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.

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  • Apply By 30 June 2021
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    Bendigo Bank Low Rate Credit Card

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    St.George Vertigo

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    Purchase rate
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    American Express Qantas Ultimate Card

    Receive 120,000 bonus Qantas Points plus 120 Status Credits when you apply, are approved, and meet the minimum spend criteria of $4,500 in the first 3 months. T&Cs apply. Available to new Card Members only.

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    20.74% p.a.
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    $450
    Qantas Frequent Flyer
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    Great Southern Bank Low Rate Credit Card

    0% balance transfer rate for 20 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^

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    $49 $0 in the first year
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    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.

    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
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    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
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    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
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^See information about the Mozo Experts Choice Credit Card Awards

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