Online Christmas spending hits record high; but are we making the most of our credit cards?

December 20, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
Britain faces another Christmas on credit as UK shoppers prepare to spend £2.1 billion on their credit cards in last minute Christmas shopping sprees.

Analysis from Sainsbury's Bank shows that people are planning to spend some £11.85 billion during the last week before Christmas - £2.7 billion more than last year's research reported.

However, Fair Investment Company, is urging consumers to make sure they are getting the best deals on their credit cards in order to make the most of their spending over the festive period.

Last month's Retail Experian FootFall Index revealed that online sales were beating purchases on the high street by a sizeable margin with November reporting the highest month-on-month rise in shopper numbers so far this year while Hitwise, reported a massive 22.4 per cent rise in online visits to all shopping and classifieds sites during November.

The boost in online sales has also meant that far more people are spending on their credit and debit cards.

James Caldwell, Director of Fair Investment Company comments: "Despite the turbulent financial markets, falling house prices and rising living costs, the boom in online activity goes to show that British shoppers are still determined to celebrate this Christmas.

"The recent research suggests that the decline in numbers of consumers choosing to shop on the high street seems to be down to the convenience of shopping online rather than a drop in spending. However, with 18 per cent of the anticipated £11.85 billion of the last minute spending going onto consumers' credit cards, it is not too late to try and make the most of some of the deals on offer by card companies.

"For those who will be putting their Christmas purchases on their plastic this year, it makes sense to get a card offering 0 per cent on purchases. For those who are about it come off an existing credit card deal, it is worth shopping about to see who is offering the best rates. Avoiding unnecessary interest charges will hopefully go some way to ensure that consumers don't end up with a financial hangover in the New Year."