Cash still king over the Christmas period | moneyfacts.co.uk
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Derin Clark

Derin Clark

Online Reporter
Published: 05/12/2019

The UK might be turning into a cashless society, but when it comes to Christmas shopping British consumers prefer spending with cash, research from Post Office reveals.

According to the research, six in 10 people across the UK are more likely to use cash rather than cards when purchasing gifts, treats or socialising this Christmas, which rises to two-thirds of people in rural areas. In addition to this, Post Office also found that 45% of people are likely to give cash as a present this Christmas.

Access to cash

While UK consumers are turning to cash this Christmas, continuing bank branch and ATM closures mean that it is becoming harder for some, especially those in rural areas, to withdraw cash from their accounts. Just last week we reported on the fact that TSB is planning to close 82 branches, which is part of an ongoing trend that has seen over half of bank branches close since 1989.  Consumers wanting to withdraw money but who cannot access their accounts, can do so via Post Office branches, with Post Office expecting 20% of people intending to visit a Post Office branch during the festive period doing so to withdraw cash, which increases to 30% of those living in rural areas.

Martin Kearsley, banking services director at the Post Office, said: “Millions of customers of UK banks can rely on our branches for easy access to cash in the run-up to Christmas. Many branches are open longer hours and 4,000 are open seven days a week. Whether it’s withdrawing cash to give as a gift to getting stamps, cards or travel money, our branches provide a personal, face-to-face service, which is important to many, particularly during the festive period.”

Withdrawing cash using credit cards

Consumers should avoid withdrawing cash using their credit card as they could be hit by high withdrawal fees as well as being charged interest from the day the money is withdrawn, with this continuing to be added daily until the amount borrowed is repaid in full. Instead, to avoid falling into unnecessary debt over the Christmas period, consumers should ensure that they have enough money in their account to cover all the cash costs they are planning to make.

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