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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Search promoted credit cards below or do a full Mozo database search. Advertiser disclosure.
  • Apply By 2 August 2021
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    Kogan Money Black Card

    Kogan Money Black Card has no annual fee and no cap or expiry date on points. It comes with a 55 interest free days on purchases and a 0% balance transfer rate for the first 12 months. Earn up to $400 in Kogan.com Credit, $50 Credit on first eligible spend in 30 days and $350 Credit when you spend $1,500 on eligible purchases in 90 days from card approval.

    Purchase rate
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    20.99% p.a.
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    Bendigo Bank Low Rate Credit Card

    0% p.a. on purchases for 12 months (Reverts to 11.99% p.a). Also 0% balance transfer for 12 months. Low annual fee of $45 and no fees for additional cardholders.

    Purchase rate
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    0% p.a. for 12 months then 11.99% p.a.
    0% p.a. for 12 months and then 11.99% p.a. (2.00% balance transfer fee)
    $45
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  • Apply By 30 November 2021
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    St.George Vertigo - Cashback Offer

    $300 cashback when you take out a new Vertigo Credit Card and spend $4k on eligible purchases within 120 days of the new card approval. No annual fee for the first year, $55 thereafter. New cards only, Eligibility criteria and T&Cs apply. Offer ends November 30th 2021.

    Purchase rate
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    Annual fee
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    13.99% p.a.
    6.99% p.a. for 12 months and then 21.49% p.a.
    $55 $0 in the first year
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    MoneyMe Freestyle Virtual Mastercard

    A virtual card that’s available to use instantly once approved (approvals typically within 60 minutes). Tap n Pay, transfer money to friends and get awesome credit back offers from over 1,400 stores.

    Purchase rate
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    Annual fee
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    16.99% p.a.
    No current offer
    $209 $0 - $149 based on credit limit, $5/month for balances over $20.
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    Mozo Experts Choice 2020
    American Express Qantas Ultimate Card

    Receive 55,000 bonus Qantas Points when you apply, are approved, and meet the minimum spend criteria of $3,000 in the first 3 months. T&Cs apply. Available to new Card Members only.

    Purchase rate
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    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    20.74% p.a.
    No current offer
    $450
    Qantas Frequent Flyer
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    NAB StraightUp Card

    $10/month - $1,000 Credit Limit

    Pay no interest and no late payment fees, just a $10 monthly fee for a $1,000 credit limit. Plus, if you don't make any purchases and have an outstanding balance of $0 during the whole statement period, the monthly fee will be reversed. Also pay no foreign currency fees when you shop online or overseas. Mozo Experts Choice Credit Card Innovation Winner 2020^.

    Purchase rate
    Balance transfer rate
    Annual fee
    Rewards program
    0% p.a.
    No current offer
    $120 $10/month - waived if no spend & no balance owing
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    Details

^See information about the Mozo Experts Choice Credit Card Awards

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