Aussies broke credit card spending records in November 2021, but what does that for you mean now?

woman sits at her laptop worried about her christmas covid finances

The lead up to Christmas 2021 saw a record-breaking $69 billion card spend, but with the recent Omicron outbreak, can Australians afford to pay it back?

Let’s take a closer look at our spending first: as COVID-19 lockdowns lifted in October, Aussies hit the shops and jumped on sales events such as Black Friday and Click Frenzy in November. Then, as families were finally able to celebrate together, a lot of Australians spent more on Christmas 2021 than in previous years.

According to recent RBA data, Australians charged $25.7 billion to their credit cards in November 2021, the highest value since the beginning of the record 20 years ago. Interestingly though, the number of credit cards is the lowest since 2006, meaning that the individual spend per card would also be record-breakingly high.

November 2021 credit card spend

November 2021Month-on-month changeYear-on-year change
Number of credit card accounts12.4 million-731
(-0.01%)
-449,616
(-3.5%)
Value of credit card purchases$25.27 billion+$4.78 billion
(+23.3%)
+$2.90 billion
(+12.9%)
Value of credit card transactions$25.70 billion+$4.86 billion
(+23.3%)
$2.92 billion
(+12.8%)
Credit Card balances accruing interest$17.16 billion+$74.8 million
(+0.4%)
-$2.48 billion
(-12.6%)

Shoppers also spent plenty on their debit cards this festive season. Debit transactions hit a record high of $43.01 billion, meaning there was close to $69 billion charged to all personal cards in Australia in November 2021 alone.

November 2021 debit card spend

November 2021Month-on-month changeYear-on-year change
Number of debit card accounts36.3 million+144,746
(+0.4%)
+1.4 million
(+4.0%)
Value of debit card purchases$42.21 billion+$4.87 billion
(+13.1%)
+$6.32 billion
(+17.6%)
Value of debit card transactions$43.01 billion+$4.98 billion
(+13.1%)
+$6.34 billion
(+17.3%)

Australia spent big but now there’s credit card interest to pay

Embracing Christmas without pandemic restrictions, many Australians put aside the thrifty attitude of lockdown and splashed out on their credit and debit cards. Unfortunately, some might now struggle to pay down their debts due to Omicron’s intrusion.

For one, many Australians are not currently working as they expected to. Across a lot of the country, the most recent COVID outbreak has forced people to take sick leave, lose work hours to isolate and even caused some businesses to shutter temporarily.

For the first time since May 2021, credit card balances accruing interest has increased by almost $75 million month-on-month. This could be a concern, as from December, personal finances might have tightened.

Help with debt is available

If you are struggling to pay off your Christmas debt, you might want to consider a balance transfer. A balance transfer offers you the opportunity to transfer your current credit card debt over to a new card and pay it off at a lower interest rate or completely interest-free.

Remember, these are limited-time offers. While some only last for a few months, others can be a few years, it all depends on what suits you and your debt.

Additionally, there are many resources to take advantage of. Reach out to your providers, as well as the Nation Debt Helpline, for guidance on how to resolve your situation.

Balance transfer credit cards - rates updated daily

Search promoted credit cards below or do a full Mozo database search. Advertiser disclosure.
Balance transfer calculator: how much money could you save?
1
2
3
4
I need to transfer
I can repay
each month
My current interest rate is
% p.a.
My current annual fee is

Transfer amount:

$

Monthly repayment:

$

Current interest rate:

%

Current annual fee:

$

Change my values

We've updated the table to show your savings!(how are they calculated?)
  • Apply By 31 July 2022
    placeholder
    Bendigo Bank Low Rate Credit Card

    0% p.a. on purchases and 0% p.a. on balance transfers for up to 20 months from account opening (Reverts to 11.99% p.a). A balance transfer fee of 2% applies to the balance transferred. Low annual fee of $45.

    Balance transfer rate
    Purchase rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    Estimated savings
    0% p.a. for 20 months and then 11.99% p.a. (2.00% balance transfer fee)
    0% p.a. for 20 months then 11.99% p.a.
    $45
    -
    Go to site
    Details
  • Apply By 30 June 2022
    placeholder
    Bank of Melbourne 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.

    Balance transfer rate
    Purchase rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    Estimated savings
    0% p.a. for 32 months and then 21.49% p.a.
    13.99% p.a.
    $55 $0 in the first year
    -
    Go to site
    Details
  • Apply By 30 June 2022
    placeholder
    BankSA 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.

    Balance transfer rate
    Purchase rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    Estimated savings
    0% p.a. for 32 months and then 21.49% p.a.
    13.99% p.a.
    $55 $0 in the first year
    -
    Go to site
    Details
  • placeholder
    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.

    Balance transfer rate
    Purchase rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    Estimated savings
    0% p.a. for 36 months and then 21.99% p.a.
    19.99% p.a.
    $129 $29 in the first year
    Rewards Plus
    Go to site
    Details
  • placeholder
    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 Credit Card Winner 2021^

    Balance transfer rate
    Purchase rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    Estimated savings
    0% p.a. for 33 months and then 21.74% p.a.
    11.99% p.a.
    $49 $0 in the first year
    -
    Go to site
    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.