Credit card spending up and more Aussies are applying, finds Citi

happy couple spending on credit card

As we look back at May, credit card spending remains at pre-COVID levels for the fourth month in a row. 

This is according to Citi Australia’s May 2021 Credit Card Index which found that credit card spending last month saw a 30% growth from May last year. 

On top of that, more Aussies are signing up for credit cards. When compared to the same time last year, Citi’s numbers showed a 25.5% increase in the number of cards being acquired. 

“At the start of the pandemic, many Australians preemptively cancelled their cards as they feared that their economic circumstances would drastically decline. However, the nation weathered the pandemic better than expected, and the credit card sector has been on a path to recovery since,” head of cards and loans at Citi Australia, Choong Yu Lum said. 

“May was not only the fourth consecutive month of spend returning to pre-COVID levels, but we also saw a 25.5% increase in new card applications compared to this time last year - a testament to local consumer confidence.” 

So how are credit card users spending now? 

There are a number of places that Aussies are reaching for their plastic to make purchases. Here are the top five ways spenders are using their credit card, according to Citi: 

CategoryShare of spend
Supermarkets9.31%
Household good retailing7.37%
Business services6.64%
Insurance5.64%
Health/Medical

5.61%

This is followed by legal/tax services, restaurants, retails goods, sports and hobby stores, and hotels, resorts and spas. 

I’m not happy with my current credit card … what should I do? 

Find yourself paying too much in interest or fees? Or maybe you’re stuck with an ancient rewards program that really doesn’t give you much? It may be time to make the switch to a better credit card. 

There are plenty of options out there that might suit you, it all depends on what type of credit card user you are. And that’s where we can help! 

Here’s a rundown of a few different credit card types … 

  • Low interest rate credit card: Because these cards come with a low interest rate, if you find yourself unable to pay off your balance in full every month, this card may help reduce the amount of interest you pay on purchases. 
  • Rewards credit card: If you use your credit card to make most of your purchases, a rewards option might suit you. This way you can be rewarded with some juicy points as you spend - also keep an eye out for bonus points offers too! 
  • No annual fee credit card: Always pay down your balance in full each month but paying a hefty annual fee? A no annual fee credit card could be what you need! Because you pay off your balance, you are unlikely to pay interest on your purchases, so why not focus on reducing the amount of fees you pay. 
  • Balance transfer credit card: Having lingering credit card debt is never fun, so if you find yourself struggling to kick the debt you already have you may want to turn your attention to a 0% balance transfer offer. With these cards you can pay down the majority of your debt interest fee over a select period of time, and then focus on spending once you are debt free. 

Want to weigh up some credit card options right now? Check out these cards below or head to our credit card comparison page for more.

Compare credit cards - last updated 13 August 2022

Search promoted credit cards below or do a full Mozo database search . Advertiser disclosure
  • Apply By 31 Oct 2022
    Westpac Low Rate - Cashback Offer

    Enjoy a super low rate of 13.74% with 55 days interest free plus up to $200 cashback - $50 cashback for each month you spend $1,000 or more on eligible purchases in the first 4 months from card approval. New Cards only. T&C's and exclusions apply.

    Purchase rate
    13.74% p.a.
    Balance transfer rate
    6.99% p.a. for 12 months and then 21.49% p.a. (1.00% balance transfer fee)
    Annual fee
    $59
    Rewards program
    -
    Details
  • Virgin Money No Annual Fee Card

    Virgin Money No Annual Fee for the life of the card. 0% p.a. for 12 months on purchases (reverts to ongoing purchase rate) and balance transfers (reverts to cash advance rate).

    Purchase rate
    0% p.a. for 12 months then 18.99% p.a.
    Balance transfer rate
    0% p.a. for 12 months and then 20.99% p.a.
    Annual fee
    $0
    Rewards program
    -
    Details
  • Mozo Expert Choice Badge
    American Express Qantas Ultimate Card

    Earn up to 100,000 bonus Qantas Points (75,000 bonus Qantas Points when you apply online by 23 August 2022, are approved, and spend $3,000 on your new Card within the first 3 months, plus an additional 25,000 Qantas Points in your second year upon fee renewal). T&Cs apply. New Card Members only.

    Purchase rate
    20.74% p.a.
    Balance transfer rate
    No current offer
    Annual fee
    $450
    Rewards program
    Qantas Frequent Flyer
    Details
  • Virgin Money Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer

    Get in the air with a $129 Virgin Australia Gift Voucher each year. 0% p.a. for 28 months on balance transfers.

    Purchase rate
    20.74% p.a.
    Balance transfer rate
    0% p.a. for 28 months and then 20.99% p.a.
    Annual fee
    $129 $0 in the first year
    Rewards program
    Velocity Frequent Flyer
    Details
  • Apply By 31 Aug 2022
    St.George Vertigo - Balance Transfer Offer

    0% p.a. for 32 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.

    Purchase rate
    13.99% p.a.
    Balance transfer rate
    0% p.a. for 32 months and then 21.49% p.a.
    Annual fee
    $55 $0 in the first year
    Rewards program
    -
    Details
  • Apply By 31 Aug 2022
    Mozo Expert Choice Badge
    American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card

    Receive a $200 credit on your Card when you spend $200 or more at Amazon.com.au within the first 3 months plus get 30,000 Bonus Membership Rewards Points when you apply online by 31 August 2022, are approved and spend $3,000 within the first 3 months. T&Cs apply. New Card Members only.

    Purchase rate
    20.74% p.a.
    Balance transfer rate
    No current offer
    Annual fee
    $195
    Rewards program
    Membership Rewards
    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.