The latest credit card data suggests that many Australians are addicted to debt, but what we want to know is which gender is more reliant on those plastic cards?
Let’s start with the baseline: it’s estimated that the average credit card balance in Australia is now just over $9,000 and that most people have two cards.
In a recent survey by creditcardfinder.com.au, we found that men were more likely than women to pay for household expenses using a credit card.
For those that use a credit card to pay a tax bill to earn rewards, men are also more likely to pay via credit with 13 per cent of them doing so compared to 9 per cent of women.
When asked how much they spend on their frequent flyer credit card each month, 13 per cent of men said they would spend between $2,000 – $3,500, while only 9 per cent of women said they would spend this amount.
Similarly, when it comes to spending between $500 and $2,000, men claim to forking out more than women with 22 per cent of men spending this much compared to just 20 per cent of women.
Interestingly, when redeeming frequent flyer points, 56 per cent of women were more likely to spend $750 in a major store gift voucher, and 45 per cent of men claim to spend it this way.
But 30 per cent of men were more likely than women at 22 per cent, to redeem frequent flyer points on a return economy flight from Sydney to New York.
How to manage credit card debt
One way to take charge of your credit card debt is to take out a 0% balance transfer card which allows you to consolidate several accounts into a single card.
You’ll benefit from paying 0% interest for an introductory period, but make sure you make extra payments during this period to pay down your debt as soon as possible.
You should be conscious that each time you apply for a credit card increase, this will be listed on your credit file. Try not to do this and where possible, lower your credit card limit so you don’t overspend.
Another way to effectively manage credit card debt is to review your need for a credit card. Ask yourself; do you really need to pull out the plastic? Is there another way you can cover expenses? Consider alternative routes such as a debit card, a personal loan or even a high-interest savings account.