Discover the top five credit card providers in Australia based on market share.
The Australian credit card market is incredibly competitive, with a wide range of banks and other financial institutions offering different products. Some of these providers are household names, while others have more of a specialised niche in the industry. While it’s worth comparing products from many credit card companies before you apply for a credit card, many people want to know which providers are the biggest. So here we look at the top five credit card providers in Australia, based on data from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) for household credit card loans. The figures we’ve looked at are from APRA’s Monthly Banking Statistics for August 2016, focusing on “Loans and Advances on books of Individual Banks” for credit cards. You can view the full details on the APRA website.
Top Five Australian Credit Card Providers*
Commonwealth Bank is one of Australia’s largest providers of banking services, and currently the largest credit card provider by market share. The Commonwealth Bank Group includes Bankwest, Colonial First State and CommSec (online stock broking).
- Total credit card lending: $11.265 billion.
- Types of cards available: Student credit cards, low rate, low fee, Awards and business credit cards.
- CommBank credit card rewards: Get rewarded with Commbank Awards when you spend using an Awards credit card. Commbank Awards is the largest rewards program of any bank in Australia.
- Other features of CommBank credit cards: Depending on the card you choose, you could get access to additional features including international travel insurance, purchase protection insurance, extended warranty coverage and a personal concierge service.
Another of Australia’s “big four banks”, Westpac has around 9 million consumer customers in Australia. Its credit card lending portfolio includes products from Westpac Banking Corporation, as well as St.George, Bank of Melbourne and BankSA.
- Total credit card lending: $9.622 billion.
- Types of cards available: Low rate, low fee and rewards credit cards make up the suite of Westpac credit cards.
- Westpac credit card rewards: The Westpac Altitude Rewards program allows you to earn points when you spend with a rewards credit card. You can convert Altitude Rewards to frequent flyer points with five different airline partners.
- Other features of Westpac credit cards: Gold, platinum and black Westpac credit cards come with a range of perks, which could include complimentary insurance options, personal concierge services and airport lounge passes depending on the card you choose.
The number-one bank in New Zealand, and one of the five largest publically listed companies in Australia, ANZ traces its roots back to the early 1830s.
- Total credit card lending: $8.022 billion.
- Types of cards available: From student and low rate credit cards to top-tiered black credit cards, ANZ provides a mix of rewards, frequent flyer, budget and premium options to suit different budgets and needs.
- ANZ credit card rewards: ANZ has its own rewards program for credit card customers, ANZ Rewards, which offers rewards including travel, merchandise and cash back. It also offers a range of frequent flyer credit cards that earn Qantas points for every $1 spent on eligible purchases.
- Other features of ANZ credit cards: Premium ANZ credit cards come with a range of perks such as travel insurance, concierge services and even a free flight (in the case of the ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures). ANZ also provides the Business Black account that features travel benefits and premium rewards on your business spending.
As well as claiming the title as “Australia’s largest business bank”, NAB promotes a customer focus across its Australian and international network. It has over 10 million customers and more than 800 locations across Australia, New Zealand and around the world.
- Total credit card lending: $5.767 billion.
- Types of cards available: As well as cards for the budget-conscious, NAB offers a competitive range of frequent flyer and rewards options.
- NAB credit card rewards: NAB features both Qantas and Velocity frequent flyer credit cards, and is the only one of the Big Four to also offer a card that earns flybuys.
- Other features of NAB credit cards: As well as rewards and complimentary insurance options, NAB features an extensive range of business and corporate credit cards.
Citigroup is one of the largest financial service providers in the world and is the parent company of Citibank Australia. Citigroup also issues credit cards for Bank of Queensland, IMB, Suncorp Bank and Virgin Money.
- Total credit card lending: $4.017 billion.
- Types of cards available: Citibank has a focus on rewards and premium credit cards that provide lifestyle bonuses, with four super-premium cards: the Citi Qantas Signature, Citi Rewards Signature, Citi Prestige Card and Emirates Citi World MasterCard. Citibank also provides low rate and low fee credit cards – including a no annual fee option.
- Citibank credit card rewards: The Citibank Rewards program earns points for everyday spending that can be redeemed for travel, merchandise, cash back or transferred to the Velocity or Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer programs. It also gives you the option of earning Qantas points for spending when you opt-in to Citi Qantas Rewards with an eligible rewards card.
- Other features of Citibank credit cards: All Citi cards give you access to the Citibank Dining Program, which offers you a complimentary bottle of award-winning wine when you pay for a meal at a Citibank Dining partner restaurant. Other perks vary between cards but could include purchase protection insurance, international travel insurance and airport lounge access.
Data is correct as of 14/10/2016. Source: APRA’s Monthly Banking Statistics August 2016.
How to compare Australian credit card providers
A financial institution is only as good or bad as the products and services on offer. You can use our comparison tables to sort cards by fees and features so you can find the right credit card for you. Also keep in mind the following features when you’re comparing credit card providers. A financial institution is only as good or bad as the products and services on offer. You can use our comparison tables to sort cards by fees and features so you can find the right credit card for you. Also keep in mind the following features when you’re comparing credit card providers.
- The range of cards available. Not all credit card providers offer low rate and low fee credit cards. Large financial institutions give customers greater choice of credit card type.
- Accessibility. This comes down to the branch network in your area and online access through Internet banking applications for your smartphone. The top credit card providers have large national branch networks in addition to state-of-the-art banking tech.
- Customer service. Financial institutions that turn massive profits have the money to reinvest in customer service such as live Internet chat and call centres that may operate outside business hours. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you will get the best customer service from a large provider. Be sure to shop around and find out how smaller lenders match up by reading reviews or contacting them directly.
- Standard card features. Credit card annual fees, interest rates, value-adding features and hidden fees should be the basis of your comparison. For example, NAB and CommBank do not charge credit card overlimit fees, while Citibank, Westpac and ANZ may apply these fees.
- Introductory offers. Promotional deals for purchase rates, balance transfers and signup bonus points can add value to the card you choose in the short term, but it’s important to consider how a card will work for you beyond the honeymoon period. Also, remember that almost all the credit card companies in Australia provide introductory offers from time to time, not just the top five providers, and terms and conditions could vary between them.
- Complimentary extras. Unique perks like the Citibank Dining Program, flight vouchers and complimentary insurance can add to the value of your card if you use them. But remember to read through the eligibility requirements and consider how often you will be able to take advantage of these extras to decide if the are worth the other costs of a card.
- Bundling banking products. You may be eligible for deals on other products if you already hold a credit card with the financial institution. For example, Commonwealth Bank credit card customers are eligible for a deal on the Commonwealth Bank Travel Card issue fee.
There are many different credit card providers in Australia. Look at credit unions, independent lenders and mutual banks as well as the mainstream banks. Smaller financial institutions such as credit unions can’t compete with the Big Four banks in terms of the number of credit cards offered, but they may offer market-leading promotions and competitive ongoing rates and fees. Do your due diligence and look past the brand name when you’re comparing credit cards so you can find a set of features that really works for you.