Credit Cards - Think Before You Spend

Aug 09, 2011, 07:30 ET from

CHESTER, England, August 9, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --

  • Only a third of credit card users regularly think about the impact of their spending
  • 29 per cent would only consider the impact when spending over GBP100
  • The average sized purchase that gets people thinking about their finances is GBP145

Only a third of credit card users (35 per cent) admit to thinking about the impact on their finances every time they use their card to make a purchase, according to research* from

Britain's number one comparison site asked credit card customers how large a purchase had to be before they thought about the impact it would have on their finances and budget. Although one in three card users said they thought about the impact of every purchase, almost as many - a whopping 29 per cent - claimed a purchase would need to be over GBP100 before they thought about the effect on their finances.

According to the research, the average amount Brits' can spend on a credit card before they think about the impact their purchase will have on their finances is GBP145. This figure varies dramatically by gender with the figure hitting GBP182 for males versus GBP105 for women.

Kevin Mountford, head of banking at said: "Using a credit card is a convenient way to pay for every day goods, however it is easy for consumers to lose track of what they are spending, which could have potentially disastrous consequences. It's worrying to see that only a third of credit card customers are always aware of the impact purchases have on their finances, but even more so that so many feel they only need to pay attention when spending over GBP100.

"As with all credit products, when using a card it's vital customers keep track of their transactions, and not forget they are borrowing the money they are spending and it will need to be payed back. Using a credit card without keeping track of what they are purchasing could mean consumers end up with a nasty surprise at the end of the month, particularly if they cannot afford to clear the balance from their salary. Once credit card customers are in this position, it can be very hard for them to dig themselves out and they could end up falling into a spiral of debt.

"Choosing the right credit product for the right purpose is important. For example someone wishing to make a big ticket purchase and needing to pay off the money over a longer period of time may want to go for an interest-free on purchases card, whereas a consumer clearing their balance every month could benefit from a rewards card. For those with a large outstanding balance and are unable to pay it off right away, the important thing is to clear the debt as quickly as possible. Consumers in this situation should consider moving the balance onto a product offering interest free balance transfers such as the Barclaycard Platinum Balance Transfer card, offering 24 months zero per cent transfers."

Notes to Editors:

*Opinium Research conducted research between 21st and 23rd June 2011, amongst 2,013 nationally representative adults aged 18+'s customer commitment

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Kevin Mountford
Head of banking

Paul Lawler
PR Manager (Financial Services)