Credit card spending abroad hit an all-time high in the second quarter, before even the summer holidays took huge numbers of Koreans abroad.
According to the Bank of Korea on Friday, credit card bills from overseas totaled US$2.53 billion in April-June, up 10.9 percent on-year. The previous quarterly record was $2.52 billion in the fourth quarter of 2012.
"The total amount of money outbound travelers spent overseas fell because their numbers dropped, but credit card spending rose because that is becoming the preferred option."
The total amount Korean travelers spent overseas in the second quarter was $4.96 billion, down slightly from $5.19 in the first. But the proportion of credit card bills grew from 48 percent in the first quarter to 51 percent in the second.
Some 5.79 million people used their cards overseas, up 2.4 percent from the first quarter, but transactions per person dropped from $440 to $436.
Meanwhile, foreigners' credit card spending here reached $1.2 billion in the second quarter, down 2.3 percent on-year. Card spending per foreigner fell from $400 in the first quarter to $378 in the second.