St.George No Annual Fee Credit Card

My rate: 
17%
 
My annual fee: 
$90
 
Price of my purchase: 
$5,000
 
Offer
Card features
balance transfer
purchase rate
annual fee
Money saved
St.George No Annual Fee Credit Card
Apply by 26 sep 18
11 reviews
$0 annual fee for as long as you have the card.
0% p.a. for 12 months on balance transfers with 1% balance transfer fee on amounts transferred.
The small starting credit limit of $500 might be great for someone’s first credit card.
Add to comparison
12 months
0% p.a.
then 20.49%
with a 1% fee
20.49% p.a.
ongoing
$0
ongoing
 
saved over - months
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Pros & cons

What's good?

What's not so good?

No annual fee to pay ever.
0% p.a. on balance transfers for 12 months.
The small starting credit limit of $500 might be great for someone’s first credit card.
Add up to 3 additional card holders for free.
Visa payWave means you can tap-and-go for transactions under $100.
1% balance transfer fee on amounts transferred.

Our review

Our review of the St.George No Annual Fee Credit CardReviewed by Yvonne Taylor

Having a no-fee credit card issued by a major bank is a bit like flying economy on a world-class airline: you get the same efficiency, security and safety features as those experienced by the passengers at the pointy end who are paying through the nose for identical protection and expertise plus a few short-lived trimmings that can be more easily dispensed with. But having the St. George No Annual Fee Credit Card is more like flying for free, and it’s even possible to generate a little extra cash from the introductory balance transfer offer if your finances are in order and you are reasonably self-controlled and organised.

No annual fee, ever

St. George’s promise is 'No annual card fee for the life of your card’, which means that it need never cost you a cent to operate. You can even have up to three supplementary cardholders on your account, for the same $0 fee.

If you neither want nor need fancy extras like rewards points and 'complimentary’ insurance (where at least a part of the cost is usually built into the fee) then you may as well have a card with all the standard functionality you’re likely to require but with no annual fee attached.

Transfer a balance and pay no interest for a whole year

Most credit card issuers will let you transfer a balance from your existing credit card, if you have one, to the new card supplied by them. Not all of them, however, will let you do it without paying interest on the transferred balance. But this one, in spite of the fact that there’s no annual fee, has a generous introductory offer that allows you to make only minimum 2% monthly repayments and pay no interest on the remainder of the balance transfer for 12 months.

Breathing space to sort out your finances

However, if your finances are strained, this could give you time to sort things out and save up to repay your debt, without the pain of seeing crippling interest charges negate the effect of your repayments. A $2,000 transferred debt plus the $40 transfer fee will have reduced to $1,601 after 12 months as a result of the required small repayments. But if you left the $2,000 in an account charging 20% p.a., and made the same 2% minimum repayments, it would decrease by only a small amount to $1,914 because the interest charges are almost as much as the repayments. In this case the interest saving would be a very significant $392 (or $352 after paying the transfer fee).

Or earn a little interest

On the other hand, you may already be in a position to repay the $2,000. Choose to transfer the balance to your new St. George card instead of repaying it, and leave your cash in a savings or mortgage offset account for a year. You could earn $61 in savings account interest, or reduce your 4% p.a. mortgage interest by $81.

Up to 55 days on purchases

Despite its 'budget card’ characteristics, there is more than one area where what you get is as good as – and in some cases better than – the equivalent feature in expensive cards. St. George have not stinted on the monthly interest-free days, offering the full 55 days, so that you don’t have to make repayments or face interest charges on purchases until 25 days after the end of your monthly billing period.

However, if you have any overdue debt on your card, including a balance transfer not yet repaid, you will forfeit these 55 interest-free days and pay interest on your purchases from the date of each transaction. So plan to use cash or another card for your purchases for the first year if you take up the balance transfer option.

Only one interest rate to remember

This card has only one interest rate, which is applied universally but can be totally avoided:

  • 20.49% p.a. ongoing purchase rate
  • 20.49% p.a. on cash advances (plus 2% upfront cash advance fee)
  • 20.49% p.a. revert rate on balance transfers (after the 12 months introductory offer expires)

The good news is, you don’t need to pay any interest at all if you are smart about the way you use your credit card. Stay away from cash advances if you possibly can, because it’s not an astute way to borrow money. Make a note in your diary of the expiry dates of the 0% balance transfer offer, and plan to repay the balance in full on or before that date. After the balance transfer is repaid, take full advantage of the ongoing interest-free days on purchases but pay off your balance on or before the due date for payment. Result: no interest charges at all.

Functionality and security

This card may have the best budget rating – a price tag of zero if used shrewdly – but there’s also nothing cheapskate about its user safety and capability, which compare favourably with its more expensive competitors. Among its features are:

  • Visa payWave: the latest secure, contactless technology to get you through the checkout faster for transactions under $100
  • Verified by Visa: a one-time PIN system for additional safety when shopping online
  • 24/7 proactive fraud monitoring to detect any purchase transactions which appear to be suspicious

So why choose the St. George No Annual Fee Credit Card?

This is a no-frills card that is easy to get your head around. It’s likely to appeal to the first timer, especially since the minimum credit limit is a manageable $500 (although higher limits are of course available). There’s no juggling of rewards points and no complimentary insurance small print to read. The introductory zero-interest offer could prove very useful and even profitable. Although the ongoing interest rate is unattractive, it won’t cause any concern if you intend to keep a tight rein on your finances and avoid spending more than you can afford to repay in any month. It’s an ideal first credit card that could prove to be the only one you’ll ever need.

User reviews

3.7 out of 5.0 based on 11 reviews73% of reviewers would recommend this card

Rates and fees
Rewards
Customer service
Convenience
Trust

Reviews from users

Having no fee makes it the perfect credit card

Reviewed and recommended by Leanne on 30 Sep 2016

This card is good for low income earners because you don’t need to have a lot of money deposited to get no monthly fees, and having no annual fee makes it the perfect credit card.

I would recommend this credit card to anyone with only small deposits who would like to pay no fees all year round.

Planning on switch

Reviewed and recommended by Mary on 20 Jul 2016

I initially got the card just in case some large item was needed. Since obtaining it I realise the interest rate is too high and would now like another credit card with a lower interest rate. I have this one because it tied in with my other accounts and realise now that that is not necessary.

Low limit and no fee make it a great starter card

Reviewed and recommended by Ian on 05 Dec 2016

I needed a first credit card, and after being rejected by lots of others I was approved by St George for their No Annual Fee card. It is a perfect stepping stone for those looking to get started with building their credit score, as it has no fees and there is relatively low risk thanks to the $500 limit.

Good if you're poor or for emergencies

Reviewed and recommended by PoorSkye on 05 Aug 2013

This is the sort of credit card which doesn’t cost you anything unless you use it, the sort of credit card to keep for emergencies. It helps if you understand their billing cycle, as even if you pay the full balance owing, but pay it after a certain date, you will be charged interest. Generally if you pay the full balance owing straight away – or the next day – there is no interest. One trap for young players is that if you get a cash advance you are charged interest from the date you get the advance – there are no interest free days.

Great for emergencies and travelling

Reviewed and recommended by Eleni on 07 Nov 2016

This particular type of credit card is excellent for emergencies, such as paying bills or when I am traveling overseas. it has minimal fees, which is excellent for my current situation as a student. I would highly recommend this credit card for young adults as a first credit card.

The customer service at St. George is excellent, and not at all intimidating for a student like me.

Easy and accessible

Reviewed and recommended by Eneri on 01 Apr 2014

Easy and accessible to use. Visa is recognised anywhere and is accepted at most points of sale worldwide.

Pleased with this card, but wish I didn't need it

Reviewed and not recommended by Demi on 08 Sep 2014

I have this card as we just took out a mortgage and this was a shock to our budget. We used it to help with some bills and an unfortunate car crash. It was helpful, but debt is still debt, which is hard to get out of. I find the fees quite high, but it is linked to our mortgage so the fee for having it is smaller.

No annual fee / high interest credit card

Reviewed and not recommended by Ricky on 02 Jul 2016

I found this credit card good if not used very often. The no annual fee saves money each year if used only as an emergency back-up, but becomes very expensive with the higher interest if used regularly. The cash advance rate is also higher than many credit cards and the extra 2% for cash advances on top of the cash advance rate becomes very expensive if used often.

Got into a lot of debt

Reviewed and not recommended by Cheryl Allen on 21 Jul 2015

Not a very good card for rates and fees. I got into a lot of debt with this card.

Great customer service and very understanding except for automated messaging. They’re very trustworthy and opening hours are very convenient for ringing up to change a payment date or to organise a payment plan. However, I would not recommend to a friend.

I wish the interest charges were lower

Reviewed and recommended by Helena on 03 Jul 2016

This card has been very handy. For the first 6 months I did not pay any interest. That was good, but now they are charging me over 20% interest, which is not good. I like being able to tap my card as I keep forgetting my PIN. I do not use it all the time. I needed it as I had a lot of big bills to pay.

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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
Yes
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
3
Additional card fee
$0 p.a.

Credit limits

Minimum credit limit
$500
Maximum credit limit
$40,000

Repayments

Interest charged from
Purchase date
Interest free period
Up to 55 days on purchases
Minimum repayment
2%

Balance transfers

The offer

Interest ratePeriodFeeLimitRevert rate
Balance transfers0% p.a.12 months1%80% of credit limit20.49% 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
80% of credit limit
Available to existing customers
No

Banks you can't balance transfer from

You can't balance transfer to the St.George No Annual Fee Credit Card at the promotional balance transfer rate from:

  • Bank of Melbourne
  • Bank SA
  • St.George

Rates & fees

Promotional interest rates

Interest ratePeriodFeeLimitRevert rate
Balance transfers0% p.a.12 months1%80% of credit limit 20.49% p.a.
PurchasesN/AN/AN/AN/A N/A

Ongoing interest rates

MonthlyAnnually
Cash advances 1.71% 20.49% p.a.
Purchases 1.71% 20.49% p.a.

Fees

Annual fee
$0 p.a.
Cash advance fee
2%
Dishonour fee
$9
Duplicate statement fee
$7.5
Foreign exchange fee
3%
Late payment fee
$15
Over limit fee
$0
Overseas ATM balance fee
$0
Overseas ATM withdrawal fee
$5
Overseas emergency card replacement fee
$52.50
Transaction verification fee
$0

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 allowed
Temporary residents are eligible
Age Pension, Disability Pension and Widower's Pension are acceptable.
Family Tax Benefits and Parenting Payments is acceptable.
Disclaimer: The minimum criteria 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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