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Koreans' overseas card spending hits record high in Q1

Overseas card spending by South Koreans hit a record high in the first quarter due to a hike in the number of people going overseas, the central bank said Thursday.

In the January-March period, overseas card spending amounted to $4.02 billion, up 21.9 percent from $3.3 billion a year earlier, according to the Bank of Korea BOK. From a month earlier, the Q1 tally marked a 7.4-percent increase.

An image or credit cards (Yonhap)
An image or credit cards (Yonhap)

Overseas card spending includes purchases made with debit and direct payment cards, in addition to credit cards.

The hike was driven by a rise in the number of South Koreans going overseas. Government data showed that 6.51 million South Koreans traveled to foreign countries in the first quarter, compared to 5.56 million a year earlier.

The average amount spent with each card in foreign countries came to $304 in the first quarter, up from $295 a year earlier, the BOK said.

Meanwhile, card spending by foreign visitors in South Korea came to $2.45 billion in the first quarter, down 2.7 percent from a year earlier, according to the central bank. (Yonhap)