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State of Origin: NSW vs QLD credit card battle

state of origin 2

Forget football! Which state is better at managing its finances?

It's that time of year again! The NSW Cockroaches and the Queensland Cane Toads are going head to head for the first match of the 2016 State of Origin at Sydney's ANZ Stadium tomorrow. But instead of judging by how they do on the field, we’re going to look at each state’s wallets to determine which one comes out on top. In particular, we’ll be playing close attention to how NSW and QLD deal with their credit card debt to determine which one would win a financial state of origin.

Based on data from a survey conducted in April this year, we're going to pick out which state is most dependent on their credit card to pay everyday costs, who is most likely to pay off their debts and who is most likely to pay on plastic based on their emotions. It may not have anything to do with NRL, but there's nothing wrong with adding to the healthy competition between Blues and Maroons, is there?

Do you use your credit card to pay for household bills?

Results analysis

While many people leave their credit card for emergencies or large purchases, some Aussies depend on them to cover their monthly household bills. In Australia, a total of 50.44% of credit card holders use their card to pay bills.

When you narrow it down to NSW vs QLD, the blues lean on their credit card more with 62.3% of card holders using their card to pay for bills. It’s fairly even though, with 60.08% of maroon card holders doing the same.

        • Verdict: Queensland

How much do you spend on your credit card each month?

Area Less than $500Between $500 and $1,000Between $1,000 and $2,000Between $2,000 and $5,000More than $5,000

Results analysis

On average, 41.70% of Australians spend less than $500 on their credit card each month, whereas only 3.89% spend more than $5,000. However, when you look at the states separately, 37.69% of NSW cardholders spend less than $500 on their credit cards each month.

Meanwhile, 5.64% of the state spend more than $5,000. Queenslanders, on the other hand, are more likely to spend more on their credit card, with 43.55% spending less than $500 and 2.42% spending more than $5,000. In this instance, Queenslanders come out on top again, making fewer purchases with their credit card than their NSW opponents.

        • Verdict: Queensland

Do you pay your credit card balance in full each month?

Results analysis

Spending on your credit card is one thing, but how often do we pay off our balances in full? In total, 77.51% of Aussies are likely to pay off their balance in full before the end of the statement period. When we break it down by state though, we saw that 79.82% of NSW card holders were likely to pay off their debts. Queenslanders, on the other hand, were slightly less likely (75.81%) to pay off their balances in time.

  • Verdict: NSW

When are you most likely to use your credit card?

Results analysis

While 2.79% of Australians spend on their credit card when they’re upset, 2.82% of Queenslanders are more likely to do so than NSW’s 1.37%. On the other hand, NSW locals (40.95%) are more inclined to get excited and splurge during a sale than Queensland natives (31.45%). Queensland card holders are the most likely to splurge on their card after having a few drinks at 2.82%, with NSW coming in close second with 2.67%.

        • Verdict: Draw

What type of unexpected purchases do you usually have to use your credit card for?

Result analysis

Unexpected spending habits are pretty similar across the board, but as this is a competition, let’s look at how the states stood up against each other. When it came to more frivolous spending, QLD came out on top with 30.56% (to NSW’s 25%) of card holders paying for nights out on credit.

Similarly, 22.26% (to NSW’s 16.94%) of QLD card holders were likely use their card on a shopping spree. Both Queenslanders and NSW were less likely to use their cards for unexpected bills (NSW: 15.32%, QLD: 15.13%) and going over budget (NSW: 8.87%, QLD: 8.61%).

However, both states were likely to use their credit card for emergency purchases, with numbers reaching around a quarter of NSW card holders (25.40%) and almost 19% of Queenslanders. Who has the most responsible unexpected spending habits? Queenslanders were more likely to use their card for frivolous unexpected costs.

When it came to emergency and responsible spending, it was almost a close tie, but ultimately NSW came out on top.

  • Verdict: NSW

How frequently do you change your credit card?

Results analysis

There’s a fine line between changing credit cards too often or too little. Let’s see which banks are most likely to change up their credit cards and which state is more likely to find the happy middle ground. Nationwide, 77.20% of card holders haven’t changed their credit card in the last five years.

The numbers are pretty similar for both NSW (73.29%) and QLD (77.82%). This is slightly worrying, given that card holders should be comparing their offers and swapping to more competitive cards every few years.

Unfortunately, only a small percentage of Aussies switch up their card two (5.57%) or three (1.48%) times a year. The numbers are pretty similar for NSW card holders (two years: 2.93% and three years: 1.78%) and QLD residents (two years: 6.05% and three years: 1.61%).

As neither of the states are changing their credit cards as often as they should, NSW and QLD draw on this round.

  • Verdict: Draw

Which state comes out on top?

From this analysis of data from, it’s obvious that each state has its strengths and weaknesses when it comes to managing credit cards. But like the State of Origin, there can only be one winner. Drum roll, please.

Winner: Queensland


Picture: Adam Head

While NSW trumped Queensland when it came to paying off its credit card debt this month and drew on changing credit cards and when they’re most likely to use their card, it was the Maroons who managed their credit cards better. Queenslanders were less likely to rely on their credit cards for household bills and also spent less on their cards in a month. Given that Queensland has won 56 State of Origin games and NSW is lagging behind on 46, we can’t help but identify a pattern here!

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