Card spending

Card Spending covers the monthly value and volume of transactions across debit and credit cards, both in the UK, and of UK-issued cards across the world. This data also covers outstanding balances on credit cards, card issuance and contactless payments.

Key data highlights

Updated 18 March 2024

Card transactions by UK cardholders both in the UK and overseas:

  • There were 2.28 billion debit card transactions in December, 2.3 per cent more than in December 2022. The total spend of £68.4 billion was 1.4 per cent lower than December 2022.
  • There were 371.4 million credit card transactions in December, 3.8 per cent more than in December 2022. The total spend of £19.2 billion was 3.7 per cent higher than December 2022.
  • Outstanding balances on credit card accounts have grown by 9.7 per cent over the twelve months to December and 50.1 per cent of outstanding balances incurred interest compared to 50.2 per cent in December 2022.

Card transactions made in the UK by cardholders from both the UK and from overseas countries:

  • There were 2.18 billion debit and credit card transactions in the UK in December, 3.7 per cent more than in December 2022. The total spend of £74.9 billion was 0.1 per cent higher than December 2022.
  • Contactless payments accounted for 63 per cent of all credit card and 75 per cent of all debit card transactions.
  • There were 1.59 billion contactless card transactions in December, 5.1 per cent more than the 1.51 billion in December 2022. The total value of contactless transactions was £27.5 billion in December, a 7.2 per cent increase on £25.7 billion in December 2022.
  • The number of contactless credit card transactions was 8.8 per cent higher than December 2022. The number of contactless debit card transactions was 4.6 per cent higher than December 2022.