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Credit card spending could rise as online shopping grows in popularity

02 December 2010 - 14:28 by Graham Miller

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There are fears that UK consumers could pile on the debt by using their credit cards when enjoying safe shopping online, according to the latest figures.

Close to six million people in the UK buy goods and services on the internet using credit cards to make the payments and among this group almost a fifth spend more than £1000 each month on credit card purchases.

This data comes from Sainsbury's Finance, which also concluded in a recent report that on average, credit card users spend £192 online with each transaction. This figure is slightly skewed by particularly rapacious spenders, as a closer look shows that over 66 per cent of credit card customers shell out under £100 online.

Stuart McKeggie, spokesperson for Sainsbury's Finance, explained that with the current boom in safe shopping online, many had been taken by surprise with just how popular it has become. He stated that seven per cent of consumers who own a credit card do not use it during online shopping, which he believes to be a very small proportion and indicative of how accepted this is as a practice.

Debt advice expert, David Rodger, said that cutting down on credit card usage was set to be a key message for consumers to absorb as Christmas approaches this year, particularly if people want to keep out of financial bother as 2011 begins.

One significant benefit of using a credit card to make a purchase online is that many operators will guarantee the funds, so that if you are ripped off you can claim back the money. Greater protection against fraud and compensation in the event of it are also offered by certain providers, although reading the small print is essential to avoid disappointment.