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Smart splurging: Australians adopt savvy spending hacks to sustain travel

The latest spending habits of travellers show they want loyalty points, offers, promotions, brand alignment & sustainability

Australians across all generations are adopting creative spending strategies to continue to enjoy the experiences and purchases they love, despite cost-of-living pressures the latest American Express’ global Trendex found.

Cashing in loyalty points to pay for vacations, booking off-peak dinner reservations, and renting, rather than purchasing luxury goods are just some of the clever ways Australians are continuing to treat themselves to travel, dining and luxury items.

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A massive 98 percent of Australians say they are planning to take a vacation this year but to unlock these experiences, most (92 percent) report having used a ‘travel hack’ in the last six months such as having a credit card that can earn points to be cashed in for travel rewards (66percent). This increases to 72 percent among Millennials.

Other travel hacks used by Australians in the last six months include:

● 89 percent used a credit card that can be cashed in for travel rewards and they track how many points they have accumulated.
● 35 percent booked a trip on a specific day or time that seems less popular.
● 39 percent opted for booking a hotel with complimentary breakfast.

Interestingly, Australians (more than consumers in any other country surveyed) use popular TV shows and movies to inform their next trip (48 percent).

Meanwhile, 44 percent prefer to book a ticket to a destination because they saw it on social media, and more than half (55 percent) agree that if they did not post their travels on social media, they may as well have not happened.

This increases to 49 percent among Gen Z and Millennial travellers.

Romantic couple smiling at sunset in Rome, Italy

Daniel Thomas, Vice President of Travel and Lifestyle Services, American Express Australia said: “The latest Amex Trendex shows that Australians, even when faced with financial pressures, are finding innovative ways to enjoy the things that bring them joy – even when they come with a lofty price tag.

“It’s no secret that quality of life is a huge consideration for Australians, and life’s pleasures like dining out, travelling and luxury purchases clearly play into this.

“We know that the way consumers define value has changed significantly over the years. It is no longer necessarily about how many or how often, it is about the quality of the experience or item.”

Aussies also continue to fork out on dining, with 73 percent saying their dining out habits are the same or more compared to last year. This jumps to 79 percent among Gen Z and Millennials. Of all Aussies dining out, 34 percent say they typically dine out at fine dining restaurants, (which is more than consumers from any other country surveyed including the US and UK) and 89 percent consider a trip to a restaurant as another way to treat themselves.

As Australian consumers turn to smarter ways to dine, 75 percent agree that they seek out deals and promotions at restaurants when choosing where to dine. Among families, 77 percent of Australian parents agree that they seek kids-eat-free venues. 62 percent agree they are happy to cover the cost of group bookings to rack up more reward points.

“Luxe for less” experiences isn’t the only way Australians are choosing to treat themselves, as 71 percent agree that luxury shopping is another way to do this. Luxury items are purchased at least once per year by 69 percent of Australians and at least once per month by 33 percent of Australian consumers.

While luxury shopping typically comes at a hefty price, Australians are navigating this by choosing to rent rather than purchase luxury items outright (28 percent). What’s more, 52 percent of Aussies revealed they had sold a luxury item to upgrade to a newer item or style. Australians (more than consumers from any other country surveyed) are treating luxury purchases, such as shoes, handbags, and jewellery, as a financial investment, with 30 percent of Gen Z adopting this trend.

For the majority of Australians, making a luxury purchase is about more than just the logo.

In fact, 56 percent say they prefer purchases with few or no branding or logos, and 81 percent agree that they care more about craftsmanship and sustainability than the designer label itself.

Noteably, when considering purchasing luxury items, the top considerations are sustainability (76 percent) and brand alignment with their values (83 percent).

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