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COVID-19: Shift in shopping habits may be permanent

By The IJ Staff | August 19 2020 02:26PM

Photo: Freepik

A growing number of Canadians are using e-commerce and contactless payments during the current pandemic and 68 per cent say they continue to plan on shopping this way afterwards, suggesting a permanent shift in Canadian mindset and behaviour, says a report by comparison website RATESDOTCA.

As these trends emerge, Canadians should evaluate whether their credit cards are offering the best value for their lifestyle and habits, it says.

Just over half (53 per cent) of respondents say their average monthly spending on groceries or food delivery has increased since the COVID-19 onset, with Ontario (60 per cent), Alberta (59 per cent) and British Columbia (57 per cent) leading the way. Of those who increased their grocery spending, 81 per cent saw a hike of under $200, while 19 per cent say they are spending $200 or more than they would have before the pandemic took hold. 

"Canadians' increase of credit card use is really two-fold; firstly they provide a safe contactless payment option in-store, and secondly it adds an extra layer of protection when shopping online, so it's not surprising that more people are choosing this method during COVID-19," said Sara Kesheh, vice-president, Money, RATESDOTCA.

"It's important now more than ever to evaluate what cards we have in our wallet. Recognizing changes in lifestyle and spending habits and understanding and leveraging the benefits from credit card rewards are all excellent reasons to assess whether your credit cards are providing you with the best possible value."

But she said she found it surprising that only 11 per cent of Canadians would consider evaluating their credit card options following a change in lifestyle, spending habits or financial circumstance.

Other results of the survey show:

  • 28 per cent of Canadians would consider getting a new credit card if there was an appealing welcome offer.

  • Two in 10 Canadians (20 per cent) saw their average monthly spending on technology or connectivity increase.

  • Quebecers were more likely to increase their monthly spending by $200 or more on home furnishings than the rest of Canada, at 12 per cent and six per cent respectively.

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