We all like to think of ourselves as having a unique personality. While that may be true, when it comes to the way we use credit cards many of us share some traits in common. Knowing which ‘personality’ is a fit for you can be a good thing, and might even help you choose the most suitable card.
The following are five common types of credit card spenders. Which one do you think describes you best?
No, we’re not talking about the Beatles album or some Old West gunslinger. This term instead describes the type of common credit card user who only pays the minimum monthly repayment, leaving them constantly paying large amounts of interest on the card. Over the four years to 2014, research shows that Australians spent between $14 billion and $32 billion in interest charges — a sum this cardholder has no doubt heavily contributed to.
This type of credit card user is a card issuer’s dream customer, because they remain in debt for much longer and are the source of oodles of interest. If this sounds like you, your goal should be the exact opposite — to get out of this category as soon as possible. While it’s not a fix, looking at low rate credit cards might be the first step to help this spender out.
The High Roller
The high roller likes to spend large, and doesn’t care who knows it. They like to use their card on big ticket items, or for regular shopping sprees where they end up spending far more than they initially planned. This type of spender usually ends up with a balance worth thousands of dollars every month.
People spend for a lot of reasons. For instance, according to a University of Michigan Study from 2014, shopping tends to increase feelings of control and, consequently, reduce feelings of sadness. If you have the income, this may not be a bad thing — it just means you’ll have less to put into your savings account. But be wary you don’t fall into the trap of spending more than you should.
This type of spender might be well suited to a rewards card. All of their carefree spending may end up netting them some useful deals and offers, allowing them to capitalise on their spending habits. But take note that this spender may only benefit from rewards cards if they are the type to pay off the balance in full every month. If not, the revolver personality might be more your style.
The Bargain Hunter
It’s all about watching, waiting and knowing when to strike with this type of cardholder — how else are you going to catch an elusive bargain? Unlike the High Roller, the Bargain Hunter will be careful about how she or he spends. Rather than everyday shopping, they’ll put their credit card toward the occasional purchase where it’s really necessary.
This type of card holder is also likely to carry out a thorough credit card comparison to make sure they’re getting a good deal. They’ll examine cards with the lowest interest rates and fees and, always on the lookout for deals, may even compare various special offers, such as ultra low entry rates or special rewards.
Finally, we come to the type of spender who cannot live without being pampered by extras. It’s the life of luxury all the way for this cardholder, whether that means taking advantage of a concierge service, receiving special travel and entertainment deals, or getting discounts on fine dining and accommodation.
Cardholders such as this are especially drawn to platinum cards, which typically offer these kinds of deals and services. According to a 2012 paper from the University of British Columbia, the reason consumers are drawn to luxury products such as this is because it helps instil a sense of accomplishment. But it’s important not to get too carried away by this psychological effect and be sure to compare such credit cards, making sure the offers aren’t outweighed by overly high rates and fees.