HomeView 2015 Media ReleasesNew poll shows Christmas gift giving could be costing Australians more than we think

New polling released today has found many Australians have no idea what their credit card interest rate is, leaving them exposed to higher Christmas credit card bills.

New polling released today has found many Australians have no idea what their credit card interest rate is, leaving them exposed to higher Christmas credit card bills.

An Essential Research poll on Christmas shopping habits showed while Australians use credit cards to buy Christmas presents, few people know what the interest rate is.

Customer Owned Banking Association CEO Mark Degotardi said many Australians are using high cost credit cards when there are significantly better rates available.

“There will be a lot of people getting a rude shock when they open their Christmas credit card bills,” Mr Degotardi said.

“This research shows that Australians have an alarming lack of knowledge about the credit card interest rates they pay and who offers the best deals.

“Consumers are clearly forking out much more than they need to. It’s worth digging a little deeper to make sure you’re getting the best deal on your credit card.”  

The Essential Research poll of 1000 people, commissioned by COBA found:

  • Australians buy 7 Christmas presents and spend $570 on average;
  • More than a third describe paying for Christmas presents as “stressful”;
  • 65% don’t know who has the lowest credit card interest rates;
  • Around half said “Don’t Know” when asked the current rate they pay.

The Essential Research poll found a significant proportion of younger Australians wrongly think the big four banks offer the best rates - 16% of people aged 18-34 nominated the big 4 banks compared to just 7% of those aged 55 and over. 

But the latest Canstar figures reveal credit card interest rates from customer owned banks, credit unions and building societies are much lower than the big four banks.

On average the customer owned sector is 4.99% lower, with the big four average rate at 18.06% and the customer owned banking sector average rate at 13.07%.*

“Major banks try to frame banking competition as something that occurs between themselves, but it’s actually customer owned institutions who offer lower rates, lower fees and more interest free days on credit cards,” Mr Degotardi said.  

“Our sector offers much better deals on credit cards than the big four, so there’s simply no reason to pay high interest.”

*Figures sourced from Canstar Online Database

For more information please contact:

Daniel McDougall, Senior Manager – Media and Communication
02 8035 8444 or 0407 637 541, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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