MasterCard Love Index: Dining the top Valentine’s Day treat in Egypt

The move to digital and online shopping shows no sign of slowing down but when it comes to love, shoppers want to get physical. Today MasterCard has revealed that when it comes to expressing love, shoppers around the globe prefer the personal touch by picking out presents in store for their Valentine.

The “MasterCard Love Index” showcases global shopper behaviour in over 200 countries around the world and was created by analysing credit, debit and prepaid card transactions over a three-year period between 11-14 February in 2013, 2014 and 2015. The Index not only looked at the volume of spending and the amount spent but also analysed the types of spending associated with Valentine’s Day around the world.

The MasterCard Love Index reveals several interesting insights into Valentine’s Day spending habits in Egypt. Last year, 93% of people in Egypt made purchases in-person whereas only 7% of purchases were made online.

Restaurants accounted for the largest share of transactions at 49%; however, despite the high volume of transactions, restaurants accounted for only 13% of total Valentine’s spend. Cards were found to be more popular than flowers around Valentine’s Day, with 4% of people buying cards as compared to 1% buying flowers.

Overall consumer spending in the build-up to Valentine’s Day has increased in every region from 2013 to 2015 by an average of 22% and the data also revealed that many people are moving away from gifts and grand gestures in the pursuit of experience and the creation of memories.

“Where you live can have a big impact on how you shop or the experiences and memories you look to create. The MasterCard Love Index provides insights on global and regional purchasing trends to help retailers and other merchants make Valentine’s Day celebrations a little more personal and priceless,” commented Raghu Malhotra, President, Middle East and Africa, MasterCard.

Mastercard Valentine Interactive

The study identified a range of purchasing trends, highlighting some notable differences around the globe:


  • The personal touch: Globally, 90% of shoppers made purchases in-person, whereas only 6% preferred to make their transactions online. Europeans made the most of buying online with over a fifth (21%) of transactions taking place via the internet.
  • Experiences over physical items: Spending patterns across the globe show an increasing number of people are treating their loved ones to meals in restaurants (33%) and hotel stays (28%). Shoppers in Latin America (54%) and the United States (38%) saw the majority of transactions in their regions at restaurants, while the Asia Pacific, Europe and Middle East regions preferred to get away from it all by prioritising hotel stays.
  • Still saying it with flowers: In general, there was a slight decline in the sale of flowers and cards during the three years. However, Latin Americans are bucking this trend by almost doubling their spending on flowers (92%) during this period. The Middle East is the only region to show an increase in purchases of cards, and that by a significant 107%.

“As the world continues the move to digital-first, it is interesting to see that when it comes to romance we still need the personal touch. Rather than trusting our gestures of love to the digital world it appears we still need the reassurance of choosing our purchases in person and that when it comes to saying ’I love you’ on Valentine’s Day we prefer experiences over material goods,” Malhotra concluded.

Global Valentine’s Day spending patterns by region:

Middle East



·         More likely to spend money on Jewellery (23%) than any other region

·         Travel spending is on the rise with 43% of transactions being made on hotels, an increase of 51%

·         Only region to see an increase in Valentine’s Day card purchases (107%)


United States·         Food is the most important aspect of Valentine’s Day, with 38% of spending made at restaurants, an increase of 66% during this period

·         Spending on physical items such as flowers (-17%) and cards (-14%) has decreased

·         Spending has increased by 28% with 64% of transactions being made in-person


Latin America




·         Romance is on the rise with an increase in spending on flowers (+92%) and jewellery (+67%)

·         By percentage, Latin Americans are spending more on restaurants than any other region (54%)

·         Valentine’s Day spending has increased by 25% during this period






·         Spending more on accommodation (33%) and food (25%), with purchases in restaurants up 53% in this period

·         Valentine’s Day spending is up 14%

·         21% of transactions online saw Europe as the region making most purchases via the internet. 66% were made in-person


Asia and the Pacific Rim




·         More spending on experiences such as hotels (36%) and restaurants (24%), less on “physical items” including flowers (2%) and cards (2%)

·         84% of transactions were made in-person over 10% online

·         Valentine’s Day spending is up 23% during this period


Canada·         Canadians most likely to spend their money on transportation (35%), an increase of 9%

·         Only 4% of spending went on flowers, 34% down from 2013 to 2015

·         54% of transactions made in-person versus 18% online and 28% when the cardholder wasn’t present





United States (5%)

Canada (4%)

Asia Pacific (2%)

Europe (2%)

Latin America (2%)

Middle East (0%)

TOTAL (4%)

Asia Pacific (-25%)

Canada (-34%)

Europe (+15%)

Latin America (+92%)

United States (-17%)

Middle East (+6%)

TOTAL (-9%)



Middle East (43%)

Asia Pacific (36%)

Europe (33%)

Latin America (23%)

United States (23%)

Canada (20%)

TOTAL (28%)

Asia Pacific (+25%)

Canada (+9%)

Europe (+28%)

Latin America (+48%)

United States (+32%)

Middle East (+51%)

TOTAL (+31%)



Middle East (23%)

Asia Pacific (14%)

Europe (7%)

Canada (6%)

United States (6%)

Latin America (5%)

TOTAL (7%)

Asia Pacific (+22%)

Canada (-9%)

Europe (+11%)

Latin America (+67%)

United States (+8%)

Middle East (+4%)

TOTAL (+14%)



Latin America (54%)

United States (38%)

Canada (29%)

Europe (25%)

Asia Pacific (24%)

Middle East (12%)

TOTAL (33%)

Asia Pacific (+36%)

Canada (+4%)

Europe (+53%)

Latin America (+12%)

United States (+66%)

Middle East (+58%)

TOTAL (+49%)

TransportationCanada (35%)

Europe (32%)

United States (24%)

Asia Pacific (22%)

Middle East (21%)

Latin America (10%)

TOTAL (25%)

Asia Pacific (+13%)

Canada (-16%)

Europe (-17%)

Latin America (+45%)

United States (-3%)

Middle East (+12%)

TOTAL (-6%)

StationaryLatin America (6%)

Canada (6%)

United States (4%)

Asia Pacific (2%)

Europe (1%)

Middle East (1%)

TOTAL (3%)

Asia Pacific (-7%)

Canada (-24%)

Europe (-17%)

Latin America (-4%)

United States (-14%)

Middle East (+107%)

TOTAL (-12%)


About the MasterCard Valentine’s Day Index
The study analyzed aggregated transaction information made by credit, debit and prepaid cards across pre-selected merchant categories over a three-year period – February 11-14 in 2013, 2014 and 2015.
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.

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