Credit Cards hold holiday hangover

11 August 2004
Summer holiday spending will sit on credit card bills for several months after the event, new research has found.

Sainsbury's Bank has said more than 2.58 million people expect to take over six months to pay off their holiday card sprees.

The research also reveals that there will be 7.8 million people who take more than a month to clear their summer bills.

Over the course of the holiday season around 20.8 million people will spend £3.24 billion on their credit cards simply buying items before they go, Sainsbury's has said. £6.4 billion more will be spent on cards when the holiday is underway.

Men are the worst culprits when it comes to card spending, shelling out 48 per cent more than women (£264 each compared to £178).

Regionally, London will see the biggest amount of credit card summer holiday spending and Scotland the smallest. However, Scottish cardholders will take the longest to clear their balances.

Credit card manager at Sainsbury's Bank, Lucy Hunter, noted: "There are many advantages to using credit cards abroad, including not having to carry around travellers cheques and your passport or large amounts of cash."

She adds: "They also give you the flexibility to withdraw money easily wherever you are in the world, as well as being able to use them in most shops and restaurants."

But Ms Hunter did warn: "Not all cards are the same and it is important that the card you use offers a competitive rate of interest, especially if you don't anticipate clearing your balance at the end of each month."
DeHavilland Information Services plc