benefits and Parenting Payments and Foster Care Allowance are acceptable.
Youth Allowance is not acceptable.
Disclaimer: The minimum criteria pointers are intended only to be a guide. Your application may still be rejected by the bank even if you can answer 'Yes' to all the minimum criteria. The final decision regarding your application is up to the bank.

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