Generous grandparents spending £1.4bn on grandchildren this Christmas

Tuesday 15 November 2016

• Grandparents typically buy two presents per grandchild
• Almost half of Christmas present spending is on a credit card

Grandparents are gearing up to spoil their grandchildren to the tune of £1.4bn this Christmas according to research by Saga Money.  The UKs over 50s have on average three grandchildren and are looking to spend £65 on each one of them as the build up to Christmas begins.

When comparing Christmas past and present, almost 90% of grandparents agree that children expect much more expensive presents than they did when they were children and a similar number agree that Christmas has become too commercialised, however this does not mean that they do not enjoy lavishing gifts on their family.  More than half say they love being able to spend money on their family at Christmas and two thirds say they can afford to spend more on their family now than when they were younger.

Further evidence of the changing times comes when comparing the amount of presents they got from their own grandparents.  A quarter of people in their nineties say that they did not get any presents from their grandparents when they were a child, just one in 10 people in their fifties says the same.   Whilst today’s grandparents typically received one present from their own grandparents, they are looking at giving two or more presents to their younger family members, in fact nearly four in ten say they will be putting three or more gifts under the tree for their lucky grandchildren.

The most generous grandparents live in London and Scotland, spending more than £75 on each grandchild. One in twenty grandparents say they will spend more than £100 on each grandchild.

It seems that credit cards hold the key to Christmas for Britain’s over 50s, almost half of their present spending will be done on plastic, perhaps as they continue more than ever to shop online and because of the additional protection they receive when paying by credit card.
But it’s not just presents which are paid for on plastic, a third of Christmas food and drink shopping will be paid for by credit card as will 20% of spending on socialising over the festive season, this is further evidence of the increasing number of older people embracing the ease of using a credit card to help manage their money.

Jeff Bromage from Saga Credit Card commented: “Using a credit card makes buying gifts for children much simpler for many people over 50 who are buying more online.  We see a marked increase in spending in the run up to Christmas, with spend on alcohol doubling, spend on food increasing by 50% and spending in game and toy shops more than doubling.”


Notes to editors

*Populus interviewed 9,560 people aged 50 and over online between 18th and 24th October 2016. Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. For more information visit
**Based on Saga data 

About Saga Platinum Credit Card
The Saga Platinum Credit Card offers a representative APR of 11.9% (variable), 0% foreign transaction fees are applied to purchases worldwide, a 0% interest rate on cash withdrawals for up to 55 days, a 0% balance transfer rate and a 0% interest rate on purchases for the first 9 months**
**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 Fee of 3% applies.

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