Spending using electronic cards has risen as people spent more on food and liquor, and durable goods such as furniture and appliances.
Official figures show retail spending using credit, debit and charge cards rose to $4.1 billion dollars in April, a seasonally adjusted 0.8% increase on previous month.
On an annual basis, actual spending rose 1.2%.
Core retail spending, which excludes fuel and other vehicle costs, rose 0.7%.
Food and drink contributed the largest increase, more than offsetting falling sales of clothing and fuel.
The total value of transactions rose 0.6%.
ASB economist Jane Turner says households appear more confident about splashing out, but the recovery in spending remains modest.
Electronic card spending accounts for about 62% of retail activity.