Consumers prefer debit cards or cash
Credit card spending will fall this Christmas for the first time in a decade, according to a survey by UK payments association Apacs.

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

December 2004

December 2005

% change

On plastic cards

£26.2 billion

£28.8 billion


On debit cards

£14.8 billion

£17.8 billion


On credit cards

£11.4 billion

£11 billion


Combined cash and cheque spending

£17.8 billion

£19.9 billion


Total spending (including cash and cheques)

£44 billion

£48.7 billion