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Valentine’s Day spending up by 49%

Mastercard data has revealed that spending on loved ones for Valentine’s Day has increased by 49% since 2014.

And whilst the majority of present purchases still happen in person, romantic gestures are becoming increasingly digital – with a 37% increase in the number of e-commerce transactions from Valentine’s Day 2014 to Valentine’s Day 2016.

The data showed that the majority of Valentine’s purchases happen during the last minute dash on February 13th with 47.4 million transactions made globally on this day alone over the past three years.

Whilst sales of traditional Valentine’s gifts such as flowers has remained static over the last three years, spending patterns indicate a trend moving towards special nights out or experiences. Spending in restaurants soared by 102% over the last three years, accounting for 75% of all transactions during the Valentine’s Day period.

Scott Abrahams, Senior Vice President of Business Development, Mastercard UK & Ireland said: “This reflects a general trend we are seeing in our data, that consumers value experiences over material goods far much more than in the past.  It’s a clear sign that this tradition is in no danger of dying out, but it is also a positive indicator for the health of our economy.”

The study, which looked at shopper behaviour in more than 200 territories around the globe, identified some other purchasing trends. 




  • Most of their Valentine’s Day spending goes on hotels – 35%, an increase of 50% in three years
  • Europeans lead the way in terms of spending online compared to other regions, 19% of their Valentine’s Day spending is done online
  • Biggest area of growth in Europe was in restaurants, up by 67% during the Valentine’s Day period in three years


  • Love spending their money on food, 44% goes on restaurants and has seen the biggest growth across all regions since 2014 – up by 130%
  • 90% of their purchasing still takes place in person
  • Spending on hotels was also up by 57% over the three year period on Valentine’s Day


  • Choose to spend the most on restaurants and eating out during Valentine’s Day period – 34%
  • 59% of their spending happens in person (the lowest amount across all regions)

Asia Pacific

  • Spend most of their money on hotels during the Valentine’s period – 37%, an increase of 33% since 2014
  • Do 85% of their Valentine’s Day purchases in person, however online sales have increased by 81% in the last three years

Latin America

  • Biggest growth in terms of online spending, up by 250% in three years
  • Bucked the trend in terms of flowers, seeing massive growth of 271% between 2014-2016
  • Also saw the biggest growth in terms of splashing out on jewelry – up by 66%

Middle East

  • Spend most of their Valentine’s Day budget on hotels (43%) followed by jewellery (22%)
  • Conduct three quarters (75%) of their purchases in person
  • Also bucked the trend in terms of flower sales, up by 22% over the three year period

Mastercard (NYSE: MA) is a technology company in the global payments industry.  We operate the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories.  Mastercard products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, travelling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone.