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Tymit Study Examines Credit Card Use in Post-Covid Travel

In light of two years of travel restrictions, and against the rising cost of living, over 14 million Brits plan to spend more on their holiday this year, with a tendency among younger generations to finance their experience with the use of unsecured credit. 

This was the primary finding of a recent survey carried out by the challenger credit provider Tymit, which surveyed 2,000 UK residents on the eve of the holiday season to identify their intended spending habits abroad.

The post-Covid travel report explored what UK residents are purchasing abroad, how they are financing their holidays, how many UK holidaymakers overspend, the difference between age groups and gender when it comes to spending and the locations that plan to spend more than pre-pandemic.

According to the findings, 28 per cent plan to spend more on holidays this year, despite the rise in the cost of living. However, 31 per cent intend to finance their travel through the use of credit cards, with younger generations far more likely to finance their travel with unsecured credit.

The research reveals the polarising spending habits between age cohorts. While 40 per cent of Gen Zs (18-24-year-olds) are planning to use a credit card to finance their next trip abroad, just one-fifth of Boomers (55+) plan to do the same.

There are wide gaps between genders when it comes to spending abroad too. Thirty-five per cent of male respondents say they have gone over budget when holidaying abroad, compared to just over a quarter of women claiming the same, suggesting that they are slightly more careful spenders.

How are holidayers using credit cards abroad?

With Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act covering credit card users abroad, it’s unsurprising to see shopping as the most popular credit card purchase whilst overseas at 30 per cent.

Food was the second most popular credit card purchase at 29.7 per cent, indicating that regardless of not needing the same protection, holidayers are feeling safer using their credit card for purchases when dining out.

The third highest spend was on duty-free at 21.2 per cent, followed by spending on tourist attractions at 20.1 per cent.

However, 62 per cent still won’t let staff take their credit card away to pay, as they’re concerned about losing it and being charged.

“After a tough couple of years, Brits are itching to get away, and many clearly plan to use credit to fund their summer holidays,” said Martin Magnone, CEO of Tymit.

“Used wisely, credit cards offer a convenient way to spread the cost with the added security of consumer protections, but too many holidaymakers are still hit by the pitfalls of traditional credit – the hidden fees, loaded exchange rates and minimum payment traps that last long after the journey home,” continues Magnone.

Gender spending

When comparing the data between the genders, it appears that men are much less proficient at money management while on holiday,

The data indicates that men spend around £70 more than women on duty-free; who typically spend around £100. Healthcare spending follows a similar trajectory, with men spending on average £100 more than women at £246.

When keeping track of their spending, the report shows that women keep a closer eye on the figures in their accounts when compared to men. Thirty-six per cent of men admitted that they don’t check how much they are spending or have been charged while on holiday, while just 26 per cent of women admitted the same.

Enjoying international cuisine is a natural highlight of a holiday, however, the data shows that men are slightly more likely to use their credit cards to purchase food, at 34 per cent, while only 30 per cent of women are likely to do the same.

However, men are also much less likely to spend on tourist attractions than women, at 12 vs. 21 per cent respectively.

Generational habits

When comparing the results between the age ranges, it appears that Gen Z is the most likely demographic to fund their travels through a credit card at 42 per cent, while millennials, those aged between 25 and 34, will resort to the ‘bank of mum and dad’ to pay for their holiday.

If you’re over the age of 55, the data suggests that you’ll likely dip into your savings to finance your next holiday, as reported by 62 per cent of respondents in this demographic.


  • Tyler is a fintech journalist with specific interests in online banking and emerging AI technologies. He began his career writing with a plethora of national and international publications.

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