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Everyday Plus

Date: 20th Nov 2015 | Posted in: Financial News, News

Men are top of the tree when it comes to Christmas giving for partners this year

  • Men plan to outspend women on their partner’s presents by an average of £67 
  • Only one in five plan to stick rigidly to the Christmas budget they set for their partner 
  • The £500 million1 spent every day on credit cards during December last year could be eclipsed in 2015, as men are set to opt for jewellery and perfume and women opt for new clothes for their partners
  • MBNA study reveals that – unlike savvy seniors – many under-35 couples remain unaware of the added consumer protection offered by credit cards over debit cards

The nation’s men look set to outspend women this Christmas, according to new research launched today (19 November 2015).

An in-depth study into the Christmas spending habits of more than 2,000 UK couples2, commissioned by leading UK credit card company MBNA, reveals that men are expected to outspend women by some £67 this Christmas, spending an estimated £232 on festive gifts this year, compared to £165 by women.

Only one in five (21 per cent) thrifty men and just 18 per cent of women are planning to stick rigidly to the Christmas budgets they set for their partner this year, revealed the in-depth study developed in partnership with research specialists Consumer Intelligence.

Of the top five gifts for each of the sexes in 2015, jewellery and perfume top men’s gift list spending, with women planning to spend most on clothes, underwear and aftershave for their partners3. Despite there being only a few weeks until Christmas, one in five (19 per cent) people still have no idea what to buy their loved one.

Women: most popular Christmas purchases for their partners in 2015

  • Clothes (44 per cent; most popular) 
  • Aftershave (17 per cent)
  • Underwear (16 per cent)
  • Entertainment tickets (10 per cent)
  • Vouchers (6 per cent)

Men: most popular Christmas purchases for their partners in 2015

  • Perfume (37 per cent; most popular) 
  • Jewellery (32 per cent)
  • Clothes (30 per cent)
  • Underwear (14 per cent)
  • Vouchers (11 per cent)

With more than £500 million expected to ring through tills in credit card retail sales across the country every single day in December1, MBNA is gearing up for the busy festive shopping period.

“Based on last year’s spending figures and the findings of this new research, we expect an enormous amount of money will be going through the nation’s shops every day this December”, said Richard Whatmough, Director of Marketing and Digital at MBNA. “Christmas is, without doubt, the busiest time of year for people spending using our range of credit cards, and it seems that men are due to be the nation’s biggest spenders on their partner’s gifts this year!” 

The survey shows that most people will opt to pay for their partner’s present using savings, their monthly income or a combination of both this year, with others opting for loans, overdrafts and store credit. Men say they are most likely to spend on their plastic this year, with 27 per cent opting to pay by credit card for their partner’s festive treats. Nearly one in five women (19 per cent) is planning to do the same. 

MBNA has partnered with financial analyst and credit expert Andrew Hagger of Moneycomms to get his view on how credit cards such as MBNA’s Everyday Plus Credit Card could help shoppers this Christmas.

“There are many ways to fund Christmas and this new insight shows that many will opt to use store cards, catalogue credit, overdrafts and loans; however, these can often turn out to be expensive options”, said Hagger. “There are some incredibly strong alternatives that are worth a look as they could end up saving consumers a tidy penny this year, particularly if they need to spread out their borrowing repayments. The Everyday Plus Credit Card from MBNA and American Express, for example, offers a host of borrowing options, has a low APR of just 7.4 per cent per annum so it isn’t expensive if you need to roll over a balance; and it carries all the added consumer protection of a credit card. In fact, people could save up to £104 in just six weeks by using this card rather than an authorised bank overdraft4. Long term zero per cent purchase credit cards are also worth considering.”

Retired couples say they are most likely to spend on their partner using a credit card this year (26 per cent) as they say they know about the added consumer protection that comes with spending on credit card rather than debit card.

“It seems the older you get, the more aware you become of the protection that comes with spending on credit cards”, added Whatmough. “We are delighted to see that some 98 per cent of over-65s in our survey know about the additional consumer protection, such as Section 75, that comes with using their credit card. Compare that to just 43 per cent of 18 to 24 year olds and that is an enormous divide in knowledge and awareness, so work may be needed to raise people’s awareness about this.”

The MBNA Everyday Plus American Express® Credit Card offers:

  • A simple long-term low rate of 7.4 per cent p.a. for eligible new customers.
  • No credit card handling fees in the UK or abroad – all fees for money transfers, balance transfers and ATM usage in the UK and abroad have been removed.
  • No foreign exchange transaction fees.
  • No annual fee.
  • Access to a range of everyday offers and benefits from American Express.
  • Apple Pay and contactless technology compatibility.

The MBNA Everyday Plus American Express® Credit Card is available to apply for now on the MBNA website

Representative example: 7.4% p.a. (variable) on card purchases. This is equivalent to 7.4%APR representative (variable). Based on a credit limit of £1,200.

MBNA’s eligibility check allows customers to check how likely they are to be accepted for the card before completing the full application. Alternative products at either 9.9 per cent p.a. or 12.9 per cent p.a. may be offered, subject to status.

The card is part of a commitment by MBNA to offer a broad range of products that help make life easier for consumers to manage their finances. Credit is available, subject to status, to UK residents aged 18 and over.

Men vs Women infographic

1 Source reference is the UK Card Association here: Total UK retail sales on credit cards in December 2014 was 16,006,358,421. This total divided by 31 (total number of days in December) = £516,334,143.

2 Consumer Intelligence conducted the Christmas spending online research study (of 2,028 UK adults who were either married or in relationships) between 5 and 9 November 2015 on behalf of MBNA and the Everyday Plus Credit Card. 

3 Infographic (attached): “Men vs. Women – The great Christmas spending divide” shows the top gifts being bought by men and women during the festive period in 2015

4 Cost comparison based on cost of borrowing £2,500 for 6 weeks (42 days) – Everyday Plus Credit Card from MBNA (actual cost £21.28) v Barclays authorised overdraft (actual cost £126) – Independent research and calculations provided by on 5 November 2015.