When a person speaks of credit card statistical trends, the thing they are most likely talking about has to do with the specifics of a credit card deal. While different types of credit cards will bring different things to their owners, there are certain characteristics shared by all credit cards. Things like interest rates, fees and many of the other bread and butter characteristics of the average credit card are omnipresent and for that reason learning about their trends is something that is useful to know. This information will help you when you are searching for a credit card because it will show you what the present and the future are likely to be.
Interest rate trends
Australian interest rates are for the most part lower than interest rates in many of the other developed nations of the world. In most cases however, the average works out to less than half a percentage point and that in turn means that Australians are not really saving that much when it comes to interest paid on a credit card. The prime rate in Australia is comparable to that rate as it exists on a given day in any other part of the developed world and for that reason interest rates at present are in the low to mid double figure range as an average. If you have good credit and are being offered a deal that includes an interest rate above 15%, you might want to consider looking elsewhere. For someone with bad credit, 30% is an acceptable interest rate.
As for the future, the interest rate of a given credit card is tied to the prime rate within the market. As that rate fluctuates, so too will the interest rate on the credit card. While the fluctuation will of course not be on a daily basis, any large fluctuations in the prime rate that are likely to be long term in nature will bring about subsequent fluctuations in the interest rates of the various credit cards. With the current economic situation, interest rates appear to be on the ascendancy and for that reason it might be prudent to carry as little of your balance over to the next period as possible.
In terms of the fee schedules attached to many credit cards, Australian credit card consumers actually have it a lot better than their counterparts in the United Kingdom or the United States. Many people that do not carry balances in those countries have been hit with horrifying fees numbering in the $50 to $100 range just for forgetting a relatively minor part of their agreement and breaking one of the rules. This could be something as mundane as an improper payment method or something as important as a rejected payment, but the fees in the US and UK are much higher than the fees in Australia, which tend to be more comparable to the situation in Canada.
As far as future trends for fees are concerned, the amount of change that occurs is not expected to be that much in either direction. Unlike interest rates, fees are not influenced by a specific market value that all of the companies pay attention to. The companies are free to change fees at any time, although they must be wary about making their credit cards less competitive as a result. For this reason, it is expected that at least for the near future, the trend line for fees will remain horizontal, indicating a small amount of change if any change occurs at all.
In terms of overall health, the Australian credit card market is in much better shape than most of the larger markets in developed nations. Good government regulation combined with a relatively responsible populace has created a situation in the country in which credit card companies can still offer deals and take chances on giving credit cards to people with bad, average or unproven credit. Compare this situation to the credit crisis that is currently unfolding in the United States and it is not easy to see that Australian consumers are in better shape for the present and likely for the near future as well.Back to top