Debit Cards

Compare a range of debit card offers with Savvy today. 

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, updated on September 13th, 2023       

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Compare debit cards

If you are looking for a debit card, use our table to compare Australia's best debit card offers with $0 monthly fees, free ATM withdrawals, cashback offers, budgeting apps, security features and much more. Start your debit card search with us now.

site-logos Up Everyday Account
  Monthly Account Fee Features Card Type ATM Fee Interest Rate  
site-logos $0
  • PayId,
  • Osko,
  • Samsung Pay,
  • Apple Pay,
  • Google Wallet,
Mastercard $0 0%
Go to site

Use invite code SAVVY10 for $10 upon successful sign-up. (Refer to offer T&Cs on Up website)

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site-logos ING Orange Everyday
  Monthly Account Fee Features Card Type ATM Fee Interest Rate  
site-logos $0
  • PayId,
  • Apple Pay,
  • Google Wallet,
Visa $0 0%
Read review

Rebates on ATM fees anywhere in Oz. No ING international transaction fees. Zero monthly fees.

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site-logos NAB Classic Banking Account
  Monthly Account Fee Features Card Type ATM Fee Interest Rate  
site-logos $0
  • PayId,
  • Samsung Pay,
  • Apple Pay,
  • Google Wallet,
Visa $0 0.01%
Read review

No monthly account fees ever, with no conditions. Free use at over 7,000 ATMs around Australia. No overdrawn fees if you happen to go over your account balance. Open an account in less than 7 minutes.

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site-logos St.George Complete Freedom Account
  Monthly Account Fee Features Card Type ATM Fee Interest Rate  
site-logos $0
  • Samsung Pay,
  • Apple Pay,
  • Google Wallet,
Visa $0 0%
Read review

Get $40 with a new Complete Freedom everyday bank account.

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site-logos Westpac Choice
  Monthly Account Fee Features Card Type ATM Fee Interest Rate  
site-logos $5
  • Samsung Pay,
  • Apple Pay,
  • Google Wallet,
Mastercard $0 $0
Read review

Westpac Choice for easy day-to-day banking

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Debit card offers in Australia

Debit cards are an essential feature of our everyday lives and amongst the most popular methods of payment for Australians. We use them for everything from buying our morning cup of coffee to purchasing groceries and shopping for gifts online. As such, it’s important to find the right debit card for your personal needs.  

Find the best debit card for your needs by comparing your options here with Savvy. Consider the range of useful features available from a variety of card suppliers so you can make an educated call on which offer is best for your needs.  

What are debit cards and how do they work?

Debit cards are a way to access the money you have in your everyday or transaction account to pay for goods or services. They can be used in the same way as a credit card, either by tapping on an EFTPOS machine or for larger purchases, by inserting or swiping your card and entering a pin number. You can also attach them to a digital wallet, making them available to use online and with your phone at an EFTPOS machine, rather than the card itself.  

Debit cards can also be used at ATMs to withdraw cash from your transaction account. They’re also extremely handy when travelling overseas, as an international or travel debit card can allow you to withdraw money from ATMs and shop overseas using different currencies. Debit cards are usually issued free of charge and come with no monthly fees.

How are debit cards different to credit cards?

It's important to consider the advantages and disadvantages of debit cards compared to credit cards, as they differ in several key areas. These are:  

Source of funds 

When you use your debit card, you’re simply accessing the money you’ve saved up in your everyday account. If you try to spend more than you have, the transaction will be declined due to lack of funds. 

This differs from a credit card, where your spending is only limited by the credit limit on your card. You’re effectively spending money that you don’t own. However, you’ll eventually have to pay it back and if you don’t do so within 30 or 45 days, you’ll end up paying a high rate of interest on that money. 


Debit cards tend to be far cheaper to use than credit cards, as there are no monthly fees involved. Most often, there are no account-keeping fees on transaction accounts and the linked debit card is also issued for free. In addition, many cards reward spending by offering cashback offers or other rewards, so you can gain rewards points just by spending your own money. 

In contrast, credit cards are a different story; interest rates can be incredibly high, sometimes stretching above 20% p.a. Annual card fees and cash advance fees can also stack up. In addition, some shops, restaurants and cafes add a surcharge onto their prices if a credit card is used, so the price you pay for everyday goods and services can be higher in certain cases. 

Ease of application 

Debit cards are far easier to apply for and receive as they don’t involve issuing any credit facility. They’re often issued automatically when you open a transaction account and don’t involve submitting financial information to the bank in order to receive a debit card. 

The process is more complicated when applying for a credit card, as your previous borrowing and financial history, income and employment status are all taken into account during the application process. At the end of this process, you may not even be approved for your chosen credit card if your credit history doesn’t stack up. 

Debt risk 

There is zero risk of debt accruing on a debit card, because if you try to spend more than you have in your linked bank account, the transaction will be declined. In contrast, credit cards are essentially small, high interest loans granted whenever you make a purchase. You have to repay your credit card ‘loan’ within a certain period of time (usually around a month), but if you’re unable to pay it all off in that period, you’ll incur significant interest charges. Many people find themselves unable to service their credit card minimum payments, which can result in a debt spiral which can have long-term consequences. 

Effect on credit history 

Debit cards don’t affect your credit history, as they don’t involve a financial institution offering a credit product. However, using a debit card can’t help you establish a credit history, which you may need the first time you want to apply for a car or home loan. 

In contrast, credit cards do form a part of your credit history. Those people who pay their credit cards off promptly and regularly can have their credit score boosted by using their credit card wisely, which in turn can help with obtaining finance in other areas. However, failing to keep up with payments will negatively impact your credit history. 

How should I compare debit cards to find the best one?

There are plenty of areas to consider when it comes to comparing debit cards. Savvy provides you with up-to-date comparison information to help you make the best choice when you’re looking for a new debit card. Keep the following points in mind when you’re shopping around for the best debit card offers: 


Most banks don’t charge any fees to issue a debit card, so they’re advertised as no-fee. However, although there are far fewer fees with a debit card compared to a credit card, there may still be some fees involved in maintaining the transaction account linked to your debit card. These can include overdrawn fees and foreign currency conversion fees if you use your debit card overseas or shop online in an overseas store that charges for using a different currency. 

Reward schemes 

Many rewards programs which were initially associated with credit cards have now begun to migrate over to debit cards. One of the most common forms of reward is a cashback scheme, which offers to return cash back to you in return for regular spending and purchases at named partner stores. Some banks even offer cashback rewards just for opening a new bank account with a linked debit card. These rewards can also include: 

  • discounts applied to your purchases 
  • special offers on products like home entertainment and pay TV subscriptions 
  • earning frequent flyer points by using your debit card to pay everyday bills 

ATM access 

If you regularly like to withdraw cash from an ATM, compare the network available to you to ensure you’re always to able to access an ATM fee-free. The big banks tend to have the largest network of ATMs in Australia. 

Big brand backing 

Having either a Visa or Mastercard logo on your debit card can offer you more payment options, as some shops or virtual stores will only accept these options. Smaller or less common card issuers such as American Express may not be accepted in all payment situations. 

Virtual wallet compatibility 

When choosing a debit card, consider compatibility with your phone. Not all debit cards work with all digital wallets, so if you wish to include a virtual debit card in your favourite digital wallet, check on the compatibility before making your final choice of debit card. 

Security features 

If you find money has been taken from your account without your knowledge, it’s important to be able to lock your card quickly to prevent further loss. Check the security features of different cards, and compare how easy it is to lock your card, and to report that your card has been hacked.  

Daily limits 

Most debit cards come with a daily spending and cash withdrawal limit. These limits vary between banks, but are usually around $1,000 to $2,000 a day. These limits usually apply to all transactions undertaken involving one account and one debit card linked to it, so all transactions add up and contribute to the daily total. 

In addition, there can be separate limits on how much cash can be withdrawn through an ATM on any one day. Cash withdrawal limits are also usually between $1,000 and $2,000. However, if you wish to make a larger transaction, it’s often possible to raise these limits, either permanently or for 24 hours to enable a larger transaction to be processed. Limits can often be changed through your online banking or mobile app. 

Choice of colour and design 

Many debit cards come with a standard colour and design, but increasingly they’re being offered in a range of colours you can choose from. For those that like to stand out in a crowd, a customised or colourful debit card can be an enticing option. 

What are some of the alternatives to debit cards?

Even though debit cards are extremely useful and are accepted as a method of payment at thousands of locations, there are alternative payment methods to consider. Some of these are:  

Prepaid debit cards 

These debit cards are more like store gift cards, except they can be recharged when they run low on funds. Issued by Visa, Mastercard and many other providers, prepaid debit cards can be purchased online and from many stores and post offices. Funds can be added to them from another bank account, either by taking the card to a post office or bank or by topping them up online.  

However, unlike standard debit cards, they aren’t linked to a bank account, which is why they have similarities to a reusable store gift card. There can be recharge fees for these prepaid debit cards, so they may not always be the best option, as well as being less convenient to top up, meaning it may be better in the long run to get a no-fee debit card linked to your everyday bank account.  

Credit cards 

These cards can be used in exactly the same way as a debit card, but instead of spending money in your account, you’ll be using credit. To reduce the risk of getting swamped by mounting credit card debt, make sure you always pay your credit card off each month in full to avoid costly interest charges. 


Cash is still a very common method of payment, although its popularity has fallen worldwide in recent years due to the growth of digital banking. With the inherent risk of theft posed by cash, which is less prevalent with cards as they can be locked if lost or stolen, many more people are now relying on easy-to-use and fee-free debit cards for their everyday spending needs. There are now very few places in Australia where tap-and-go or contactless payments aren’t available.  


PayPal is another very popular way to pay for goods online or send money to friends and family. There were more than 428 million PayPal accounts worldwide as of mid-2022, so it is a widely accepted form of payment. Setting up a PayPal account online is free and can be achieved in just a couple of minutes. However, using a debit card can be a far cheaper option, as PayPal charges transaction fees to process most payments.  

Buy now, pay later 

In recent years, buy now, pay later (BNPL) schemes have become increasingly popular. They’re a form of credit which allows customers to purchase goods or services which they can use now, but pay for them in instalments over a set period. The payments aren’t made directly to the service provider or shop, but to the BNPL provider. If all payments are made on time, they can be a useful way of spreading out the cost of larger purchases. However, significant interest, account fees and penalty fees can be imposed if payments aren’t made on time, which can detrimentally affect a person’s credit rating.

Why compare debit cards with Savvy?

The pros and cons of debit cards


Simple to use 

Debit cards are accepted almost everywhere worldwide and are very simple to use, often with just a quick tap on an EFTPOS terminal to confirm payment. 

No lengthy application process 

Because debit cards don’t involve issuing credit, there are no lengthy application forms to complete. They’re often issued automatically when a transaction bank account is first opened free of charge.  

Only spend the money you have 

With a debit card, there’s no danger of spending more money than you have in your bank account, as transactions which would leave you overdrawn will be declined by the EFTPOS terminal. 

No fees 

Unlike credit cards, debit cards are usually fee-free and do not incur any account-keeping charges. 

More secure than cash 

A debit card is a more secure payment option than cash, as if your card is stolen, it can immediately be locked to prevent further loss. 


No credit available 

With a debit card, you can only spend up to the limit of the funds you have in your bank account, so payment for larger purchases can’t be spread out over several paydays. 

Can’t help you build a credit score 

Even if you’re exceptionally responsible with your finances using a debit card, you won’t have much to show for it when it comes to applying for finance for a car or home loan. This is one of the disadvantages of a debit card over a credit card. 

Daily limits may apply 

You may find your debit card imposes a daily limit on what you can spend, so more substantial purchases may not be possible even if you have the money in the bank. 

Frequently asked questions about debit cards

Are debit cards available for kids and teens?

Yes – debit cards for kids and teens are issued from as young as nine years old by some banks. However, other financial institutions have a minimum age limit of 12 to 14 years of age.  

Can I have more than one debit card?

Yes – there is no limit to the number of debit cards you can hold at any one time, although each debit card has to be linked to an everyday or transaction bank account from which to take the funds.  

Can I use my debit card overseas?

Yes – you can use your debit card overseas. A debit card can be used all over the world wherever you see the Visa or Mastercard sign, which means when you’re travelling you can use it to pay for your meals and drinks, and buy gifts and souvenirs. However, you can be charged foreign transaction fees if you use your card to buy goods using a different currency. This fee (which is often around 3%) is charged in addition to the cost of converting Australian dollars to the foreign currency you’re using, which is called a currency conversion fee. These fees can make using your debit card overseas an expensive option. 

If I lose my debit card or have it stolen, what can I do to protect my funds?

Debit cards can quickly be locked to prevent unauthorised use if they are stolen. Locking a card is usually achieved either using online banking, a mobile app, or by phoning the financial institution and asking them to put a lock on the card. As soon as a lock is put on a card, no further transactions will take place so your funds will be protected.  

Do debit cards expire?

Yes – debit cards are only issued for a limited period, usually up to around three years. Prior to their expiry date, your bank should issue you with a new card to use once your old card expires. 

Can I get more than one debit card from my bank?

Yes – banks will often be asked to issue a second debit card that can be used by another named cardholder. The secondary card is linked to the same transaction account, but has another name on it. This is a common arrangement where couples have a joint account or a company needs several debit cards to allow different staff to make purchases. 

How much money can I withdraw from my debit card from the ATM?

Cash withdrawal limits vary from debit card to debit card, so the limit amount will depend on your financial institution. Standard daily limits are between $1,000 and $2,000. In addition, withdrawal limits can also be set by the ATM owner, particularly if cash is in short supply for whatever reason

Can one card function both as a credit card and a debit card?

Yes – it’s possible to have one single card that can function both as a credit card and a debit card. When using such a card to withdraw money at an ATM, the user specifies which account the funds should be withdrawn from. Some cards can also be linked to both a transaction and a savings account, meaning the user can choose which of their accounts the money comes from when withdrawing cash.  

What is cardless cash and how does it work?

If you find yourself suddenly needing to withdraw cash, it’s now possible to use an ATM without having your debit card on you. Cardless cash is a mobile banking service that involves generating a security code using your banking app and inputting this code into an ATM to generate a cash withdrawal. Your debit card can also be stored on your phone as a virtual or digital card, and then cash withdrawn from an ATM by holding your phone up to the ATM screen to authorise a cash withdrawal. 

What is a CVV and why do I need one?

CVV stands for card verification value and is a small number printed on the reverse side of your credit or debit card at the top of the signature strip. On Visa and Mastercard, CVVs are three digits, and on American Express cards, they are four digits. They add an extra layer of security when using your card either online or over the phone, as they help prove you have the physical card in your possession when making a purchase. 

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