Is your wallet (or your digital wallet) wearing out from all the use your credit card gets? Australians work hard, so it came as no surprise to CANSTAR that our data shows Aussies expect their credit facility to work just as hard and provide rewards for good behaviour.
How to choose a credit card
In short, you should be considering:
- The type of card
- The interest rate
- The annual fee
- Whether the rewards are worth any value to you
- Whether you have a credit card debt problem
- Whether your provider can offer you a package deal through your home loan
Different people have different spending habits, and this will mean they are suited to different types of credit cards. We’ve explained this in more detail here.
How to find the right type of credit card
This question is all about the right type of credit card to suit your spending:
- Low Rate Cards
- Low Fee Cards
- Premium Cards
- Rewards Cards
- Frequent Flyer Cards
Our CANSTAR database shows many people who are comparing credit cards are often looking for a card that comes with rewards and prestige.More than half of people who visit our credit card selector tables are looking for a Platinum or Higher credit card type. A further 19% are looking for a Gold credit card.
On the other hand, 1 in 3 visitors are bargain hunters looking for a standard card.
Do you want outstanding value?
It seems the majority of the “Aussie Value Hunters” on our website are quite keen to find a 5-star product that provides outstanding value for money. Of those who use our research to apply for a quote from a credit provider, we know that 60% select a 5-star card.
Want to know how we decided which cards get a 5-star rating for each customer spending profile? Read our latest report to find out:
Is your spending suited to earning rewards?
In short, as you can see from infographic above, Australians want rewards for their good behaviour each time they charge and repay their spending. CANSTAR is here to help, with some of our best tips for choosing a rewards card and how to evaluate whether the rewards are worth the point-to-spending currency.
Now, when it comes to complementary travel insurance included with your credit card, here are a few things you need to know. Read the product disclosure statement (PDS) from your credit card company’s travel insurance provider and check for two main things.
First, check whether the dollar amounts of cover/benefits listed under credit card cover are as high as the dollar amounts listed in the PDS for a standard, “standalone” travel insurance policy from the same provider and other travel insurance providers. Look for exclusions or conditions in your credit card travel insurance policy identified in recent complaints to ASIC, such as needing to spend a certain amount to “activate” the insurance, and whether more than one travel or supplementary cardholders are covered by the same policy.
This writer can tell you from reading many PDS documents that some credit card travel insurance policies provide an equivalent or higher level of cover than some standalone travel insurance policies. The situation is much the same for travellers leaving from New Zealand.
But not all credit card travel insurance policies are up to scratch, so don’t be caught out! Better safe than sorry takes on a whole new meaning when you’re stranded in a foreign country with insufficient insurance.
If you’re in constant credit card debt…
Credit cards are a fantastic spending tool – if you can manage the debt. Being in constant credit, though, is a bad place to be. Thankfully, we have gathered a wealth of information to help you kill that debt:
- Find a financial counsellor.
- Consolidate your debt into a personal loan, balance transfer, or your mortgage if you have one.
- Downgrade to the most sensible credit card for your situation – or no card at all.
- Pay off your debt.
- Stay out of debt with our budgeting and saving tips and by being content with life on a budget.
- We even have a Budget Planner Calculator tool to help you consider the impact of credit card repayments on your budget and avoid relying on a credit card to meet your weekly expenses.
Comparing credit cards with Canstar
As always, the choices are all up to you when it comes to credit cards. Use the CANSTAR website to evaluate your credit card and decide whether or not you’re getting outstanding value. Compare interest rates, features, and fees for credit cards suited to your spending profile.
Learn more about Credit Cards
- I am a student – should I get a credit card?
- Can I get a credit card with no credit history?
- Are credit card bonus offers really worth it?