UK credit card spending down 4% in 2011

Wednesday, 11 January 2012 11:31

New data has shown that spending on credit cards in the UK seems to be falling, perhaps as people try to cut out large purchases on plastic to prevent debt.

According to Santander Credit Cards, the amount of money spent on credit cards has fallen by four per cent over the past 12 months, even though the total number of transactions per cardholder has increased by one per cent.

The breakdown of spending per sector provided an interesting insight into where the money is going, with mail order and restaurants or bars all showing increases. This suggests Britons are still treating themselves with small purchases in the current economic climate.

Credit card spending for utility bills and petrol stations had also increased.

Meanwhile, travel agents, hotels, airlines, supermarkets and clothing stores had all suffered from a decline in buying on plastic.

Santander's Callum Gibson said: "During times of austerity, you'd expect cut-backs to hit non-essential items like holidays and clothes and our customer data supports this."

Last month, UK cash machine network LINK said there had been an 11 per cent increase in withdrawals in the week ending December 4th 2011 when compared with the same period in 2010.

This could mean Britons are paying more attention to managing their budgets by seeing exactly where their cash goes, rather than putting everything on to their credit cards.

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