New Zealanders use credit cards for everyday spending, says Canstar research

New Zealand-owned Kiwibank has won Canstar’s inaugural 2019 Most Satisfied Customers Award for Credit Cards, as the only institution to receive a 5-star rating for overall Customer Satisfaction.

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“Our research found that 39% of the surveyed respondents said that they use credit cards for every purchase – highlighting the importance of customer satisfaction within the credit card sector,” says Jose George, general manager of Canstar New Zealand.

“Kiwibank offers a number of credit card options featuring low purchase interest rates as well as low fee, no fee and reward facilities – suitable for users across the credit card spectrum.

“Interestingly, the data showed that the primary reason 30% of the respondents held a specific credit card was in order to collect loyalty points; while 26% said that the reason for holding was that the card offered low account fees.

“Credit Cards which are linked to a rewards programme have remained very popular, with 47% of those surveyed reported as having these types of cards in favour of Low Rate (21%) and Low Fee (19%) credit cards,” Mr George adds.

Survey respondents were also asked to rate providers on customer service; value for money; interest rates and ongoing fees; annual fees and charges; rewards; communication; security and applications.

Read Canstar’s Credit Card report

Kiwibank’s top tips for managing credit card spending

As Canstar’s winner of the 2019 Most Satisfied Customers Award – Credit Cards, on its website Kiwibank says that a few simple steps can help to keep credit card users in control of their spending.

1. Read your credit card statement

Many people make the mistake of ignoring the dreaded credit card bill, but the best way to control debt is to face it head-on. If you don’t read your credit card statement, you won’t know how much you’ve been spending – or how much you need to pay back by the payment due date.

Just take a breath, open the statement and take stock.

2. Repay more than the minimum

In an ideal world, everyone would be able to pay off the balance of their credit cards in full each month, but, if that’s not possible, the quickest way to clear your debt is to pay at least a little more than the minimum. That way, you’ll chip away at the balance while reducing the total amount of interest you pay in the process.

3. Pay your bill on time

If you miss a payment due date, you’ll not only incur extra interest, but you’ll also get pinged with late payment fees. The easiest way to ensure you won’t miss a payment is to set up a regular direct debit.

4. Respect your limit

It’s important to remember that the money on your credit card isn’t yours, you’re actually borrowing it every time you use it. Be mindful of spending, and if you’re having trouble managing your credit card, speak to someone at your bank as soon as possible.

5. Don’t use it to withdraw cash

Using your credit card to withdraw money – or transfer to a transaction account – is called a cash advance and it’s probably the most expensive credit card transaction you can make.

With a cash advance, you’re charged a fee each time you withdraw cash. There’s no interest-free period when it comes to cash advances – interest is charged the moment you take the money out.

Instead of a cash advance, talk to your bank about an overdraft facility, or a personal loan to cover any financial shortfalls.

Read Canstar’s Credit Card report

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