Savvy over 50s New Year Tips for Credit Card Spending

Research has shown that managing finance is the second most popular New Year’s Resolution among Britons. Among no group is this truer than the over-50s who are turning out to be the most money savvy of generations, according to a new study by Saga personal finance.

The secret seems to be that people over 50 have embraced using a credit card more than most people would imagine and they are very savvy about when and how to use them.  Over 90% of people over 50 say they have at least one card, with over a quarter saying they have three or more cards.

When it comes to using their card, people are switched on about the benefits credit cards give them; a fifth say that they only use their card for larger purchases to take advantage of the protection provided by the Consumer Credit Act and 6% say they only use their credit card to spend abroad, presumably taking advantage of the safety a credit card gives them over cash.

Rather than using cards to pay for things they can’t afford, people over 50 are using cards as a way to manage their money and to make their money work harder for them.  Half of over 50s say that having a credit card helps them manage their money better and a third go as far as to say that a card has revolutionised the way they manage their money.

Many (28%) use their card to avoid spending their savings, this rises to 32% amongst those living in Wales.  Almost 90% of people over 50 appear to use their credit card as a way to manage their money as they pay their credit card off in full each month, although this is much more common amongst those with higher incomes with 92% paying off in full each month compared to just 75% of those in the lowest income bracket.

Perhaps because the majority pay off their balance each month, this age group are less likely to be tempted by balance transfer and 0% offers, which is perhaps why just 10% of over 50s say they switch their card regularly in order to get the best deal. 

They are savvy in other ways though, 55% say they use a credit card to make the most of the interest free period between purchasing an item and the payment due date, showing that they delay using their income or savings to pay for goods, preferring to leave their own money earning interest in their account before paying off each month’s outgoings on the credit card.

Many over 50s do advise caution when it comes to using a credit card, 13% believe that credit cards should only be used in an emergency, this rises to 59% among those who do not have a credit card and 84% of over 50s believe that it is too easy for young people to get into credit card debt these days.

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