Consumer Payment Card News

Valentine’s Day Loses a Lil Flicker but Eating Out Remains Most Popular Globally

Only about half of Americans will celebrate Valentine’s Day this year but those who do will likely shell out more than $150 with flowers, an evening out and greeting cards topping the must-do list. U.S consumers are projected to spend about $4 billion on jewelry, $3.5 billion on an evening out, $2 billion on clothing about the same as flowers and candy for the February 14th holiday. According to the National Retail Federation, Americans will also spend $1.3 billion on gift cards and nearly $1 billion on greeting cards.

Valentine's Day 2019

Europeans love to spend on restaurants and hotel during the Valentine’s Day period. Canadians also spend mostly on eating out for Valentine’s Day. In Asia Pacific, consumers spend most of their Valentine’s Day budget on hotels. Latin America lovers favor flowers and splashing out on jewelry for Valentine’s Day. In the Middle East couples love hotels, followed by jewelry and flowers.

Globally, spending patterns indicate a trend moving towards special nights out or experiences for Valentine’s Day. In the U.S., overall credit card purchases remain strong, according to CardData.

Mad Rush Day & Returns Day

Mastercard data show the majority of Valentine’s purchases happen during the last minute dash on February 13th, with more than 50 million transactions made globally on that day.

Believe it not, consumers worldwide return most Valentine’s Day gifts on February 17th, according to Worldpay. Clothing proved to be the least appreciated gift among loved ones, with apparel and footwear accounting for 99% of all refunds in the days following Valentine’s.

Even the most experienced couples can struggle to find the perfect style for one another, and with so many different fits and sizes available in clothing, getting the right look may prove to be a potential minefield for those eager to impress admirers.

Sweetheart Swindles

Consumers need to be wary of the inauthentic online relationships that end up costing victims hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Falling in love with a con artist has consistently been ranked as one of the most expensive scams for victims.

The average loss reported by victims of these scams in 2018 was $18,831, by far the most financially devastating of the scams reported to National Consumers League. 

In a typical romance scam, victims are approached online, through a dating website, a social media platform such as Facebook, or another type of online forum. Scammers go to great lengths to cultivate romantic interest with their victims

After the swindler builds trust, they then convince victims to send money, sometimes days or even months into the new ‘relationship.
Once a sense of trust is developed, the con artist asks for money to be sent to help them out of a dangerous or difficult situation.

Scammers often run the same game on multiple victims at once, claiming that they need money to come visit their new friend-victim, or for medical bills, legal help, or some other unexpected emergency. If the victim agrees to pay, there are inevitably additional requests for money to cover other fictitious expenses until the victim comes to realize it is a scam and stops paying, or worse, runs out of money to give.