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How much do you spend online?

How much do you spend online?

Category: Credit cards

Updated: 25/04/2017
First Published: 08/04/2015

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Do you spend money online? The answer is probably yes, so perhaps a more appropriate question is how often, or even how much, because research from The UK Cards Association has revealed that the typical online transaction far outweighs the average in-store purchase…

Almost a third of all card spending is online

According to the figures, 30% of the value of all debit and credit card spending in January was conducted via the internet, with £15.4bn of the total value (£48.8bn) spent in this way. Interestingly, the number of online card transactions made up just 12.3% of total card purchases, equating to 118m of the 1.05bn card payments in total.

This suggests that, although consumers still make more transactions in shops, they spend more per online transaction than they do elsewhere. Does this ring true for you? Perhaps it will when considering the fact that the most common online card purchase in January was on entertainment, which made up 27% of total transactions – how much does a DVD, concert ticket or trip to the theatre cost? It can soon add up!

This trend for spending more online is backed up by additional figures which show that consumers spend an average of twice as much via the internet as they do in-store, with the average transaction value standing at £96.10 and £46.53 respectively. We all know how easy it can be to press the 'Add to cart' button, after all…

"These figures demonstrate the extent to which online shopping has become a way of life, with almost a third of all card spending now happening on the internet," said Richard Koch of The UK Cards Association. "Interestingly, while people still make transactions more regularly in shops, when they do shop on the internet, they tend to spend far more, demonstrating that consumers' bigger transactions happen online."

Make the most of online purchases

If you make any of the millions of online transactions per month, why not make them work harder for you? There's nothing better than getting something for nothing, and using cashback credit cards could be the perfect way to do just that. These cards put a proportion of your spend straight back into your account, so every time you make a purchase, you're getting money back!

Remember that these cards will only be truly beneficial if you pay off the balance in full each month, otherwise the interest added will outweigh the cashback you receive. If you don't think you'll be in the position to do that, or you plan to make a particularly large online purchase and want to spread the cost, you may want to look to 0% purchase credit cards instead.

These cards won't charge you any interest for an introductory period (as long as 23 months in some cases), giving you plenty of time to pay off that purchase without having to worry about interest adding to the bill. You don't have to stick to credit cards though, as many current accounts also offer cashback when you use your debit card, offering even more chances to make the most of online purchases.

Really, it's no wonder that card payments of both kinds are continuing to rise – the figures show that the 1.05bn transaction total for January is a sharp increase from the 962m recorded the year previously, while the total spending amount (£48.8bn) marks an increase of 7.3% year-on-year, up from £46.5bn in January 2014 – so if you've noticed that your online transactions tend to outweigh those in-store, it's time to make the most of them!

Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.