Families fork out almost £40 a day entertaining children this Christmas

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Three in four parents admit they spend more money than they can afford to on keeping the children entertained at Christmas.

Egg Money customers can also help spread the cost of Christmas with a market leading 1% cash-back rate on purchases worldwide, and a range of insurance benefits such as missed event cover and a price promise.

The average family is set to spend almost £40 a day* on entertaining their children this Christmas according to research** from Egg, the internet bank. The financial burden of keeping the kids happy during the festive break builds to a total cost of almost £540 over the two week break*** for British parents.

On top of splashing out on the latest toys and must have Christmas presents this year, parents are having to fork out on activities like going to see the latest Christmas movie, buying the newest Harry Potter DVD or getting the new Twilight books for their offspring.

Egg's research reveals the top five activities to keep the children content during the Christmas break are:

1.    Take the kids out for lunch (60%)
2.    Go to the cinema (52%)
3.    Buy DVDs (42%)
4.    Buy books/comics (41%)
5.    Dish out extra pocket money (24%)

The additional cost of keeping boredom away from their children this festive season means more than three in four (77 per cent) parents admit they will spend more money than they can afford to on their kids, in what is an already expensive time of year.

One in 11 (9 per cent) believe spending the money shows their children how much they love them, and one in 25 (4 per cent) admit they simply follow the lead from other parents.

Vanessa Wood, spokesperson for Egg said: "Christmas is the most expensive time of the year for a lot of families but being smart about how you spend money can really help spread the cost of Christmas."

"The Egg Money World MasterCard for example, offers rewards including discounts on family days out and cinema tickets plus high street and internet retailers when using their credit card."

"Egg Money customers can also help spread the cost of Christmas with a market leading 1% cash-back rate on purchases worldwide, and a range of insurance benefits such as missed event cover and a price promise."

This year's top selling toys, according to the Toy Retailers Association, are:****

  •     Bakugan Battle Pack
  •     Battle Strikers starter set
  •     Ben 10 Alien Force Kevins DX Action Cruiser
  •     Bendaroos Mega Pack
  •     GO GO Pets Hamster
  •     GX Racers Tightrope Terror
  •     Kidizoom Multimedia Digital Camera
  •     LEGO Games Minotaurus
  •     Monopoly City
  •     Princess Peppa's Palace
  •     Sylvanian Families Caravan
  •     Transformers Movie 2 Voyagers Figures

Egg Money World Mastercard typical variable APR will be 17.8%, which is derived from the standard variable annual rate for purchases of 16.9% and the £1 monthly fee. The balance transfer rate of 8.9% pa is fixed for the life of any balance transfer made before 1 February 2010. Further conditions will apply. Insurance provided by International SOS Insurance Services.

For more information on Egg or its products please visit http://www.egg.com.

For further information please contact:
Teresa Broughton
Tel: 020 7508 7355
teresa.broughton(at)citi(dot)com

Rachel O'Hare
Tel: 020 7294 3625
Rachelo(at)lansons(dot)com

Vanessa Wood
Tel: 020 7508 8664
vanessa.lucy.wood(at)citi(dot)com

Tom Lawless
Tel: 020 7566 9707
toml(at)lansons(dot)com

Notes to editors:
*The 13.2 million families in the UK will spend an average £38.41 on their children (under 16) per day over the school holidays
** Opinium Research carried out an online poll of 2,001 British adults from 16th October to 19th October 2009. Results have been weighted to nationally representative criteria
*** The 13.2 million families in the UK will spend an average £38.41 on their children (under 16) per day which equates which equates to £537.74 over the two week half term
****http://www.toyretailersassociation.co.uk/press/pressrels.php

From 12 November 2009 until 31 January 2010, not only will Egg Money customers get 1% cash back on all their spending, but they'll also have the chance to win £50 on purchases big or small with the Spend.Win.Sort promotion. If they buy something and pay with Egg Money and the last four digits of the card number exactly matches the last four digits of the authorisation code shown on their receipt they could win £50. There's up to 250 prizes of £50 each month; winners will receive a text message or an email to let them know they've won. For more information on the Spend.Win.Sort promotion - http://www.egg.com/eggmoneyoffer

About Egg
Egg the online bank, provides banking, credit cards, insurance and investments through its internet site and other distribution channels. To find out more visit http://www.egg.com

About Citi
Citi, the leading global financial services company, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 140 countries. Through Citicorp and Citi Holdings, Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, and wealth management. Additional information may be found at http://www.citigroup.com or http://www.citi.com.

Citibank and Egg currently have separate banking licences and both are separate members of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) (http://www.fscs.org.uk), so customer deposits are covered up to the new compensation limit of £50,000 per customer (e.g. £100,000 for joint accounts where there are two account holders) for each bank.

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