No-Fee Debit Cards

Find the best debit cards with no fees and compare features 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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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.

No-fee debit cards explained

Gone are the days when customers had to pay to use their own money, as most banks now issue no-fee debit cards as a standard when a new everyday bank account is opened. Find out all about the best no-fee debit cards in Australia by comparing your options with Savvy. Consider a range of card providers right here to help you avoid any charges and enjoy fee-free spending.  

Can I get a no-fee debit card?

Yes – finding a debit card with no fees in Australia is relatively easy, as most banks now offer debit cards free of charge when a new bank account is opened. Almost all transaction accounts offered by banks and financial institutions are now advertised as ‘fee-free’. This means that no ongoing or annual fees are charged for you to use your card. The debit cards supplied with these bank accounts are most often linked to everyday or transaction bank accounts, although some savings accounts and junior or hybrid bank accounts now come with no-fee debit cards too. 

The greater issue arises when you want to take your debit card overseas, because a raft of fees can be charged if you want to pay for goods or withdraw cash when you’re travelling. Therefore, finding a no-fee debit card for use overseas is a more difficult proposition. For this reason, whether you’re looking for a debit card to use in Australia or overseas, it’s important to compare your options with Savvy to make sure you’ve got accurate and up-to-the-minute comparison information to help you make the best choice. 

What are the fees to watch out for when comparing debit cards?

Most debit cards in Australia come with no monthly or annual fees, and with no cost to the customer to take out a card. However, in certain situations, there may be costs involved with using a debit card. Some of the things to look out for when using your card in Australia are:  

Fees for using your card at an EFTPOS terminal

Debit card issuers Visa and Mastercard charge retailers to use their EFTPOS terminals. In turn, some shops and restaurants pass on this cost to their customers in the form of a surcharge. This means if you use cash to pay for your goods, it’ll cost the same amount, but if you pay by card, there may be an extra cost added to the total. 

Card surcharges are becoming less common in Australia as digital banking replaces the cash economy, but some restaurants and cafes still do add a surcharge if a card is used for payment. 

This surcharge is often around 0.5% to 1% of the transaction value if a debit card is used, or between 1% and 3% if a credit card is used as the payment method. Legislation passed in 2016 prohibits retailers from charging excessive surcharges, so they’re only permitted to recover the actual cost charged by their bank or terminal provider.  

However, it’s important to note not all retailers add a credit or debit card surcharge, so watch out at the checkout or payment desk for notices informing you about any surcharges that may be applied. 

Fees for overdrawing on your account 

Fees for debit cards used in Australia usually only apply if the card is overdrawn. On face value, a debit card should never be overdrawn, as if you try to withdraw more money than you have in your account, the transaction will be declined due to insufficient funds. However, payments can sometimes take time to process or take place almost simultaneously, meaning the account balance goes into the red. If this occurs and no overdraft facility is in place, substantial overdrawn fees can be charged, often around $30 to $50. To avoid overdrawn fees, either negotiate an overdraft facility with your bank or make sure your account never has a negative balance.  

Fees for using your standard debit card overseas 

The fees charged by banks when a standard debit card is used overseas fall into one of several categories. These are:  

  • Foreign transaction fees: this is a fee charged whenever a transaction is undertaken overseas and reimburses the bank or financial for the administrative cost of converting Australian dollars into a foreign currency. This fee is usually charged as a percentage of the transaction amount and is often around 3% to 4%. All foreign transactions may attract this charge, be it taking money out at an ATM, paying for drinks or a meal or spending money on a trip or excursion. This may not seem like a large percentage, but it can really add up if you’re making several transactions per day over many days or weeks whilst you’re abroad. 
  • Currency conversion fee: this is another fee which can be charged either by a bank or a card provider in addition to a foreign transaction fee. It is similarly related to the cost of converting dollars. The rate is also based on the dollar sum to be converted and is either a percentage fee (often around 1%) or occasionally a set fee. If your card provider charges a currency conversion fee, you can be assured your bank will pass it on to the customer in full.  
  • International ATM fees: if you use an overseas ATM which isn’t affiliated with your bank, you can also be stung by overseas ATM fees, which can be as high as $5 per withdrawal. Many of the larger banks and financial institutions belong to the Global Network Alliance, which is a network of over 50,000 ATMs worldwide which can be used free of charge by customers of any of the Alliance partners. However, if your bank isn’t part of the Alliance and doesn’t have an arrangement with banks overseas, you could find yourself paying hefty fees to withdraw cash. 

Can I get an international debit card with no fees?

Yes – there are now international debit cards that come with no foreign transaction fees. Also known as travel debit cards or global debit cards, some of these cards offer not only no international transaction fees, but also no overseas ATM or account-keeping fees. 

Certain prepaid debit cards allow several foreign currencies to be pre-loaded prior to travel. This means that Australian dollars can be converted into another currency when the exchange rate is advantageous, and stored on the card until needed overseas. In this way, overseas foreign transaction fees are avoided. Currency conversion fees will apply any time dollars are traded for a foreign currency, but these fees can be minimised if the conversion is done ahead of time, rather than when using your debit card overseas. 

However, not all international debit cards are fee-free. Some international travel cards offered by non-bank financial institutions, particularly prepaid cards, charge either annual or monthly fees and have limits and rules around how many free ATM withdrawals are permitted per month.

By comparing the different no-fee debit cards available with Savvy, you’ll be able to avoid bank fees eating away at your savings and find one which will fit in with your lifestyle and earn maximum reward points too.

Why compare debit cards with Savvy?

More of your frequently asked questions about no-fee debit cards

How else should I compare no-fee debit cards?

Some of the other key debit card comparison points include: 

  • Virtual wallet compatibility – make sure the card you choose is compatible with the digital wallet on your phone or wearable
  • Security features – make sure the card you choose is easily lockable online (or on a mobile app) to protect your funds in case it’s stolen
  • Rewards and frequent flyer points – some of the best debit cards in Australia offer rewards and frequent flyer points for using them, so it’s well worth comparing such cards to see which offers the best value
  • Cashback offers – cashback offers are also available when you open a new bank account and link a debit card
Do ATM fees still apply to no-fee debit cards?

They can – whether you’re charged withdrawal fees to use an ATM will depend on which bank or financial institution you're with, and which type of debit card you have. Many banks make arrangements with other financial institutions to allow customers to use their ATMs free of charge, but these arrangements vary from bank to bank.  If you use an ATM from an institution that doesn’t have an agreement with your bank, you could be charged a fee of up to $2.50 in Australia or $5 overseas to use that ATM to withdraw cash. It’s well worth familiarising yourself with ATM use rules to reduce fees if you have a need to withdraw cash regularly.  

Do both Visa and Mastercard issue no-fee debit cards?

Yes – both Visa and Mastercard offer no-fee debit cards, with there being very little difference between the two providers. Many banks are affiliated with either one or the other company, so you may not get a choice about which card provider issues your debit card. 

Do surcharges apply if I shop online with my debit card?

Debit cards can be used online for shopping in the same way that credit cards can, but you will need to watch out for card surcharges, as many online stores both in Australia and overseas charge between 1% and 3% extra to use a card as the payment method.  

Can children get a debit card with no fees?

Yes – debit cards can be issued to kids as young as nine years old in some cases, which also come with no fees. Once a child is 12 years old, they’re permitted to open a bank account in their own name and won’t need a parent or guardian to co-sign with them.