Consumers plan to spend over USD100 on average; men expected to spend 40 percent more on presents than women; three-quarters of people in China and Vietnam think Valentine’s Day is the best day to get engaged

Tweet: #Love is in the air in #APAC as consumers spend big this #ValentinesDay #MasterCard

Singapore, 11 February 2016 – According to MasterCard’s latest Consumer Purchasing Priorities survey in Asia Pacific, people across the region have embraced Valentine’s Day with half (44%) planning to buy a gift for their loved ones this year. People in Thailand seem to be the most loved up with 79 percent of people planning to buy a gift for their Valentine. Thailand is closely followed by China (72%) and Hong Kong (65%).Mastercard_Valentine

On average, people plan to spend USD100 on Valentine’s Day gifts this year. People in Hong Kong plan to spend the most at USD243 each, followed by consumers in China (USD239) and Singapore (USD189). Men in Hong Kong are the biggest spenders, planning to lavish USD273 on Valentine’s Day presents for their loved ones.

Across Asia Pacific men plan to spend 40 percent more than women on gifts this year. The biggest discrepancies in spending are in New Zealand, Japan and India, where men plan to spend more than double on gifts than women. The only markets where women plan to spend more than men are Sri Lanka and South Korea.

Across the region, the most popular gift to buy is flowers. However, according to the global “MasterCard Love Index” – released today – MasterCard users in the region spend more money on “experiences” than “things” during Valentine’s Day. Between 2013 and 2015, 36 percent of money spent on Valentine’s Day went on hotels, while 24 percent went to restaurants. In total, Valentine’s Day spending in Asia Pacific was up 23 percent from 2013 to 2015.

Meanwhile, when shopping for loved ones, the new “Love Index” showed that people want to get physical, preferring the personal touch by picking out presents in-store for their Valentine. In Asia Pacific, 84 percent of Valentine’s Day transactions were made in-person from 2013 to 2015.

Nevertheless, jewelry, a common big-ticket item, made up 14 percent of Valentine’s Day expenditure from 2013 to 2015. Some of this money may well have been spent on engagement rings, with MasterCard’s Consumer Purchasing Priorities survey uncovering that almost three quarters of consumers in China and Vietnam – and over half in Hong Kong, South Korea and Thailand – believe Valentine’s Day is the best day to propose or receive a marriage proposal.

Eric Schneider, Region Head, Asia Pacific, MasterCard Advisors said: “Love is certainly in the air across Asia Pacific. Half of people across the region plan to buy gifts for loved ones this year, and spending during Valentine’s Day was up 23 percent from 2013 to 2015.  What’s surprising is that Valentine’s Day is more popular in markets such as Thailand, China, and Malaysia, than Australia and New Zealand; places that have more of a tradition of marking the day. In China and Vietnam it is even considered the preferred day to propose or receive a marriage proposal. The spread of Valentine’s Day shows that everyone likes to take the opportunity to celebrate love, buy presents and share experiences with those they care about the most.”

Data from MasterCard’s Consumer Purchasing Priorities survey:

Base (n=) 8779 1252 470 806 414 857 406 428 410 401 447 430 404 402 432 411 400 409
Plan to buy Valentine’s gift for loved ones (%)
Yes (Y) 44 41 39 72 65 10 18 38 61 62 58 53 59 79 36 40 31 9
Average planned spending on Valentine’s gift (USD)
Y (All) 104 134 87 239 243 29 16 88 176 58 189 101 176 137 30 20 24 15
Y (Men) 120 160 122 256 273 37 16 130 201 65 198 98 215 172 32 22 28 12
Y (Wom) 86 100 52 220 209 19 15 65 145 50 178 103 123 99 26 13 20 17
Valentine’s Day is the best day to propose/ receive marriage proposal (%)
Yes 37 21 14 71 52 35 10 33 39 39 36 44 51 55 73 32 22 3


The global “MasterCard Love Index” study analyzed aggregated transaction information made by credit, debit and pre-pay cards across pre-selected merchant categories which took place over a three-year period between 11th – 14th February from 2013-2015.

Meanwhile, the survey data for Asia Pacific is based on Consumer Purchasing Priorities for the first half of 2016. 8,779 people, in 17 markets across Asia Pacific aged 18-64, were asked about their spending plans for Valentine’s Day 2016. The markets included Australia, Bangladesh, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. Data collection channels included internet surveys, in-person interviews, as well as telephone interviews, with the questionnaire available in both English and local language, whenever appropriate or necessary. The Index and its accompanying reports do not represent MasterCard’s financial performance.

MasterCard and its Suite of Research Properties
The MasterCard Index suite in Asia Pacific includes the long-running MasterCard Index of Consumer Confidence, as well as the MasterCard Index of Women’s Advancement, MasterCard Index of Financial Literacy, and the MasterCard Index of Global Destination Cities. In addition to the indices, MasterCard’s research properties also include a range of consumer surveys including  Online Shopping, Ethical Spending and a series on Consumer Purchasing Priorities (covering Travel, Dining & Entertainment, Education, Money Management, Luxury and General Shopping).

About MasterCard
MasterCard (NYSE: MA),, is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard’s products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MasterCardAP and @MasterCardNews, join the discussion on the Beyond the Transaction Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.

Georgette Tan, MasterCard,, +65 6390 5971
Georgina Mallory, Weber Shandwick,, +65 6825 8026