Credit card statistics and trends UK: 2024

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

  • 58.2 million credit cards were in circulation as of October 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.
  • 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 October 2023, there are an estimated 58.2 million credit cards in the UK, down from 60.1 million in October 2022. 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.

Number of credit and debit cards in issue UK 2023
Date Credit cards in issue (millions) Debit cards in issue(millions)
August 2021 59.2 98.2
August 2022 59.9 99.2
August 2023 58.1 101

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.

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.

Number of credit card transactions per day 2023
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.

Average purchase value on credit cards Aug 2021-2023
Date Average purchase value per month
August 2021 £50.7
August 2022 £53.42
August 2023 £54.45

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%).

Sources used

  • UK Finance
  • Forbes

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

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


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