Choose the right credit card
At last count Australia's 9 million credit card users owed more than $20 billion on their cards.
There are about 220 different card options in Australia and to ensure that you choose one that suits you, you'll have to do an evaluation.
To start off with: are you a punctual payer or do you regard a credit card as a de facto loan? Once you've determined that you can select from two main types: interest-free days and carry-balance cards.
Interest-free-days cards offer up to 55 days for payment, although they usually have higher interest rates. These cards are ideal for people who want to build up loyalty points and pay off the entire balance each month.
Carry-balance cards generally have lower interest rates but don't have a period in which you can avoid interest. These cards are better for people who don't pay off their debt every month.
For travellers, American Express and Diners Club are good for building loyalty and frequent flyer points.
For cheap interest rates St George's Mastercard is hard to beat; other low interest cards are Bank SA Mastercard and HSBC's Visa Free Days card.
The highest interest rates are usually on store cards – up to 27 per cent.