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Cheapest Credit Card awards: Best of the Best 2018

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BANK GOLD WINNER: G&C MUTUAL BANK

NON-BANK GOLD WINNER: NORTHERN INLAND CREDIT UNION

Across all financial products there can be few that have such a wide variation in costs as credit cards.

At the top end of the scale, some cards charge interest rates of more than 20% a year and when it comes to the annual fee it's possible to pay as much as $700.

money magazine best of the best 2018 awards effie zahos paul clitheroe december issue edition cheapest credit cards interest rate annual fee

At the budget-friendly end of the spectrum, our winners offer very low rates and in some cases no annual fee.

If you carry a card debt from month to month - you're what is known in the industry as a "revolver" - it makes good financial sense to stick with one of these options to trim the long-term interest you're likely to pay while you try to reduce the outstanding debt.

G&C Mutual Bank's Low Rate Visa has risen from third place in 2017.

The 9.49% purchase rate is one of the lowest on the market, and if you're looking for a balance transfer deal G&C is offering 0% on the amount transferred for 12 months.

The cash advance rate of 15.49% applies on any balance outstanding after the low-rate period, so be sure to clear the debt within the 12-month time frame.

Bank Australia's Low Rate Visa applies the same low rate to purchases and cash advances. However, without interest-free days cardholders need to stay on top of their monthly payments and aim to clear the slate in full with each payment to avoid incurring interest charges.

The non-bank sector is certainly packing a punch with credit cards, offering rates that are far cheaper than the banks'.

Northern Inland Credit Union doesn't offer a balance transfer option, so this card is really only suitable if you're taking out a credit card for the first time or looking for a second one.

While My Credit Union's Low Rate Visa beats Northern Inland Credit Union on rate, the fixed cost of an annual fee makes it worth weighing up which card suits your circumstances.

Our awards are based on a debt of $4000 but on amounts above $6000 My Credit Union could be better value.

See more from Best of the Best 2018 here or grab the December issue for full coverage.

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