Credit cards 'in greater demand over the last 5 years'

The demand for credit cards has surged in the last five years, figures from the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) have revealed.

Data from the central bank showed that during this period, borrowing on plastic rose to $49.4 billion in May 2011, a rise of 45 per cent over the last half a decade.

On average, the debt on each card during this period increased to $3,322, but experts have suggested that some households have more than one credit card.

Overall, the number of people who may have gone online to compare credit cards before selecting their plastic increased by 20 per cent as the quantity of cards in the country rose to nearly 15 million.

The amount paid in interest by Aussies on the average card is almost 20 per cent, the data indicated.

Currently, the cash rate set by the RBA is 4.75 per cent, which was the level set in November 2010 when the board of the central bank opted to push it up by 25 basis points.

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