Free Debit Cards

Find the best free debit card by comparing offers here with Savvy. 

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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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Disclaimer: Savvy is not advising or recommending any particular product to you. We provide general information on products for the purposes of comparison, but your personal situation or goals are not considered here. Although we try to make our comparisons as thorough as possible, we do not have information on all products on the market on our site.

You should always consult a given offer's PDS or further documentation in the process of deciding on which loan to choose, as well as seeking independent, professional advice. If you decide to apply with one of the lenders listed above via our website, you will not be dealing with Savvy; any applications or enquiries will be conducted directly with the lender offering that product.

More information on free debit cards

Debit cards are amongst the most common forms of payment for Australians today, both in person and online. Since we use debit cards so often for our everyday spending, it’s important to find one which is free to use and has no fees so that bank charges don’t nibble away at your account’s funds. You can compare free debit cards right here with Savvy to find out about all the new features available and to work out which type of free debit card will best suit your spending needs.  

Can I get a free debit card in Australia?

Yes – free debit cards are now widely available in Australia and are often issued as a standard when a new bank account is opened. When a bank says a debit card is free, it usually means there are no annual fees, monthly account-keeping fees or other obvious fees attached to that card. This makes them a less expensive alternative to credit cards. 

However, a free debit card doesn’t necessarily mean that using the card is fee-free in all circumstances. This is why it’s so important to shop around and find a debit card that is suitable for your needs. The most suitable debit card for any individual is one that fits in with your normal spending pattern, which is why it’s crucial to compare your debit card options with Savvy to find out which one may offer you the most benefits at the lowest price.

What are the features I should compare when taking out a free debit card?

You shouldn't choose your debit card solely based on the fact that it's free. Before deciding which debit card is right for your needs, some of the features you should consider when comparing with Savvy are: 

Rewards and benefits 

There are now many different rewards and benefits on offer with debit cards. These can include: 

  • initial cashback offers for accepting a new debit card 
  • cashback offers for using your debit card to pay utility bills 
  • frequent flyer points awarded when you use certain retailers 
  • discounts on major brands and advertised items 
  • free or reduced-cost subscriptions to Pay TV, gyms and other services 

When choosing a debit card, think about whether you’ll actually use the rewards offered and find a card that fits in with your regular spending pattern. Make sure the subscriptions you do accept have no annual fees you’ll have to fork out for in future years. 

Security features 

It’s important to think about the security features which come with debit cards. Make sure you get one that can be quickly locked using online banking or a mobile app in case it’s lost or stolen. It’s important to have 24/7 access to a card locking feature to prevent your funds from being stolen, rather than relying on a phone hotline that may only operate during business hours.  

In addition, check your card’s fraud reimbursement rules. If your card is stolen and used illegally to steal your money, most banks offer to reimburse the funds which were stolen. It’s important to make sure you know what the limitations of this protection are.

Purchase protection 

Another benefit of using a debit card to buy goods is that many offer purchase protection on the items that you buy. This protection can include: 

  • Warranty extension: an offer to double or extend the warranty on a new item you buy with your debit card 
  • Price protection: if you buy an item using your debit card and find it offered cheaper elsewhere within 30 days, you may be able to get a refund on the price difference 
  • Theft or loss protection: if your newly-purchased item is lost or stolen, you may be covered for the replacement value 

Fee-free ATM networks  

If you’re going to be withdrawing cash frequently, it’s important to consider what your debit card provider’s ATM network looks like. Depending on who you bank with, you may have access to a wide range of machines from which you can withdraw your funds without incurring a fee. However, this won’t always be the case, as there may be some situations where you're required to pay a fee to use certain ATMs. As such, it’s worth comparing this between card providers. 

Are there any additional fees I should watch out for?

Yes – just because a debit card is advertised as free doesn’t mean that you won’t be charged to use it in certain circumstances. Some of the potential costs include: 

Surcharges  

Some retailers, particularly restaurants and cafes, charge a surcharge for using a debit or credit card to pay using EFTPOS. A surcharge is an additional payment on top of your standard bill which covers the retailer’s costs of accepting card payments. For debit cards, this will generally sit at around 0.5% of your transaction or lower but can reach over 2% for certain cards. 

Under the Competition and Consumer Amendment Act 2016, retailers are only permitted to impose a surcharge to cover the actual cost they incur from their bank. This bill was introduced to prevent excessive surcharges which were common in the airline industry at the time. 

The Act covers all payments by EFTPOS using Mastercard and Visa debit and credit cards. However, it doesn’t cover payments by BPAY, PayPal, Diners Club cards, American Express cards or cheque payments. 

Overseas currency conversion fees 

If you use your debit card overseas, you may incur both overseas transaction charges and currency conversion fees. These international fees are charged if you pay for something in another currency and can range from 1% to 3% of the value of the transaction, which can make using your debit card overseas quite expensive. 

In addition, if you use an international ATM which isn’t affiliated with your bank, you can also incur substantial withdrawal fees if you aren’t careful. Make sure you’re familiar with the overseas costs of using your debit card if you plan to travel. 

Overdraft fees 

In most cases, if you try to make a transaction that would put your bank account balance into the negative, it would instantly be declined. However, due to delays in processing payments, a transaction can sometimes be approved which results in an account becoming overdrawn. If this happens, an overdraft fee can be charged, which can be as high as $30 to $50. 

Why compare debit cards with Savvy?

Frequently asked questions about free debit cards

Can I get a free debit card for travelling overseas?

Yes – there are special travel or global credit cards which are offered without foreign transaction fees. However, many of these still charge fees in certain situations, so they may not be considered a fee-free card. Given they allow you to load up your debit card with another currency prior to travel to take advantage of competitive exchange rates, they could be a cheaper option for you. 

Can I get a free debit card for my kid?

Yes – most banks and financial institutions offer free debit cards to kids as young as nine years old. The age at which a child can open a bank account in their own name in Australia is 12, so for younger children, these debit cards are often attached to a joint account in both the parent’s and child’s name. However, once a child reaches 12, the debit card can be linked to a bank account solely in their name. 

Can I use my free debit card as a virtual card in a digital wallet?

Yes – most debit cards can be used as a virtual card in a digital wallet, but not all cards support all payment types, so it’s worth checking the compatibility of your debit card with the digital wallet on your phone or wearable to ensure they will work together. 

What are the benefits of using a free debit card instead of cash?

Carrying cash comes with a greater risk of loss and theft. If cash is stolen or lost, there is usually very little chance of recovering it. However, if you have a debit card that is stolen, you can almost instantly lock it to prevent theft of your funds, so there’s an added layer of security for your money. 

What’s the difference between a prepaid card and a debit card?

A prepaid card is like a reusable gift card: it can instantly be loaded up with cash and used like a debit card up to the amount of money placed on it. Unlike a gift card which is discarded when used, a prepaid debit card can be recharged or topped up with more funds using another debit card, online or at post offices. However, recharge and membership fees can make prepaid debit cards more expensive to use (and they're unlikely to be available for free) compared to standard debit cards.