Debit cards are now the favourite way to purchase, with spending via the payment method set to hit a new monthly high for December of£17.8 billion, a 20.3 per cent increase on last year.
In contrast, spending on credit cards is expected to be 3.5 per cent lower this year at£11 billion. The figure last year was£11.4 billion.
Apacs director of communications Sandra Quinn said: 'Debit cards are increasingly replacing cash and cheques for our everyday purchases. This trend has definitely been helped by Chip and PIN, which has made paying with plastic faster and safer, so we're more likely to whip out the plastic for small-value transactions.
The dip in credit card spending will come despite a forecast rise in overall Christmas spending this year of 10.8 per cent to£48.7 billion in December, against£44 billion last year.
UK consumer spending
On plastic cards
On debit cards
On credit cards
Combined cash and cheque spending
Total spending (including cash and cheques)