Plastic prevails for everyday purchases

According to the research for the Morgan Stanley Card Index, 55 per cent of all card purchases are for groceries, petrol and home items.

Patrick Muir, marketing director of the Morgan Stanley Credit Card, said: “Credit cards have changed enormously over the years and so has the way that people use them.

“Savvy credit card customers are taking advantage of credit card incentives and beginning to use their cards more and more for everyday purchases.”

Average credit card debt in the second quarter of 2006 is £363 for items for the house and car such as petrol, electrical appliances and bills.

Groceries are expected to account for £315 over the next three months, with 30-somethings adding most to their credit card debt over the coming months.

With a variety of credit card deals available, Mr Muir urged consumers to shop around for credit cards to get the best deal to minimise debt as plastic use becomes more common.