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Credit card complacency: 6 million Aussies have never changed their card

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Millions of Australians have never changed their credit card and it could be costing them hundreds of dollars a year, according to new research by Finder.

A nationally representative survey of 1,057 respondents, 563 of which are credit card holders, revealed a whopping 55% have never switched cards.

That's an estimated 6 million Aussies who have never changed their primary credit card – a decision that could be costing hundreds of dollars each year in excess interest and missed rewards.

The research shows only 8% of cardholders have changed their credit card in the past year.

The remaining 35% have switched more than a year ago.

Finder analysis shows credit card loyalty could cost the average cardholder $153 a year.

Amy Bradney-George, credit card expert at Finder, said most Australians aren't taking full advantage of the market.

"Many borrowers don't realise the potential savings they can get from switching providers.

"Being too loyal means you also miss out on valuable sign-up bonuses and reward offers.

"Some frequent flyer credit cards offer enough bonus points to fly overseas, and they're typically only available to new cardholders."

Australians put a record $32.1 billion on credit cards in September 2022 according to data from the Reserve Bank of Australia – with the average Aussie racking up $2,442.94.

Bradney-George said "set-and-forget" was almost always a bad approach when it comes to financial products.

"People who hold onto the same card over a long period are leaving money on the table.

"They don't know how much they can save from comparing other cards on the market.

"If you've got an older credit card, the interest rate is probably not competitive anymore."

According to RBA data, the average credit card interest rate is around 20% p.a.

Bradney-George said many new cards have a 0% balance transfer period for as long as 36 months.

"If you are carrying a $5,000 balance on a regular credit card, you could save more than $2,000 in interest by doing a balance transfer to some cards."

When was the last time you changed your credit card?
I've never changed credit cards55%
More than a year ago35%
3–6 months ago4%
6–12 months ago4%
Source: Finder survey of 563 credit card holders, September 2022

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