The Balance of Britain's Breaks

The way you use your credit card reflects who you are and what stage of your life you are going through. Make sure you pay off your full balance monthly for a balanced lifestyle.

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Key facts about credit card usage during the holiday period

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In 2010, £27.5 billion was spent abroad on British credit and debit cards. This is enough to buy over 135 Boeing 747s.

There were 55.6 million British credit cards in 2010. That's enough to build a 42km tall tower. A tower that tall would be fifty times bigger than the tallest building in the world, the Burj Kahlifa skyscraper in Dubai.

Spending Online

Living together with a partner or being married has a positive effect on credit card usage. While 18% of single men and 17% of single women in Britain use their credit cards regularly for shopping online, for married and cohabitating Brits these numbers increase to 30% and 27% respectively.

Education gets the ball rolling

On average, people with a higher level of education use their credit cards more often and spend more on their credit cards.

On average, people with no formal schooling use their credit cards 4 times a month; those with only primary education and those with incomplete secondary education both use their credit cards 6 times a month; people who have completed their GCSE's or equivalent use theirs 7 times a month; people with A-levels and further qualifications 8 times; people with a university degree use their cards 10 times a month and those who have reached a doctorate level even use their credit cards 11 times a month.

The mean monthly spend shows a similar trend. While people with no formal schooling spend £188 a month on their cards every month, people with primary education spend £201 a month, those with incomplete secondary education £207. People whose highest level of education is their GCSE's or equivalent have an average monthly spend of £246, those with A-levels £281; those with further qualifications £303, those with a university degree £384. This trend reaches an absolute peak with the academics who have reached doctorate level, as on average they spend £531 per month on their credit cards.

Hottest holiday destinations for plastic payments

People travelling to Scandinavia and Greenland are most likely to use their credit cards for travel expenses and hotels, as 55.7% of UK residents who go on holiday to Nordic countries use their credit cards to pay for the trip and/or hotel. With 53.3% of British tourists using their credit cards, New Zealand comes second. The least likely holiday destination for Brits to use their credit cards are Malaysia and Singapore, as only 23.7% of those who went there used their credit cards for travel purposes in 2010.

What kind of holiday do we like best?

Britain's most popular types of vacation are, in this order, beach holidays, city breaks, holiday centre holidays, lake and mountain trips, coach tours and theme park breaks. Families with 3 or more children are most likely to go to holiday centres or the beach.

For which holiday type do we swipe?

44% of those going on city breaks pay for their holiday with their credit card, 40% of those going on lake and mountain trips do so, 33% of people visiting theme parks during their holidays, 31% of beach lovers, and 24% of people who go on coach tours. Credit card usage for travel purposes is the lowest for those going to holiday centres to relax.

Sources:

www.theukcardsassociation.org.uk (17 June 2011)

GB TGI 2012 © Kantar Media UK (January 2011 - December 2011)

www.buzzwordcreative.co.uk (UK Cards Annual Report 2012)

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