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Men bigger credit card spenders than women

Man with shopping bagsMen spend 15 per cent more on their credit cards than women, according to new research.

Men favour sports, toy, and DIY stores - spending up to 79 per cent more on these purchases than women.

In comparison, women use their cards 87 per cent more in chemists, 83 per cent more in clothes shops and 36 per cent more in department stores than their male counterparts.

This is according to research from Santander which investigated credit card spending habits.

Food and fuel biggest spend 

Santander say supermarket shopping and petrol are the two biggest credit card outlays for both men and women.

It found that 19 per cent of women’s credit card spending is done at the supermarket till compared with 14 per cent for men.

When it comes to filling up the car, petrol accounts for 11 per cent of mens credit card spending compared with 8 per cent for women. 

Women use their credit card the least number of times in restaurants, on cars and electrical gadgets. These areas account for less than 5 per cent of their total card spending.

Clothes and interior furnishings account for the smallest percentage of credit card spending for men.

Gender stereotypes

Adam Mussert, Santander Cards, says: "It's revealing that people seem to conform to gender stereotypes in their credit card usage.

"Women use their cards more in clothes shops and department stores and men spend more on their vehicles, in sports shops and in bars and restaurants."

But depending on what you’re buying, where you're buying and the credit card you’re using, all that spending can mean the difference between boosting your bank balance or not.  

Earn as you spend

With cashback credit cards you earn money on your spending - typically up to 5 per cent. However, this is usually a headline rate which can often fall after an initial introductory period. 

The Capital One World Mastercard has a 5 per cent cashback rate which lasts for three months.

After this, it reverts to a much lower rate of between 0.5 per cent and 1.25 per cent, depending on how much you spend.   

With other cards like the Santander 123 credit card you’ll earn different rates according to what you buy - 1 per cent on supermarket shopping, 2 per cent in department stores and 3 per cent on petrol. 

Beware of card fees

However, if you book some theatre tickets or a holiday on the card for example, you won’t get a penny back. 

But a word of warning for both sexes - while the option to get money back on all your usual spending sounds great, the trade off with cashback cards is that some have a fee. 

The Santander 123 credit card has an annual £24 fee which means if you use it for your supermarket shopping you must spend in excess of £2,400 a year to start making money, more than £1,200 in department stores or £800 plus a year on petrol.

Save and donate!

Confused.com is donating £5 to children's charity the NSPCC for every credit card taken out through the site in April.

The money raised will be used by the NSPCC to end child cruelty and make a real difference to the lives of children in the UK.




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Sue Hayward

Carl Chambers

Sue Hayward is a personal finance broadcaster, journalist and author. Sue talks and writes on money matters including chatting on BBC Radio & TV as well as contributing to magazines, websites and newspapers. Sue's also written two books; the latest of which is 'How To Get The Best Deal'.

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