Australian credit and debit card statistics

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How many Australians use a credit card? How much credit card debt do we have? How many debit card transactions are made each month? We reveal the answers to these questions and more.

Over the past two years, a number of Australians have taken advantage of lockdowns and stay-at-home orders to save and pay off debt, taking credit cards to the sword. Payment alternatives such as buy-it-now and pay-later (BNPL) services have become famous, with more than a million Australians now exchanging plastic for digital payment services offering interest-free installments.

The monthly payments data provided by the ABS and the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) details a number of insights into how we tap, sweep and ultimately use the pieces of plastic that are in our wallets.

Find out what the statistics reveal about:


Looking for a personal loan? The table below shows unsecured personal loans with some of the lowest interest rates on the market.


*Comparative rates based on a loan of $30,000 for a term of five years. Please note: this comparison rate is only true for this example and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts may result in a different comparison rate, rates correct as of April 8, 2022. See disclaimer.


Australian credit card debt

See the total value of Australia’s personal credit card debt, plus the total credit card debt earning interest.

Since the start of the COVID pandemic, many Australians have sought to take control of their finances, using savings to pay off credit card debt.

Monthly credit card purchases

Australians’ appetite for credit remains strong, with the number and value of credit card purchases nearing record highs, despite the sharp drop in credit card debt.

Monthly credit card repayments

See the total value of credit card refunds made each month.

Credit card vs debit card spending

Debit card spending continues to outpace credit card spending. Debit card spending first surpassed credit card spending in May 2019, before the onset of the pandemic appeared to widen the gap further.

Number of credit cards vs debit cards

The number of active credit accounts continues to fall as Australians look to keep paying down debt and halving the pieces of plastic in their wallets. Meanwhile, the number of debit cards in circulation is steadily increasing.

Withdrawal of money

With the decrease in the use of ATMs, cash withdrawals have also dropped lately.

NPP payments

Since its launch in 2018, the use of the new payment platform (NPP), which allows instant transfers (e.g. Osko payments), has steadily increased.

Check Usage

At a time when digital payments dominate, the use of checks continues to decline.


Image by Mark O’Flynn via Unsplash

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