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

  • 58.5 million credit cards were in circulation as of January 2024.
  • 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 £59.
  • Approximately 11.6 million credit card transactions happen per day.
  • The average monthly spend per UK credit card was £348 in January 2024 2023.
  • UK residents spent £20.4 billion on credit cards in January 2023.
  • On average, people in the UK have 1.7 credit cards.
  • There are 53.2 million credit card accounts as of January 2024, but only 36.5 million active accounts.

What is the size of the UK credit card market?

As of January 2024, there are an estimated 58.5 million credit cards in the UK, down from 58.6 million in January 2023. Over the last year, the number of credit cards in the UK has fluctuated slightly, remaining around the 59 million mark.

People spent £20.4 billion on UK credit cards in January 2024, up from a total spend of around £18.8 billion in January 2023.

Number of credit and debit cards in issue UK
Month Number of credit cards Number of debit cards
January 2024 58,462,000 101,678,000
January 2023 58,655,000 100,186,000
January 2022 59,895,000 96,825,000
January 2021 62,778,000 92,210,000

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 November 2023, with around 12.6 million credit card transactions – likely higher due to Christmas spending!

Number of credit card transactions per day
Month Number of daily credit card transactions
Jan 2024 11.2 million
Dec 2023 11.9 million
Nov 2023 12.6 million
Oct 2023 12.1 million
Sep 2023 11.8 million
Aug 2023 12.1 million
Jul 2023 12 million
Jun 2023 12.2 million
May 2023 12.2 million
Apr 2023 10.8 million
Mar 2023 11.1 million
Feb 2023 10.8 million
Jan 2023 10.3 million

What is the average credit card spend per month?

The average monthly spend on a credit card is £348, as of January 2024. This has doubled since January 2021, when the average monthly spend on a credit card was just £171.

Average monthly spend on credit cards
Month Average monthly credit card spend
January 2024 £348
January 2023 £321
January 2022 £270
January 2021 £171

What is the average credit card purchase value?

The average credit card purchase value is estimated to be £59 as of January 2024. Not all credit card expenditure comes from purchases, with some expenditure on cash advances and balance transfers.

While the overall value of transactions on credit cards has increased, so has the number of transactions, leading to just a slight increase in the average purchase value, from £55 in January 2021 to £59 in January 2024.

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 don’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.

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

Matt Mckenna
UK Head of Communications
T: +44 20 8191 8806

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Written by


Emily Herring is a Publisher at Finder specialising in credit-based products including credit cards and business and personal loans. Emily has recently joined the Investments team. She has a Masters in Creative Writing & Publishing and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication & Media. See full bio

Emily's expertise
Emily has written 133 Finder guides across topics including:
  • Loans & credit cards
  • Building credit
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Matteo's expertise
Matteo has written 25 Finder guides across topics including:
  • Publishing original personal finance research
  • Creating data-led statistics pages to highlight industry trends
  • Creating unique and original data stories
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