Credit cards relied on for everyday living costs

Credit cards relied on for everyday living costs

16 February 2010 / by Rachael Stiles

The UK might technically be out of recession, but Britons are still relying heavily on their credit cards for making everyday purchases, according to

New research has found that more than 14 million Brits use their credit cards to cover daily costs, with 17 per cent using a credit card everyday, and a further 28 per cent paying with plastic at least once a week.

One in five Brits has at least three different credit cards, and the survey highlighted the 'worrying trend' that consumers are relying on credit to fund day to day purchases.

The majority of credit card holders use their cards to shop online, the most popular use of plastic, with 56 per cent of customers using it for this purpose.

But while British consumers might have developed a reliance on credit, moneysupermarket also found that they are making their plastic work for them, by choosing rewards credit cards, cashback credit cards, or ones that offer zero per cent interest on purchases.

Commenting on the findings, Peter Harrison, credit cards expert at, said "Credit cards are still playing an important role in the nation's finances," but he finds it "alarming" that so many consumers are getting into the "dangerous habit" of using their credit card to pay for day to day expenses.

"If you are funding everyday items such as petrol or food, and still paying for it long after the product has been used, you should seriously consider stopping," he urged.

But Mr Harrison was supportive of consumers holding more than one credit card, if they are doing so for the right reasons. "Holding more than one credit card can be a good idea, if you are using one for balance transfers and one for purchases, and have suitable zero per cent deals on both," he said.

"However, holding more than two cards does expose you to a large amount of credit, which may not be financially healthy and could make it difficult to obtain further credit in the future."

The survey also disproves the common misconception that women are more likely to max out their credit card on shopping, as it found that men rely on their credit cards more than women and use them more frequently.

© Fair Investment Company Ltd