MBNA reveals top tips for stress-free Christmas shopping

12 December 2017

  • Saturday 16 December 2017 likely to be the day most Britons buy their festive gifts.
  • The great British Christmas food shop predicted to be Saturday 23 December.

Credit Card expert, MBNA, predicts the busiest shopping day over the Christmas period will be on Saturday 16 December.

The last Saturday before Christmas has been the busiest shopping day for two years running, excluding supermarkets. This year, the last Saturday before Christmas is 23 December, which may be a bit too close to the main event for many.

Saturday 23 December is though tipped to be the day most shoppers will do their Christmas food shop. According to MBNA’s credit card analysis, over the past 2 years, 23 December has been the day that’s seen the highest number of credit card purchases in the nation’s supermarkets.

But it’s not just food and presents that lead the last minute scramble - people buy Christmas cards later than you might think. Our data shows that last year there were more purchases in high street card retailers on Saturday 17 December, than on any other day. Our prediction therefore is that the busiest day for Christmas card shopping will be Saturday 16 December.

Richard Whatmough, Marketing and Digital Executive at MBNA said: “Christmas is always a busy time for shopping. Our data shows the days you may wish to avoid if you can to take some of the stress out of getting those Christmas essentials. With a little bit of planning you can have a merry time rather than waiting in line as you’re doing your Christmas shopping.” 

A checklist for a stress-free Christmas

Top tips on how to beat the rush:

  • Try to buy your Christmas gifts during the week, rather than leaving it to the weekend when shops will be at their busiest.
  • Consider doing your big Christmas food shop on Thursday 21 or Friday 22 December – while the supermarkets will still be busy, chances are they won’t be as hectic as the days that follow. Drawing up a meal plan for Christmas week can also cut down on food waste.
  • Consider buying your Christmas shopping online. Get your orders in early to avoid disappointment.
  • Don’t miss the last Christmas post. Send second-class cards by Wednesday 20 December, and first-class cards by Thursday 21 December – they’re the Post Office’s recommended last posting dates.
  • Give a little thought to taking the stress (and cost) out of Christmas 2018 – buy your cards and wrapping in this year’s sales!

Our predictions were based on analysis of 14,637,388 customer transactions in December 2015 and December 2016. For more information, visit The MBNA Blog on the company’s website.