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Click Frenzy: $58 billion spent on credit and debit cards in November

Click Frenzy: $58 billion spent on credit and debit cards in November

Australians went on a spending spree the month before Christmas, making purchases worth $58.31 billion according to the latest credit and debit card statistics released by the RBA today.

In a month full of sales events, including Click Frenzy, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, credit card spending rose by 12 per cent from the previous month and 1 per cent from the previous year (excluding commercial credit cards).

Debit cards got an even bigger workout as people moved to online shopping, with a 6 per cent increase month-on-month and a 21 per cent increase year-on-year.

Unsurprisingly, cash took a step back with ATM withdrawals dropping 4 per cent month-on-month and down 18 per cent year-on-year.

November spending on credit and debit cards – value of purchases

Value of purchasesNov-2020Monthly change

(Oct vs Nov 2020)

Annual change

(Nov 2019 vs Nov 2020)

Credit cards

$22.37 billion

$2.42 billion
12%

$159 million
1%

Debit Cards

$35.95 billion

$1.94 billion

6%

$6.27 billion

21%

Source: RBA, released 12 January 2021, original data, excludes commercial cards.

While credit card debt rose marginally in November, in the past year, Australians wiped out $7.25 billion in debt accruing interest and closed almost one million accounts.

Credit card statistics: monthly and year-on-year changes

Nov-2020Monthly change

(Oct vs Nov 2020)

Annual change

(Nov 2019 vs Nov 2020)

No. of accounts

12,857,899

Lowest since Oct 2007

-51,332
-0.4%

-999,687
-7%

Balances accruing interest

$19.96 billion

$242 million
1%

-$7.25 billion
-27%

Source: RBA, released 12 January 2021, original data, excludes commercial cards.

RateCity.com.au research director, Sally Tindall, said: “Australians went on a pre-Christmas shopping spree in November, spurred on by the Click Frenzy, Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.

“With the economy bouncing back from a recession, and every state out of lockdown, Australians felt comfortable enough to splash some cash,” she said.

“While this bump in spending is great for retailers, credit card holders should not get complacent, with debt accruing interest rising for first time in almost two years.

“In the last year, households have smashed credit card debt, wiping off $7.25 billion. You’d hate to see all that good work come undone.

“Anyone who hasn’t yet cleared their debts from the sales in late November will need to act quickly.

“Do everything you can to clear your debt in full. That way you’ll avoid paying interest and keep hold of your interest free days,” she said.

ATM withdrawals

Nov 2020Monthly change

(Oct vs Nov 2020)

Annual change

(Nov 2019 vs Nov 2020)

Value of ATM cash withdrawals

$8.56 billion

-$397 million
-4%

-$1.92 billion
-18%

No of ATM cash withdrawals

33 million

-1.07 million
-3%

-12 million

-27%

Note: RBA ATM data, original, released 12 January 2021.

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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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