Australia’s love-hate relationship with credit cards

The Credit Card Insights Report released today by has uncovered the nation’s intriguing love-hate relationship with credit cards.

The report found that while the majority (77 percent) of cardholders hated something about their credit cards, most (74 percent) have kept the same card for at least the past five years.

This was despite only 6 percent of cardholders in the survey who hated everything about their cards but can’t let go of them.

The most common dislike was high interest rates (42%), which was equally despised by both men and women. The second biggest grievance was high annual fees (36%), while cash advance fees and international fees were equal third.

Here are some interesting stats from the report:

 Men versus women


●         More savvy: 70% applied for a low rate card compared to 63% of men

●         More loyal: 76% sticking with the same card for 5 years or longer versus 71% of men

●         Online shoppers: more likely to apply for a credit card for online shopping

●         More likely to apply for cards for emergencies

●         Happier with their credit cards than men


●         More likely to choose a high end card

●         Multiple cards: more likely to have more than 1

●         Fraud: 38% of men experienced fraud as opposed to 33% or women.


●         Baby boomers aged 55+ were most responsible cardholders, most likely to pay their cards off in full each month and preferred no fee cards more than other generations. But they are also most loyal customers, with 79% keeping the same card for over 5 years

●         Many Gen Y, the youngest adult age group of 18-34 year-olds, were more likely to be reckless with their credit card choices, applying for rewards or high end credit cards which they are unlikely to benefit from. They were 3 times more likely than baby boomers to believe their card level was a status symbol. Gen Y were also a lot more secretive than other generations, with 1 in 10 keeping some of their purchases from their partners

●         Gen X is the laziest group: highest number of cardholders who can’t be bothered switching cards to find the one that suits them.






State by state:

  • Northern Territory: The biggest reward point hunters with 50% applying for cards to earn points through – the highest than any other state
  • Western Australia: More likely to have two or more cards than any other state, also happiest bunch of cardholders
  • South Australia: More likely to take out a card for a holiday and also the most trustworthy, preferring to keep their accounts with the one bank because they trust their provider
  • Tasmania: Most loyal, 9 out of 10 prefer to keep their products with the same bank and safest with more likely to apply for a card for emergency purposes. They are also the least interested in reward points
  • Queensland: Least loyal, with 1 in 3 keeping their credit cards and other banking products with separate providers, prefer low rate cards, and most likely to have just 1 card
  • New South Wales: More likely to apply for a balance transfer card, almost 1 in 5 switched at least once which is more than any other state
  • Australian Capital Territory: Reward cards were most popular reason to apply for a credit card than any other state, least interested in low rate cards



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Michael is a director of Metropole Property Strategists who help their clients grow, protect and pass on their wealth through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He's once again been voted Australia's leading property investment adviser and one of Australia's 50 most influential Thought Leaders. His opinions are regularly featured in the media. Visit

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