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Hotel, transport and travel spend up by 30% y-o-y in 1Q2024 among UOB cardholders

Felicia Tan
Felicia Tan • 2 min read
Hotel, transport and travel spend up by 30% y-o-y in 1Q2024 among UOB cardholders
The same cardholders spent over $30 million on Taylor Swift tickets during the presale, reserved tickets on-sale and general sale. Photo: Bloomberg
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United Overseas Bank’s (UOB) credit and debit cardholders spent over $30 million on tickets to Taylor Swift’s concerts during the UOB presale, reserved tickets on-sale and general sale, says the bank.

Of the total amount, Singapore-registered cards made up the bulk of the spending at almost 75% of the total billings.

Malaysian Swifties were the next, contributing over 10% of total billings while Thai and Indonesian fans claimed over 5% apiece.

Almost a third of UOB cardholders who purchased tickets to Swift’s concerts used cards that were issued outside of Singapore. Nearly 40% of these cardholders were previously customers from Citigroup, which UOB acquired.

Cardholders spend more on hotels, transportation and travel in 1Q2024

In the first quarter of 2024 (1Q2024), from Jan 1 to March 13, UOB saw total card spend in Singapore increase by over 10% y-o-y, with cardholders spending the most on hotels, transportation and travel. These categories registered a 30% y-o-y growth during the same period.

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Spending growth was more pronounced for overseas-issued cards, as total expenses surged by 30% y-o-y in the 1Q2024. Foreign card billings recorded double digit growth across almost all categories. Expenditure for transportation and travel surged by over 55% while retail and clothing grew by over 40% y-o-y. Hotel expenses rose by over 35% y-o-y while food and beverage (F&B) outlets gained over 25% y-o-y, says the bank.

Most of the spending occurred from March 4 to 10, where four of the six Taylor Swift concerts took place in Singapore. During that week, total card spend in Singapore rose by over 35% compared to the week before. Spending across most if not all tourism-related categories also saw a “marked surge”.

Spending at clothing retailers leapt by 85% from a week ago while transportation and travel grew by over 80%. Amusement and entertainment grew by over 50%, while hotels increased by 45%. F&B establishment receipts rose by over 30%. Spending across multiple categories in the Marina Bay precinct and central business district (CBD) as well as locations close to the Singapore Sports Hub outperformed the national levels.

For example, spending at clothing outlets at the Marina Bay and CBD areas soared 130%, transportation and travel jumped close to 80%, amusement and entertainment grew nearly 60% and F&B rose 35%.

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