American Express’ latest global Trendex has found Australians across all generations are adopting creative spending strategies to continue enjoying the experiences and purchases they love, despite cost-of-living pressures.
Booking off-peak dinner reservations, cashing in loyalty points to pay for vacations, and renting, rather than purchasing, luxury goods are just some of the clever ways Australians continue to treat themselves to dining, travel and luxury items.
Aussies continue to fork out on dining
According to the Amex Trendex, dining out remains high on the experience list for Australians with 73 per cent saying they are dining out either the same amount or more often compared to last year. This jumps to 79 per cent among Australian Gen Z and Millennials. Of all Aussies dining out, 34 per cent 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 per cent consider a trip to a restaurant as another way to treat themselves.
As Australian consumers turn to smarter ways to dine, 75 per cent agree that they seek out deals and promotions at restaurants when choosing where to dine out. Among families, 77 per cent of Australian parents agree that they seek kids-eat-free venues. Some 62 per cent agree they are happy to cover the cost of group bookings to rack-up more rewards points.
Along with smarter spending strategies, Australians are getting creative when it comes to securing hard-to-nab reservations: 29 per cent purposely book a table earlier in the day and 31 per cent admit to being flexible with dining dates.
Social media continues to reign supreme as a source of dining inspiration for Aussies, with 96 per cent of those who typically look to social media for restaurant recommendations saying they’re likely to visit a restaurant after seeing it on social, and furthermore, 37 per cent of Gen Z’s and Millennials are interested in dining at a restaurant if it’s trending.
Travel hacks being used to stretch holiday budgets further
Along with dining out, 98 per cent of Australians say they plan to take a vacation this year. To unlock these experiences, most (92 per cent) 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 (66 per cent). This increases to 72 per cent among Millennials.
Other travel hacks used by Australians in the last six months, include:
• 89 per cent with a credit card that can be cashed-in for travel rewards track how many points they have accumulated
• 35 per cent book a trip on a specific day or time that seems less popular
• 39 per cent opt for booking a hotel with complimentary breakfast
When seeking travel inspiration, Australians more than consumers in any other country surveyed, use popular TV shows and movies to inform their next trip (48 per cent). Meanwhile, 44 per cent prefer to book a ticket to a destination because they saw it on social media, and more than half (55 per cent) agree that if they did not post their travels on social media, they may as well have not happened. This increases to 49 per cent among Gen Z and Millennial travellers.
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.”
Luxe for less
Experiences aren’t the only way Australians are choosing to treat themselves, as 71 per cent agree that luxury shopping is another way to do this. Luxury items are purchased at least once per year among 69 per cent of Australians and at least once per month among 33 per cent 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 per cent). What’s more, 52 per cent 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 per cent 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 per cent say they prefer purchases with few or no branding/logos, and 81 per cent agree that they care more about craftsmanship and sustainability than the designer label itself. Further, when considering purchasing luxury items, top considerations are sustainability (76 per cent) and brand alignment with their values (83 per cent).
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