Cautious shoppers chose debit over credit cardsDebit card spending up over Christmas

19 February 2009

Debit cards more popular over Christmas


More people used debit than credit cards over Christmas

UK shoppers spent more on their debit cards than their credit cards in December in a bid to keep spending down and pay off credit.

According to the payments association, APACS, of the £32.3billion spent on cards before Christmas, £21.6bn was on debit cards and £10.8bn on credit cards.

Tightening purse strings

The average value of a card transaction also came down to £44.95, the lowest for six years said APACS.

Sandra Quinn, director of communications, said: 'The fall in credit card spending follows the trend we've seen over the last four years with customers continually preferring to put most of their card spending on debit cards.'

Each year people are using their debit cards more with spending up 9.5% over 2008, with credit card spending growing at a more subdued rate of 1.9%.

Less credit more debit

Year-on-year, total spending on plastic in December 2008 rose by just 0.3% in value, but in terms of volume increased by 4.2%. 

This suggests that shoppers appeared to buy more, but paid less for those items, which APACS said reflected retailers heavy price discounting and the VAT cut.

Credit card spending fell by 4.8% in value whereas debit card spending rose by 3.1% in December.

See if you can pay off your credit card debt more quickly with our credit card repayment calculator, or check our credit card best buys for the most competitive rates.

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