Credit card spending bounces back, finds Citi

young man using credit card more

Popular bank and credit card provider Citi is calling it “business as usual” as customer spending made a comeback in February. 

According to the bank’s recent Credit Card Index, the daily average spend last month spiked by 28%. This is after a 19% drop in January. 

“As anticipated, spend has increased significantly in February following January's holiday season spending hangover,” said Choong Yu Lum, head of credit cards at Citi Australia. 

“February’s 28% spike in daily spend has recovered of pre-COVID levels, indicating the new year is in full swing and consumers are making the most of a predominantly lockdown-free month.”

The numbers also revealed that Aussies are spending more on life administration, with less focus on leisure activities. In fact, Citi recorded a massive 80% increase in spending on Legal and Tax Services. 

Where are credit customers spending? Let’s break it down … 

There are a range of ways Citi credit card customers have been spending over the past month. 

Here are the top 10 categories: 

  • Health and Medical: 10.73% 
  • Supermarkets: 9.63% 
  • Restaurants: 8.55%
  • Household goods retailing: 7.83% 
  • Business services: 6.75% 
  • Sports and Hobby Stores: 6.72%
  • Retail goods: 6.31% 
  • Insurance: 5.92% 
  • Legal and Tax Services: 5.91% 
  • Education: 5.25%

“With restrictions easing across most states, consumers are enjoying a sense of normalcy again and the increase in credit card spend reflects that. As the vaccine rolls out in the coming months, we have an optimistic outlook on spending habits as we hopefully begin to usher in the post-pandemic era,” Lum said. 

Top tips to spending responsibly with your credit card 

Have you been spending a little more on your credit card lately? There are plenty of positives to using your card in the right way, however if you don’t, you could spiral into some unnecessary debt. 

Check out Mozo’s top tips for using your credit card in a healthy and responsible way: 

  • Avoid interest where you can: Some credit cards come with  interest-free days (usually 44 or 55), meaning any purchases you make within these days won’t accrue interest. So if you have a big purchase on the horizon - and you intend to use your credit card - make sure to make the transaction early in the statement period. This way you can take advantage of all the interest-free days. 
  • Earn points on your purchases: If you have a rewards credit card, make sure you are shopping at places that can earn you points. It’s also worth noting that you may be able to snag bonus points for buying with a partner of your rewards program. Keep in mind though, it’s never a good idea to spend just for the sake of earning points - only purchase what you would normally. 
  • Don’t max out your credit card: You must remember, the balance on your credit card is not your money - you have to pay it back. Maxing out your credit card may not only cause you a headache when it comes to paying down your debt, it can also have an affect on your credit rating.

RELATED ARTICLE: Rewards credit cards in 2021: Are they worth it without overseas travel?  

Considering switching to a credit card that suits your spending habits better? Check out the hot options below or jump over to our credit card comparison table for more.

Compare Credit Cards - rates updated daily

Search promoted credit cards below or do a full Mozo database search. Advertiser disclosure.
  • Apply By 31 October 2021
    placeholder
    Bendigo Bank Low Rate Credit Card

    0% p.a. on purchases for 12 months (Reverts to 11.99% p.a). Also 0% balance transfer for 12 months. Low annual fee of $45 and no fees for additional cardholders.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    0% p.a. for 12 months then 11.99% p.a.
    0% p.a. for 12 months and then 11.99% p.a. (2.00% balance transfer fee)
    $45
    -
    Go to site
    Details
  • Apply By 2 August 2021
    placeholder
    Kogan Money Black Card

    Kogan Money Black Card has no annual fee and no cap or expiry date on points. It comes with a 55 interest free days on purchases and a 0% balance transfer rate for the first 12 months. Earn up to $400 in Kogan.com Credit, $50 Credit on first eligible spend in 30 days and $350 Credit when you spend $1,500 on eligible purchases in 90 days from card approval.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    20.99% p.a.
    0% p.a. for 12 months and then 21.74% p.a.
    $0
    Kogan Rewards Points
    Go to site
    Details
  • Apply By 30 November 2021
    placeholder
    St.George Vertigo - Cashback Offer

    $300 cashback when you take out a new Vertigo Credit Card and spend $4k on eligible purchases within 120 days of the new card approval. No annual fee for the first year, $55 thereafter. New cards only, Eligibility criteria and T&Cs apply. Offer ends November 30th 2021.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    13.99% p.a.
    6.99% p.a. for 12 months and then 21.49% p.a.
    $55 $0 in the first year
    -
    Go to site
    Details
  • placeholder
    MoneyMe Freestyle Virtual Mastercard

    A virtual card that’s available to use instantly once approved (approvals typically within 60 minutes). Tap n Pay, transfer money to friends and get awesome credit back offers from over 1,400 stores.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    16.99% p.a.
    No current offer
    $209 $0 - $149 based on credit limit, $5/month for balances over $20.
    -
    Go to site
    Details
  • Apply By 30 November 2021
    placeholder
    Westpac Low Rate

    Enjoy a super low rate of 13.74% with 55 days interest free plus 0% balance transfer for up to 28 months at 1% BT fee. No annual card fee for the first year, $59 thereafter. New Cards only. Offer ends November 30th 2021. T&C's and exclusions apply.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    13.74% p.a.
    0% p.a. for 28 months and then 21.49% p.a. (1.00% balance transfer fee)
    $59 $0 in the first year
    -
    Go to site
    Details
  • placeholder
    Mozo Experts Choice 2020
    American Express Qantas Ultimate Card

    Receive 55,000 bonus Qantas Points when you apply, are approved, and meet the minimum spend criteria of $3,000 in the first 3 months. T&Cs apply. Available to new Card Members only.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    20.74% p.a.
    No current offer
    $450
    Qantas Frequent Flyer
    Go to site
    Details

^See information about the Mozo Experts Choice Credit Card Awards

Mozo provides general product information. We don't consider your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and we aren't recommending any specific product to you. You should make your own decision after reading the PDS or offer documentation, or seeking independent advice.

While we pride ourselves on covering a wide range of products, we don't cover every product in the market. If you decide to apply for a product through our website, you will be dealing directly with the provider of that product and not with Mozo.