Four million turkeys are being bought on plastic this Christmas with more than half (59%) of consumers using their credit cards to buy presents.
After another testing financial year which saw pay rises failing to keep pace with hikes in essential living costs, Brits are turning to their ‘flexible friend’ to help keep up the festive cheer this Christmas.
According to the research, the average consumer expects to put £448 on their credit card over the holiday season, while more than one in ten (13%) would rather go further into debt than admit to not being able to afford presents this year.
Easy to spend beyond means at Christmas
Michael Ossei, personal finance expert at uSwitch, says: “In true British spirit, people are determined not to let money worries cast a shadow over the festive cheer this Christmas. Many are turning to their credit cards to help see them through to the new year.
“The last thing people want to do is scrimp at Christmas, yet it’s easy to get carried away and spend more than you mean to at this time of year.
“And the high number of consumers willing to put themselves deeper in debt just to stave off the embarrassment of not giving presents sends alarm bells ringing.
Credit card use can be practical
Ossei continues: “If you know you can clear your balance straight away, using a credit card can be a very practical way to shop, and can even earn you money if you use a cashback card. But for those struggling to make ends meet, relying on credit to pay for Christmas can be both risky and costly – and will mean starting the New Year in even more debt.
“If you do need to use a credit card it’s important to choose the right card to suit your spending needs and not get caught out by high interest rates.
“Also consider cards which offer 0% on purchases as these can give you some breathing space and help you avoid a New Year financial hangover by giving you the time to save the cash to clear the balance while avoiding interest charges.”