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.”
You may know PayPal as a digital payments giant, but the company today announced its next big step: launching its first ever rewards credit card in Australia.The move will see PayPal expand its online offering to physical stores, with customers soon able to take PayPal anywhere worldwide where Visa is accepted. Cardholders can earn points with every eligible purchase, and redeem them at any of the 750,000 businesses globally that have PayPal integrated at checkout (including over 300,000 in Australia). The PayPal Rewards Card, set to roll out from mid-July, will come with perks including zero annual fees and uncapped rewards points. PayPal Australia’s general manager for payments, Andrew Toon said this flexibility can help credit card users avoid situations where they end up with Frequent Flyer or Velocity points they can’t spend because of COVID-19 border closures. “Customers have said they want a flexible rewards program with points they can redeem however they’d like,” he said.“The pandemic has made the value of flexible rewards even clearer, as many Australians have been left with travel-related points they haven’t been able to use the way they would like to due to safety concerns and border restrictions.”
Fresh stats have shown that over half of Aussies shoppers are opting for home grown. This is according to CommBank’s first ever Consumer Insights Report which evaluated the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Australian consumers. The report delved into the spending habits of Aussies and revealed that more consumers are choosing to make purchases from local businesses instead of overseas. And it’s across a range of items, the most popular included:
If you’re in the market for a credit card, chances are you’ve seen a good mix of deals and offers from a range of providers. That’s why it’s essential to do your research and shop around. But contrary to popular belief, finding the right option is only half the battle. The other part is ensuring the card is a winner. Because beneath the flashy or limited time offers, there’s often a catch to watch out for. So to help you avoid a nasty credit card trap, we’ve listed five features to look out for during your search for your plastic match.
It’s been almost two weeks since the Trans-Tasman travel bubble opened up between Australia and New Zealand. With the option now available for quarantine-free travel for Aussies, many are looking to bungee jump, hit the slopes, or just soak in the scenery our neighbours to the south have to offer. So if you’re one of the ones that has the New Zealand travel itch, you may be asking yourself: what are my travel money options? (Bet you haven’t asked that question in a while!) So to give you a bit of a refresh, a travel credit card may be a good way to go. Whether it’s a card with no foreign exchange rate or a card that could earn you a tonne of points as you fly and spend, or both, it’s all about making sure you get the most out of your travel money option.
From racking up rewards points to scoring invites to VIP events, every rewards lover has their favourite perk. And if you’re into cashback deals on everyday spending, we’ve got good news for you. American Express has launched a brand new credit card, called the American Express Cashback Credit Card. With the card, customers will earn 1% cashback per $1 spent on eligible purchases, plus an additional 5% cashback per $1 spent for the first months once you’re approved (up to $200 cashback). You could also earn an extra 1.5% cashback for purchases made at participating Shop Small small businesses (offer ends 31/03/22). But that’s not all. Once you own an Amex Cashback Credit Card, you’ll be treated to a free Binge Basic subscription, a 12-month pass to the Centr fitness app, complimentary Smartphone Screen Insurance and access to Amex Entertainment Lounges, Plan It Instalments and other Amex offers. “We’re always looking for ways to ensure our products address the evolving needs of consumers,” said Vice President of Consumer Lending at American Express, Austin Huntsdale. “With Gen Z and Millennials seeking instant gratification through Cashback incentives and new ways to be savvier with their money, there was no better time for us to introduce Australia’s highest uncapped Cashback earning credit card – giving them a financial tool that benefits their lifestyles and spending habits.” Of course, you’ll also have standard rewards credit card features, like up to 55 interest-free days, refund and purchase protection insurance. However, like any rewards credit card, there are a few things to keep in mind. The Amex Cashback Credit Card has a 20.74% purchase rate and a $10 monthly fee, so you’ll want to make sure you’re paying your balance off in full every month. Wanna find out what Mozo thinks about the new American Express Cashback Credit Card? Check out our editorial review! Or if you wanna find out how the new Amex card stacks up to other deals in the market, head on over to our rewards card comparison tool or get started with the offers below.
Last week Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas threw down the gauntlet to Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg asking for credit card interest rates to be slashed. He argued that although the cost of borrowing money has plummeted over the past few years, credit card interest rates have remained the same. “That is unfair, it is unreasonable, and it’s unconscionable, and it has to stop,” he said.“The Commonwealth needs to step up.”To get credit card interest rates under control, Pallas has also demanded a review into how rates are set and regulated within Australia. It might not be that much of a bold statement either, as credit card rates have barely moved, despite the fact that the official cash rate currently sits at 0.1% Mozo research from November last year revealed that by failing to pass on 4.40% in RBA rate cuts over the past eight years, credit card providers have profited an eye-watering $6.4 billion. According to Pallas, the move to reduce credit card interest rates would help the banks “re-establish their credibility” with customers. While it’s unclear whether this idea will come to fruition, credit card holders can take action now against their card’s interest rate by making the switch to a better deal. According to the Mozo database, the average credit card rate is 16.87%, while the lowest sits at 7.49%, so there are some decent savings to be made by shopping around.
Love rewards points? If you’re on the market for a new rewards credit card, a bonus points offer might be exactly what you need to scratch your points-loving itch. So which credit cards come with bonus points? Well, last month six credit card launched fresh bonus points offers to new card members.
If you’re an American Express customer and a big fan of the Shop Small campaign, we’ve got good news for you. Today the credit card giant has announced that not only is the Shop Small campaign back in business, it will now be a year-long movement. Just in case you weren’t aware, Amex’s Shop Small campaign is all about encouraging Aussies to do their bit and shop from small businesses. And given the year the country has just had, many small businesses are gearing up for a prosperous 2021. “The resilience that Australian small business operators have shown throughout the Covid crisis has been extraordinary,” said vice president of small and medium enterprises for American Express Australia, Lisa Belcher. “And it’s encouraging to see consumers, big business and government rallying to back the sector, but now is not the time for complacency,” said vice president of small and medium enterprises for American Express Australia, Lisa Belcher. “That’s why Shop Small is returning all-year-round, to remind shoppers that if they want to see these businesses survive they have to take action and spend with them regularly.” To take part in the Shop Small initiative, Amex customers will need to save the Shop Small offer to their eligible card and shop at participating online and in-store small businesses where they will earn an extra three points per dollar spent until 31 March 2022 (up to 40,000 extra points).