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 - last updated 16 October 2021

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

    0% p.a. on purchases for up to 12 months (Reverts to 11.99% p.a). Also 0% balance transfer for up to 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
    -
    Details
  • Bankwest Breeze Mastercard

    Enjoy 0% p.a on balance transfers for 15 months then 9.90% thereafter. No annual fee for the first year. Limited time only. Other fees, T&Cs apply. New Breeze Mastercard customers only.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    0% p.a. for 15 months then 9.90% p.a.
    0% p.a. for 15 months and then 9.90% p.a.
    $49 $0 in the first year
    -
    Details
  • Great Southern Bank Low Rate Credit Card

    0% balance transfer rate for 25 months and up to 55 interest free days. No annual fee for the first year and $49 after. Mozo Experts Choice Balance Transfer Platinum Credit Card Winner 2020^

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    11.99% p.a.
    0% p.a. for 25 months and then 21.74% p.a.
    $49 $0 in the first year
    -
    Details
  • MoneyMe Freestyle Virtual Mastercard

    Use your virtual card instantly once approved (typically within 60 minutes). Features include Tap n Pay with up to 55 days interest-free, transfer money to any bank account and exclusive access to MoneyMe perks. $0 annual fee for lower limits. Must be employed with decent credit history.

    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.
    -
    Details
  • Apply By 10 Oct 2021
    humm90 Mastercard

    With up to 110 days interest free on your spending, this card is pretty unique in the market, and great for managing your daily spend. Plus, no foreign transaction fees overseas or online.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    23.99% p.a.
    No current offer
    $99
    -
    Details
  • Westpac Low Rate - Cashback Offer

    Enjoy a super low rate of 13.74% with 55 days interest free plus $400 Cashback with $4k+ spend on eligible purchases within 4 months of card approval. 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.
    No current offer
    $59 $0 in the first year
    -
    Details
  • Great Southern Bank Platinum Credit Card

    0% p.a. balance transfer for 25 months, $0 annual fee for the first year and also receive 1 rewards point for every dollar spent. Purchase protection insurance. Mozo Experts Choice Balance Transfer Platinum Credit Card Winner 2020^.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    19.99% p.a.
    0% p.a. for 25 months and then 21.74% p.a.
    $149 $0 in the first year
    Great Southen Bank Platinum Rewards
    Details
  • Latitude Gem Visa

    Enjoy now. Pay later with Latitude. 0% interest for 6 months (purchases over $250). 0% interest payment plans at selected retailers. Up to 55 interest free days. Apply in less than 10 minutes. Must be over 18 to apply.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    19.95% p.a.
    No current offer
    $107 $8.95 monthly fee waived if outstanding balance less than $10
    -
    Details
  • Apply By 30 Nov 2021
    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.
    2.99% p.a. for 15 months and then 21.49% p.a.
    $55 $0 in the first year
    -
    Details
  • NAB Low Rate Card

    0% p.a. interest on balance transfers for the first 32 months, plus a low ongoing purchase rate after that means you can spend with confidence. There's also up to 55 interest free days on purchases to help you manage your budget better.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    12.99% p.a.
    0% p.a. for 32 months and then 21.74% p.a. (0% balance transfer fee)
    $59 $0 in the first year
    -
    Details
  • American Express Low Rate Credit Card

    Competitive low rate with $0 Annual Fee. Get $100 back when you apply online by 27 October 2021, are approved and spend $1,000 on your new Card by 31 December 2021. T&Cs apply. New Card Members only. Customers need an annual income of $50,000 or more.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    8.99% p.a.
    No current offer
    $0
    -
    Details
  • NAB StraightUp Card

    Pay no interest and no late payment fees, just a $10 monthly fee for a $1,000 credit limit. Plus, if you don't make any purchases and have an outstanding balance of $0 during the whole statement period, the monthly fee will be reversed. Also pay no foreign currency fees when you shop online or overseas. Mozo Experts Choice Credit Card Innovation Winner 2020^.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    0% p.a.
    No current offer
    $120 $10/month - waived if no spend & no balance owing
    -
    Details
  • Apply By 19 Oct 2021
    American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card

    Receive 50,000 Bonus Membership Rewards when you apply online by 19 October 2021, are approved and spend $1,500 on your new Card within the first 3 months. T&Cs apply. New Card Members only. $0 introductory annual Card fee for the first year..

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    20.74% p.a.
    No current offer
    $195 $0 in the first year
    Membership Rewards
    Details
  • HSBC Platinum Credit Card

    0%p.a. on balance transfers for 36 months with no balance transfer fee. Terms and Conditions apply. Mozo Experts Choice Premium Rewards and Balance Transfer Platinum Credit Card Winner 2020.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    19.99% p.a.
    0% p.a. for 36 months and then 21.99% p.a.
    $129 $29 in the first year
    Rewards Plus
    Details
  • Apply By 26 Oct 2021
    American Express Explorer® Credit Card

    Receive 150,000 Bonus Membership Rewards Points when you apply online by 26 October 2021, are approved and spend $3,000 on your new Card within the first 3 months. T&Cs apply. New Card Members only.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    20.74% p.a.
    No current offer
    $395
    Membership Rewards
    Details
  • St.George No Annual Fee

    0% p.a. for 12 months on APR requested at card application. The special promotional purchase rate applies from card approval, after the promotional period, the rate will switch to the variable purchase rate. New cards only, Eligibility criteria and T&Cs apply. Offer ends November 30th 2021.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    0% p.a. for 12 months then 20.74% p.a.
    2.99% p.a. for 15 months and then 21.49% p.a.
    $0
    -
    Details
  • Bankwest Zero Mastercard

    No annual fee and up to 55 days interest free on purchases. 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 26 months and then 14.99% p.a. thereafter (2% BT fee applies).

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    14.99% p.a.
    0% p.a. for 26 months and then 14.99% p.a. (2.00% balance transfer fee)
    $0
    -
    Details
  • American Express Qantas Ultimate Card

    Receive 110,000 bonus Qantas Points plus $200 back when you apply online by 27 October 2021, are approved and spend $3,000 on your new Card within the first 3 months. Offer available to new Card Members only. Plus, receive up to 40,000 extra Qantas points with Shop Small (T&Cs apply)

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    20.74% p.a.
    No current offer
    $450
    Qantas Frequent Flyer
    Details
  • Apply By 30 Nov 2021
    St.George Vertigo

    0% p.a. for 30 months on balance transfers requested at card application. 0% balance transfer fee applies. Rate then switches to applicable variable cash advance rate. 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.
    0% p.a. for 30 months and then 21.49% p.a.
    $55 $0 in the first year
    -
    Details
  • 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
    -
    Details
  • American Express Cashback Credit Card

    Get 5% Bonus Cashback in the first 3 months and no monthly fee for the first 12 months. Additional 1.5% cashback with American Express Shop Small Campaign (conditions apply). Complimentary perks and insurances. Eligibility criteria and T&Cs apply.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    20.74% p.a.
    No current offer
    $120 $0 in the first year
    Cashback Rewards
    Details
  • Apply By 30 Nov 2021
    Bank of Melbourne 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.
    2.99% p.a. for 15 months and then 21.49% p.a.
    $55 $0 in the first year
    -
    Details
  • Apply By 30 Nov 2021
    Westpac Altitude Platinum

    Earn up to 60,000 bonus Qantas Points ($3k min. spend in the first 90 days on eligible purchases). 0% p.a. for 18 months on balance transfers requested at card application. 1% BT fee applies. $99 + $50 Annual Qantas Rewards card fee for the first year. New cards only. Offer ends November 30th 2021. T&C's and exclusions apply.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    20.49% p.a.
    0% p.a. for 18 months and then 21.49% p.a. (1.00% balance transfer fee)
    $200 $149 in the first year
    Qantas Frequent Flyer
    Details

^See information about the Mozo Experts Choice Credit Card Awards

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