New KBC research shows 7 in 10 own a credit card with 68% using it for major purchases and unexpected expenses

18/08/15

KBC credits customers with extended 4% cash reward offer.

As the trend towards card over cash continues, new research* published today by KBC Bank reveals the latest attitudes and habits among Irish consumers when it comes to using ‘their flexible friend’.  Some 70% of us own a credit card, with almost two-thirds (65%) of 25-40 year olds owning at least one credit card, rising to 74% among consumers over 40 years old.
 
At 85%, the vast majority carry their credit card with them at all times, rising slightly to 87% among younger females in the 25-40 age bracket.  Despite always having their card to hand, almost three quarters (71%) of men and women in this age group admitted they had no idea as to their actual credit card rate. Their older peers aged 40+ were better informed, with almost half (45%) able to recall their current rate off-hand.   
 
Almost four in ten (38%) said they primarily use their credit card to pay for ‘big ticket’ planned purchases, with nearly one third (30%) using it to cover unexpected expenses. The research highlights how male and female attitudes to credit card use differ, with female shoppers in the 25-40 age group more likely to use their card for major (42%) and unplanned buys (34%) than their male counterparts at 29% and 25% respectively.  On the flip side, routine spending was more evident among men with 29% using their credit card primarily to pay for day-to-day expenses versus 14% of their female peers.  Similarly, at 17% male consumers were almost twice as likely to use their credit card to extend their cash flow each month versus a more modest 10% of females. Over half (54%) said that they had used their credit card on their most recent travels instead of having to withdraw or convert to local currency.  This trend was most evident among female holiday-makers at 58%. 
 
With consumers using their credit card to cover a range of purchases, from groceries and petrol to holidays and household goods, KBC has extended its 4% cash reward for those who apply and are approved for a credit card up until the 31st August 2015. This is the only standard credit card in the market that offers cash rewards to holders for their custom. Consumers who take out a new KBC credit card will receive a 4% cash reward for online and grocery purchases* for three months from the card issue date, offering potential savings of up to €40 per month on credit card purchases. KBC’s credit card already offers 0% balance transfers and a competitive rate of 18.25% APR.
 
Those who use their KBC credit card to pay for online and/or grocery items will have their cash reward paid into their KBC credit card account at the end of each month. For example, a customer who spends €1,000 in a month on online and/or grocery purchases would receive €40 (4%) credited to their account. 

Rob Hurley, Director of Consumer Finance, KBC Bank Ireland, said:

"We’ve had a great response from customers to our summer 4% cash reward on credit cards – so much so, that we’ve decided to extend the offer up until 31st August. The potential to save up to €40 per month has really resonated with customers who favour credit card over cash for items such as groceries.  Our research shows that consumers are a diverse bunch, using their credit card to cover everything from big ticket buys to routine spending and foreign travel.  KBC is responding to meet consumer trends and needs with a standard credit card that offers customers market leading rates, practical features and genuine rewards."

 
KBC’s new research shows that when it comes to payment, almost two-thirds (60%) normally clear their credit card bill in full each month, with men in the 25-40 year old age group most likely to do so at 66%.  An additional 5% said they pay about half their bill each time, while a further 8% reported paying just the minimum.  Interestingly, a significant number take a wait and see approach with more than one in four (27%) saying that the amount they pay off depends on their cash flow that month.  This was particularly evident among younger female credit card holders at 32%. 
 
While the dos and don’ts of credit card security are widely known, one in ten confessed to letting their credit card out of sight when handing it over in shops or restaurants. A further 9% admitted to storing the PIN for their credit card in their mobile phone! There were further confessions as 5% of males and 11% of females aged 25-40 admitted to keeping their partner in the dark by hiding credit card statements from their other half.  Just 8% said they had cut up their card in the past or hidden it away in an effort to control their spending!   
 
For further information and details on how to apply, call 1800 51 52 53, visit kbc.ie or drop into any KBC hub.