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Australian Credit Card and Debit Card Statistics 2017

Discover exactly how the average Australian uses their credit card with our comprehensive guide to credit card statistics

There are 16,76,275 credit cards in Australia as of May 2017, netting a national debt accruing interest of $32,799,950,955. For many Australians, managing credit and debt through credit cards is a common element of their day-to-day money habits, while for others a few bad mistakes have lead to a downward debt spiral. But what does the state of Australia's credit card debt actually look like?

Australian credit and debit card statistics

 

Comparing how we use credit cards and debit cards

percentage of australians with a credit card

According to the finder.com.au June 2016 survey, 70.19% of Australian adults own a credit card.

Demographics

How many Australians own credit cards by age group?

  • 39.48% had one
  • 17.59% had two
  • 8.36% had three or more

  • 34.70% had one
  • 26.79% had two
  • 20.69% had three or more

  • 32.79% had one
  • 29.53% had two
  • 17.52% had three or more

How has the way Australians use credit cards changed in the last 10 years?

The table below depicts the average monthly figure in each case, and the number of accounts active at the end of each year.

YearAccountsPurchasesPurchases ValueBalances Accruing InterestTotal Balances
19956,917,63518,572,376$1,716,478,250-$5,902,531,500
19967,447,62421,327,211$2,006,558,167-$6,970,112,000
19977,867,70325,544,859$2,480,210,750-$7,933,909,917
19988,347,35433,230,275$3,289,235,796-$9,301,922,198
19998,842,91443,775,831$4,427,400,750-$11,188,984,583
20009,462,59054,160,188$5,704,497,083-$13,825,125,833
20019,702,72463,262,374$6,926,303,489-$16,562,522,490
200210,436,32078,980,602$9,722,033,157$6,522,901,923$21,632,476,879
200310,939,18885,944,716$10,870,024,403$17,459,831,412$24,460,963,830
200411,564,68394,031,940$12,235,065,131$19,584,814,661$27,691,093,053
200512,472,75399,171,723$13,172,441,716$22,417,391,623$31,464,241,650
200613,219,635106,077,623$14,488,224,374$26,205,709,409$36,343,226,964
200713,915,372112,699,505$16,020,173,355$29,260,322,734$40,602,096,354
200814,223,670118,291,550$17,271,752,680$31,459,592,322$43,674,616,532
200914,427,859123,397,918$17,860,701,479$32,591,404,701$44,934,444,304
201014,807,113131,079,776$19,030,143,061$34,814,324,464$47,666,028,188
201114,998,347138,540,312$19,959,970,338$36,180,712,025$49,155,184,501
201215,206,686147,966,067$20,897,695,673$36,235,249,589$49,765,586,487
201315,538,988159,731,196$21,873,628,623$34,500,802,152$49,546,355,130
201415,746,333172,690,658$23,151,764,523$33,352,878,864$50,101,907,023
201516,410,978188,496,223$24,333,715,319$32,445,810,064$50,992,893,578
201616,686,308207,153,818$25,232,641,843$32,458,164,966$51,764,294,059
Are you a journalist or researcher? If you need any further data or custom research, please contact...
Graham Cooke
Graham Cooke
Insights Manager
graham.cooke@finder.com.au@gcooke42/in/gcooke42unnamed (25)
P: +61 4 0180 2681
E: graham@finder.com
Data source: finder.com.au, RBA.
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15 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    GrahamMay 24, 2017

    Can you advise what % of total Australian credit cards and the related purchase value is transacted with a MasterCard please and what % is spent on holidays and travel?

    • Staff
      RenchMay 26, 2017Staff

      Hi Graham,

      Thanks for your question.

      Unfortunately, we don’t have the information you are looking for. What we do have is the overall number of purchases using all types of Australian credit cards and debit cards as shown above this page.

      Kind regards,
      Rench

  2. Default Gravatar
    RolandNovember 16, 2016

    Hi,
    Great website!

    How many credit card transactions are done per year with no credit card present, ie. over the Internet, phone etc, people just entering in the numbers digitally?

    Thanks!
    Roland

    • Staff
      AnndyNovember 17, 2016Staff

      Hi Roland,

      Thanks for your question.

      Unfortunately, we don’t have the information you are looking for. What we do have is the overall (with and without card) average usage of each cardholder which is 13 per month and 159 per year.

      Cheers,
      Anndy

    • Default Gravatar
      DonaldMay 21, 2017

      The staff reply to Roland about the number of transactions per cardholder gives a figure of an average of 159 credit card transactions per year. That appears to correspond to the year 2016. And I think it only covers purchase transactions, excluding payment transactions. Where by payment transaction I mean the cardholder paying off some or all money owed on the card.
      What I notice is that back in 1995, twenty years ago, cardholders only appear to have been using credit cards about an average of 30 times per year, and by 2016 that figure of 30 has grown to 159.
      159 – 30 = 129. 129 is about 2½ purchases per week that are now charged through credit cards, but were not charged through credit cards twenty years ago.
      Over the same twenty year period, the number of cards on issue has grown from about 50% of the Australian adult population to about 100% of the Australian adult population (but with some having more than one card and others no credit card). Meanwhile bank profitabilities have generally quadrupled.
      Thanks. I think this corroborates the conception that wealth was being concentrated in fewer hands over the course of the twenty years.

  3. Default Gravatar
    SamOctober 18, 2016

    Hi there,
    I was wondering- do you have an stats for how many Australians are now choosing to pay by card? (debit, eftpos, credit, etc)

    • Staff
      MayNovember 3, 2016Staff

      Hi Sam,

      Thank you for your question.

      I’m afraid we do not have that information available. You may try checking with Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) and the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA).

      Cheers,
      May

  4. Default Gravatar
    September 15, 2016

    Hi, I was wondering how many new credit cards are approved each month? Or perhaps the average churn rate pa on Credit Cards.

    • Staff
      MaySeptember 15, 2016Staff

      Hi Luke,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      I’m afraid we do not have that information available, but you may try checking with Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) and Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA).

      Hope that helps.

      Cheers,
      May

  5. Default Gravatar
    HamishMay 18, 2015

    How many consumer credit card applications are made a year?

    • Staff
      JonathanMay 18, 2015Staff

      Hi Hamish, thanks for your inquiry!

      Please note that finder.com.au is a comparison service, it may be best to check with official statistical agencies such as the Australian Bureau of Statistics for this inquiry.

      Cheers,

      Jonathan

  6. Default Gravatar
    GregMarch 20, 2015

    How much does the average australian spend, a month, on debit card transactions.
    I have found the statistics for credit card but not for debit card transactions.

    Thank you

    • Staff
      JonathanMarch 20, 2015Staff

      Hi Greg, thanks for your inquiry!

      Unfortunately the household debt report by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) does not include the average amount for debit card transactions. It would be best to contact the ABS directly for more information/statistics on this measure.

      Cheers,

      Jonathan

  7. Default Gravatar
    LeeMarch 25, 2013

    How many 18-25 year-old Australians have a credit card?

    • Staff
      JacobMarch 25, 2013Staff

      Hi Lee. Sorry, these statistics are not available to us. Try the Reserve Bank of Australia. They publish credit card and charge card statistics.
      Jacob.

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