Better bank technology and new ways to pay have encouraged spending in the month of May.
More people are eating out and staying in hotels and motels, with resort regions benefiting from a jump in spending.
Figures from Paymark, which processes three quarters of electronic card transactions, show spending grew 5.1% in May compared with the same month last year to just over $4 billion, an increase of just over $200 million.
Paymark head of sales and marketing Paul Whiston said the growth is a positive sign.
"Those leisure sectors in the industry are really benefiting, we're seeing even take away outlets up almost 12% year on year and cafes, restaurants accommodation providers just below or just above 10% which is higher than some other sectors."
Mr Whiston said the new tap-and-go pay system, where there is no need to swipe or insert a card or enter a PIN number, has made it easier to spend money.
He said credit card spending rose by more than a tenth, while debit cards increased by 4.5% on May 2012.
Paymark said a number of regions had above average growth rates for the month, led by Marlborough and Hawke's Bay.