American Express

American Express

December 07, 2011 12:25 ET

The Politics of Present Giving 2011: The Year of Secret Santa

- One In Four People to Employ 'Secret Santa' to Help Keep Costs Down

- Two-Thirds to Put Financial Cap on Present Buying for Loved Ones

- However, Trend Data Suggests People Will Still Spend More This Year Than in Previous Years

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Dec. 7, 2011) - According to new research from American Express Platinum Cashback Credit Card, families are adopting new present buying tactics this year to help keep their Christmas costs down, with one in four people planning to employ a 'Secret Santa' system - selecting just one member of their family or group of friends that they will be responsible for buying a gift for.(1)

Other popular present buying tactics include striking a deal with loved ones to agree a financial limit on what they will spend on each other (68 per cent) and requesting specific gifts from loved ones (38 per cent) to make sure the things they especially want or need end up under their tree this December.

In addition, almost half (48 per cent) will request gift lists from their family and friends to avoid money being spent on unwanted presents, while just over one in three (34 per cent) of people plan to give vouchers or cash to achieve the same results. Just under a quarter (23 per cent) intend taking a more personal approach planning to give something homemade, which they have cooked or crafted themselves.

Julie Hay, Head of Credit Cards at American Express, said: "Christmas 2011 looks set to be the year of tactical gifting. With family finances stretched, people are making strategic choices about their 'must gives' this year. To avoid disappointments or surprises on the big day, they are also making advance agreements with family and friends on ways to collectively reduce financial pressures without compromising on festive spirit.

Spending levels still on the rise

However despite employing such tactics, American Express research on Christmas consumer spending trends has revealed that in comparison to previous years, this Christmas it is expected that people will still be more generous in their spending. The research reveals UK adults plan to spend £364 on average on presents for Christmas 2011, compared to £307 for Christmas 2009, and £260 for Christmas 2007.(2)

While keen to set financial parameters, some of UK adults are still planning on giving generously to those that matter the most this Christmas. A quarter of parents (25 per cent) plan to splash out in excess of £100 on gifts for their children, and a fifth of adults expect to spend more than £100 on their other half.

Julie Hay added: "People are looking to take a more savvy approach to buying presents this year, but the cost of Christmas is still higher than it has been in previous years. To help make spending go further this savvy approach should also be extended to the way in which people pay for goods."

Cashback credit cards offer a great opportunity for consumers who may be facing an expensive Christmas this year offering the chance to recoup some of your expenditure. The American Express Platinum Cashback Card is the only cashback card on the market that where you'll always get at least 1.25 per cent cashback - regardless of how much you spend or what you spend it on.(3)

It is also the only card to offer you the chance of receiving double cashback this time next year, by offering an uncapped loyalty bonus rate of 2.5 per cent in their Card anniversary month - perfectly timed to reward customers next Christmas… and every Christmas thereafter.

The American Express Platinum Cashback Credit Card key product features:

  • 2.5 per cent Cashback (on up to £4,000 spending in the first three months) then spending attracts the on-going flat rate of 1.25 per cent on every full £1 spent per purchase.

  • 2.5 per cent unlimited Cashback in the Card anniversary month (if purchases in excess of £10,001 have been made in preceding 12 months).

  • No minimum or maximum limit on the amounts of Cashback that can be earned after the first three months.

  • Cashback is paid annually in the Card anniversary month.

  • A £25 annual fee is payable at the beginning of each membership year.

  • Representative 18.5 per cent APR variable (includes £25 fee). Purchase interest rate 14 per cent per annum variable.

  • Primary Cardmembers can apply for free Supplementary Credit Cards for friends or family members, meaning more Cashback can be accrued even more quickly.

For more information or to apply for a Card visit:

Notes to Editors

  1. Omnibus research was conducted by 72 Point / One Poll, 2,000 UK adults who celebrate Christmas were surveyed between 21 October and 24 October 2011.
  2. Omnibus research commissioned by American Express in 2007 and 2009.
  3. Cashback is earned on every full £1 spent per purchase on the Card. It is not earned on Cash Advances, balance transfers, American Express Travellers Cheques purchases, Foreign Exchange, interest, fees (including default fees) or any spending in excess of the credit limit.

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About American Express

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