Credit cards: Compare the top value credit cards for 2018

From paying for the big-ticket items like a holiday, to the small-spend purchases of a coffee, credit cards are a pretty flexible method of payment.  But how much you spend on your credit card – and how you pay off the bill – will impact on what type of card will give you the best value.

Every year, Canstar researches and rates credit cards on the market, to see how they stack up based on fees, rates and any benefits.

Compare credit cards

Canstar researchers crunched the numbers on a total of 38 credit cards across 11 providers.

The results are in…Here are the outstanding value credit cards in New Zealand for 2018.

Low fee credit cards

If you’re pretty good at paying off your credit card bill on time, but you’re not a big spender, then it makes sense to minimise how much you pay in an annual fee.

In Canstar’s research, a low fee credit card is based on having low ongoing fees and are considered suitable for shoppers who may be looking to access some premium card facilities. To be included in the low fee credit card category, the minimum credit card limit must be $6000 or less.

The five-star low fee credit cards are…ASB Bank NZ Visa Light and Kiwibank NZ Mastercard Zero.

Low rate credit cards

Low rate credit cards

If you find a credit card useful, but have some trouble repaying the whole balance by the due date, then the interest rate is probably going to come out on top in terms of importance.

Canstar compares low rate cards based on flexible repayment conditions, as well as on the low interest rate. To be included in this category, low rate cards must have a credit limit of $6000 available on application.

The five-star low rate credit cards are… ASB Bank NZ Visa Light and The Co-Operative Bank Fair Rate Credit Card.

Rewards credit cards

If you’re spending at least $12,000 a year – and are staying on top of credit card repayments – then a rewards credit card might be more up your alley. Canstar researches and compares rewards cards based on three annual spending levels: $12,000, $24,000 and $60,000.

To be included in Canstar’s rewards credit cards category, the card has to have an attached rewards programme in any of these categories: merchandise, cash back, gift cards, lifestyle rewards or food and beverage rewards.

And the five-star $12,000 rewards credit cards are…

Gem Onecard Visa and Warehouse Money Purple Visa Card

And the five-star $24,000 rewards credit cards are…

BNZ Advantage Visa Platinum Fly Buys, BNZ Advantage Visa Platinum Cash Rewards and Gem Onecard Visa

And the five-star $60,000 rewards credit cards are…

BNZ Advantage Visa Platinum Fly Buys and BNZ Advantage Visa Platinum Cash Rewards.

And the five-star $120,000 rewards credit cards are…

BNZ Advantage Visa Platinum Fly Buys, BNZ Advantage Visa Platinum Cash Rewards and Westpac hotpoints World Mastercard.

Flight rewards credit cards

Flight rewards credit cards are geared towards those wanting to earn points to use toward flights, but the points can also include points towards travel insurance, concierge services, and merchandise from the card’s partner airline. Canstar’s research has found that a flights reward credit card is more suited to people who spend at least $12,000 per year on their credit card.

The five-star $12,000 flight rewards credit cards are… American Express NZ Platinum Edge Credit Card and American Express NZ Airpoints Card.

The five-star $24,000 flight rewards credit cards are…American Express NZ Platinum Edge Credit Card and Westpac NZ Airpoints Platinum Mastercard.

The five-star $60,000 flight rewards credit cards are…ANZ Bank NZ Airpoints Visa Platinum, Kiwibank NZ Airpoints Platinum Mastercard, Westpac NZ Airpoints Platinum Card and American Express NZ Airpoints Platinum Card.

The five-star $120,000 flight rewards credit cards are…ANZ Bank NZ Airpoints Visa Platinum, Kiwibank NZ Airpoints Platinum Mastercard, Westpac NZ Airpoints Platinum Card, Westpac NZ Airpoints World Card and American Express NZ Airpoints Platinum Card.

If you’re still feeling a bit stuck as to what type of card is suited to your spending style, here are a few pointers.

Tips for choosing a credit card:

  • Be aware that rewards credit cards can come with a comparatively high interest rate so, if you’re someone who struggles to make their credit card paymentseach month, a rewards card may not be the best for you.
  • The amount you put on a rewards credit card will obviously lead to more rewards – just don’t put more on the plastic if making credit card payments is an issue!
  • Do you realistically intend to pay off the credit card balance each month before incurring interest? If yes, your interest rate won’t matter as much, so you can afford to assess low fee cards. If not, look for low interest rate cards. (Canstar note: currently on our database, it’s possible to find ongoing credit card rates of less than 13%).

To take a closer look at the credit cards in New Zealand, check out Canstar’s latest credit cards ratings report.

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