New credit cards shake up market

Diners Club will offer its 300,000 Australian card holders a revolving credit facility on their card as competition in the credit card market intensifies with the launch of a number of new products from retailers, airlines and banks. Currently Diners Club, like the traditional American Express Card is a charge card payable in full at the end of each month. American Express began offering credit cards, where the monthly balance revolves to the next month if not paid in full, about ten years ago. As credit cards lose market share to debit cards, where consumers can only spend what they have deposited in the account linked to the card, some card issuers are revamping their range of cards and focussing on high value platinum offerings. Credit card market share is losing out to debit cards, down from 70 per cent to 66 per cent now. The relaunch of Qantas Frequent Flyer program is expected to shake up the market as the program looks for cards to partner under a new deal that favours Qantas. David Jones is launching an American Express card soon while Woolworths has announced its MasterCard offering.

Source: The Australian Financial Review