The rising cost of living has more Aussies reaching for credit cards

lots of australians reaching for credit cards to tackle rising cost of living

New findings from Mozo show that 75% of surveyed Australians have found themselves paying by plastic more, with the rising cost of living to blame. Of these:

  • 43% use their cards more for groceries
  • 37% use their cards more for day-to-day expenses
  • 32% use their cards more for petrol
  • 21% use their cards more for medical expenses.

Recent Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) data backs this up, showing that the value of transactions year-on-year is rising at the fastest rate it has in over 15 years. In 2021, this stood at $19.8 billion for August year-on-year, while it was up 27% to $25.2 billion in 2022.

Rising demand for credit cards shows that Australians are looking for more ways to tackle their everyday obligations. Rising price tags at the grocery store and the gas pump mean more financial stress across the board. 

On top of rising credit card spend, 25% of those surveyed say they have signed up for a new credit card. Thirty-three per cent already have multiple credit cards on the go. With so many Aussies now balancing multiple cards, it’s important to ensure they’ve found a card that suits them.

“Now is a great time to take stock and rethink your card choices to make sure that you are not throwing money down the drain paying high fees or interest rates, or for card features, you are not utilising,” says Claire Frawley, Mozo Personal Finance Expert. 

The average purchase rate of a credit card in the Mozo database at the time of writing stands at just over 17% p.a., with an average annual fee of $136. Rewards cards have higher numbers to match their returns, with an average purchase rate of 20.12% p.a. and an average annual fee of $216. 

It is possible to get a much more attractive deal, with certain low rate options in the database offering rates roughly 10% lower. Some notable examples include the G&C Mutual Bank Low Rate Visa Card, which has a purchase rate of 7.49% p.a. and an annual fee of $50, and the Auswide Bank Low Rate Visa, with its 8.55% p.a. purchase rate and $50 annual fee (waived for under 25s). There are also cards that offer 0% introductory purchase rates.

The 2022 Mozo Expert’s Choice Awards for Credit Cards^ also highlighted some standout selections. American Express took out an award for credit card provider of the year, winning 15 awards across various categories. 

If you are one of the leagues of Australians adding another card to your wallet, you can start comparing below. 

Tackle the cost of living and find out more about our top picks with our best credit cards.

^See information about the Mozo Experts Choice Credit Card Awards

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