The Credit Card Market In 2017

We discuss the current interest rates, fees, and rewards programs on offer for credit cards in 2017.

The RBA reports that in January 2017, Australia had more than 16.6 million credit cards – a total of 16,699,000 credit card and charge card accounts, to be precise.

But it takes a bit of comparing to find the credit card that best suits your spending profile, and to find the features you need in a card. Thankfully, we can help you there.

Here’s what’s happening in the credit card market in 2017 so far.

Current interest rates on credit cards

Currently on Canstar’s database of credit cards, the minimum, maximum and average interest rates on credit cards are as follows:

Credit Card Interest Rates
  Non-Rewards Cards Rewards Cards All Cards
Min 7.99% 11.99% 7.99%
Max 24.99% 22.74% 24.99%
Average 14.06% 19.62% 16.93%

Interest rates on purchases as at 4 April 2017.

Find the best value credit card interest rates by comparing your options:

Learn about different types of credit card interest rates and how they are charged:

Current annual fees on credit cards

When it comes to fees, there’s a wide range on offer. But it’s not always a case of “cheaper is better”.

Rewards credit cards typically come with higher annual fees attached, but if you are able to easily earn enough rewards and redeem them, you can outweigh that annual fee. Having said that, there’s no point in paying through the nose if you can get the same rewards from a card with a lower annual fee.

Credit Card Annual Fees
  Non-rewards Cards Rewards Cards All Cards
Min $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Max $125.00 $700.00 $700.00
Average $43.59 $168.11 $107.86

Ongoing annual fees as at 4 April 2017.

Keep in mind that there are some Low Fee cards that are too good to be true, including some Student credit cards. So make sure that if choosing a credit card with a low fee, there’s no extra sting in the tail.

Find the best bang for your buck in terms of credit card fees:

Current other fees on credit cards

Other fees apply to credit cards, including the following on the Canstar database at the time of writing:

Credit Card Fees
  Minimum Average Maximum
Annual Fee ($) $0.00 $109.64 $700.00
Annual Fee for Additional Card ($) $0.00 $10.74 $389.00
Over the Limit Fee ($) $0.00 $14.31 $40.00
Late Payment Fee ($) $0.00 $19.63 $40.00
ATM Cash Advance Fee ($) $0.00 $2.51 $5.00
ATM Cash Advance Fee (%) 0.00% 2.50% 4.00%
International Emergency Card Replacement ($) $0.00 $68.67 $350.00
Foreign Currency Conversion Fee (%) 0.00% 2.80% 3.65%

Rates and Fees current as at 1 April 2017.

Learn about different types of fees charged on credit cards, and how to avoid paying fees unnecessarily:

Changes in the credit card market in 2017

There are a couple of things that are changing slowly and subtly in the credit cards market in 2017.

Low rate cards on offer

Rewards credit cards aren’t for everyone. If you are sometimes find that you are unable to pay your card off in full each month, it could be worth looking at the low rate cards that are available, with rates as low as 7.99% p.a. currently available.

There is a Rising Star on the market this year, as well: the Low Rate Visa from My Credit Union. This card is not eligible to receive a 5-star rating in this star ratings season, because our eligibility criteria requires that a card has been on the market for 6 months in order to be rated – but watch this space. With rates as low as 7.99% p.a., no annual fee on this card, and balance transfer deals available, this card is worth noticing (if it would be suitable for your situation).

There is no one best credit card on the market in 2017, but we can help you compare what’s out there to find a card that suits your needs:

For more information on how Canstar researches and rates credit cards, read our latest star ratings report:

Canstar provides an information service. It is not a credit provider, and in giving you information about credit products, Canstar is not making any suggestion or recommendation to you about a particular product. If you decided to apply for a credit card, you will deal directly with a financial institution and not with Canstar. Rates and product information should be confirmed with the relevant financial institution. Please see Canstar’s Financial Services and Credit Guide (FSCG) for more information, and read our detailed disclosure, important notes and liability disclaimer

Share this article