4m turkeys to be bought on credit
According to price comparison site uSwitch.com, three out of five Brits are buying their presents with credit cards this year; with an average spend of £448.
Some 10% are expected to spend as much a £1,000.
Michael Ossei, personal finance expert at uSwitch.com, said: “The last thing people want to do is scrimp at Christmas, but it’s easy to get carried away and spend more than you mean to at this time of year.
“And the high number of consumers willing to put themselves deeper in debt just to stave off the embarrassment of not giving presents sends alarm bells ringing.”
uSwitch says that consumers have faced another hard year, with pay rises failing to keep up with hikes in living costs.
Ossei continued: “If you know you can clear your balance straight away, using a credit card can be a very practical way to shop, and can even earn you money if you use a cashback card.
“But for those struggling to make ends meet, relying on credit to pay for Christmas can be both risky and costly – and will mean starting the New Year in even more debt.
Brits are advised to shop around to find the right card to suit their spending needs and to watch out for high interest rates.
Ossei advised: “Also consider cards which offer 0% on purchases as these can give you some breathing space and help you avoid a New Year financial hangover by giving you the time to save the cash to clear the balance while avoiding interest charges.”