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New Report Finds One in Three Fuel Purchases Tops $50

Consumers are making fewer, more expensive trips to stores, Cardlytics data reveals.
Rising gas prices

ATLANTA — One in three fuel purchases are more than $50 thus far in 2022, compared to only 13 percent of these transactions in 2021, according to the Cardlytics "Q1 2022 State of the Spend Report."  

The report also revealed that higher gas prices at the pump has led to fewer, more expensive trips. The gas and convenience sector made up approximately 16.5 percent of customer trips in 2022, a slight decrease from 2021's 17.3 percent. As oil prices increased, so did consumer purchases. As Convenience Store News reported, gasoline prices are approaching the record level set on March 11. The national average for a gallon of gasoline rose to $4.32 on May 9.

With insight into one out of every two debit and credit card swipes in the United States, Cardlytics also found that overall consumer spend was up 7 percent in the first quarter of this year versus the same quarter last year. This marks the highest consumer spending level in four years, despite concerns over record inflation, stated Cardlytics.

The report analyzed purchase insights from the Cardlytics platform between Dec. 30 to March 31. It reveals how consumers are spending across categories including restaurant, direct-to-consumer, travel, grocery, gas and convenience, among others.

A few highlights from the Q1 2022 State of Spend Report show:

  • Travel and entertainment experienced significant growth (54 percent) as consumers began traveling again. This category led consumer spending with year-over-year (YoY) increases among airlines (99 percent), amusement parks (110 percent), concerts and theater (213 percent), cruise lines (345 percent), hotels and lodging (39 percent), museums and parks (55 percent), and travel aggregators and agencies (83 percent).
  • Restaurant and food delivery both saw positive consumer spending. Restaurants had a 16-perent bump, which could be attributed partially to overall price increases.
  • Retail spending is slowing online and in-store. While overall spending across categories is up, and in-store spending has been better than expected, consumers are starting to pull back on retail purchases. The YoY consumer spend growth for 2022 online shopping was up 44 percent versus 2019 and up 31 percent compared to 2020. However, there was no growth in 2022 compared to 2021. For in-store shopping, 2022 growth was 7 percent compared to 2019, 5 percent versus 2020 and 3 percent versus 2021.

"Despite supply chain challenges, ongoing pandemic uncertainty, and record-level inflation, it's clear that consumers are continuing to spend but are also looking for frictionless ways to save," said Cardlytics' Chief Business Officer Ross McNab. "As the economy continues to open and summer approaches, now is an important time for brands to take a closer look at their existing marketing strategies and determine what is really driving moments of impact and measurable incremental return on ad spend and make any adjustments accordingly."

Cardlytics is a digital advertising platform. It partners with financial institutions to run their rewards programs that promote customer loyalty and deepen relationships. Headquartered in Atlanta, Cardlytics has offices in London, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Austin, Detroit and Visakhapatnam.

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