Billions spent on festive extras

Published on 1 January 1970 by Raffick Marday

Brits are set to spend over £10 billion on festive ‘hidden extras’ over the Christmas period, research has revealed.

Many people will have budgeted for Christmas, to cover the cost of presents for loved ones, as well as food and drink for Christmas Day.

But research carried out by American Express has shown that the cost of additional festive expenses could cost up to £10.2 billion.

These extras include things like drinks with friends, work parties, festive events like ice skating or carol singing, and travel to visit friends and relatives.

The research has found that UK adults will spend an average of £210 each on these additional activities, on top of what they have budgeted already.

"Costs not traditionally accounted for during the festive season can mount up, whether that is to buy that little black dress for Christmas parties, or to pay for a hotel stay for a New Year's Eve celebration,” said Julie Hay, Head of Credit Cards at American Express.

“Some are hard to predict such as the ‘emergency present' for an unexpected visitor, or an unscheduled outing with work colleagues or friends.”

Around a third of people will fund any extra festive spending using their monthly salary, rather than use credit cards or loans.

But there are a range of credit cards available that can help with the cost of Christmas. Many card companies are offering cash-back incentives during the festive period.

These include Capital One’s World MasterCard, which offers 5.0% cash-back on all purchases, and the American Express Platinum Cash-back credit card.

Mrs Hay added: “By using a rewards credit card to purchase your ‘seasonal trimmings', savvy consumers can benefit from earning cash-back on their spending, which means they can treat themselves the following Christmas or alleviate costs of the festive season next year.”

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