Aussies are shunning mid-range credit cards

The global economic crisis has changed the way that many Australians are using credit cards.

Official government figures recently indicated the country has racked up a total credit card debt of $36 billion, but many people are now being far more careful about how much they spend.

According to a new survey conducted by HSBC, Aussies are now shunning mid-range cards in favour of packages that carry lower interest rates.

Since 2009, there has been a 14 per cent drop in the uptake of mid-range cards, although plastic products at the higher end of the spectrum have remained popular.

Head of credit cards and retail alliances for HSBC Bank Australia David Walker said this is because a lot of Aussies are still keen to receive the benefits attached to platinum cards.

He believes borrowers are selecting cards that better suit their lifestyle and it appears middle of the market credit deals are the main casualties of this new approach.

"Increased cardholder scrutiny has resulted in a recognition that fees amongst mid-range cards can be disproportionate to the value offered," Mr Walker commented.

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