Consumers expected to spend big with credit cards this Valentine’s Day

Recent data by both the Federal Reserve and major credit card lenders show Americans were more willing to swipe their plastic for purchases during the holiday season, and many industry experts expect this sentiment to carry over to Valentine’s Day spending.

According to new research from the National Retail Federation, the average American will spend around $116 this Valentine’s Day. If this happens as predicted, it would mark an 11 percent increase over 2009’s figures.

In addition, the NRF expects total consumer spending will reach as high as $15.7 billion, the report said. The average man is expected to spend $158, almost double that of the average woman.

“Though the economy will still be on their minds, Valentine’s Day holds a special place in many Americans’ hearts,” Phil Rist, executive vice president at BIGresearch told the report. “Some may opt for a quiet night out or a home cooked meal to keep costs down, but it seems there are others who are a little more interested in a nice night on the town.”

Making purchases with credit cards could help consumers save money, as many issuers are offering big discounts to those who make retail expenditures for the holiday.