No Annual Fee Credit Cards

Updated 7 July 2019

By choosing a no annual fee credit card, you will pay no annual fee for an introductory period or for the life of the card.

Also known as a ‘no fee’ credit card, a no annual fee card is designed to help cardholders save money. It’s true, most credit cards in New Zealand charge an annual fee. Card providers generally charge this fee for providing both access to credit, and access to the various features and rewards the card may offer. However, you can avoid paying an annual fee by choosing the right card or the right offer.

No annual fee cards fall into two distinct categories. Firstly, there are those cards that have no annual fee for the life of the card. By choosing this type of card, you will never pay an annual fee. Secondly, there are cards that feature an introductory offer, which waive their annual fee for one or two years, and re-instate it after the intro period ends.

Using, you can find both types of offer here on this page. Focusing on that feature, you can compare a variety of cards and offers using our handy visual comparison tool. On a desktop, you’ll see a circle, and on a mobile device, you’ll see a bar. The more filled-in that circle or bar, the stronger the offer is.

These types of cards can work well for a variety of cardholders. You may simply want to save money. Or, perhaps you only want to keep a card for emergencies and don’t want to pay for it when it’s not in use. As for those intro offers, they can provide real bang for your buck, especially on cards with bonus points or enticing extras on offer. Just be sure you know what the annual fee reverts to after that intro period ends.

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Is no annual fee right for you?

People get caught up with annual fees. Your usage will define whether a no annual fee card is right for you. No annual fee cards typically have higher interest rates and provide low levels of features.

No annual fee cards are great for a backup source of funds or minimal use. You can keep them in your wallet without paying for it.

0 Annual Fee Cards - What Are They?

A no annual fee credit card means that no fee is charged each year for the use of the card. This is perfect for the occasional credit card user as you won’t be charged for simply owning a credit card if you aren’t using it much. While the interest rates might be a little higher, if you pay the card balance on time you won’t be charged interest so this is a worthy trade off.

How to choose the best No Annual Fee Option?

Choosing a no annual fee credit card is largely dependent on the other costs and features of the card. If you are never charged interest it doesn’t matter how high that interest rate may be. If you expect to occasionally pay interest then consider the cost of the expected interest charge compared to the cost of an annual fee.

How to avoid the Biggest Mistake

The biggest mistake people make with a no annual fee credit card is using it as an everyday card. No annual fee cards often have larger interest rates than low interest rate credit cards. Therefore if you use it frequently but don’t pay the balance on time, the interest charges may end up higher than the annual fee you saved on paying in the first place.

A no annual fee credit card is one which comes with an annual fee of $0. An annual fee is charged each year, so in this case there is $0 fee each year, or for the life of the card – unless the issuer was to change the terms and conditions in the future.

These cards will give you one year without charging an annual fee, but you should expect a fee to appear on the first statement of the second year you have the card – i.e. after you have had the card for 12 months.

No annual fee credit cards may come with an interest free period, and this is usually up to 44 days or up to 55 days, and some cards have odd numbers of interest free days.

Interest may be charged from the date your statement is prepared, or from the date you made a purchase (check the card’s terms and conditions to find out which).

After your next statement is issued, if you have not paid off the whole purchase amount for the previous period, interest will be charged on that purchase.

Remember that payment may sometimes take up to 2-3 business days, so keep this in mind and make sure it reaches the credit card before the payment due date.

Click the link to learn more about how interest free days work

The no annual fee card was designed for people who do not carry a credit card debt. Because of their structure, these cards might not suit someone who is looking for a lower interest rate so they can pay down credit card debt more quickly. Balance transfer credit cards exist for that purpose, as the banks compete for new business by offering a lower rate to non-existing customers with debt to pay off.

Banks designed no annual fee credit cards for occasional or one-off use by customers who have no existing credit card debt. That is their main purpose. They are a convenient way of paying, or for use in an emergency.

People in this situation don’t have to be concerned about the interest rate they will be charged on purchases, and don’t want added features with their credit card. They don’t plan on carrying a balance.

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