Credit card statistics and trends UK
We look at the latest statistics on credit card ownership and spending in the UK.
If used correctly, credit cards can help you to spread out expenses month by month, earn rewards on day-to-day spending and improve your credit score. However, some people are reluctant to use their cards for fear of getting into debt. We’ve collated the latest statistics on credit card ownership and spending in the UK.
UK credit card statistics: Highlights
- 58.1 million credit cards were in circulation as of August 2023.
- More than two-thirds of UK adults (68%) have a credit card as of November 2023, around 36.2 million people.
- The average transaction value on a credit card is £54.50.
- The average credit card debt per person is £1,264 as of August 2023, up 18% from August 2021.
- Approximately 11.6 million credit card transactions happen per day in 2023.
- The average monthly spend per UK credit card was £354 in August 2023.
- UK residents spent £20.6 billion on credit cards in August 2023.
- On average, people in the UK have 1.7 credit cards.
- Around a quarter of Brits (26%) have 3 to 4 credit cards.
- There are 53 million active credit card accounts as of August 2023, but only 36 million active accounts.
What is the size of the UK credit card market?
As of August 2023, there are an estimated 58.1 million credit cards in the UK, down from 62.8 million in 2021. Over the last year, the number of credit cards in the UK has fluctuated slightly, remaining around the 59 million mark.
People spent £20.6 billion on UK credit cards in August 2023, up from a total spend of just under £17 billion in August 2021.
|Date||Credit cards in issue (millions)||Debit cards in issue(millions)|
How many people have a credit card in the UK?
An estimated 36.2 million people, or 68% of UK adults, have at least one credit card in 2023, according to our recent survey. On average, UK residents have around 1.7 credit cards per person.
What is the average credit card debt in the UK?
The average credit card debt per person is £1,264 as of August 2023, an 18% increase from August 2021. The average credit card debt per household is £2,394 as of August 2023. Outstanding credit card debt in the UK came to £67.3 billion as of August 2023.
How many card transactions happen per day in the UK?
Approximately 11.6 million credit card transactions happen on UK cards per day, including UK holders and overseas. The number of credit card transactions varies month-on-month and, this year, peaked in June 2023, with over 12.2 million credit card transactions.
|Date||Transactions per day|
|August 2023||12.2 million|
|July 2023||12.1 million|
|June 2023||12.3 million|
|May 2023||12.2 million|
|April 2023||10.9 million|
|March 2023||11.1 million|
|February 2023||10.9 million|
|January 2023||10.4 million|
|December 2022||11.5 million|
|November 2022||11.9 million|
|October 2022||11.5 million|
|September 2022||11.3 million|
|August 2022||12.2 million|
What is the average credit card spend per month?
The average monthly spend for a credit card was £354 in August 2023. This is based on £20.6 billion total expenditure over approximately 58.1 million credit cards. This has increased by 24% from August 2021, when the average monthly spend on a credit card was £286.
What is the average credit card purchase value?
The average credit card purchase value is estimated to be £54.50, as of August 2023. Not all credit card expenditure comes from purchases, with some expenditure on cash advances and balance transfers. Since the start of 2021, the average credit card purchase value has increased from just over the £50 mark.
|Date||Average purchase value per month|
How many credit cards does the average person have?
On average, people in the UK have 1.7 credit cards. However, the numbers vary drastically from person to person. According to external research, more than a quarter of Brits (26%) have 3 to 4 cards. Some Brits won’t have a credit card at all!
Credit card usage by age
According to our 2023 survey, 25-34 year-olds are most likely to have a credit card, with three-quarters (75%) of this age group owning one. They are closely followed by 18-24 year-olds, where 74% own a credit card.
Interestingly, those who are aged 45-54 are least likely to have a credit card, as less than two-thirds of this age group (63%) own one.
Those who are younger tend to have a less developed credit history, so more young people may be acquiring credit cards so that they can build their credit score.
Credit card usage by gender
Men are more likely to have a credit card than women, with around 7 in 10 men (71%) owning one compared to 65% of women. Almost half of the men in the UK (48%) will also be using their credit card for Christmas-related purchases in 2023, compared to 4 in 10 women (39%).
- UK Finance
Click here for more research. For all media enquiries, please contact:
More guides on Finder
The history of credit cards
Discover all you ever wanted to know about the history of credit cards.
The Credit Thing card review
Aiming to revolutionise the credit industry with a virtual card, The Credit Thing card is launching in the UK.
How many credit cards should you have?
Thinking about getting another credit card? Having multiple cards can help your finances, but only if you use them correctly.
Best first-time credit cards for beginners
If you’re looking to take out your first credit card, it can be hard to know what to look for. Here’s what you need to do to find the first credit card that’s best for you.
Zopa Credit Card review 2023
Zopa now offers a variable rate credit card along with a fixed-term savings account. See how it compares in our review.
Using a credit card for gambling
Find out how much it could cost to use your credit card for gambling purposes.
What is the most prestigious credit card?
Compare the benefits, features and fees of the world’s most prestigious credit cards to determine if they’re worth the cost.
Metro Bank Credit Card review 2023
Metro Bank’s no-frills card comes with a single competitive rate and no fees on overseas transactions within Europe.
Gold vs platinum credit cards: Which is best?
Gold and platinum credit cards both offer a variety of exclusive perks and features for different costs. Use this guide to compare your options and find the right card for you.