Credit card spending surges

Credit card transactions have jumped 38.7 per cent in one year to $6 billion as credit cards and reward point programs continue to grow in popularity among Australians. A recent study by CVC Global Consulting shows that Australians are more confident of their financial situation and are more willing to risk falling into credit card debt. According to the study, the largest growth area in credit trends are cards that offer interest-free periods. The popularity of interest-free period cards have surged by 84.5 per cent over the past two years with an average of $7,698 being spent in 1999 on such cards. The study also indicated that some people were using credit cards as a means of getting another loan. General Manager of CVC, Mr Michael Ebstein, believes that the banks have encouraged the use of credit cards as a low cost alternative to personal loans as their processing costs were lower.

‘More paying bills with credit cards’, John Breusch, The Australian Financial Review, 28/08/00, p 28.

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