In New Zealand, numbers from the country's Reserve Bank show total credit card balances neared $6 billion in December - a record high and a sign people are returning to poor credit card habits not seen since before the global financial crisis.

Of the $5.46 billion in credit card debt on personal cards in November, 66.9 percent was charged interest at an average of 17.6 percent - up from 65.9 percent in November 2012.

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