Credit card rewards: What the people want

What do Kiwis look for in a credit card? Rewards of course!

Gold or platinum? Low fee or low rate? Nope – when it comes to a credit card it appears that what we really want is to be rewarded for our spending.

That’s the conclusion reached after analysing the behaviour of more than 2,000 Kiwis that used Canstar’s credit card selector tools between January and May this year. The top three features specifically sought by those looking for a credit card were:

  • 40% Rewards Program
  • 23% Travel Insurance included
  • 19% Fraud Protection

It does make sense; after all we spend around 3 billion per month on our credit cards so it’s probably not surprising that forty percent of us are specifically looking for a credit card that has a rewards program. And with Kiwis making around 170,000 overseas trips each month and spending around $400 million a month in overseas-based transactions it’s also not surprising that inbuilt travel insurance is popular, with almost one-quarter of those in the market for a credit card wanting this feature.

Canstar has crunched the numbers on the relative rewards value provided by 45 credit cards across 10 financial institutions, finding the average annual reward available at various spending levels as follows:

Rewards Profile Annual Spending ($) Average Annual Fee Average Purchase Rate (p.a.) Average Reward Return
Flight Rewards 12,000 $74.50 19.95% $203.20
Flight Rewards 24,000 $74.50 19.95% $327.75
Flight Rewards 60,000 $148.33 20.95% $779.93
Flight Rewards 120,000 $270.00 18.95% $1,846.60
General Rewards 12,000 $32.50 19.97% $107.72
General Rewards 24,000 $105.00 19.47% $292.29
General Rewards 60,000 $226.67 18.28% $829.24
General Rewards 120,000 $226.67 18.28% $1,788.47

Source: Canstar. Based on products assessed for 2016 Credit Card Rewards Star Ratings. Represents the average of the 5 star rated products assessed.

Looking for outstanding value

The majority of Kiwis are keen to get the best possible value out of their credit card – which makes sense when it’s something you might use every day.

61% of visitors look for a 5-star rated credit card, while another 23% find a 4-star rated product that suits their needs.

No matter which product or provider you select, make sure you compare your options first. You can use our website to compare credit card rewards across a broad range of spending levels, as well as both general and flight reward categories.


Compare Credit Card Rewards

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