Chasing points

Nearly 1 in 10 Australians spend money on our credit cards just to get rewards or benefits.

Credit card companies offer attractive rewards like cash back, free trips and discounts. Indeed, a card's rewards can be so appealing, an estimated 1.7 million of us — 11% of Australian adults — swipe or tap just for the points, rewards or cashback our purchases earn us.

Finder research reveals that Australians spend an average $530 a person chasing points, adding up which means an estimated $1 billion in total each year. We’re most likely to spend this money on clothing and accessories (12%), but food and drinks (10%) and groceries (9%) aren't far behind.

Let’s break it down

Gender

Men spend over double that of women, racking up an average $767 compared to a woman's $307.

Generation

Baby boomers are least likely to buy into points chasing. There's a dramatic difference between generations in terms of how much they spend on cards for rewards. Gen Xers splurge the most at $889 per person, followed by Gen Y with $463, followed by Gen Z $293, with baby boomers not far behind ($284).

State vs state

So, which state racks up the most debt for points? Western Australians, on average, spend $922 extra on chasing points.

Are rewards cards worth it?

Rewards cards can offer incredible perks. Howeverm whether they’re the right choice for you depends on your financial needs, spending habits and goals. Weigh the pros and cons of your rewards card, and map out how much you need to spend to reap the biggest rewards.

When looking for a card, carefully read any limits and restrictions on how you can redeem points, and look for eligibility for bonus points at signup. The potential for travel perks, cash back and bonus points could cause you to spend more than normal, potentially resulting in high fees and interest on those purchases.

Methodology

We analysed data from a survey of Australian adults commissioned by finder.com.au in July 2018.

Credit Card Offers

Important Information*
Citi Platinum Credit Card - Exclusive...

Interest rate

20.99

Annual fee

49*

*$149 p.a. after first year

Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card ...

Interest rate

20.74

Annual fee

64*

*$129 p.a. after first year

American Express Westpac Altitude Pla...

Interest rate

20.24

Annual fee

50*

*$249 p.a. after first year

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