UK credit card statistics 2019

Discover how credit cards are used in the UK

Last updated:

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If used correctly, credit cards offer an easy and affordable way to spread out expenses month by month or to earn rewards on day-to-day spending. However, some people don’t like the idea of going into debt at all, and others, while having a credit card, are reluctant to use it.

We’ve taken a look at the data to see how many Brits own a credit card, how much they spend on them and whether credit cards are more common than 10 years ago.

The latest facts and figures

Number of card holders

UK residents are more likely to own a debit card than a credit card. In July 2019, there were 61.9 million credit cards issued to UK residents, and 97.3 million debit cards issued. In other words, people are 57% more likely to own a debit card. The total number of cards issued has risen from 158.9 million in 2018 to 159.2 million in 2019.

2018 2019
Debit cards 98,488,000 98,632,000
Credit cards 59,156,000 60,107,000
Total 157,644,000 158,739,000

Credit card and debit card transactions

Volume of transactions

People tend to spend more time on a debit card than on a credit card, with Brits making 1.3 billion debit card transactions compared to 342 million credit card transactions in July 2019. In comparison with July 2018, credit card transaction volumes have gone up by 2.7% (+9 million) and debit card transaction volume has risen by 6.5% (+79 million).

Debit & credit card volume of transactions 2018 Debit & credit card volume of transactions 2019 Debit cards 2018 Debit cards 2019 Credit cards 2018 Credit cards 2019
Total 1,444,000,000 1,621,000,000 1,130,000,000 1,283,000,000 314,000,000 337,000,000
Of which online 203,000,000 229,000,000 122,000,000 145,000,000 80,000,000 84,000,000
Of which contactless 537,000,000 642,000,000 463,000,000 547,000,000 74,000,000 95,000,000

In July 2019, the average Brit made 31 transactions, of which 25 were on a debit card and 7 were on a credit card. Both online and contactless transactions were more popular on debit cards, with the average Brit making 3 online and 12 contactless transactions on a debit card compared to 1 online and 3 contactless transactions on a credit card.

Transaction values

The average purchase via credit card is £54.09, 68% higher than the debit card’s average of £32.19. Contactless purchases are also higher on a credit card, with an average value of £10.27 per transaction on credit card compared to £9.26 per transaction on debit card. However, when it comes to online purchases, the average transaction is higher on a debit card (£86.37 per transaction) compared to credit cards (£54.09 per transaction).

2019 Average transaction spend Average transaction online Average contactless transaction
Debit and Credit card £36.76 £82.58 £9.40
Debit cards £32.19 £86.37 £9.26
Credit cards £54.09 £76.11 £10.27
2018 Average transaction spend Average transaction online Average contactless transaction
Debit and Credit card £39.12 £81.85 £9.39
Debit cards £34.73 £90.56 £9.27
Credit cards £55.15 £68.37 £10.07
Total transaction spend (billions) Total transaction online (billions) Total contactless transaction (billions)
Debit and credit card £60.18 £18.58 £7.20
Debit card £41.68 £12.26 £5.99
Credit card £18.50 £6.32 £1.21

Overall, Brits preferred spending on debit cards, with total transactions in July 2019 on debit card coming to £41.6 billion compared to £18.5 billion on credit card. Total spending on debit and credit cards is down 0.69% from July 2018, made up of a decrease of 1.3% in debit card spending and an increase of 0.72% in credit card spending. One of the biggest spending trends is more contactless transactions, which have increased by 17.97% since July 2018.

Average credit card debt

In February 2019 the total credit card debt in the UK was £72.6 billion. This equates to £2,649 credit card debt per household and £1,386 per adult. This is a £1.8 billion increase from February 2018.

Monthly credit card spending 1993-2019

Month Lending amount (billions)
4/30/1993 £2.895
5/31/1993 £2.730
6/30/1993 £3.273
7/31/1993 £3.106
8/31/1993 £3.054
9/30/1993 £3.197
10/31/1993 £2.920
11/30/1993 £3.312
12/31/1993 £3.798
1/31/1994 £3.008
2/28/1994 £2.702
3/31/1994 £3.306
4/30/1994 £3.086
5/31/1994 £3.249
6/30/1994 £3.577
7/31/1994 £3.400
8/31/1994 £3.714
9/30/1994 £3.547
10/31/1994 £3.390
11/30/1994 £3.752
12/31/1994 £4.309
1/31/1995 £3.577
2/28/1995 £3.235
3/31/1995 £3.821
4/30/1995 £3.675
5/31/1995 £4.153
6/30/1995 £4.093
7/31/1995 £4.074
8/31/1995 £4.115
9/30/1995 £3.941
10/31/1995 £4.165
11/30/1995 £4.189
12/31/1995 £4.657
1/31/1996 £4.244
2/29/1996 £3.795
3/31/1996 £4.015
4/30/1996 £4.548
5/31/1996 £4.697
6/30/1996 £4.327
7/31/1996 £5.062
8/31/1996 £4.590
9/30/1996 £4.527
10/31/1996 £4.926
11/30/1996 £4.694
12/31/1996 £5.666
1/31/1997 £4.545
2/28/1997 £4.161
3/31/1997 £4.404
4/30/1997 £5.166
5/31/1997 £4.903
6/30/1997 £5.098
7/31/1997 £5.423
8/31/1997 £4.838
9/30/1997 £5.105
10/31/1997 £5.246
11/30/1997 £4.952
12/31/1997 £6.415
1/31/1998 £4.717
2/28/1998 £4.489
3/31/1998 £5.305
4/30/1998 £5.347
5/31/1998 £5.230
6/30/1998 £5.779
7/31/1998 £5.955
8/31/1998 £5.403
9/30/1998 £5.795
10/31/1998 £5.627
11/30/1998 £5.931
12/31/1998 £6.821
1/31/1999 £5.888
2/28/1999 £5.762
3/31/1999 £6.984
4/30/1999 £6.607
5/31/1999 £6.482
6/30/1999 £7.290
7/31/1999 £7.374
8/31/1999 £7.271
9/30/1999 £7.053
10/31/1999 £6.823
11/30/1999 £7.918
12/31/1999 £8.500
1/31/2000 £6.953
2/29/2000 £7.268
3/31/2000 £7.866
4/30/2000 £7.155
5/31/2000 £8.558
6/30/2000 £8.151
7/31/2000 £8.512
8/31/2000 £8.595
9/30/2000 £7.651
10/31/2000 £8.448
11/30/2000 £8.537
12/31/2000 £9.067
1/31/2001 £8.397
2/28/2001 £7.517
3/31/2001 £8.050
4/30/2001 £8.543
5/31/2001 £8.825
6/30/2001 £8.425
7/31/2001 £9.210
8/31/2001 £8.798
9/30/2001 £7.988
10/31/2001 £9.290
11/30/2001 £9.276
12/31/2001 £10.166
1/31/2002 £8.899
2/28/2002 £8.413
3/31/2002 £8.835
4/30/2002 £9.920
5/31/2002 £10.087
6/30/2002 £8.936
7/31/2002 £10.552
8/31/2002 £9.697
9/30/2002 £9.804
10/31/2002 £10.240
11/30/2002 £9.927
12/31/2002 £11.750
1/31/2003 £10.245
2/28/2003 £8.670
3/31/2003 £9.570
4/30/2003 £9.971
5/31/2003 £10.021
6/30/2003 £10.546
7/31/2003 £11.333
8/31/2003 £9.997
9/30/2003 £10.999
10/31/2003 £10.988
11/30/2003 £10.176
12/31/2003 £12.475
1/31/2004 £10.135
2/29/2004 £9.806
3/31/2004 £11.722
4/30/2004 £10.596
5/31/2004 £10.505
6/30/2004 £11.625
7/31/2004 £11.452
8/31/2004 £11.550
9/30/2004 £11.199
10/31/2004 £10.663
11/30/2004 £11.938
12/31/2004 £12.357
1/31/2005 £10.710
2/28/2005 £10.109
3/31/2005 £11.205
4/30/2005 £10.346
5/31/2005 £11.396
6/30/2005 £11.147
7/31/2005 £10.772
8/31/2005 £11.885
9/30/2005 £10.925
10/31/2005 £10.984
11/30/2005 £11.361
12/31/2005 £11.603
1/31/2006 £11.071
2/28/2006 £9.670
3/31/2006 £10.523
4/30/2006 £9.629
5/31/2006 £11.172
6/30/2006 £10.556
7/31/2006 £10.565
8/31/2006 £10.624
9/30/2006 £10.024
10/31/2006 £10.845
11/30/2006 £10.780
12/31/2006 £11.204
1/31/2007 £10.714
2/28/2007 £9.148
3/31/2007 £10.331
4/30/2007 £10.058
5/31/2007 £10.895
6/30/2007 £10.302
7/31/2007 £11.352
8/31/2007 £10.861
9/30/2007 £9.986
10/31/2007 £11.528
11/30/2007 £11.336
12/31/2007 £12.034
1/31/2008 £11.111
2/29/2008 £10.433
3/31/2008 £10.588
4/30/2008 £10.846
5/31/2008 £10.981
6/30/2008 £11.066
7/31/2008 £11.445
8/31/2008 £10.516
9/30/2008 £11.301
10/31/2008 £11.019
11/30/2008 £10.138
12/31/2008 £12.164
1/31/2009 £9.660
2/28/2009 £8.911
3/31/2009 £10.486
4/30/2009 £9.840
5/31/2009 £9.642
6/30/2009 £10.484
7/31/2009 £10.531
8/31/2009 £9.604
9/30/2009 £10.407
10/31/2009 £9.903
11/30/2009 £10.483
12/31/2009 £11.425
1/31/2010 £9.426
2/28/2010 £9.617
3/31/2010 £11.397
4/30/2010 £10.479
5/31/2010 £10.364
6/30/2010 £11.339
7/31/2010 £11.077
8/31/2010 £11.334
9/30/2010 £11.026
10/31/2010 £10.548
11/30/2010 £12.011
12/31/2010 £12.295
1/31/2011 £10.662
2/28/2011 £10.108
3/31/2011 £11.418
4/30/2011 £10.656
5/31/2011 £11.720
6/30/2011 £11.523
7/31/2011 £11.305
8/31/2011 £12.058
9/30/2011 £11.354
10/31/2011 £11.277
11/30/2011 £11.572
12/31/2011 £12.352
1/31/2012 £11.232
2/29/2012 £10.382
3/31/2012 £11.347
4/30/2012 £11.255
5/31/2012 £11.783
6/30/2012 £11.076
7/31/2012 £12.004
8/31/2012 £11.645
9/30/2012 £11.032
10/31/2012 £12.330
11/30/2012 £12.137
12/31/2012 £12.884
1/31/2013 £11.932
2/28/2013 £11.007
3/31/2013 £11.709
4/30/2013 £12.602
5/31/2013 £12.781
6/30/2013 £12.045
7/31/2013 £13.797
8/31/2013 £12.907
9/30/2013 £13.023
10/31/2013 £13.113
11/30/2013 £13.076
12/31/2013 £14.399
1/31/2014 £12.934
2/28/2014 £11.593
3/31/2014 £12.912
4/30/2014 £12.754
5/31/2014 £13.073
6/30/2014 £13.212
7/31/2014 £13.529
8/31/2014 £12.764
9/30/2014 £13.561
10/31/2014 £14.373
11/30/2014 £13.889
12/31/2014 £16.379
1/31/2015 £13.619
2/28/2015 £12.759
3/31/2015 £14.572
4/30/2015 £14.015
5/31/2015 £13.999
6/30/2015 £15.208
7/31/2015 £15.089
8/31/2015 £14.411
9/30/2015 £14.856
10/31/2015 £14.531
11/30/2015 £15.588
12/31/2015 £16.257
1/31/2016 £14.079
2/29/2016 £14.562
3/31/2016 £14.976
4/30/2016 £14.516
5/31/2016 £15.611
6/30/2016 £15.114
7/31/2016 £15.014
8/31/2016 £16.143
9/30/2016 £15.291
10/31/2016 £15.630
11/30/2016 £16.276
12/31/2016 £16.428
1/31/2017 £15.911
2/28/2017 £14.238
3/31/2017 £15.927
4/30/2017 £14.973
5/31/2017 £16.898
6/30/2017 £16.047
7/31/2017 £16.610
8/31/2017 £16.409
9/30/2017 £15.690
10/31/2017 £16.623
11/30/2017 £17.263
12/31/2017 £16.768
1/31/2018 £17.226
2/28/2018 £15.001
3/31/2018 £16.256
4/30/2018 £17.104
9/30/2018 £16.368
10/31/2018 £18.450
11/30/2018 £18.391
12/31/2018 £18.157
1/31/2019 £17.612
2/28/2019 £15.744

Total credit card spending has been on a steady upward climb since 1993. October 2018 saw the biggest month on record with £18.45 billion spent, over six times the amount spent in October 1993, £2.92 billion. As well as this general increasing trend, each year follows a distinct pattern, having a sharp increase in credit card spending in the months leading up to Christmas, followed by a steep drop around February.

Lending and repayments (seasonally adjusted) 1997-2019

Month Lending (£ billion) Repayments (£ billion)
Oct 1997 £5.17 £5.00
Nov 1997 £5.18 £5.10
Dec 1997 £5.26 £5.13
Jan 1998 £5.17 £4.96
Feb 1998 £5.20 £5.18
Mar 1998 £5.31 £5.13
Apr 1998 £5.43 £5.31
May 1998 £5.43 £5.55
Jun 1998 £5.45 £5.25
Jul 1998 £5.53 £5.42
Aug 1998 £5.53 £5.37
Sep 1998 £5.87 £5.54
Oct 1998 £5.78 £5.73
Nov 1998 £5.79 £5.51
Dec 1998 £5.81 £5.69
Jan 1999 £6.62 £5.62
Feb 1999 £6.62 £5.81
Mar 1999 £6.74 £5.80
Apr 1999 £6.73 £5.77
May 1999 £6.57 £6.01
Jun 1999 £7.07 £6.10
Jul 1999 £7.15 £6.13
Aug 1999 £7.09 £6.15
Sep 1999 £7.24 £6.37
Oct 1999 £7.20 £6.37
Nov 1999 £7.43 £6.55
Dec 1999 £7.32 £6.02
Jan 2000 £7.60 £6.73
Feb 2000 £7.89 £6.84
Mar 2000 £7.88 £6.75
Apr 2000 £7.82 £7.04
May 2000 £8.01 £6.83
Jun 2000 £8.02 £7.09
Jul 2000 £8.27 £7.14
Aug 2000 £8.38 £7.32
Sep 2000 £8.10 £7.17
Oct 2000 £8.31 £7.21
Nov 2000 £8.32 £7.37
Dec 2000 £8.39 £7.32
Jan 2001 £8.43 £7.51
Feb 2001 £8.49 £7.30
Mar 2001 £8.40 £7.67
Apr 2001 £8.77 £7.54
May 2001 £8.54 £7.64
Jun 2001 £8.59 £7.71
Jul 2001 £8.57 £7.76
Aug 2001 £8.62 £7.86
Sep 2001 £8.70 £7.88
Oct 2001 £8.82 £8.02
Nov 2001 £9.06 £7.93
Dec 2001 £9.24 £7.94
Jan 2002 £9.17 £8.15
Feb 2002 £9.45 £8.16
Mar 2002 £9.60 £8.64
Apr 2002 £9.68 £8.49
May 2002 £9.83 £8.82
Jun 2002 £9.42 £8.52
Jul 2002 £9.53 £8.16
Aug 2002 £9.90 £8.62
Sep 2002 £9.96 £8.54
Oct 2002 £10.01 £8.84
Nov 2002 £10.03 £8.74
Dec 2002 £10.26 £9.09
Jan 2003 £10.55 £9.14
Feb 2003 £9.70 £9.09
Mar 2003 £9.94 £9.24
Apr 2003 £10.18 £9.29
May 2003 £10.20 £9.52
Jun 2003 £10.42 £9.52
Jul 2003 £10.63 £9.81
Aug 2003 £10.46 £9.70
Sep 2003 £10.71 £9.95
Oct 2003 £10.75 £9.94
Nov 2003 £10.64 £10.10
Dec 2003 £10.61 £10.23
Jan 2004 £10.81 £10.04
Feb 2004 £10.85 £10.38
Mar 2004 £11.19 £10.00
Apr 2004 £11.01 £10.15
May 2004 £10.71 £10.13
Jun 2004 £11.33 £10.38
Jul 2004 £11.29 £10.32
Aug 2004 £11.27 £10.24
Sep 2004 £11.30 £10.46
Oct 2004 £11.12 £10.38
Nov 2004 £11.23 £10.48
Dec 2004 £10.99 £10.30
Jan 2005 £11.37 £10.32
Feb 2005 £11.27 £10.76
Mar 2005 £11.19 £10.53
Apr 2005 £10.98 £10.54
May 2005 £11.09 £10.54
Jun 2005 £11.03 £10.51
Jul 2005 £10.92 £10.51
Aug 2005 £11.21 £10.64
Sep 2005 £11.01 £10.65
Oct 2005 £11.16 £10.63
Nov 2005 £10.94 £10.60
Dec 2005 £10.80 £10.43
Jan 2006 £11.18 £10.43
Feb 2006 £10.78 £10.54
Mar 2006 £10.36 £10.35
Apr 2006 £10.76 £10.16
May 2006 £10.51 £10.22
Jun 2006 £10.47 £10.29
Jul 2006 £10.48 £10.14
Aug 2006 £10.37 £10.36
Sep 2006 £10.43 £10.10
Oct 2006 £10.51 £10.25
Nov 2006 £10.51 £10.27
Dec 2006 £10.72 £10.17
Jan 2007 £10.47 £10.11
Feb 2007 £10.19 £10.05
Mar 2007 £10.57 £10.27
Apr 2007 £10.50 £10.15
May 2007 £10.57 £10.65
Jun 2007 £10.58 £10.16
Jul 2007 £10.77 £10.17
Aug 2007 £10.67 £10.37
Sep 2007 £10.73 £10.03
Oct 2007 £10.82 £10.32
Nov 2007 £11.03 £10.55
Dec 2007 £11.24 £10.49
Jan 2008 £11.24 £10.75
Feb 2008 £11.13 £10.59
Mar 2008 £11.02 £10.47
Apr 2008 £10.94 £10.59
May 2008 £11.16 £10.36
Jun 2008 £11.00 £10.31
Jul 2008 £10.85 £10.26
Aug 2008 £11.07 £10.20
Sep 2008 £10.93 £10.17
Oct 2008 £10.76 £10.25
Nov 2008 £10.54 £10.03
Dec 2008 £10.49 £10.19
Jan 2009 £10.27 £9.87
Feb 2009 £9.91 £9.80
Mar 2009 £10.23 £9.87
Apr 2009 £10.19 £9.86
May 2009 £10.05 £9.90
Jun 2009 £10.02 £9.71
Jul 2009 £10.04 £9.91
Aug 2009 £9.88 £9.57
Sep 2009 £10.29 £9.71
Oct 2009 £10.11 £9.56
Nov 2009 £10.20 £9.55
Dec 2009 £10.19 £9.50
Jan 2010 £10.29 £10.33
Feb 2010 £10.70 £10.52
Mar 2010 £10.73 £10.62
Apr 2010 £10.83 £10.79
May 2010 £10.55 £10.70
Jun 2010 £11.09 £10.94
Jul 2010 £11.03 £10.84
Aug 2010 £11.13 £10.77
Sep 2010 £11.03 £11.01
Oct 2010 £11.07 £10.79
Nov 2010 £11.24 £11.13
Dec 2010 £11.05 £10.73
Jan 2011 £11.36 £10.73
Feb 2011 £11.25 £10.73
Mar 2011 £11.08 £10.53
Apr 2011 £11.36 £10.50
May 2011 £11.38 £10.93
Jun 2011 £11.42 £10.76
Jul 2011 £11.57 £10.74
Aug 2011 £11.45 £10.89
Sep 2011 £11.35 £10.73
Oct 2011 £11.58 £10.85
Nov 2011 £11.07 £10.67
Dec 2011 £11.59 £11.05
Jan 2012 £11.39 £10.71
Feb 2012 £11.08 £10.78
Mar 2012 £11.54 £10.65
Apr 2012 £11.62 £11.21
May 2012 £11.43 £10.57
Jun 2012 £11.35 £10.66
Jul 2012 £11.47 £10.77
Aug 2012 £11.47 £10.76
Sep 2012 £11.80 £10.68
Oct 2012 £11.69 £10.94
Nov 2012 £11.74 £10.91
Dec 2012 £12.12 £10.87
Jan 2013 £12.03 £9.68
Feb 2013 £12.28 £9.56
Mar 2013 £12.43 £10.05
Apr 2013 £12.30 £10.06
May 2013 £12.44 £9.88
Jun 2013 £12.79 £9.88
Jul 2013 £12.79 £10.52
Aug 2013 £13.23 £10.53
Sep 2013 £13.05 £10.53
Oct 2013 £12.85 £10.24
Nov 2013 £13.04 £10.35
Dec 2013 £12.95 £10.51
Jan 2014 £13.05 £10.43
Feb 2014 £12.93 £10.48
Mar 2014 £13.19 £10.69
Apr 2014 £12.97 £10.50
May 2014 £13.26 £10.75
Jun 2014 £13.15 £10.67
Jul 2014 £12.97 £10.43
Aug 2014 £13.42 £10.63
Sep 2014 £13.09 £10.82
Oct 2014 £14.15 £11.21
Nov 2014 £14.27 £11.55
Dec 2014 £14.31 £11.63
Jan 2015 £14.26 £11.59
Feb 2015 £14.21 £11.66
Mar 2015 £14.26 £11.57
Apr 2015 £14.41 £11.52
May 2015 £14.56 £11.90
Jun 2015 £14.59 £11.88
Jul 2015 £14.53 £11.63
Aug 2015 £14.83 £11.82
Sep 2015 £14.71 £11.92
Oct 2015 £14.90 £11.79
Nov 2015 £14.94 £11.81
Dec 2015 £14.73 £11.59
Jan 2016 £15.05 £11.84
Feb 2016 £15.14 £12.39
Mar 2016 £14.96 £11.60
Apr 2016 £15.13 £12.27
May 2016 £15.13 £11.82
Jun 2016 £15.08 £11.87
Jul 2016 £15.40 £12.10
Aug 2016 £15.39 £12.10
Sep 2016 £15.37 £12.17
Oct 2016 £16.01 £12.34
Nov 2016 £15.34 £11.86
Dec 2016 £15.66 £12.33
Jan 2017 £15.80 £12.42
Feb 2017 £15.80 £12.38
Mar 2017 £15.78 £12.35
Apr 2017 £16.35 £12.58
May 2017 £15.86 £12.56
Jun 2017 £16.04 £12.42
Jul 2017 £16.56 £12.96
Aug 2017 £15.26 £12.58
Sep 2017 £16.31 £12.52
Oct 2017 £16.21 £12.50
Nov 2017 £16.49 £12.51
Dec 2017 £16.40 £12.65
Jan 2018 £16.52 £12.52
Feb 2018 £16.63 £12.59

Lending and repayments closely mirrored each other’s movements up until late 2012, where lending continued to rise while repayments took a plunge. Repayment levels haven’t quite recovered and a significant gap between them and lending remains. In 2018 for example, £222 billion was lent in total via credit cards, while £160 billion was paid back.

Credit card write-offs each quarter, 1993-2018

Date £ Millions
Mar 1993 £16
Jun 1993 £161
Sep 1993 £61
Dec 1993 £45
Mar 1994 £46
Jun 1994 £43
Sep 1994 £47
Dec 1994 £34
Mar 1995 £37
Jun 1995 £33
Sep 1995 £34
Dec 1995 £35
Mar 1996 £37
Jun 1996 £43
Sep 1996 £50
Dec 1996 £65
Mar 1997 £53
Jun 1997 £61
Sep 1997 £63
Dec 1997 £68
Mar 1998 £75
Jun 1998 £70
Sep 1998 £78
Dec 1998 £105
Mar 1999 £100
Jun 1999 £117
Sep 1999 £164
Dec 1999 £109
Mar 2000 £168
Jun 2000 £179
Sep 2000 £173
Dec 2000 £178
Mar 2001 £201
Jun 2001 £226
Sep 2001 £210
Dec 2001 £239
Mar 2002 £264
Jun 2002 £236
Sep 2002 £259
Dec 2002 £301
Mar 2003 £535
Jun 2003 £343
Sep 2003 £322
Dec 2003 £370
Mar 2004 £381
Jun 2004 £361
Sep 2004 £488
Dec 2004 £434
Mar 2005 £494
Jun 2005 £482
Sep 2005 £628
Dec 2005 £581
Mar 2006 £624
Jun 2006 £688
Sep 2006 £738
Dec 2006 £747
Mar 2007 £902
Jun 2007 £819
Sep 2007 £703
Dec 2007 £689
Mar 2008 £680
Jun 2008 £929
Sep 2008 £747
Dec 2008 £844
Mar 2009 £843
Jun 2009 £1,449
Sep 2009 £931
Dec 2009 £894
Mar 2010 £1,254
Jun 2010 £2,138
Sep 2010 £740
Dec 2010 £1,183
Mar 2011 £866
Jun 2011 £1,154
Sep 2011 £716
Dec 2011 £907
Mar 2012 £568
Jun 2012 £567
Sep 2012 £473
Dec 2012 £469
Mar 2013 £385
Jun 2013 £371
Sep 2013 £397
Dec 2013 £560
Mar 2014 £319
Jun 2014 £324
Sep 2014 £308
Dec 2014 £393
Mar 2015 £317
Jun 2015 £217
Sep 2015 £552
Dec 2015 £356
Mar 2016 £320
Jun 2016 £285
Sep 2016 £584
Dec 2016 £394
Mar 2017 £357
Jun 2017 £386
Sep 2017 £361
Dec 2017 £459
Mar 2018 £318
Jun 2018 £309
Sep 2018 £471
Dec 2018 £488

Credit card write-offs saw a steady increase until a huge spike in 2010, reaching a peak of £2.1 billion in June. This figure has generally decreased since, with fluctuations. In Demember 2018, the total amount written off was £412 billion, a decrease of 10.2% compared to Decemember 2017.

Average interest rates on credit card loans, 1999-2019

Month Average interest rate
Jan 1999 17.9%
Feb 1999 17.97%
Mar 1999 17.77%
Apr 1999 17.38%
May 1999 17.15%
Jun 1999 17.02%
Jul 1999 16.68%
Aug 1999 16.68%
Sep 1999 16.73%
Oct 1999 16.56%
Nov 1999 16.73%
Dec 1999 16.53%
Jan 2000 16.62%
Feb 2000 16.66%
Mar 2000 16.39%
Apr 2000 16.42%
May 2000 16.46%
Jun 2000 16.43%
Jul 2000 16.27%
Aug 2000 16.27%
Sep 2000 15.88%
Oct 2000 15.95%
Nov 2000 15.89%
Dec 2000 15.63%
Jan 2001 15.63%
Feb 2001 15.76%
Mar 2001 15.23%
Apr 2001 15.14%
May 2001 14.93%
Jun 2001 14.87%
Jul 2001 14.95%
Aug 2001 14.96%
Sep 2001 15.01%
Oct 2001 15.03%
Nov 2001 14.98%
Dec 2001 15.05%
Jan 2002 14.43%
Feb 2002 14.55%
Mar 2002 14.1%
Apr 2002 14.05%
May 2002 14.01%
Jun 2002 13.86%
Jul 2002 13.79%
Aug 2002 13.81%
Sep 2002 13.95%
Oct 2002 13.9%
Nov 2002 13.99%
Dec 2002 13.89%
Jan 2003 13.97%
Feb 2003 14.14%
Mar 2003 13.73%
Apr 2003 13.82%
May 2003 13.73%
Jun 2003 13.72%
Jul 2003 13.49%
Aug 2003 13.63%
Sep 2003 13.68%
Oct 2003 13.68%
Nov 2003 13.78%
Dec 2003 13.62%
Jan 2004 14.07%
Feb 2004 14.69%
Mar 2004 14.57%
Apr 2004 14.59%
May 2004 14.16%
Jun 2004 14.63%
Jul 2004 14.35%
Aug 2004 14.5%
Sep 2004 14.72%
Oct 2004 14.91%
Nov 2004 15.3%
Dec 2004 14.99%
Jan 2005 15.19%
Feb 2005 15.09%
Mar 2005 14.95%
Apr 2005 14.9%
May 2005 14.82%
Jun 2005 14.89%
Jul 2005 14.98%
Aug 2005 14.83%
Sep 2005 15.13%
Oct 2005 15.17%
Nov 2005 15.31%
Dec 2005 15.44%
Jan 2006 15.51%
Feb 2006 15.68%
Mar 2006 15.18%
Apr 2006 15.5%
May 2006 15.66%
Jun 2006 15.72%
Jul 2006 15.64%
Aug 2006 16.32%
Sep 2006 16.46%
Oct 2006 16.64%
Nov 2006 17.02%
Dec 2006 16.84%
Jan 2007 16.98%
Feb 2007 17.09%
Mar 2007 16.45%
Apr 2007 17.1%
May 2007 16.87%
Jun 2007 17.14%
Jul 2007 17.27%
Aug 2007 17.25%
Sep 2007 17.49%
Oct 2007 17.16%
Nov 2007 17.73%
Dec 2007 17.31%
Jan 2008 17.67%
Feb 2008 17.77%
Mar 2008 17.35%
Apr 2008 17.6%
May 2008 17.46%
Jun 2008 17.48%
Jul 2008 17.45%
Aug 2008 17.54%
Sep 2008 17.7%
Oct 2008 17.89%
Nov 2008 18.01%
Dec 2008 17.43%
Jan 2009 18.12%
Feb 2009 18.13%
Mar 2009 17.82%
Apr 2009 17.93%
May 2009 17.95%
Jun 2009 17.95%
Jul 2009 18%
Aug 2009 18.13%
Sep 2009 18.28%
Oct 2009 18%
Nov 2009 18.33%
Dec 2009 17.76%
Jan 2010 18.36%
Feb 2010 18.5%
Mar 2010 18.24%
Apr 2010 18.5%
May 2010 18.17%
Jun 2010 18.46%
Jul 2010 18.43%
Aug 2010 18.67%
Sep 2010 18.86%
Oct 2010 18.52%
Nov 2010 18.48%
Dec 2010 18.26%
Jan 2011 18.77%
Feb 2011 18.78%
Mar 2011 18.07%
Apr 2011 18.36%
May 2011 18.55%
Jun 2011 18.74%
Jul 2011 18.24%
Aug 2011 18.26%
Sep 2011 18.41%
Oct 2011 18.11%
Nov 2011 18.31%
Dec 2011 18.16%
Jan 2012 18.46%
Feb 2012 18.33%
Mar 2012 17.92%
Apr 2012 18.1%
May 2012 17.96%
Jun 2012 18.21%
Jul 2012 18%
Aug 2012 18.07%
Sep 2012 18.35%
Oct 2012 18.16%
Nov 2012 18.25%
Dec 2012 17.91%
Jan 2013 18.11%
Feb 2013 18.94%
Mar 2013 17.4%
Apr 2013 18.12%
May 2013 17.86%
Jun 2013 18.07%
Jul 2013 17.76%
Aug 2013 17.85%
Sep 2013 18.28%
Oct 2013 17.92%
Nov 2013 18.03%
Dec 2013 17.83%
Jan 2014 17.87%
Feb 2014 18.41%
Mar 2014 17.59%
Apr 2014 17.98%
May 2014 17.81%
Jun 2014 17.96%
Jul 2014 17.69%
Aug 2014 17.79%
Sep 2014 18.03%
Oct 2014 17.85%
Nov 2014 17.99%
Dec 2014 17.67%
Jan 2015 17.91%
Feb 2015 18.63%
Mar 2015 17.85%
Apr 2015 17.93%
May 2015 17.89%
Jun 2015 18.14%
Jul 2015 17.91%
Aug 2015 17.99%
Sep 2015 18.08%
Oct 2015 17.98%
Nov 2015 17.97%
Dec 2015 17.89%
Jan 2016 18.27%
Feb 2016 18.63%
Mar 2016 18.44%
Apr 2016 18.4%
May 2016 18.38%
Jun 2016 18.42%
Jul 2016 18.34%
Aug 2016 18.29%
Sep 2016 18.46%
Oct 2016 18.33%
Nov 2016 18.36%
Dec 2016 18.2%
Jan 2017 18.19%
Feb 2017 18.48%
Mar 2017 18.18%
Apr 2017 18.21%
May 2017 18.21%
Jun 2017 18.33%
Jul 2017 18.23%
Aug 2017 18.07%
Sep 2017 18.2%
Oct 2017 18.17%
Nov 2017 18.25%
Dec 2017 18.17%
Jan 2018 18.6%
Feb 2018 18.5%
Mar 2018 18.48%
Apr 2018 18.26%
May 2018 18.35%
Jun 2018 18.38%
Jul 2018 18.39%
Aug 2018 18.42%
Sep 2018 18.66%
Oct 2018 18.55%
Nov 2018 18.53%
Dec 2018 18.48%
Jan 2019 18.49%
Feb 2019 18.7%

Interest rates on credit card loans have been relatively steady in recent years. Between 1999 and 2003 they decreased consistently, going from a high of 17.97% in February 1999 to a low of 13.49% in July 2003, which is still the month with the lowest average interest rates on record. Since 2008, they’ve generally hovered around 18%. In 2018, the average interest rate was 18.47%, a very slight increase from that of year before (18.22%).

Sources used

Click here for more research. For all media enquiries, please contact:

Matt Mckenna
UK Communications Manager
T: +44 20 8191 8806
matt.mckenna@finder.com@MichHutchison/in/matthewmckenna2

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