Canstar Announces NZ’s Most Popular Credit Cards

Canstar’s Most Satisfied Customer | Credit Card Awards 2021 reveal which two credit card providers offer the best customer satisfaction.

The demise of credit cards has been greatly exaggerated. Despite the rise and rise of Buy Now Pay Later schemes, Kiwis are still in love with their little strips of plastic. And Canstar’s 2021 Most Satisfied Customer Awards reveals exactly which cards are the nation’s most popular credit cards.

For this year’s awards, we canvassed the opinions of 3760 credit card users and asked how satisfied they are with their card providers across the following categories:

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Additional Fees & Charges
  • Communication
  • Customer Service

  • Online Banking/Mobile Apps
  • Rewards Program
  • Security
  • Value for Money

Winner of Most Satisfied Customers | Credit Cards: The Co-operative Bank

Fair Rate Credit Card

Across the board, The Co-operative Bank’s one credit card product rates highly, earning it this year’s award. A perfect card for those seeking low rates and fees, the bank’s Fair Rate Credit Card offers:

  • Up to 55 days interest free
  • 0% p.a. for six months on balances transferred from another credit card or store card
  • Low $20 annual fee
  • Purchase & cash advance interest rate: 12.95% p.a.

This customer satisfaction-driven win for the Fair Rate Credit Card comes on the back of its high score in Canstar’s credit card ratings, judged earlier this year. The card was awarded a top 5-Star rating by our expert financial research panel. For more details on our credit card ratings, click this button:

Check out our 2021 Credit Card Star Ratings here!

Winner of Most Satisfied Customers | Rewards Credit Cards: American Express

American Express is no stranger to Canstar’s top scores, either. In our 2021 ratings, it earned a 5-Star seal of approval across the Flight Rewards category. However, this latest award shows that American Express customers are big fans of Amex’s range of cards, too, which in the rewards sector includes:

Airpoints Card


  • No annual fee
  • 50 Bonus Airpoints Dollars on sign-up if you spend $750 on your card in the first three months of membership
  • Earn 1 Airpoints Dollar for every $100 you spend on eligible purchases
  • Purchase interest rate: 0% p.a. for the first 6 months, 19.95% p.a. thereafter

Airpoints Platinum Card


  • Earn 1 Airpoints Dollar for every $59 you spend
  • Complimentary domestic and international travel insurance when you pay for travel on your card
  • Complimentary airport lounge access
  • Up to 55 days interest free
  • $195 annual fee
  • Purchase interest rate: 19.95% p.a.

Platinum Edge Credit Card


  • Earn up to three Membership Rewards points per dollar spent
  • 20,000 Membership Rewards bonus points on sign-up if you spend $750 on your card in the first three months of membership
  • Up to 55 days interest free
  • Receive complimentary domestic and international travel insurance when you pay for travel on your card
  • $149 annual fee
  • Annual percentage rate: 2.99% p.a. for the first 6 months, 19.95% p.a. thereafter

Rewards cards

While researching this year’s ratings and awards, we unearthed some interesting insights into the nation’s debt levels and credit card use.

Rewards cards are by far the most popular form of credit card. And over half (53%) of those who have a rewards card use it for all their day-to-day purchases, to increase their rewards. This compares to just 38% of users of other type of credit cards. And a third of rewards cards users (32%) plump for cashback, instead of flights or rewards.

Overall card usage breaks down to:

Rewards Credit Card 32%
Low Rate Credit Card 26%
Low Fee Credit Card 18%
Frequent Flyer Credit Card 10%
Balance Transfer Card 6%
Other: 8%

Debt and debit level

At Canstar we believe that debt and credit facilities, when used wisely, are effective tools in successfully managing everyday finances. However, our latest awards research reveals that many Kiwis are still not on top of their debts.

Overall, the average non-mortgage debt held by Kiwis is a huge $23,241. Of that sum, 51% is piled onto credit cards. And around half of us are not managing it very well:

  • 57% miss repayments
  • 48% accrue credit card interest by not paying off their balance each month

If you recognise this behaviour in your credit card use, do you have the right card for your spending/debt habits? Just 9% of people in our survey say they’ve researched the correct card for their spending behaviour, and even fewer (7%) have made use of an interest-free balance transfer.

If you’re paying credit card interest each month, consider switching to one with low rates and fees, such as The Co-operative Bank’s Fair Rate Credit Card. Or consider switching to a balance-transfer card and using the 0% interest period to reduce or pay off your debt.

Related article: Lowest Rate Balance Transfer Credit Cards

Conversely, if you settle your credit card bill in full each month, do you have a rewards card that offers the maximum return on your hard-earned dollars?

Compare credit cards with Canstar

If you’re looking for a new credit card, then let Canstar be your guide. Perhaps you want one with a low interest rate, or low fees, or want to swap your rewards card from points to cash. Our free credit card comparison tool compares all the major cards in the market and awards the best our prestigious Star Ratings. For more information on credit cards and to compare further, just click on the big button below.

Compare credit cards with Canstar here!

About the author of this page

Bruce PitchersThis report was written by Canstar’s Editor, Bruce Pitchers. Bruce began his career writing about pop culture, and spent a decade in sports journalism. More recently, he’s applied his editing and writing skills to the world of finance and property. Prior to Canstar, he worked as a freelancer, including for The Australian Financial Review, the NZ Financial Markets Authority, and for real estate companies on both sides of the Tasman.

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