Furthermore each cardholder receives an annual credit card summary statement, which totals all transactions made; total interest incurred; total fees and charges incurred and these other fees and charges are also listed. But of course the devil is in the detail.
The Australian senate inquiry heard about the complexity of how balance transfers work in practice even when superficially attractive. That complexity illustrates why any really useful comparison tool would have to be very comprehensive, in order to give the credit card consumer a full picture of the choices available to them.
The Senate Inquiry also heard much about the challenges for lower income credit card customers in 'switching' cards when they may have a 'damaged' repayment history. Whilst this is undoubtedly a factor in the 'stickiness' of cardholder mobility, it is not confined to low income credit card customers.
With over 16 million credit cards on issue in Australia it is likely many consumers hold multiple cards.
We must accept that whilst there can be irresponsible lending, there can also be irresponsible borrowing. Card issuers could help themselves by pooling both negative and positive credit reporting of their card holders but there appears to some reluctance to achieving this comprehensive sharing of credit card data.
Making credit cards the sole culprit for consumer indebtedness would be a mistake. The vast majority of borrowing in Australia is for the purchase of property and recent research shows Australians lose more money per adult on gambling than every other developed country in the world.