Press release


Tuesday 19 June 2012

• On-line spend is up by a quarter since 2010
• Biggest increase in on-line transactions is for music and books
• Over 50s still prefer to buy clothes the traditional way

New research based on Saga Platinum credit card spend shows that on-line purchases by the over-50s are up by a quarter (25%) since 2010 and now account for £1 in every £8 spent on the card, compared to £1 in every £13 only two years ago.  The biggest increases are for buying entertainment on-line. 

Older people are using new technology and are keen online shoppers.  More than a quarter (27%**) of the nation’s over 50s say they own a smart phone, iPad or other tablet computer; and it is the popularity of music downloads from sites such as iTunes that is the driving force behind the sevenfold increase in the number of on-line transactions for music. 

The traditional high street clothes shop will be comforted by the fact that clothes shopping is still something people prefer to do in-store, currently only 6% of the over 50s credit card transactions for clothes have been online.  However, the survey is not good news for high street bookshops as Amazon has become a popular site for the over 50s buying books.  On-line spend for books has nearly doubled since 2010.  The trend in book purchases is little and often with people buying a book at a time rather than a selection. 

Over 50s also buy concert tickets on-line and have taken to on-line dating sites as a way of making new friendships – showing that older people like their children and grandchildren also use the web to enhance their social interactions.  Indeed, Saga Zone, the Facebook for the over 50s has seen a 21% increase in subscribers.

The table below shows the change in online entertainment spend among the over 50s:


Percentage Increase (Spend) 

 Percentage Increase (Transactions)

 Average Online Spend 2012 
Music 369% 738%  £5.16 
Video Games 169% 224% £11.58
Books 97% 4436% £20.08
 Dating Services 46% 40% £31.37
Concerts 25% 4% £45.33

 ***Online spend using a Saga Platinum credit card

Roger Ramsden, Chief Executive, Saga Services commented: “Today’s over 50s embrace new technology and are not fearful of it – they are savvy and confident shoppers on-line and enjoy the convenience and ability to shop around at the click of a mouse, and when they use their Saga Platinum credit card they can do so safe in the knowledge that their transactions are safe and sound.”


Notes to Editor
• *Data is based on Saga Platinum credit card customers for the first quarter of 2012 compared to the first quarter of 2010
• **Populus interviewed 11,289 Saga customers, all aged 50 and over, online between 13th and 20th May 2011. Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.
• ***Online spend using a Saga Platinum credit card
• Internet fraud guarantee with the Saga Platinum credit card - customers will not be liable for any purchases made on the internet with their Saga Platinum credit card if the customers details are obtained fraudulently.
• For more information on the Saga Platinum credit card please visit

Saga Platinum credit card
• Policyholders must be aged 50 or over   
• Saga Visa Card offers 11.9% APR (annual percentage rate)   
• 0% Foreign Currency Fees are applied to transactions worldwide*
• 0% on Purchases for the first 9 months*
• 0% on Balance Transfers for the first 9 months (3% fees applies)*

Representative Example: If you had a credit limit on your card of £1,200, you used your full limit to make a single card purchase immediately after receiving your card and you repaid in equal monthly payments over 12 months at an interest rate of 11.3% variable, (Representative 11.9% APR variable), the total amount you will pay back is £1,274.69.

*Introductory Rate charged for the first 9 months on purchases and Balance Transfers from the date the account is opened. At the end of this period the Introductory Rate reverts to the Standard Interest Rate applicable to the product at the time. A Balance Transfer of 3% applies.