Vast Majority of Shoppers will Spend the Same Amount or More on Holidays This Year Despite Pandemic, CardRatings Finds

After 10 months of the coronavirus pandemic wreaking havoc on the American economy, a new Survey from CardRatings.com shows consumers are determined to move forward with their normal holiday shopping budgets.

The credit card ratings site polled 1,000 Americans nationwide about how they plan to pay for holiday gifts and if COVID-19 has affected their shopping in its second annual holiday survey.

The analysis shows American shoppers will not let the pandemic upend their typical holiday spend.

Pandemic Not Affecting Financial Spend on Presents

Nearly 3 out of 4 shoppers surveyed plan to spend more or the same amount as last year on holiday shopping (72%), while 51% of respondents plan to spend about the same and 21% expect to spend more on holiday shopping.

Less than one-third indicate they will spend less per person this year compared to 2019 (28%)

The average total gift amount per person is about $133

The shoppers surveyed plan to spend an average of $710 this year and the majority report they do not feel pressure to spend beyond their means (73%).

However, about 27% of respondents say they do feel pressure. While this is slightly less than last year’s survey, which found one-third felt pressured to spend beyond their means, it’s more than one out of four shoppers. 

“What we don’t want to see is consumers spending more than their bank accounts allow. One way to curtail this is to create a budget in advance,” remarks Jennifer Doss, an editor for CardRatings. “We want consumers to shop smart: stick to a budget, use a shopping portal like Rakuten and pay with the best credit cards for their lifestyle. That way they’ll get the most out of their rewards. “

Recession Will Not Delay Holiday Credit Card Debt Payoff

The majority of respondents, 66%, expect to pay off their debts throughout the holiday season; this means consumers who use their credit cards to finance gift purchases will not carry a balance into the new year and will not have to resort to high interest loans to pay it off.

Unfortunately, 17% of respondents who usually pay off their credit card balance expect to carry one this holiday season and pay it off over time.

“That number is about the same as last year’s analysis. While shoppers can use their credit cards to rack up rewards, they may want to find out how long it will take to pay off those Christmas presents before they swipe their cards. We have a credit card payoff calculator where they can figure out how long it will take in three simple steps.”

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