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Credit card spending could jump in the next three months

by Peter Andrew

Credit card spending is usually high in the last quarter of each year, but 2013 might see it grow more than normal. The American Express Spending & Saving Tracker study recently asked consumers about their expenditure plans for the fall and holiday seasons, and many reported they'd be splurging on fashion, travel and big-ticket items for their homes.

Spending plans

The American Express research revealed:

  1. More than half of Americans are planning a major purchase before the year's end. Of those, 51 percent expect that big-ticket item to cost $1,000 or more.
  2. Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) say they have plans for fall shopping expeditions, of whom 51 percent intend to make their purchases in department stores. Surprisingly, perhaps, that compares with only 38 percent who anticipate buying online.
  3. More than half expect to take leisure trips before Dec. 31. Of those, 2 in 3 say they're going to spend more on these this year than last.

One driver behind these plans is Americans' growing confidence in their financial stability. A whopping 81 percent of respondents reported feeling equally or more stable in their jobs than they did this time last year.

Credit card companies happy?

Another study published in September, from Auriemma Consulting Group, found a close link between the sort of discretionary spending identified by AmEx and credit card use. Card issuers may therefore be anticipating a bumper final quarter of the year as consumers reach for their travel and rewards credit cards.

Published 10/07/13

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