September 09, 2017 08:11
Some 6.11 million Koreans traveled abroad in the second quarter and spent W4.18 billion on their credit cards (US$1=W1,129). That boils down to $685 per person.
More striking is the large number of big spenders. According to the Korea Customs Service, some 60,000 spent more than $5,000 per quarter overseas, while over 200 spent more than $100,000 abroad.
The KCS has tracked Koreans who splurge overseas since 2014 to ferret out possible foreign-exchange law violators.
In the fourth quarter of last year, 55,146 Koreans spent more than $5,000 overseas on their credit cards. The total amount stood at $655 million or $11,886 per person. But 262 spent more than $100,000 with the amount totaling $53.6 million. That boils down to $204,389 per person.
However, the amount includes all money spent outside Korea, which covers online purchases on foreign websites.
From next year, credit card purchases over $600 per transaction will automatically be reported to the authorities.
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