The average spend on UK credit cards in March 2021 was nine percent lower than March 2020, but has increased for the first time since December, latest data shows.
Global analytics software provider FICO released its analysis of UK card trends, which shows a change in spending and financial management in the last 12 months.
While average spending per card was lower, the average amount spent over a card’s limit was 25% higher in March 2021 than in the same month last year.
Cash usage has continued to fall, which is now 60% lower year-on-year. According to the report, the percentage of consumers using their cards to withdraw cash has been on a downwards trajectory since September 2019, and the pandemic accelerated this.
Despite this, banks have recently committed to supporting cash-dependant customers.
March data also showed the second consecutive fall in the percentage of payments to balance, by a further four percent, making it 1.5% lower than a year ago. Compounding this is a further decrease in average card balances falling £13 or one percent and reaching a two-year low.
Steve Hadaway oversees FICO’s operations in EMEA. He said: “With the lockdowns ending and the opportunities to spend increasing, April will be a pivotal month in starting to reveal the true state of consumer finances.
“The increased spending opportunities will highlight if any extra spend is down to those who’ve built up their savings pot or whether a proportion are consumers wanting to take advantage of the newfound freedom even if their financial future is uncertain.”.