If you are looking to become a first-time credit card customer in Australia, you will find a number of options. There are a large number of card lenders, all offering attractive incentives to secure your business. At first sight, it can look confusing.
However, when you look more closely, you find that the majority of the card market is actually controlled by a small number of banks. Most of the market share is held by the banks known as the Big Four — the Commonwealth Bank, National Bank of Australia or NAB, Westpac, and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, or ANZ. Each of these banks has a large array of credit cards, along with excellent benefits and rewards programs.
Many of the smaller banks, which appear to be independent, and offer their own cards, are actually owned by one of these four. For instance, the St George Bank is owned by Westpac, and Bankwest is owned by the Commonwealth. Many of their customers are unaware that these are not independent banks.
The largest lender outside the Big Four, and the one which provides the most competition, is CitiBank Australia. As part of the global Citi Group, the bank is able to offer a wide range of different cards for both personal and business use. Generally, the fees are a lot lower for CitiBank cards.
All these lenders offer a range of different types of card, for customers with different requirements. Each offers a rewards card of some type, and each also offers gold or platinum cards, which come with various products, such as travel insurance or a free smartphone, as well as other benefits. For instance, ANZ has a number of Frequent Flyer cards, while Westpac offers a Singapore Airlines Platinum. All the lenders also offer a low interest card, which benefits those who don’t pay off their balance each month.
Currently in Australia, supply exceeds demand in the lending market. This means that now is a good time to be looking for loans, provided you have good credit. Lenders are currently offering particularly good rates and offers for new customers, so you should have no difficulty in finding an excellent deal.