Brits favour credit cards over cash

01 April 2008 / by Daniela Gieseler
When it comes to paying for their everyday purchases, Britons are more likely to use their plastic than cash, reveals a survey conducted by personal finance site

Rather than producing a wad of notes one third (32 per cent) regularly use their credit card for every day spending and 37 per cent think that using their debit cards is the most convenient way to pay. This leaves only 29 per cent who prefer to pay by cash.

With almost half of all Britons (47 per cent) withdrawing cash only once a week or even less, people generally carry less cash. A third generally have less than £10 in cash on them, just enough to pay for a bus fare or a quick sandwich if necessary.

The amount of cash in people's pockets tends to increase significantly with age: Whereas young people between 18 and 24 only have about £14 in their wallets, over fifties tend to carry three times as much. also observed a gender difference as men tend to have about twenty pounds more cash on them than women: On average men carry £40 in cash and women slightly under £20. All in all the average Briton has £33 in his wallet at any given time.

David Kuo, Head of Personal Finance at, comments: "Plastic can be fantastic, but relying on money we can’t see is a reflection of how easy it has been to rely on credit in recent years."

It is therefore essential to keep track of your spending and not let your card purchases get out of hand: "Since you are not paying in cash, it is all the more reason to take care as credit becomes more difficult to obtain."

Kuo advises consumers: "It is therefore more important than ever to build a decent savings pot because one day when you need to pull a rabbit out of the hat, you could find that all you have is a dead duck in your pocket."

© Fair Investment Company Ltd