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Australians ditch credit cards by the hundreds of thousands

Australians ditch credit cards by the hundreds of thousands

Today’s RBA credit card statistics show the continued demise of credit cards in Australia.

The number of active personal credit card accounts fell 2.03 per cent year-on-year to the lowest level since December 2014. This is a drop of 301,749 from June 2018 to June 2019.

Overall, balances accruing interest dropped 6.16 per cent year-on-year, falling to the lowest level in more than 11 years.

Sally Tindall, research director at RateCity.com.au said, “Credit cards have been falling out of favour since early 2018”.

“The number of active personal credit card accounts peaked in January 2018 at 15.4 million, but since then they have consistently fallen away.

“Even the big players in the credit card space, such as Visa and Commonwealth Bank, are acknowledging the shift in the market and the importance of buy-now-pay-later, by making moves into that arena.

“Buy-now-pay-later services are no longer the new kid on the block. As a result, we’re unlikely to see the popularity of credit cards turning around any time soon.”

RBA personal credit card statistics – JUNE 2019


Change MOM %

Change YOY %


Balances accruing interest

$29.27 B



Lowest since Dec 2007

No. of personal credit card accounts




Lowest since Dec 2014

(301,749 fewer accounts than last June)

Credit card limits

$136.02 B



Lowest since Sept 2015

No. of credit card purchases

$211.72 M



Notes: Excludes commercial cards, using original data from the RBA. Data released 12 August 2019

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This article was reviewed by Research Director Sally Tindall before it was published as part of RateCity's Fact Check process.



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