© 2015 The Authors. Aim Rheumatic fever (RF) prevention, control and surveillance are increasingly important priorities in New Zealand (NZ) and Australia. We compared RF surveillance across Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) member countries to assist in benchmarking and identifying useful approaches. Methods A structured literature review was completed using Medline and PubMed databases, investigating RF incidence rates. Surveillance methods were noted. Health department websites were searched to assess whether addressing RF was a Government priority. Results Of 32 OECD member countries, nine reported RF incidence rates after 1999. Highest rates were seen in indigenous Australians, and NZ Ma¯ori and Pacific peoples. NZ and Australian surveillance systems are highly developed, with notification and register data compiled regularly. Only these two Governments appeared to prioritise RF surveillance and control. Other countries relied mainly on hospitalisation data. There is a lack of standardisation across incidence rate calculations. Israel and Italy may have relatively high RF rates among developed countries. Conclusions RF lingers in specific populations in OECD member countries. At a minimum, RF registers are needed in higher incidence countries. Countries with low RF incidences should periodically review surveillance information to ensure rates are not increasing.