Card spending up along with repayments

Credit card spending rose a hefty 9.6 per cent over the course of March, the latest figures from the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) show.

But while Aussies spent an impressive $18.78 billion on credit cards over the month, up from $17.13 billion in February, there was a concerted effort to pay off credit card debt as well.

The RBA has announced that credit card repayments hit $19.72 billion, up 17.5 per cent on the previous month.

Another set of figures released by the RBA have also sparked a lot of interest as, for the first time, the Bank has given a breakdown of the amount of money lenders have made in penalty charges.

Over the course of 2008, banks made more than $1 billion from charges imposed on people who went overdrawn, used a foreign ATM machine or paid off credit cards late.

"It’s not hard to see why many Australians get angry with the banks," said treasurer Wayne Swan.

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